The color of Lonar lake water in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district turned pink due to a big presence of the salt-loving ‘Haloarchaea’ microbes, a probe carried out by a Pune-based institute has concluded.
Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea is a micro organism tradition which produces pink pigment and is present in water saturated with salt, Agharkar Research Institute Director Dr Prashant Dhakephalkar informed PTI.
The oval-shaped Lonar lake, shaped after a meteorite hit the earth some 50,000 years in the past, is a well-liked vacationer hub.
The color of the lake water lately turned pink, which has not solely shocked locals, but additionally nature lovers and scientists.
The state forest division knowledgeable the Bombay High Court last month that it had already collected the lake water samples and despatched them for probe to the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEER) and the Agharkar Research Institute in Pune.
Can’t be human intervention: Lonar lake color modifications to pink; specialists, locals shocked. Watch video
“Initially, we thought it was because of the red- pigmented Dunaliella algae due to which the water might have turned pink. But during the investigation of the lake water samples, we found the water turned pink due to the large presence of Haloarchaea population in the lake,” Dhakephalkar said.
“And since it (Haloarchaea) produces a pink pigment, it formed a pink colour mat on the water surface,” he said.
Dhakephalkar and different researchers – Dr Monali Rahalkar, Dr Sumeet Dagar and Dr Karthik Balsubramaniam from the institute – have ready an in depth report of their findings and despatched it to the forest division.
The forest division will submit it earlier than the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, which is listening to a petition elevating considerations over the change in color of the lake water.
Dhakephalkar said they assume that the absence of rain, much less human interference and excessive temperature resulted within the evaporation of water which elevated its salinity and pH.
The elevated salinity and pH facilitated the expansion of halophilic microbes, primarily Haloarchae, he said.
The different scope of the investigation was to discover out whether or not the color attributed to the water was everlasting.
“So, we allowed the sample water to stand still for some time and we found out that the biomass settled at the bottom and the water became clear and transparent,” he said.
“So basically, it was the biomass of these microbes and because of that the surface of the water turned red or pink and as soon as the biomass subsided, the colour disappeared,” he defined.
The scientist said the color of the lake is now returning to unique because the wet season has kicked in, permitting dilution of the water.
Because of that, the salinity and pH/alkalinity ranges have additionally come down and inexperienced algae have began rising within the water physique.
Dhakephalkar said through the investigation, additionally they got here throughout an fascinating incidental discovering associated to flamingos that go to the lake.
The plumage of the hen is pink or reddish in color due to ingestion of carotenoids-rich meals, he said.
“This bacteria, which produces a pink pigment, is ingested by these birds and they get carotenoid-rich food, because of that their plumage is pink in colour. So before we noticed it, these flamingos might have noticed the red colour at the lake and landed there,” he said.
He said this is able to be one other fascinating side to discover out.
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