Marine Microalgae: Promising source for new bioactive compounds

Caterina R. de Vera, Guillermo Díaz Crespín, Antonio Hernández Daranas, Sofia Montalvão Looga, Katja Emilia Lillsunde, Päivi Tammela, Merja Perälä, Vesa Hongisto, Johannes Virtanen, Heiko Rischer, Christian D. Muller, Manuel Norte, José J. Fernández, María L. Souto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    The study of marine natural products for their bioactive potential has gained strength in recent years. Oceans harbor a vast variety of organisms that offer a biological and chemical diversity with metabolic abilities unrivalled in terrestrial systems, which makes them an attractive target for bioprospecting as an almost untapped resource of biotechnological applications. Among them, there is no doubt that microalgae could become genuine “cell factories” for the biological synthesis of bioactive substances. Thus, in the course of inter-laboratory collaboration sponsored by the European Union (7th FP) into the MAREX Project focused on the discovery of novel bioactive compounds of marine origin for the European industry, a bioprospecting study on 33 microalgae strains was carried out. The strains were cultured at laboratory scale. Two extracts were prepared for each one (biomass and cell free culture medium) and, thus, screened to provide information on the antimicrobial, the anti-proliferative, and the apoptotic potential of the studied extracts. The outcome of this study provides additional scientific data for the selection of Alexadrium tamarensis WE, Gambierdiscus australes, Prorocentrum arenarium, Prorocentrum hoffmannianum, and Prorocentrum reticulatum (Pr-3) for further investigation and offers support for the continued research of new potential drugs for human therapeutics from cultured microalgae.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number317
    JournalMarine Drugs
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Bioactive compound
    • Bioprospecting
    • Blue biotechnology
    • Drug discovery
    • Marine microalgae
    • Marine natural products


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