Microalgae as natural detector of environmental safety

An international group of toxicologists, including experts from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), report that unicellular microalgae, the most common microorganisms on Earth and an important part of the food chain ...

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

Hiroshima University (HU) researchers successfully developed a biocontainment strategy for genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Their new method prevents genetically modified cyanobacteria from surviving outside of their ...

Biologist invents a way to make Mardi Gras more green

Tens of thousands of pounds of plastic Mardi Gras beads enter the environment every year. After the parades, most of the discarded beads end up in the landfill. A biologist at Louisiana State University is developing an innovative ...

How marine algae could help feed the world

Our planet faces a growing food crisis. According to the United Nations, more than 800 million people are regularly undernourished. By 2050, an additional 2 to 3 billion new guests will join the planetary dinner table.

Canary Islands keep beaches open despite algae bloom

Authorities in Spain's Canary Islands kept beaches open to the public Tuesday but warned holidaymakers against touching potentially irritating microalgae blooms that have infested the waters.

Algae blooms irk Canaries beachgoers

Microalgae blooms proliferating in hot weather in Spain's Canary Islands are irritating beachgoers, who should avoid direct contact with them, local authorities said Monday.

Microalgae could play key role in relieving climate warming

Think better living through marine microalgae, as it may become crucial to mitigate atmospheric greenhouse gases, reduce carbon dioxide emissions from commercial agriculture and steady the global climate, according to Cornell-led ...

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Microphyte

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.

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