The Application Potential of Microalgae in Green Biotechnology

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbial Biotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2024 | Viewed by 2342

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Guest Editor
Algal Biotechnology Group (BITAL), Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Huelva, Huelva, Spain
Interests: microalgal biotechnology; biochemistry; photobioreactor design; algae mass cultures; phytoplankton ecology; algae-related mercury chemistry; flocculation of algae; cell surface characteristics; mixotrophic growth; grazer control in open ponds
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microalgae comprise a diverse group of unicellular photosynthetic organisms with great potential in various aspects of technology, including alternative food and feed sources, pigments and fine chemicals, biofuels, biofertilizers, urban and agricultural wastewater reclamation, and removal of diverse pollutants (e.g., detergents, herbicides, pharmacologically active ingredients, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metal removal, etc.). Owing to their very modest nutrient requirements and use of photosynthesis for energy and biomass production, microalgae are very promising agents for green biotechnology, with the potential  improve current technological processes.

Dr. Zivan Gojkovic
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • microalgae
  • green biotechnology
  • biomass
  • biofuel
  • biofertilizer
  • bioremediation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 3092 KiB  
Article
Phycoremediation Potential of Salt-Tolerant Microalgal Species: Motion, Metabolic Characteristics, and Their Application for Saline–Alkali Soil Improvement in Eco-Farms
by Huiying Chen, Siteng Yu, Ze Yu, Meng Ma, Mingyan Liu and Haiyan Pei
Microorganisms 2024, 12(4), 676; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms12040676 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Microalgae have great potential for remediating salt-affected soil. In this study, the microalgae species Coelastrella sp. SDEC-28, Dunaliella salina SDEC-36, and Spirulina subsalsa FACHB-351 were investigated for their potential to rehabilitate salt-affected soils. Nylon screens with optimal aperture sizes and layer numbers were identified to [...] Read more.
Microalgae have great potential for remediating salt-affected soil. In this study, the microalgae species Coelastrella sp. SDEC-28, Dunaliella salina SDEC-36, and Spirulina subsalsa FACHB-351 were investigated for their potential to rehabilitate salt-affected soils. Nylon screens with optimal aperture sizes and layer numbers were identified to efficiently intercept and harvest biomass, suggesting a correlation between underflow capability and the tough cell walls, strong motility, and intertwining characteristics of the algae. Our investigations proved the feasibility of incorporating monosodium glutamate residue (MSGR) into soil extracts at dilution ratios of 1/200, 1/2000, and 1/500 to serve as the optimal medium for the three microalgae species, respectively. After one growth period of these three species, the electrical conductivities of the media decreased by 0.21, 1.18, and 1.78 mS/cm, respectively, and the pH remained stable at 7.7, 8.6, and 8.4. The hypotheses that microalgae can remediate soil and return profits have been verified through theoretical calculations, demonstrating the potential of employing specific microalgal strains to enhance soil conditions in eco-farms, thereby broadening the range of crops that can be cultivated, including those that are intolerant to saline–alkali environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application Potential of Microalgae in Green Biotechnology)
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18 pages, 5424 KiB  
Article
Methylmercury Effect and Distribution in Two Extremophile Microalgae Strains Dunaliella salina and Coccomyxa onubensis from Andalusia (Spain)
by Samuel Simansky, Jiří Holub, Ivana Márová, María Cuaresma, Ines Garbayo, Rafael Torronteras, Carlos Vílchez and Zivan Gojkovic
Microorganisms 2024, 12(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms12030434 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1081
Abstract
The main entrance point of highly toxic organic Hg forms, including methylmercury (MeHg), into the aquatic food web is phytoplankton, which is greatly represented by various natural microalgal species. Processes associated with MeHg fate in microalgae cells such as uptake, effects on cells [...] Read more.
The main entrance point of highly toxic organic Hg forms, including methylmercury (MeHg), into the aquatic food web is phytoplankton, which is greatly represented by various natural microalgal species. Processes associated with MeHg fate in microalgae cells such as uptake, effects on cells and toxicity, Hg biotransformation, and intracellular stability are detrimental to the process of further biomagnification and, as a consequence, have great importance for human health. The study of MeHg uptake and distribution in cultures of marine halophile Dunaliella salina and freshwater acidophilic alga Coccomyxa onubensis demonstrated that most of the MeHg is imported inside the cell, while cell surface adhesion is insignificant. Almost all MeHg is removed from the culture medium after 72 h. Significant processes in rapid MeHg removal from liquid medium are its abiotic photodegradation and volatilization associated with algal enzymatic activity. The maximum intracellular accumulation for both species was in 80 nM MeHg-exposed cultures after 24 h of exposure for D. salina (from 27 to 34 µg/gDW) and at 48 h for C. onubensis (up to 138 µg/gDW). The different Hg intakes in these two strains could be explained by the lack of a rigid cell wall in D. salina and the higher chemical ability of MeHg to pass through complex cell wall structures in C. onubensis. Electron microscopy studies on the ultrastructure of both strains demonstrated obvious microvacuolization in the form of many very small vacuoles and partial cell membrane disruption in 80 nM MeHg-exposed cultures. Results further showed that Coccomyxa onubensis is a good candidate for MeHg-contaminated water reclamation due to its great robustness at nanomolar concentrations of MeHg coupled with its very high intake and almost complete Hg removal from liquid medium at the MeHg levels tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application Potential of Microalgae in Green Biotechnology)
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