IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


21st June, 2024 Environment


Source: PIB 

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • Indiconema, a newly discovered genus of diatom, found in the Eastern and Western Ghats of India.
  • Diatoms play a crucial role in global oxygen production and aquatic ecosystem health.


Key Points

  • Discovery of Indiconema, a new diatom genus, in the clean water river of the Eastern Ghats.
  • Diatoms are vital for oxygen production and are key indicators of aquatic health.
  • India's diverse landscapes support a rich variety of diatom species, with many being endemic.
  • Indiconema shows unique valve features and shares a close relation with the Afrocymbella genus of East Africa.
  • The discovery underscores the importance of ongoing research in diatom biogeography and biodiversity.
  • Indiconema


New genus of the Gomphonemoid diatom discovered in the Eastern Ghats.


Highlights the unique biodiversity of India's freshwater ecosystems.

Geographical Distribution

Eastern Ghats: Clean water rivers are the habitat of the newly discovered genus.

Western Ghats: Another species of Indiconema reported from this region.

Biological Features

Valve Symmetry: Distinguishing feature in Indiconema compared to other Gomphonemoid diatoms.

Pore Field: Presence at both head and foot poles, unlike others which have it only at the foot pole.

Ecological Role

Oxygen Production: Diatoms contribute to 25% of global oxygen production.

Aquatic Health Indicators: Sensitive to water chemistry changes, making them excellent indicators of water quality.

Biodiversity and Endemism

Endemic Species: 30% of nearly 6,500 diatom taxa in India are endemic.

Habitat Diversity: From freshwater to marine environments, supporting unique diatom species.

Research and Discovery

Agharkar Research Institute (ARI): Conducted the research, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology.

Publication: Findings published in the journal Phycologia.

Biogeographical Importance

Relation to Afrocymbella: Indiconema is suggested to be closely related to this East African genus.

Monsoon Evolution: Shaping of rainforest biome and diatom flora in the Indian Peninsula.

Implications for Conservation

Biodiversity Hotspots: The discovery underlines the rich biodiversity of the Eastern and Western Ghats.

Research Importance: Emphasizes the need for ongoing research to understand diatom biogeography and its impact on ecosystem health.


Down to Earth


Q. Consider the following statements regarding the new diatom genus Indiconema:

1.Indiconema has been discovered in the clean water rivers of the Eastern Ghats.

2.Indiconema is closely related to the genus Afrocymbella, endemic to East Africa.

3.The unique feature of Indiconema is the presence of a pore field only at the foot pole.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 1 and 3 only

c) 2 and 3 only

d) 1, 2, and 3

Answer: a)