Microalgal Biotechnology

Microalgae are a group of microscopic organisms capable of growing using light energy. Microalgae represent a significant reservoir of bioactive compounds, nutritional ingredients, and commercial commodities.

Certain microalgal strains, such as Spirulina are used as food supplements due to their balanced composition of high-protein content, vitamin and mineral content, and specific health-beneficial components. However, there are only a handful of microalgae that are approved for use as nutraceuticals. Microalgal biotechnology for nutraceutical applications is a fast-growing segment of health and nutrition industries today, there are tremendous opportunities to use microalgae as “cell bio-factory” for value-added molecules production and other essential commodities by using biorefinery approach. Eventually, the complete use of microalgal biomass for nutraceuticals, bioenergy production, fertilizer, animal feed, and/or aqua feed as appropriate, would help in sustainable development and circular bioeconomy.

Establishment of Irish Microalgal Biobank

To unlock the potential of microalgae for biotechnological benefits we have established a unique biobank of marine cyanobacteria and marine diatoms from selected Irish coasts and microalgae from both freshwater and marine habitats. These biobank strains are being maintained as liquid cultures, agar slants as well as cryopreserved for future exploration. Using both conventional and molecular taxonomic approaches these biobank strains are being characterised. This is an on-going project towards the continuous growth of the biobank and thus conserve the biodiversity following identical protocols.

Figure 1 shows the microalgal research activities undertaken at Shannon ABC, starting from strain isolation, identification, biodiscovery screening through biochemical analysis, optimisation of sustainable cultivation for large-scale biomass generation for biorefinery of target biomolecules and their appropriate applications development.

Natural food COLOURANT
Biodiesel & Dietary Fatty Acids
Sunscreen & Cosmetic Ingredients

Can Shannon ABC help you?

Contact Us ›