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Special Issue "Marine Microalgae"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Adele Cutignano

Istituto di Chimica Biomolecolare, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Campi Flegrei 34, 80078 Pozzuoli, Napoli, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: marine natural products; structural elucidation; biosynthesis; bioactive molecules; drug discovery; mass spectrometry; lipidomics
Guest Editor
Dr. Giovanna Romano

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale 1, 80121, Napoli, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: chemical ecology; microalgae; bioactive molecules; marine natural products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine microalgae are the most diverse group of photosynthetic organisms living in the oceans. They have proved to be a surprising wealth of high value substances with potential as pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, and cosmeceuticals. In addition, due to the high content of lipids, they have gained interest as an exploitable and sustainable source of biofuels. Despite this, we still have poor knowledge regarding their metabolic pathways, often compared to plants, but, according to recent biochemical and molecular evidence, they are truly different. The striking plasticity by which they tune the levels of the end products of their metabolism suggests finely regulated metabolic fluxes in sensibly complex and peculiar biochemical networks.

This Special Issue welcomes contributions from all fields of biosynthesis, metabolism and bioactive natural products and lipids from marine microalgae, aiming at a deeper comprehension and development of chemical and biochemical features of this fascinating group of microorganisms.

Dr. Adele Cutignano
Dr. Giovanna Romano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Bioactive molecules

  • Drug discovery

  • Structural characterization

  • Biosynthesis

  • Biochemical pathways

  • Lipidomics

  • Lipid metabolism

  • Chemical ecology

  • Secondary metabolites

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Culture Conditions for the Optimization of Carotenoid Production in Several Strains of the Picoeukaryote Ostreococcus
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16030076
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Microalgae are promising sources for the sustainable production of compounds of interest for biotechnologies. Compared to higher plants, microalgae have a faster growth rate and can be grown in industrial photobioreactors. The microalgae biomass contains specific metabolites of high added value for biotechnology
[...] Read more.
Microalgae are promising sources for the sustainable production of compounds of interest for biotechnologies. Compared to higher plants, microalgae have a faster growth rate and can be grown in industrial photobioreactors. The microalgae biomass contains specific metabolites of high added value for biotechnology such as lipids, polysaccharides or carotenoid pigments. Studying carotenogenesis is important for deciphering the mechanisms of adaptation to stress tolerance as well as for biotechnological production. In recent years, the picoeukaryote Ostreococcus tauri has emerged as a model organism thanks to the development of powerful genetic tools. Several strains of Ostreococcus isolated from different environments have been characterized with respect to light response or iron requirement. We have compared the carotenoid contents and growth rates of strains of Ostreococcus (OTTH595, RCC802 and RCC809) under a wide range of light, salinity and temperature conditions. Carotenoid profiles and productivities varied in a strain-specific and stress-dependent manner. Our results also illustrate that phylogenetically related microalgal strains originating from different ecological niches present specific interests for the production of specific molecules under controlled culture conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle A Carbon Dioxide Limitation-Inducible Protein, ColA, Supports the Growth of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(12), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/md15120390
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A limitation in carbon dioxide (CO2), which occurs as a result of natural environmental variation, suppresses photosynthesis and has the potential to cause photo-oxidative damage to photosynthetic cells. Oxygenic phototrophs have strategies to alleviate photo-oxidative damage to allow life in present
[...] Read more.
A limitation in carbon dioxide (CO2), which occurs as a result of natural environmental variation, suppresses photosynthesis and has the potential to cause photo-oxidative damage to photosynthetic cells. Oxygenic phototrophs have strategies to alleviate photo-oxidative damage to allow life in present atmospheric CO2 conditions. However, the mechanisms for CO2 limitation acclimation are diverse among the various oxygenic phototrophs, and many mechanisms remain to be discovered. In this study, we found that the gene encoding a CO2 limitation-inducible protein, ColA, is required for the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 (S. 7002) to acclimate to limited CO2 conditions. An S. 7002 mutant deficient in ColA (ΔcolA) showed lower chlorophyll content, based on the amount of nitrogen, than that in S. 7002 wild-type (WT) under ambient air but not high CO2 conditions. Both thermoluminescence and protein carbonylation detected in the ambient air grown cells indicated that the lack of ColA promotes oxidative stress in S. 7002. Alterations in the photosynthetic O2 evolution rate and relative electron transport rate in the short-term response, within an hour, to CO2 limitation were the same between the WT and ΔcolA. Conversely, these photosynthetic parameters were mostly lower in the long-term response of a few days in ΔcolA than in the WT. These data suggest that ColA is required to sustain photosynthetic activity for living under ambient air in S. 7002. The unique phylogeny of ColA revealed diverse strategies to acclimate to CO2 limitation among cyanobacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Dunaliella tertiolecta Strain with Increased Zeaxanthin Content Using Random Mutagenesis
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(6), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/md15060189
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 18 June 2017 / Published: 21 June 2017
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Abstract
Zeaxanthin is a xanthophyll pigment that is regarded as one of the best carotenoids for the prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases. In the worldwide natural products market, consumers prefer pigments that have been produced from biological sources. In this study, a Dunaliella
[...] Read more.
Zeaxanthin is a xanthophyll pigment that is regarded as one of the best carotenoids for the prevention and treatment of degenerative diseases. In the worldwide natural products market, consumers prefer pigments that have been produced from biological sources. In this study, a Dunaliella tertiolecta strain that has 10–15% higher cellular zeaxanthin content than the parent strain (zea1), was obtained by random mutagenesis using ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) as a mutagen. This mutant, mp3, was grown under various salinities and light intensities to optimize culture conditions for zeaxanthin production. The highest cellular zeaxanthin content was observed at 1.5 M NaCl and 65–85 μmol photons·m−2·s−1, and the highest daily zeaxanthin productivity was observed at 0.6 M NaCl and 140–160 μmol photons·m−2·s−1. The maximal yield of zeaxanthin from mp3 in fed-batch culture was 8 mg·L−1, which was obtained at 0.6 M NaCl and 140–160 μmol photons·m−2·s−1. These results suggest that random mutagenesis with EMS is useful for generating D. tertiolecta strains with increased zeaxanthin content, and also suggest optimal culture conditions for the enhancement of biomass and zeaxanthin production by the zeaxanthin accumulating mutant strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle The Missing Piece in Biosynthesis of Amphidinols: First Evidence of Glycolate as a Starter Unit in New Polyketides from Amphidinium carterae
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(6), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/md15060157
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1870 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Two new members of the amphidinol family, amphidinol A (1) and its 7-sulfate derivative amphidinol B (2), were isolated from a strain of Amphidinium carterae of Lake Fusaro, near Naples (Italy), and chemically identified by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods.
[...] Read more.
Two new members of the amphidinol family, amphidinol A (1) and its 7-sulfate derivative amphidinol B (2), were isolated from a strain of Amphidinium carterae of Lake Fusaro, near Naples (Italy), and chemically identified by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods. Amphidinol A showed antifungal activity against Candida albicans (MIC = 19 µg/mL). Biosynthetic experiments with stable isotope-labelled acetate allowed defining the elongation process in 1. For the first time the use of glycolate as a starter unit in the polyketide biosynthesis of amphidinol metabolites was unambiguously demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microalgae)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Biotechnological and Pharmacological Applications of Biotoxins and Other Bioactive Molecules from Dinoflagellates
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(12), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/md15120393
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4789 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The long-lasting interest in bioactive molecules (namely toxins) produced by (microalga) dinoflagellates has risen in recent years. Exhibiting wide diversity and complexity, said compounds are well-recognized for their biological features, with great potential for use as pharmaceutical therapies and biological research probes. Unfortunately,
[...] Read more.
The long-lasting interest in bioactive molecules (namely toxins) produced by (microalga) dinoflagellates has risen in recent years. Exhibiting wide diversity and complexity, said compounds are well-recognized for their biological features, with great potential for use as pharmaceutical therapies and biological research probes. Unfortunately, provision of those compounds is still far from sufficient, especially in view of an increasing demand for preclinical testing. Despite the difficulties to establish dinoflagellate cultures and obtain reasonable productivities of such compounds, intensive research has permitted a number of advances in the field. This paper accordingly reviews the characteristics of some of the most important biotoxins (and other bioactive substances) produced by dinoflagellates. It also presents and discusses (to some length) the main advances pertaining to dinoflagellate production, from bench to large scale—with an emphasis on material published since the latest review available on the subject. Such advances encompass improvements in nutrient formulation and light supply as major operational conditions; they have permitted adaptation of classical designs, and aided the development of novel configurations for dinoflagellate growth—even though shearing-related issues remain a major challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Microalgae)
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