The Microalga Lingulodinium polyedrum Illuminates The Sea
Phycologists have chosen a new alga of the year: the unicellular alga Lingulodinium polyedrum. This dinoflagellate has an armoured plate and two flagella and fascinates not only scientists but also seafarers and beach walkers as is capable of illuminating the sea at night with a bluish light. Algal scientists who are organized in the German Phycological Section of the German Botanical Society want to honour this special algal species. Dr Mona Hoppenrath from the German Centre for Marine Biodiversity (DZMB) at the marine section of the Senckenberg Institute explains this fascinating feature: the species has the ability to auto-luminesce, possesses a distinct diurnal rhythm and can be used as a sensor for water quality.