New Horizons in Natural Compound Research: Progress in Biochemistry and Biotechnology - Chapter 14: Marine microalgae: an emerging source of pharmaceuticals and bioactive compounds

Elsevier, New Horizons in Natural Compound Research, 2023, pp 251-265
M.K. Anusree, K. Manasa Leela, M. Sreehari, Subhisha Raj, Arathi Sreenikethanam, Amit K. Bajhaiya

Marine microalgae are microscopic and ubiquitous in nature that can grow as single cells, colonies, or extended filaments. Some microalgae like Arthrospira platensis are edible with a rich natural source of valuable secondary metabolites with medicinal properties. Microalgae serve as a prominent source of nutrient supplements and several microalgal metabolites are commercialized for their application in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. Some of the metabolites exhibit anti-proliferative and anti-oxidative properties while some others possess apoptotic and anti-aging properties. Their cell-free extracts have been examined as additives for food and feed formulation in experiments to elude the use of antimicrobial compounds of synthetic origin and hence reduce antimicrobial resistance. Microalgae may soon become a top-tier challenger from the bottom of the marine food chain to withstand global warming as well as energy and food insecurity. They are a potent source of pharmaceuticals and bioactive compounds in addition to being the largest primary biomass. This chapter focus on pharmaceuticals and bioactive compounds from marine microalgae, their applications, and future prospects.