Two beneficial algal species discovered off the west coast of India

Recently, two beneficial algal species Ulva paschima Bast and Cladophora goensis Bast were discovered off the west coast of India.

They were discovered by Dr. Felix Bast and two research students working with him. These findings were published in the journals PLOS One and Indian Journal of Marine Sciences.

Key Characteristics of discovered algal species

  • Carbon capture properties- These species have excellent carbon capture properties i.e. ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So it can be used as bio-fuels and help reduce global warming.
  • Endemic- Both of them are endemic species to the western coast of India. So, their cultivation is not going to cause any environmental harm and reduces the risk of bio invasion in this region.
  • Bloom forming- Both species being bloom forming they have spontaneous growth. So there is no need for any expensive cultivation systems such as photobioreactors or extensive use of fertilizers/pesticides. They can grow sporadically at shorelines and can sequester CO.
  • Medicinal values- Both species have similar characteristic like other algal species which have Kahalalide-F , used in in clinical trials against prostate and breast cancers. So they can be used in Pharmaceutical products.

It should be noted that, this discovery was the first molecular study on Indian algae, and first algal species discoveed in past 40 years.


Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017