VEGETOS: An International Journal of Plant ResearchOnline ISSN: 2229-4473
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Research Article, Vegetos Vol: 30 Issue: 4

Distribution of Economically Important Algal Flora at Ranchi District of Jharkhand, India

Sarita Mehta* and Radha Kumari Sahu

Department of Botany Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

*Corresponding Author : Sarita Mehta
Department of Botany Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
Tel: 9661510468
E-mail: [email protected]

Received: June 07, 2017 Accepted: August 05, 2017 Published: August 07, 2017

Citation: Mehta S, Sahu RK (2017) Distribution of Economically Important Algal Flora at Ranchi District of Jharkhand, India. Vegetos 30:4. doi: 10.5958/2229-4473.2017.00188.4

Abstract

Present paper deals with documentation of distribution of the economically important algae, occurring at Ranchi district of Jharkhand. Among all the collected samples from the district, those samples which have economic importance were documented with reference of their importance in different fields. All together 107 species of 49 genera, belonging to four classes viz. Cyanophyceae (62 species of 20 genera), Chlorophyceae (32 species of 20 genera), Bacillariophyceae (10 species of 7 genera) and Euglenophyceae (3 species of 2 genera) have been reported from this area..

Keywords: Algae, Distribution, Economically important, Local, Ranchi

Introduction

Different sp. of algae are rich source of carbohydrates, protein, enzymes and fiber. Besides, many vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium are abundantly found in microalgae [1]. From ancient time, large number of algae have been used as human food. They are often mixed with rice and fish and consumed as salad, soup etc. [2]. Some strains of Cyanophyceae like, Chroococcus, Phormidium, Anabaena, Nostoc and Nostochopsis are traditionally consumed as human food in Africa, Thailand, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Phillipppiines [3-6]. In fresh water green algae Chlorella, Scenedesmus and Coelastrum have been established as protein sources of good quality [7]. Cladophora sp. has been reported from Laos to be obtained from Mekong river, which is dried and sold in the market as food item [8]. In Indian markets dried Spirogyra and Oedoginium were bought in packets [9].

The use of algae can help in maximizing aquaculture production. Increase in body weight of rats and egg quality in fish has been already reported by some workers [10-12], in the species belonging to the genera Spirulina, Nostoc, Anabaena and Calothrix. In Chlorophyceae species of Oedogonium, Spirogyra, Microspora, Ulothrix, Cladophora, Pithophora etc. serve as fish food in fresh water system [2,13]. The diatom is very rich in vitamin-A, possibly the main source of vitamin found in various fishes [13].

Cyanophycean soil algae like Aulosira, Scytonema, Lyngbya, Microcoleus, Anabaena, Nostoc, Cylindrosermum, Aphanothece grow extensively on moist soil. These algae have the capacity to reclaim ‘usar’ soil through a series of successive algal growth in a water logged condition [14]. The importance of algal fertilizer as source of nitrogen has been well documented by many workers [15-18].

Phytoplanktons have attracted attention, as indicator of pollution and their use in removal of toxicants from waste water and bioassay organisms for testing toxicity of chemicals [19]. Palmer [20] analysed reports from 165 authors (more than 850 algae) and developed algal pollution index for rating water samples with high organic pollution. Common algae used in sewage ponds are Chlorella, Scenedesmus, Pediastrum, Microactinium, Euglina, Phacus etc. [2].

Algae are able to grow on the walls of buildings, temples, forts etc. Gradually these spoil the walls of the buildings. Common algae found in walls are Aulosira, Microchaete, Scytonema, Chroococcidiopsis, Gloeocapsa, Phormidium, Aphanothece, Lyngbya etc. [14]. Many algae produce toxins. Important among these algae are Microcystis, Anabaena and Aphanizomenon. These toxins are active against cattle, wild fowls, fish and man [21]. Besides death, many harmful effects like loss of weight, weakness, abortion etc. have been reported in cattle [2]. Algae also cause suffocation of fishes by choking their gills [2].

The microalgae, produce an enormous variety of bioactive molecules which have been shown to have antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, hypercholesteremic and other activities [22-24]. Cyanobacteria generally possess all the known phycobiliproteins. Apart from the use as food-grade dyes, they are also used in cosmetics and as tools for basic research and medical diagnostics. They are used in fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence immunoassays and as phycofluors [25]. Among Chlorophyceae several workers [26-29] have reported antibacterial and antifungal activities in Chlorella vulgaris, Chlorococcum humicola, Hydrodictyon indicum, Zygnema stellinum, Spirogyra weberi, Cladophora fracta, Pithophora oedogonia, Chara vulgaris, Chara contraria etc. Algae like Chlamydomonas, Chlorella, Acetabularia, Scenedesmus, Anacystis, Oedogonium, Chara etc. are very much useful in physiological, cytological and genetical studies [2,14,30].

In order to be categorized as advanced biofuel, the overall process of algal fuel production must represent a 50 % decrease in GHG emission compared to fossil fuels [31]. A study conducted by the University of Virginia found that commercial scale production of algae-to-energy can result in a 68 % reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions when compared to traditional fossil petroleum [32].

Material and Methods

During present investigation algal samples were collected from various places in Ranchi district based on collections made in several field trips during 2008-2013. Main places of collection were Ranchi lake, Swarnrekha river, Kanchi river, Karkari river and Rarhu river. Collected algal specimens were thoroughly washed in water and care was taken according to the type of specimens. Temporary slides were prepared after staining with suitable stains and observed under standard microscope. Camera lucid drawings & microphotographs were taken. Identification was done with the help of standard monographs literature and journals [37-39]. Economically important algal samples were documented with the help of previous references.

Results and Discussion

All documented 107, economically important algal specimens, collected throughout Ranchi district have been listed in the Table 1, with their place of collection and references on their area of interest, which are used as edible algae, biofertilizer, pollution indicator, in waste water treatment, with various chemical activity and other harmful effects. All together 107 species of 49 genera of various importence, belonging to four classes viz. Cyanophyceae (62 species of 20 genera), Chlorophyceae (32 species of 20 genera), Bacillariophyceae (10 species of 7 genera) and Euglenophyceae (3 species of 2 genera) have been documented.

Sl. no. Name of taxa Distribution Economic importance
Paddy field/pond/ temp. water logged area/moist soil Ranchi lake Swarnarekha river Rarhu river Kanchi river Karkari river
  Cyanophyceae Chroococcales Chroococcaceae              
1 Microcystis aeruginosa Kutz. - ₊₊ - - - - Edible [51]; Biofertilizer [52]; Toxic [14,53-55]
2 M. viridis (A. Br.) Lemm. - ₊ - - - - Biofertilizer [52]; Toxic [55]
3 Chroococcus turgidus (Kutz.) Nag. - - - ₊₊ - - Edible [6,56]
4 Gloeocapsa nigrescens Nag. - - - - - ₊₊ Biofertilizer [57]
5 Aphanocapsa montana Cramer ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
6 Synechococcus aeruginosus Nag. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [57]
7 S. elongatus Nag. - - ₊ - - - Waste water treatment [58]
8 Merismopedia tenuissima Lemm. - ₊ ₊ ₊ - - Biofertilizer [52]; Pollution indicator [14]
9 Dactylococcopsis raphidioides Hansg. - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [49]
  Nostocales Oscillatoriaceae              
10 Spirulina platensis (Nordst.) Gomont - ₊ ₊ - - - Edible [59-60]; Chemical activity [58,61]
11 S. major Kuetz. ex Gomont - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14,49]
12 S. laxissima West, G.S. f. major - ₊ - - - - Chemical activity [62]
13 Oscillatoria agardhii Gomont - - ₊ - - - Toxic [55]
14 O. amphibia Ag. ex Gomont ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14,49]
15 O. annae van Goor ₊₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [49]
16 O. boryana Bory ex Gomont ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14,49])
17 O. brevis (Kutz.) Gomont - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [49]
18 O. chalybea (Mertens) Gomont - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14]
19 O. chlorina Kutz. ex Gomont - - - ₊ - - Pollution indicator [14,20]
20 O. cortiana Meneghini ex Gomont - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [49]
21 O. curvicepa Ag. ex Gomont ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [49]
22 O. formosa Bory ex Gomont ₊ - - - - - Toxic [55]
23 O. laete-virens (Crouan) Gomont - - - - - ₊₊ Chemical activity [63]
24 O. limosa Ag. ex Gomont - - ₊ ₊ - ₊ Pollution indicator [14,20]; Chemical activity [64]
25 O. nigroviridis Thwaites ex Gomont ₊ - - - - - Toxic [53-54]; Chemical activity [63]
26 O. princeps Vaucher ex Gomont - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14,20]; Chemical activity [64]
27 O. subbrevis Schmidle - - - ₊₊ - ₊ Chemical activity [27]
28 O. tenuis Ag. ex Gomont ₊ - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14,20],
 29 O. willei Gardner em. Drouet ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
30 Lyngbya aestuarii Liebm. ex Gomont - - - - - ₊ Edible [2]
31 L. birgei Smith G.M. - - ₊ - - - Toxic [14]
32 L. gracilis (Menegh.) Rabenh. ₊ - - - ₊ - Toxic [53-54]; Chemical activity [63]
33 L. hieronymusii Lemm. - - ₊ ₊₊ - - Harmful effects [2]
34 L. major Menegh. ex Gomont - - ₊ - - - Toxic [65]
35 L. majuscula Harvey ex Gomont - - ₊ - - - Chemical activity [66]
  Nostocaceae              
36 Anabaenopsis circularis (G.S. West) Wolosz. et Miller - ₊ - - - - Biofertilizer [14]
37 Cylindrospermum gorakhpurense Singh R.N. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14]
38 C. majus Kutz. ex Born. et Flah. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14,67]
39 C. musicola Kuetz. ex Born. et Flah. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [67]
40 C. sphaerica Prasad B.N. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14]
41 Nostoc commune Vaucher ex Born. et Flah. ₊ - - - - - Edible [68]); Biofertilizer [14,67]
42 N. linckia (Roth) Bornet ex Born. et Flah. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [69-70]
43 N. muscorum Ag. ex Born. et Flah. - - - - ₊ - Biofertilizer [67,70]; Toxic [53-54]; Chemical activity [58,63]
44 N. paludosum Kutz. ex Born. et Flah ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14,67]; Chemical activity [71]
45 N. sphaericum Vaucher - - ₊ - - - Biofertilizer [14,67]
46 N. sphaeroides Vaucher ex Born. et Flah - - - - ₊ - Edible [72]
47 Anabaena azollae Lemm. ₊₊ - ₊ - - - Biofertilizer [14,73]
48 A. circinalis var. crassa Ghose - - - - - ₊ Toxic [14]
49 A. doliolum  Bhardwaja ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [57,69]
50 A. fertilissima Rao - - - - - ₊ Biofertilizer [14]
51 A. naviculoides Fritsch ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14]
52 A. torulosa (Carm.) Lagerh. ex Born. et Flah ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [57,69]
53 A. variabilis Kutz. ex Born. et Flah. - - - - ₊ - Biofertilizer [14,57,67,73]; Chemical activity [58,61]
  Scytonemataceae              
54 Scytonema hofmanni Ag. ex Born. et Flah. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14]
55 Tolypothrix tenuis (Kutz.) Johs. Schmidt em. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14,67,70]
  Rivulariaceae              
56 Calothrix parietina Thuret ex Born. et Flah. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14]); Toxic [58]
57 C. brevissima West, G.S. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [14]
58 C. elenkinii Koss ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [67]
59 C. marchica Lemm. ₊ - - - - - Biofertilizer [69]
60 Rivularia beccariana (De Not.) Born. et Flah. - - ₊ - - - Biofertilizer [57]
61 Gloeotrichia sp. Rao - - - - - ₊ Biofertilizer [74-75]; Toxic [30]
  Stigonematales Capsosiraceae              
62 Nostochopsis lobatus Wood em. Geitler - - - ₊₊₊ - ₊ Edible [51]
  Chlorophyceae Volvocales Chlamydomonadaceae              
63 Pandorina morum (Mull.) Bory ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [2,14,20]
  Chlorococcales Chlorococcaceae              
64 Chlorococcum humicolo (Naegeli) Rabenhorst - - - - - ₊ Pollution indicator [14]); Toxic [26]); Chemical activity [26,29,76]
  Hydrodictyaceae              
65 Pediastrum boryanum (Turpin) Meneghini ₊ - - - - - Harmful effects [77]
66 P. siplex Meyen ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
67 Hydrodictyon indicum Iyengar ₊ - ₊ ₊ ₊ ₊ Edible [77]); Toxic [26]; Chemical activity [26]
68 H. reticulatum (Linn.) Lagerheim ₊ - - - - - Chemical activity [76]
69 Tetraedron muticum (A. Braun) Hansgirg - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
  Oocystaceae              
70 Chlorella vulgaris Beijerinck ₊₊ - ₊ - - - Edible [78]; Pollution indicator [14,20]; Chemical activity [29,61,79]
  Solenastraceae              
71 Ankistrodesmus falcatus (Corda) Ralfs - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [20]
  Scenedesmaceae              
72 Scenedesmus acuminatus (Lagerh.) Chodat  - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [80]
73 S. bijuga (Turp.) Lagerheim - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
74 S. bijugatus (Turp.) Kuetz. - ₊ - - - ₊ Harmful effects [81]
75 S. bijugatus (Turp.) Kuetz. var. alternans (Reinsch.) Hansg. - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [80]
76 S. denticulatus Lagerh. var. australis Plyfair - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [80]
77 S. dimorphus (Turp.) kuetz. - ₊ - - - ₊ Pollution indicator [80]
78 S. incrassatulus Bohlin - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [80]
79 S. obliquus (Turp.) Kuetz. - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]; Chemical activity [63]
80 S. quadricauda (Turp.) Breb. var. quadrispina Smith - ₊ - ₊ - ₊ Edible [72,82]; Pollution indicator [20]; Chemical activity [2]
  Ulotrichales Ulotrichaceae              
81 Ulothrix zonzta (Kuetz.) Mattox et Bold ₊ - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14]
  Cladophorales Cladophoraceae              
82 Cladophora glomerata (L.) Kuetz. ₊ - ₊ ₊ - ₊₊₊ Edible [46]; Pollution indicator [65]; Chemical activity [2]
83 Pithophora sp. Wittrock ₊₊ - ₊ - - - Edible [2]
  Chaetophorales Chaetophoraceae              
84 Chaetophora sp. Kuetz. - - - - - ₊ Edible [2]
85 Stigeoclonium teune Kuetz. - - ₊₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14,20]
  Oedogoniales Oedogoniaceae              
86 Bulbochaete sp. Tiffany - - - ₊ - - Pollution indicator [83]
87 Oedogonium sp. Tiffany ₊₊ - ₊ - ₊ - Edible [2,9,14]
  Conjugales Zygnemaceae              
88 Zygnema stellinum Vaucher - - ₊ - - - Toxic [26]; Chemical activity [26,76,84]
89 Z. tenue Kutz. ₊₊ - - - - - Chemical activity [76,84]
90 Spirogyra ellipsospora Transeau - - ₊ ₊₊₊ - - Edible [85]
91 S. hyalina Cleve ₊ - - - - ₊₊ Chemical activity [76,84]
  Desmidioideae              
92 Closterium acerosum (Sch.) Breb. ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
  Charales Characeae              
93 Chara contraria Kutz. ₊ - - - - ₊₊ Chemical activity [26,76,84]
94 Nitella sp. C. Agardh - - - - - ₊ Edible [86]
  Bacillariophyceae Bacillariales Fragilariaceae              
95 Fragilaria virescens Ralfs - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
96 Synedra ulna (Nitzsch) Ehr. - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
  Naviculaceae              
97 Navicula radiosa Kuetz. - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
98 Pinnularia subcapitata Greg. - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
  Cymbellaceae              
99 Cymbella ventricosa Kuetz. - - ₊ ₊ - - Pollution indicator [14]
  Bacillariaceae              
100 Nitzschia apiculata (Greg.) Grun. - - - ₊ - - Pollution indicator [14]
101 N. frustulum (Kuetz.) Gurn. - - - ₊ - - Pollution indicator [14]
102 N. ignorata Krasske - ₊ - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
103 N. palea (Kuetz.) W. Smith - - ₊ - - - Pollution indicator [14,20]
104 Hantzschia amphioxys (Ehr.) Grun. - - - - - ₊ Pollution indicator [14]
  Euglenophyceae              
105 Euglena acus Ehrenberg ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
106 E. oxyuris Schmarda ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [14]
107 Phacus sp.Swirenko ₊ - - - - - Pollution indicator [20])

Table 1: Distribution of economically important algal specimens in various water bodies of Ranchi with their reference on their area of interest.

Cyanophyceae is the largest and morphologically diverse group of phototropic prokaryotes, which occur in almost all habitats on the earth [40]. Some genera of this wonderful group of algae can be seen luxuriantly during rainy season, but in rivers of Ranchi, March to April is the single peak period for the growth of Nostoc, Nostochopsis and Gloeotrichia. Colonies of these valuable algae have been collected in large amount. Younger colonies have been found attached to rocks in spherical shapes under submerged condition, while older colonies have been found as freely floating in running water, which were elongated and hollow in shape. In paddy fields single growth peak of Synechococcus, Nostoc, Anabaena, and Cylindrospermum, which are used as biofertilizer has been reported during July to September, in free floating condition, when enough water level was present in the field, because paddy field ecosystem provides favorable environment for the growth of blue-green algae with respect to their requirement for light, higher temperature and nutrient availability. Luxuriant growth of Anabaena azollae has been recorded in the month of March to April in rivers and ponds and then August to September in rice fields. Higher population of pollution indicator genera Oscillatoria has been observed maximum during rainy season at many temporary and permanent polluted water bodies and moist soil. Maximum population of nutritious Spirulina species was observed during the period of April to May, during which the water level declined gradually and pH of water increases. Spirulina plantensis, the most popular species of algae as food or feed, has been reported from highly polluted Ranchi lake, which receives effluents of various kinds like sewage, municipality and hospital wastes of Sewasadan hospital etc. Further swimming, bathing and washing of articles and cattle as well as idol emersion during festivals with worship materials affect the water quality. Spirulina, Nostoc, Anabaena and Oscillatoria were collected most frequently from this area. Thakur [41] has reported Synechococcus aeruginisus from moist barren soil in a field but during present investigation it has been reported from cultivated rice field growing luxuriantly as brownish green coloured thallus. Spirulina laxissima and S. major were reported in sewage containing pools and oxidation ponds of Nagpur [42], similarly in present investigation S. laxissima and S. platensis have been reported as phytoplankton in Ranchi Lake and S. major at the bank of river Swarnrekha near cremation spot.

The camera lucida sketches and micrometric measurements have been carefully examined under standard microscope and found to have slight variation in micrometric measurements in some cases. Among 62 recorded Cyanophycean taxa, the cells of Chroococcus turgidus, and S. aeruginosus are smaller than the report of Thakur [41] while that of Oscillatoria chalybea, Lyngbya gracilis, and L. hieronymusii are larger than her findings. The species of S. platensis has been in close agreement with the report of Ciferri [43] and Marty & Busson [44], yet a few variations are noticeable in spiral distance and cell thickness, which may be due to environmental factors.

Most of the Chlorophycean members flourished from December onward till April/May; forming prominent peak in the month of March. Maximum population growth of the nutritious genus, Chlorella occurred during rainy season from old damp wall which shows similarity with the result of Thakur [41]. In rest of the period the population was very low. Higher population of Scendesmus species was observed during the period of April to May in Ranchi lake, during which the water level declined gradually. Stigeoclonium has been found attached with moist rocks in the most polluted area of Swarnarekha river. It was found maximum during winter months and minimum during summer months. Here dispigmentation of filaments is seen due to pollution load. Genus Hydrodictyon was found in the month of April at various sites of study area. Algal population was found less during winter months, while from April onward their number gradually increased. The most frequent genera found are Cladophora and Spirogyra which were found at maximum sites, except during rainy season when water is flooded. Cladophora glomerata was found attached with small rocks in running water at Karkari river, having very long main branch. The reason being they are under stress condition [45].

Thirty two taxa of Chlorophyceae have been recorded by the present author and have been found almost similar characters as recorded in the past but Z. stellinum shows much thinner trichome. The cells of C. humicolum, growing in Karkari river are broader than those reported by Philipose [38].

Much work has been done on diatoms in relation to different types of water [46,47]. It has been found that diatom population can be used as indicator of finding out quality and type of water like row treated and polluted [14]. It should be noted, that diatoms are not present in polysaprobic zone, where oxygen is completely depleted. In the mesosaprobic zone which is also polluted but where oxygen is not completely depleted, Nitzschia palea occur. In present study, 10 taxa of Bacillariophyceae have been documented by the author. Diatoms were found maximum in winters and minimum in rainy season. Nautiyal et al. [48] have also reported maximum diatoms in winter season at Ganga river. All recorded diatoms have been compared with those of Prasad and Srivastava [39]. All the species were collected as phytoplankton. These have been also reported from polluted water body at Nagpur as pollution tolerant species [49]. As analysed by the present author, all the taxa of diatoms have been found similar morphological characters to those recorded in the past.

Euglenoides occur in diverse conditions in shallow waters, in rivers, ponds and puddles. They seem to have a preference for slightly acidic water [41]. Two species of Euglena and one species of Phacus have been recorded from temporary water logged areas. Euglena acus is also reported as planktonic by Yadava & Bilgrami [50]. All the taxa have been found approximately similar to earlier records.

The systematic studies and documentation of algal flora of the Rarhu, Kanchi and Karkari river have been done for the first time. Maximum species diversity has been recorded in Swernrekha river, which is most probably due to the presence of high amount of nutrients in it. Pollution indicator genera has been found maximum in Ranchi lake and Swernrekha river because both of these places receive high amount of effluents and debris from the Ranchi city. Charophytes usually prefer clean water that’s why luxuriant growth of Chara and Nitella indicated the purity of water in Karkari river. It is to be noted that the majority of blue green algal taxa which were found in the Rarhu and Karkari rivers, are non-polluting taxa [20].

Conclusion

In present world the potential of microalgae for the production of valuable compounds or for energetic use is widely recognized. So, it is necessary to conserve algal genetic resources of local habitat and to do more systematic work on it, which is possible only after understanding the ecology and habitats of various algal forms. On the basis of present experiment it can be concluded that the Ranchi district has a wide range of economically important algae. These findings will be of great use to scientific works in future to explore more and more about these plants, their habitat and utilization.

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