Rare Seaweed Found on Indian Coast

IAS Prelims 2023

According to report published recently in the Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography, researchers of India have identified a seaweed Sargassum zhangii, growing along the rocky shores from Vedaranyam to Pattukottai and Thondi to Pamban in Tamil Nadu.

The team led by Dr. Felix Bast from the Centre for Biosciences, Central University of Punjab, found luxuriant growth of the seaweed all around the rocky shore.

This is the first reported case of the seaweed outside China.

The team was able to make an inference of the evolutionary relatedness of the algae collected from Indian shores and those in China by measuring the pair-wise genetic distance between the two isolates of the algal species.

The genetic distance is very low and so the algae is closely related to the one found in China. Also, the introduction into Indian shores has been recent as the genetic distance between the two isolates is low.

This is the first time DNA barcoding has been used in India for characterising invasive species.