The Potential of Microalgae for the Production of Bioactive Molecules of Pharmaceutical Interest

Type Article
Date 2012-12
Language English
Author(s) Mimouni Virginie1, 2, Ulmann Lionel1, 2, Pasquet Virginie2, Mathieu Marie2, Picot Laurent3, Bougaran GaelORCID4, Cadoret Jean-Paul4, Morant-Manceau Annick1, Schoefs Benoit1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Maine, EA 2160, LUNAM Univ, F-72085 Le Mans 9, France.
2 : IUT Laval, F-53020 Laval 9, France.
3 : Univ Rochelle, CNRS, LIENSs, UMR 7266, F-17042 La Rochelle, France.
4 : Ctr IFREMER Nantes, IFREMER Lab PBA, F-44311 Nantes, France.
Source Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (1389-2010) (Bentham Science Publ Ltd), 2012-12 , Vol. 13 , N. 15 , P. 2733-2750
WOS© Times Cited 134
Keyword(s) Bioactive compound, alga, pigment, lipid, health benefit, abiotic stress, metabolic reorientation, diatom
Abstract Through the photosynthetic activity, microalgae process more than 25% of annual inorganic carbon dissolved in oceans into carbohydrates that ultimately, serve to feed the other levels of the trophic networks. Besides, microalgae synthesize bioactive molecules such as pigments and lipids that exhibit health properties. In addition, abiotic stresses, such as high irradiance, nutrient starvation, UV irradiation, trigger metabolic reorientations ending with the production of other bioactive compounds such as omega-3 fatty acids or carotenoids. Traditionally, these compounds are acquired through the dietary alimentation. The increasing, and often unsatisfied, demand for compounds from natural sources, combined with the decrease of the halieutic resources, forces the search for alternative resources for these bioactive components. Microalgae possess this strong potential. For instance, the diatom Odontella aurita is already commercialized as dietary complement and compete with fish oil for human nutrition. In this contribution, the microalga world is briefly presented. Then, the different types of biologically active molecules identified in microalgae are presented together with their potential use. Due to space limitation, only the biological activities of lipids and pigments are described in details. The contribution ends with a description of the possibilities to play with the environmental constrains to increase the productivity of biologically active molecules by microalgae and by a description of the progresses made in the field of alga culturing.
Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Author's final draft 48 542 KB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Mimouni Virginie, Ulmann Lionel, Pasquet Virginie, Mathieu Marie, Picot Laurent, Bougaran Gael, Cadoret Jean-Paul, Morant-Manceau Annick, Schoefs Benoit (2012). The Potential of Microalgae for the Production of Bioactive Molecules of Pharmaceutical Interest. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 13(15), 2733-2750. Open Access version :