Biotechnological Applications for Microalgal EnzymesAuthor(s): Karim Mohammed
Enzymes are crucial components of biological reactions and are used to scale and optimise many industrial processes. Many research are currently focusing their emphasis on more renewable and environmentally sustainable sources for the synthesis of these enzymes, due to the growing commercial demand for novel and more efficient enzymes to assist further improve these processes. Microalgae are particularly promising in this regard since they can be grown in photobioreactors, allowing for the generation of large amounts of biomass at a low cost. The rising number of publications in this area, particularly in the utilisation of microalgae as a source of new enzymes, reflects this. Varied microalgal enzymes with various industrial uses (e.g., lipids and biofuel production, healthcare, and bioremediation) have been investigated to date, and modifying enzymatic sequences implicated in lipid and carotenoid production has yielded encouraging results. However, in many situations, the entire biochemical pathways/systems leading to the synthesis of potentially essential bioactive chemicals are still unknown (e.g., for the synthesis of polyketides). Nonetheless, current breakthroughs in microalgal genomics and transcriptome techniques are making it easier to find sequences encoding targeted enzymes, boosting the chances of their identification, heterologous production, and characterization. This review examines the current state of the art in marine and freshwater microalgal enzymes with potential biotechnological uses, as well as the field's future prospects.