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Two new seaweed species discovered along India’s coastline

Two new purple algal seaweed species, which is usually a potential uncooked materials for these concerned in jelly and ice cream manufacturing, have been discovered along India’s coastline.

A bunch of marine botanists, led by Felix Bast from the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda (CUPB), have traced these native seaweed species along the coasts of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and in Gujarat and Daman Diu.

Both varieties—Hypnea indica and Hypnea Bullata—have been discovered in Kanyakumari. The superb and furry algae Hypnea indica was discovered in Shivrajpur and Somnath Pathan in Gujarat, whereas Hypnea Bullata grew along the coastline of Daman and Diu.

All subject samplings for this examine, undertaken as a part of SERB-Core Research Grant awarded by the Department of Science and Technology, have been collected in 2018. The researchers mentioned that the seaweeds thrived on rocks that submerged throughout excessive tides and stay uncovered throughout low tides at these places.

” The problem whereas amassing the samples was planning visits to those websites coinciding with low tides, aside from scanning seashores and seas for lengthy distances, typically about 100 kms even. We utilized morphology with DNA bar coding method with a view to verify the novelty of those two species,” mentioned Pushpendu Kundu, a fifth 12 months doctoral pupil at CUPB and co-author of the examine, just lately printed in journal Botanica Marina.

It is for the primary time we have now discovered these purple algal species of sea weeds along Indian coasts, the researchers mentioned.

“These species were not abundantly found but were growing in isolated patches, mainly in the intertidal regions of the sea. The region near the Pamban bridge is an epicentre of algal diversity and needs to be further studied,” mentioned Bast, affiliate professor and head, Department of Botany at CUPB.

Commercially, Bast mentioned, Hypnea variants of seaweeds can fetch good financial worth if commercial-scale cultivation is taken up. Hypnea incorporates Carrageenan, a biomolecule generally used within the meals trade. But, seaweed cultivation in India stays unpopular.

” India has an unlimited coastline of over 7,500 kms. There is a good potential and a necessity for creating an ecosystem — the place farmers and the fishermen communities are scientifically educated in seaweed cultivation. Alongside, related industries, too, must assist such efforts,” mentioned Bast, who cited profitable seaweed cultivation undertaken by smaller nations like Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

With India at present drafting its maiden coverage on Blue Economy, proposed to enhance utilisation of ocean assets within the coming decade, Bast is hopeful about seaweed cultivation in India. The Ministry of Earth Sciences is at present drafting this coverage.

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