LC-PUFA from photosynthetic microalgae: occurrence, biosynthesis, and prospects in biotechnology Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Microalgae offer potential for numerous commercial applications, among them the production of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs). These valuable fatty acids are important for a variety of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical purposes, and the market for these products is continually growing. An appropriate ratio of LC-PUFA of the ω-3 and ω-6 groups is vital for “healthy” nutrition, and adequate dietary intake has strong health benefits in humans. Microalgae of diverse classes are primary natural producers of LC-PUFA. This mini-review presents an introductory overview of LC-PUFA-related health benefits in humans, describes LC-PUFA occurrence in diverse microalgal classes, depicts the major pathways of their biosynthesis in microalgae, and discusses the prospects for microalgal LC- PUFA production.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011