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Oedocladium sahyadricum

Oedocladium sahyadricum:

A group of phycologists from the Department of Botany at Catholicate College in Pathanamthitta has discovered a new algal species in the Western Ghats.

  • Oedocladium sahyadricum is a new algal species and it is named as Oedocladium sahyadricum.
  • The name ‘sahyadricum’ refers to the Western Ghats, also known as Sahyadri, which is rich in plant diversity and provides ideal conditions for the growth of terrestrial microalgae.
  • It is dioecious and terrestrial, having a superior operculum, and possessing ellipsoid oogonium and oospore.
  • The alga was found as a thin mat of elongated strands on damp soil.
  • The species, which looks like moss protonema, is velvety green but turns yellowish-green as it matures. Rainy weather is likely needed for its abundant growth.
  • This is the first time a species in the Oedocladium category has been recorded in Kerala.
  • Species of Oedocladium have potential practical applications
  • In medicine, agriculture and in the production of a natural pigment, astaxanthin which is well-documented for its unique biological activities and health benefits.
  • Algae plays a significant role in ecosystems and has enormous economic importance in the world market, from high-value products to wastewater treatment.