Algae as an Important Resource of Natural Products of Medical and Biotechnological Importance: A Mini-Review

Tosin A. Olasehinde1,2, Ademola O. Olaniran3, Leonard V. Mabinya1,2, Anthony I. Okoh1,2*
1Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa. 2SAMRC Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Centre, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa. 3Division of Microbiology, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban Westville, South Africa.
Corresponding Author: [email protected]; Tel: +27 (0) 40 602 2365
Recieved Date: October 07, 2017; Accepted Date: October 29, 2017; Published Date: 05 November 2017
Citation: Olasehinde TA, Olaniran AO, Mabinya LV, Okoh AI. Algae as an Important Resource of Natural Products of Medical and Biotechnological Importance: A Mini-Review. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2017; 1(5):188-190.
Copyright: © 2017 Olasehinde et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Algae are typically aquatic chlorophyll-containing organisms comprised of unicellular microscopic forms as well as large macroscopic entities such as seaweeds. The biomasses derived from algae are potential sources of bioactive compounds, biofuels and food-based products. Most of the biologically active products obtained from algae are used in pharmaceutical, food, agricultural and energy industries. Several natural products such as polyphenols, sterols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, sulphated polysaccharides, alkaloids, alginic acid, and carotenoids have been identified and isolated from some species of macroalgae and microalgae, and have found great application in biotechnology, medicine, human and animal nutrition. Despite several reports on the biological activities of natural products from algae and their application as functional foods as well as in renewable energy, many species of macroalgae and microalgae are yet to be explored. Future research may focus on identification of new species and their novel bioactive products and application in the food, pharmaceutical, agricultural and energy industries. Hence, this paper highlights the usefulness of algae as a reservoir of natural products in biotechnology and medicine.

Keywords: Microalgae, Macroalgae, Biotechnology, Health, Natural products.
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ISSN: 2616-0684 (Print)
ISSN: 2616-0692 (Online)
DOI: 10.26538/tjnpr
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