Shining a light on tiny, solar-powered animals

Animals and plants need energy. Some animals get energy by eating other animals, and many plants harvest the energy in sunlight through photosynthesis. However, in the ocean, there exists a remarkable group of small, worm-like ...

Microalgae can detoxify methylmercury, study finds

In the search for ways to fight methylmercury in global waterways, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory discovered that some forms of phytoplankton are good at degrading the potent neurotoxin.

Researchers cultivate microalgae for biofuel production

A group of researchers at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil have grown microalgae under controlled conditions in a laboratory in order to use their metabolites, especially lipids, with the prime purpose ...

Milking molecules from microbes

A sustainable chemical separation method that uses membranes, microalgae and artificial intelligence has been developed by a team drawn from different KAUST groups whose members have diverse specialties in bioengineering, ...

page 1 from 10


Microphytes or microalgae are microscopic algae, typically found in freshwater and marine systems. They are unicellular species which exist individually, or in chains or groups. Depending on the species, their sizes can range from a few micrometers (µm) to a few hundreds of micrometers. Unlike higher plants, microalgae do not have roots, stems and leaves. Microalgae, capable of performing photosynthesis, are important for life on earth; they produce approximately half of the atmospheric oxygen and use simultaneously the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to grow photoautotrophically.

The biodiversity of microalgae is enormous and they represent an almost untapped resource. It has been estimated that about 200,000-800,000 species exist of which about 35,000 species are described. Over 15,000 novel compounds originating from algal biomass have been chemically determined (Cardozo et al. 2007). Most of these microalgae species produce unique products like carotenoids, antioxidants, fatty acids, enzymes, polymers, peptides, toxins and sterols.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA