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Crit Rev Microbiol. 2008;34(2):77-88. doi: 10.1080/10408410802086783 .

A perspective on the biotechnological potential of microalgae.

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Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, Guindy Campus, University of Madras, Chennai, India.


Microalgae are the untapped resource with more than 25,000 species of which only 15 are in use. In recent years, microalgal culture technology is a business oriented line owing to their different practical applications. Innovative processes and products have been introduced in microalgal biotechnology to produce vitamins, proteins, cosmetics, and health foods. For most of these applications, the market is still developing and the biotechnological use of microalgae will extend into new areas. With the development of sophisticated culture and screening techniques, microalgal biotechnology can meet the challenging demands of both the food and pharmaceutical industries. Genetic improvement should also play an important role in the future development of algal industries. Based on the preliminary research, several therapeutic benefits have been claimed for commercially produced microalgae including AIDS, cancer, and Cerebro vascular diseases. In near future, algal biomass will serve as a renewable energy source through commercial production of hydrocarbon by Botryococcus throughout the world.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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