Bacteria behind deaths of 330 Botswana elephants -The Hindu-22-09-2020
Toxins in water, produced by cyanobacteria (cyanobacterial neurotoxins) killed more than 300 elephants in Botswana this year.
Cyanobacteria are a group of photosynthetic bacteria, some of which are nitrogen-fixing.
Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms common in water and sometimes found in soil.
They live in a wide variety of moist soils and water either freely or in a symbiotic relationship with plants or lichen-forming fungi.
Cyanobacteria get their name from the bluish pigment phycocyanin, which they use to capture light for photosynthesis.
They also contain ‘chlorophyll a’, the same photosynthetic pigment that plants use.
‘Chlorophyll a’ is a specific form of chlorophyll used in oxygenic photosynthesis.
It absorbs most energy from wavelengths of violet-blue and orange-red light.
It also reflects green-yellow light, and as such contributes to the observed green color of most plants.