Our study reports the collection, biodiversity analyses, isolation and identification of microalgae from different habitats of India. Cyanophyceae and Chlorophyceae were the most dominant algal groups recorded, with the highest number being recorded for non-heterocystous cyanobacteria (48), followed by 44 unicellular forms. Sagar Island, Sunderbans recorded the greatest number of algae, and unicellular/colonial green algae were present in all the samples. Shannon's Diversity Index was highest in Koikhali, Sunderbans, followed by Rushikulya River, Odisha. Selective enrichment, purification through serial dilution followed by plating and regular observations led to the isolation of sixteen strains. Identification was done by using microscopic observations, supported with standard monographs and classified as belonging to seven genera (Chlorella, Chlorococcum, Kirchneria, Scenedesmus, Chlamydomonas, Tetracystis and Ulothrix). 18S rDNA sequencing was undertaken for four strains. The set of sixteen strains were screened under standard cultural conditions for their growth kinetics and Chlorella sorokiniana MIC-G5, followed by Chlorella sp. MIC-G4 exhibited the highest growth rates. The strain Chlorococcum sp. MIC-G2 recorded highest chlorophyll, while MIC-G3 ranked highest for carbohydrates. The study aided in identifying the dominant microalgae in the diverse habitats and characterizing their growth rate and carbohydrate content, providing a valuable germplasm for further utilization in agriculture and industry.
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