Insect frass becomes food for protein-rich microalgae

As the demand for protein-rich food increases with population growth and rising awareness of nutrition and health, traditional animal and plant-based protein sources that require arable land or freshwater put significant ...

Researchers bring 60-year-old dormant algae cells to life

New research at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, has managed to circumvent previous challenges in finding out how microalgae adapt to global warming by studying up to 60-year-old microalgae cells from the Archipelago Sea. ...

A microalgae–material hybrid promotes carbon neutrality

Microalgae, including cyanobacteria and green algae, represent the most important biological systems for producing biomass and high-value products. It is estimated that microalgae can fix about 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide ...

Nordic microalgae: Potential superstars in the green transition

The carbon dioxide emissions of the growing human population have a massive impact on the climate. While many are seeking solutions, researchers in Umeå, Sweden, might have found one right in front of their houses: Nordic ...

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 ...

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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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