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Special Issue "Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana R. Díaz-Marrero
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Universitario de Bio-Orgánica Antonio González (IUBO AG), Universidad de La Laguna (ULL), Avda. Astrofísico F. Sánchez 2, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Interests: marine natural products; marine microbial compounds; bioassay-guided isolation; NMR structural analysis; biomedical applications
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. José Javier Fernández Castro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universidad de la Laguna (ULL), Instituto Universitario de Bio-Orgáncia Antonio González (IUBO AG), 38206 San Cristobal de La Laguna, Spain
Interests: marine natural products; marine toxins; marine polyether; marine microalgae; biosynthesis; Laurencia; antiparasitic substances; phosphatase inhibitors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microalgae represent a vast and, essentially, untapped source of new structures and biologically active molecules. For the last three decades, this group of microorganisms have received much attention, mainly concerning the difficulties associated to their taxonomic identification, culturing, and industrial applications, but most especially, due to the unique molecules that they produce. Recent advances in microalgae biotechnology have made these microorganisms a hotspot in current research for both the discovery of new bioactive natural products and the development of their full potential.

Accordingly, the aim of this Molecules Special Issue is to cover new findings on the potencial therapeutic activity of natural molecules obtained from microalgae or active compounds produced by synthesis, highlighting novel structural features, bioactivities, and mechanisms of action, all inspired by microalgae metabolites. Review articles that make substantial advances within this field will also be considered.

As Guest Editors of this Special Issue of Molecules, we encourage scientists working in any field involving microalgae biotechnology or new natural molecules with biological activities or industrial applications to contribute to recent research that may lead to significant advances in the area.

Dr. Ana R. Diaz-Marrero
Dr. Javier Fernandez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • microalgae metabolites
  • biological applicatons
  • microalgae biotechnology
  • synthesis
  • mechanisms of action

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Improvement of Chemical Composition of Tisochrysis lutea Grown Mixotrophically under Nitrogen Depletion towards Biodiesel Production
Molecules 2020, 25(20), 4609; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25204609 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
In the present study, the marine microalga Tisochrysis lutea was cultivated mixotrophically in F2 growth medium with sodium acetate as exogenous carbon source. The medium was composed of different concentrations of nitrogen to determine the impact of nitrogen depletion on cellular growth and [...] Read more.
In the present study, the marine microalga Tisochrysis lutea was cultivated mixotrophically in F2 growth medium with sodium acetate as exogenous carbon source. The medium was composed of different concentrations of nitrogen to determine the impact of nitrogen depletion on cellular growth and chemical composition. Nitrogen depletion led to severely decreased growth and protein content. However, mild nitrogen depletion (0.22 mM NaNO3) led to maximum lipid yield. The fatty acid methyl ester profile also showed increased unsaturation as the nitrogen content decreased. Growth in nitrogen-free medium increased the proportions of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, while the proportion of saturated fatty acids decreased. Growth under all tested nitrogen levels showed undetectable fatty acids with ≥4 double bonds, indicating these fatty acids had oxidative stability. In addition, all tested nitrogen concentrations led to specific gravity, kinematic viscosity, iodine value, and cetane number that meet the standards for Europe and the U.S.A. However, growth in the presence of nitrogen deficiency enhanced the higher heating value of the resulting biodiesel, a clear advantage from the perspective of energy efficiency. Thus, mixotrophic cultivation of T. lutea with nitrogen limitation provides a promising approach to achieve high lipid productivity and production of high-quality biodiesel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Endocrine Disruptor di-n-Butyl Phthalate Ester on Microalga Chlorella vulgaris Verified by Approaches of Proteomics and Gene Ontology
Molecules 2020, 25(18), 4304; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25184304 - 19 Sep 2020
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) is an extensively used plasticizer. Most investigations on DBP have been concentrated on its environmental distribution and toxicity to humans. However, information on the effects of plasticizers on algal species is scarce. This study verified the impacts of [...] Read more.
Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) is an extensively used plasticizer. Most investigations on DBP have been concentrated on its environmental distribution and toxicity to humans. However, information on the effects of plasticizers on algal species is scarce. This study verified the impacts of endocrine disruptor di-n-butyl phthalate ester on microalga Chlorella vulgaris by approaches of proteomics and gene ontology. The algal acute biotoxicity results showed that the 24h-EC50 of DBP for C. vulgaris was 4.95 mg L−1, which caused a decrease in the chlorophyll a content and an increase in the DBP concentration of C. vulgaris. Proteomic analysis led to the identification of 1257 C. vulgaris proteins. Sixty-one more proteins showed increased expression, compared to proteins with decreased expression. This result illustrates that exposure to DBP generally enhances protein expression in C. vulgaris. GO annotation showed that both acetolactate synthase (ALS) and GDP-L-fucose synthase 2 (GER2) decreased more than 1.5-fold after exposure to DBP. These effects could inhibit both the valine biosynthetic process and the nucleotide-sugar metabolic process in C. vulgaris. The results of this study demonstrate that DBP could inhibit growth and cause significant changes to the biosynthesis-relevant proteins in C. vulgaris. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle
Continuous Microalgal Cultivation for Antioxidants Production
Molecules 2020, 25(18), 4171; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25184171 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 624
Abstract
Microalgae, including cyanobacteria, represent a valuable source of natural compounds that have remarkable bioactive properties. Each microalga species produces a mixture of antioxidants with different amounts of each compound. Three aspects are important in the production of bioactive compounds: the microalga species, the [...] Read more.
Microalgae, including cyanobacteria, represent a valuable source of natural compounds that have remarkable bioactive properties. Each microalga species produces a mixture of antioxidants with different amounts of each compound. Three aspects are important in the production of bioactive compounds: the microalga species, the medium composition including light supplied and the photobioreactor design, and operation characteristics. In this study, the antioxidant content and productivity performance of four microalgae were assessed in batch and continuous cultures. Biomass productivity by the four microalgae was substantially enhanced under continuous cultivation by 5.9 to 6.3 times in comparison with batch cultures. The energetic yield, under the experimental conditions studied, ranged from 0.03 to 0.041 g biomass kJ−1. Phenols, terpenoids, and alkaloids were produced by Spirulinaplatensis, Isochrysisgalbana, and Tetraselmissuecica, whereas tocopherols and carotenoids were produced by the four microalgae, except for phycocyanin and allophycocyanin, which were only produced by S. platensis and Porphyridiumcruentum. The findings demonstrate that the continuous cultivation of microalgae in photobioreactors is a convenient method of efficiently producing antioxidants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle
Stereoisomers of Colourless Carotenoids from the Marine Microalga Dunaliella salina
Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081880 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1075
Abstract
Carotenoids comprise a diverse range of naturally occurring stereoisomers, which differ in their physico-chemical properties. Their biosynthesis begins with phytoene, which is a rarity among carotenoids because it is colourless. Phytoene is sought after as a skin protectant against harmful UV range B [...] Read more.
Carotenoids comprise a diverse range of naturally occurring stereoisomers, which differ in their physico-chemical properties. Their biosynthesis begins with phytoene, which is a rarity among carotenoids because it is colourless. Phytoene is sought after as a skin protectant against harmful UV range B (290–320 nm) and C (100–290 nm) light, and as a natural skin-whitening agent and is synthesized from geranylgeranyl diphosphate. Geranylgeranyl diphosphate is catalysed by phytoene synthase and phytoene desaturase to phytoene and phytofluene, respectively. The subsequent steps involve desaturation, isomerisation and cyclisation reactions to form α- and β-carotene stereoisomers, via all-trans lycopene. The marine microalga Dunaliella salina is the richest source of β-carotene, but it can accumulate phytoene and phytofluene as well. In the present study, different analytical tools including High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Ultra-Performance Convergence Chromatography (UPC2-MS) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) were used to characterize and quantify the phytoene isomeric configurations in D. salina in order to explore both the feasibility of D. salina as a cell factory for phytoene production and to gain new insight into the carotenoid synthesis pathway in D. salina. D. salina, similar to tomato, produced predominantly 15-cis phytoene isomer (>98%) and a trace amount of all-trans phytoene (<2%). High light stress, red light stress, or use of a phytoene desaturase inhibitor or a mitotic disrupter herbicide led to the accumulation of 15-cis phytoene but not all-trans phytoene. 9-cis phytoene was not detected in any of the extracts of D. salina biomass. Our main findings suggest that 15-cis phytoene is the most abundant isomer in D. salina and that it is subject to a series of isomerisation and desaturation reactions to form all-trans and 9-cis β-carotene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Open AccessArticle
Determining the Potential of Haematococcus pluvialis Oleoresin as a Rich Source of Antioxidants
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4073; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224073 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
Haematococcus pluvialis is known to be a natural source of antioxidants for numerous applications. In this study, an oleoresin rich in carotenoids extracted by supercritical CO2 treatment of H. pluvialis was extensively characterized for its antioxidant capacity. Carotenoid content, fatty acid profile, [...] Read more.
Haematococcus pluvialis is known to be a natural source of antioxidants for numerous applications. In this study, an oleoresin rich in carotenoids extracted by supercritical CO2 treatment of H. pluvialis was extensively characterized for its antioxidant capacity. Carotenoid content, fatty acid profile, total phenol content, antioxidant capacity, and viscosity of the oleoresin were determined with the aim of ascertaining the potential of the oleoresin in terms of its antioxidant content for food applications. The oleoresin contained 96.22 mg/g of total astaxanthin (which includes free astaxanthin and astaxanthin esters) and mostly included unsaturated fatty acids (~78% of total fatty acids). High total phenol content and ferric reducing antioxidant potential indicated high antioxidant capacity, but oxygen radical absorbance capacity was lower compared to the oleoresin samples obtained from other species. The oleoresin was a non-Newtonian fluid since it had shear-thinning (pseudoplastic) and shear-thickening (dilatant) flow. Therefore, the H. pluvialis oleoresin is a potential alternative in developing functional ingredients for designing healthy food products. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that has reported an extensive characterization of the antioxidant properties of a microalgal oleoresin obtained by means of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Isolation of Industrial Important Bioactive Compounds from Microalgae
Molecules 2021, 26(4), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26040943 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
Microalgae are known as a rich source of bioactive compounds which exhibit different biological activities. Increased demand for sustainable biomass for production of important bioactive components with various potential especially therapeutic applications has resulted in noticeable interest in algae. Utilisation of microalgae in [...] Read more.
Microalgae are known as a rich source of bioactive compounds which exhibit different biological activities. Increased demand for sustainable biomass for production of important bioactive components with various potential especially therapeutic applications has resulted in noticeable interest in algae. Utilisation of microalgae in multiple scopes has been growing in various industries ranging from harnessing renewable energy to exploitation of high-value products. The focuses of this review are on production and the use of value-added components obtained from microalgae with current and potential application in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, energy and agri-food industries, as well as for bioremediation. Moreover, this work discusses the advantage, potential new beneficial strains, applications, limitations, research gaps and future prospect of microalgae in industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Open AccessReview
Processing Methodologies of Wet Microalga Biomass Toward Oil Separation: An Overview
Molecules 2021, 26(3), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26030641 - 26 Jan 2021
Viewed by 376
Abstract
One of the main goals of Mankind is to ensure food system sustainability—including management of land, soil, water, and biodiversity. Microalgae accordingly appear as an innovative and scalable alternative source in view of the richness of their chemical profiles. In what concerns lipids [...] Read more.
One of the main goals of Mankind is to ensure food system sustainability—including management of land, soil, water, and biodiversity. Microalgae accordingly appear as an innovative and scalable alternative source in view of the richness of their chemical profiles. In what concerns lipids in particular, microalgae can synthesize and accumulate significant amounts of fatty acids, a great fraction of which are polyunsaturated; this makes them excellent candidates within the framework of production and exploitation of lipids by various industrial and health sectors, either as bulk products or fine chemicals. Conventional lipid extraction methodologies require previous dehydration of microalgal biomass, which hampers economic feasibility due to the high energy demands thereof. Therefore, extraction of lipids directly from wet biomass would be a plus in this endeavor. Supporting processes and methodologies are still limited, and most approaches are empirical in nature—so a deeper mechanistic elucidation is a must, in order to facilitate rational optimization of the extraction processes. Besides circumventing the current high energy demands by dehydration, an ideal extraction method should be selective, sustainable, efficient, harmless, and feasible for upscale to industrial level. This review presents and discusses several pretreatments incurred in lipid extraction from wet microalga biomass, namely recent developments and integrated processes. Unfortunately, most such developments have been proven at bench-scale only—so demonstration in large facilities is still needed to confirm whether they can turn into competitive alternatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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Open AccessReview
Cyanobacteria and Eukaryotic Microalgae as Emerging Sources of Antibacterial Peptides
Molecules 2020, 25(24), 5804; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25245804 - 09 Dec 2020
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Cyanobacteria and microalgae are oxygen-producing photosynthetic unicellular organisms encompassing a great diversity of species, which are able to grow under all types of extreme environments and exposed to a wide variety of predators and microbial pathogens. The antibacterial compounds described for these organisms [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria and microalgae are oxygen-producing photosynthetic unicellular organisms encompassing a great diversity of species, which are able to grow under all types of extreme environments and exposed to a wide variety of predators and microbial pathogens. The antibacterial compounds described for these organisms include alkaloids, fatty acids, indoles, macrolides, peptides, phenols, pigments and terpenes, among others. This review presents an overview of antibacterial peptides isolated from cyanobacteria and microalgae, as well as their synergism and mechanisms of action described so far. Antibacterial cyanopeptides belong to different orders, but mainly from Oscillatoriales and Nostocales. Cyanopeptides have different structures but are mainly cyclic peptides. This vast peptide repertoire includes ribosomal and abundant non-ribosomal peptides, evaluated by standard conventional methodologies against pathogenic Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The antibacterial activity described for microalgal peptides is considerably scarcer, and limited to protein hydrolysates from two Chlorella species, and few peptides from Tetraselmis suecica. Despite the promising applications of antibacterial peptides and the importance of searching for new natural sources of antibiotics, limitations still persist for their pharmaceutical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds Isolated from Microalgae)
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