Previously Unknown Algae Will Help Scientists Monitor the State of the Arctic


A new species of diatom algae, Fragilaria shirshovii, was discovered in the Kara Sea.

Anton Glushchenko /
Micrograph of the diatom alga Fragilaria shirshovii

A group of researchers led by Nikolay Lobus, a senior researcher at the Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, discovered an unknown species of diatom algae in the Kara Sea. Scientists believe that they will help to conduct eco-monitoring of the Arctic. The plants were named Fragilaria shirshovii in honor of one of the first explorers of the Arctic - academician Peter Shirshov.

Researchers found a new species of algae while studying water samples from the places where the Ob River flows into the Kara Sea. Analysis of the organisms showed that they belong to the genus Fragilaria, representatives of which live in both fresh and salty water bodies.

Scientists stated that the algae found differ markedly and can be identified as separate species. It allows experts to use them for environmental monitoring together with other diatom algae, which are extremely sensitive to human activities.

Alexandra Barymova /
Water sampling with the Rosetta deck device