What is Gomphonema rajaguruii?

May 29, 2023

Researchers at the Pune-based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) recently discovered a new species named Gomphonema rajaguruii from the northern Western Ghats.

About Gomphonema rajaguruii:

  • It is a new freshwater diatom species.
  • It was found in a semi-aquatic environment along the wet walls in Maharashtra’s popular hill station, Mahabaleshwar in Satara District.
  • It was named after a veteran geo-archaeologist from the city, the late Professor S N Rajaguru.
  • It is unique because it shows the characteristics of two genus – Gomphonema and Gomphoneis.

What are Diatoms?

  • It is a photosynthetic, single celled organism.
  • They are a major group of algae and form one of the most common forms of phytoplankton.
  • They are found in almost every aquatic environment including fresh and marine waters.
  • Diatoms have cell walls made of silica, Each species has a distinct pattern of tiny holes in the cell wall (frustule) through which they absorb nutrients and get rid of waste.
  • Collectively, they are responsible for generating up to 50% of the oxygen produced globally each year.