Haloarchaea

• The water of Lonar Lake in Buldhana district of Maharashtra turned into pink colour recently, thus arousing curiosity of lakhs of people including the scientists.

• Reportedly, it has turned out that the pink colour can be attributed due to the Haloarchaea microbes present in the salty water.

Key highlights:

• The colour of Lonar lake water in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district turned pink due to a large presence of the salt-loving ‘Haloarchaea’ microbes, a probe carried out by a Pune-based institute has concluded.

• Haloarchaea is a bacteria culture that creates pink pigment and exists in saline water.

• Reportedly, in June, the state forest department acquainted the Bombay High Court last month about gathering the water samples of the lake and sending them for investigation at the Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEER) as well as the Agharkar Research Institute in Pune.

• After examination, they found that the water turned pink because of the presence of the Haloarchaea population. Haloarchaea produces pink pigment, and hence, a pink coloured mat was formed on the lake surface.

• It was also discovered that the pink colour of the water was not permanent. Once the biomass of the microbes settled at the bottom, the water became transparent during one such experiment at the labs.

• One of the scientists told a news website that the water of the lake is returning to its normal colour due to the dilution by monsoon rain.

• They have also discovered that the pink plumage of the flamingos visiting the lake is due to the carotenoids-rich food they had eaten at the lake.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech

Prelims level: Haloarchaea

Mains level: Read the newscard

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