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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

New species of marine algae identified

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, June 17, 2014
First Published: 23:27 IST(17/6/2014) | Last Updated: 23:29 IST(17/6/2014)

A team of young researchers at the Centre for Biosciences of Central University of Punjab here have identified a new species of green marine algae, that is responsible for massive green tides in Goa.

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Green tides are an ecological phenomenon in which an explosive growth of seaweeds occurs in response to increased nutrient inflow and they cover large coastline at once, hindering maritime activities such as shipping.

A research paper, authored Dr Felix Bast, assistant professor and two of M Phil students, Aijaz Ahmad John and Satej Bhushan, has been accepted for publication in the leading marine research journal, Indian Journal of Marine Science.

The authors used microscopic and DNA sequencing techniques to substantiate their finding and has been named "Cladophora goensis Bast".

According to Dr Felix Bast, it is believed that the world's oceans harbour rich biodiversity; however, more than 70% of the marine algae species are yet to be scientifically documented. The last new species of marine algae discovered from Indian coastal region was in 1969 by Prof V Krishnamurthy, a pioneer in marine biology, who passed away last month.

Dr Felix had been working for the last two years to uncover hidden marine biodiversity through his research expeditions to coasts of Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Sundarban Delta.

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