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ALGAE > Volume 24(4); 2009 > Article
ALGAE 2009;24(4): 185-193. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/ALGAE.2009.24.4.185
The Study of Cyanobacterial Flora from Geothermal Springs of Bakreswar,West Bengal, India
Manojit Debnath, Narayan Chandra Mandal and Samit Ray*
Department of Botany, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan-731235, West Bengal, India
Geothermal springs in India, formed as a result of volcanic or tectonic activities, are characterized by high temperature and relatively abundant reduced compounds. These thermal springs are inhabited by characteristic thermophilic organisms including cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are among the few organisms that can occupy high temperature aquatic environments including hot springs. In alkaline and neutral hot springs and streams flowing from them cyanobacteria can form thick colourful mats that exhibit banding patterns. The present investigation involves study of mat forming cyanobacterial flora from hot springs located in Bakreswar, West Bengal, India. The important species found are Synechococcus bigranulatus, S. lividus, Gloeocapsa gelatinosa, G. muralis, Phormidium laminosum, P. frigidum, Oscillatoria princes, O. fragilis, Lyngbya lutea, Pseudanabaena sp., Calothrix thermalis, and Fischerella thermalis. Their distribution pattern in relation to physico-chemical parameters of spring water has also been studied. Three cyanobacterial strains of the above mentioned list were grown in culture and their pigment content and nitrogen fixing capacity were also studied. Nitrogen fixing capacities of Calothrix thermalis, Nostoc sp. (isolated in culture) and Fischerella thermalis are 5.14, 0.29, and 2.60 n mole C2H4/μg of Chl-a/hr respectively. Carotenoid : Chlorophyll-a ratio of four mat samples collected from Kharkunda, Suryakunda, Dudhkunda and bathing pool are 2.45, 1.60, 1.48, and 1.34, respectively. Higher value of Carotenoid : Chlorophyll-a ratio coincided with higher temperature.
Key words: cyanobacteria, geothermal spring, India, West Bengal

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