Congratulations to School of Biosciences 

 

Discovery of Eight New Algae from Soils of Kerala’

School of Bioscience has received wide attention in the Press with the Discovery of Eight New Algae from Oxic Dystrustepts Soils of Pathanamthitta District. Details of the Green Algae discovered are already published in the recent issue of Research Journal of Soil Biology – 4 (3):42-68, 2012, published from the USA. This discovery was in connection with the Ph D work of Dr Binoy T. Thomas (Asst.Professor, Department of Botany, Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta) who was awarded Ph D by Mahatma Gandhi University under the Guidance and Supervision of Dr J G Ray, Professor & Director, School of Biosciences.  Whole thesis of the candidate is available online in the MG University site.

Among the eight new algae found out, five are new species and one a variety of green-algae, one a new species of blue-green algae and another one new variety of diatoms. Altogether 77 seven species of algae are reported in this study from soils of Pathanamthitta District.

Soil algae are significant species contributing to fertility of soils. Other ecological roles include soil conservation, carbon sequestration, ecological indication, and phytoremediation.

 

Economic significance of algae is tremendous – as a source of single cell protein, easily fast producible biomass from limited space and resources without soil, which has diverse utilities.  Other uses include as alternative source of biofuel, food supplement, cattle feed and medicinally significant molecules.    

 

Five new species of Green-algae discovered

  1. Chlamydomonas ovoidae Ray and Thomas sp. nov. ( Species name ‘ovoidae’ to recognize the characteristic shape)
  2. Cylindrocystis chavarae Ray and Thomas sp. nov. (Species name ‘chavarae’ to venerate the name of biessed Fr. Chavara in Kottayam)
  3. Penium gregoriouse Ray and Thomas sp.nov.(Species name ‘gregoriouse’ to venerate the name of St.Gregorious of Parumala)
  4. Roya catholicatae Ray and Thomas sp.nov. (Species name ‘catholicatae’ to distinguish the name of Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta)
  5. Stichococcus Thannithode Ray and Thomas sp. nov. (Species name ‘Thannithode’ to reminiscence the name of the village from where this species was found out)

 

One new variety of Green-alga discovered

  1. Chlamydomonas deasonii var. micro Ray and Thomas var. nov. (Variety name ‘micro’ to distinguish the size of the organism)

 

One new variety of Green-alga discovered

  1. Oscillatoria Thannithode Ray & Thomas sp. Nov (Species name ‘Thannithode’ to reminiscence the name of the village from where the species is found out)

 

One new variety of Diatoms discovered

  1. Eolimna minima var. undulatae Ray & Thomas var. nov. (Species name ‘undulatae’ to designate its peculiar shape)