Indiconema: New Genus of Diatoms Discovered in India

  • 21 Jun 2024

In June, 2024, researchers from the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune have discovered a new genus of diatoms in the unpolluted waters of the Eastern Ghats mountain range.

Key Points

  • The genus has been named “Indiconema” due to its limited distribution within the country
  • India boasts a rich diatom diversity, with an estimated 6,500 taxa, of which 30 percent are endemic (restricted to a particular region), suggesting the country’s unique biodiversity.
  • The diverse biogeographic zones, ranging from freshwater to marine environments, sea level to high mountains, and alkaline lakes to acidic swamps, support a wide array of habitats and unique sets of diatoms.


Diatoms are microscopic algae that play a crucial role in our everyday lives, producing approximately 25 percent of the global oxygen supply— roughly every fourth breath we take.

They form the base of the aquatic food chain and serve as valuable indicators of water quality due to their sensitivity to changes in water chemistry.