Rhodophyta under Foldscope with Twinning North-East Partner

Rhodophyta or Red Algae are one of the oldest group of eukaryotic algae. The Rhodophyta also comprises one of the largest phyla of algae, containing over 7,000. Polysiphonia and Ceramium are two rhodophyta well distributed around world. They are also found in Chilika abundantly growing near the edges of Islands, rocky surface in contact with water and also exposed and maey artificial surfaces left abundant in Chilika. Students of DN Government College, Itanagar while visiting Kalijai Island on their field visit noticed the growing red algae around the floating jetty. They collected the sample and mounted on a slide to observe them under Foldscope.

The Rhodophyta growing around the floating jetty of Kalijai Island.
Algae collected to be mounted under Foldscope.

Polysiphonia sp. under foldscope.
Ceramium sp. under foldscope.

Polysiphonia is a red alga that are usually well branched and are attached by rhizoids or haptera to a rocky surface or other algae. The thallus (tissue) consists of fine branched filaments each with a central axial filament supporting pericentral cells. At the jetty not only Polysiphonia was found to be entwined with the other genera red algae Ceramium sp. Ceramium sp. are small algae growing to no more than 30 cm (12 in) in length. They consist of a terete monosiphonous axis of cells surrounded by smaller cells forming a cortex. In most species this a continuous cortex enclosing the axis, in others the cortical cells are arranged only in nodes at the junction of cells of the axes. The tips of the branches grow in a pincer-like manner. Species in the genus show irregular branching and are attached by unicellular or branched rhizoids.

Other than the red algae, there was presence of green algae. When analysed under foldscope, they were identified to be spirogyra, one of the abundant green algae found in Chilika. It is well distributed in all the sectors of Chilika.

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