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Title: An Optimistic Foresight of Microalgal Biotechnology

Ruma Pal

University of Calcutta, India

Biography

                  Dr.Ruma Pal, Professor in Algology, Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, India, did her Masters and Ph.D. from the same University in 1989 and joined as In charge teacher in 2000. She is the ‘Fellow of West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology’India. She has an experience of 35yrs in the field of Algal Biotechnology and also explored Algal diversity from different niches. Scope algae in Nano-biotechnology, Bioremediation, Aquaculture, cancer biology, and CO2 sequestration is her field of research. Prof Pal has completed 15 Govt.projects published 125 research papers, writer of 3 books,3 patent holder and produced more than 12 Ph.D. students.

Abstract

Microalgae are most primitive oxygen-evolving photosynthetic organisms appeared 3.2 billion years ago growing in almost all environmental conditions. They are with the simplest morphology, without having root, stems or leaves and having naked reproductive structures ranging from unicellular, colonial, simple filamentous form. Algal Biotechnology has had a long history especially in the food industry initially used by people of China (eg. Nostoc Commune). Microalgae are the inexpensive source of different bioactive compounds like, carotenoids, pigments, proteins, and vitamins etc., which are being used recently for the production of nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, animal feed additives, and cosmetics.

Due to their aquatic habitats algae are widely used in the commercial rearing of many aquatic animals, especially the fishes and penaeid prawn larvae either in live form or as feed ingredients of ‘Value-added feed’. Due to coastal water pollution and other factors, there is a continuous decline in natural fish catch, which has lead to an ever-increasing focus on aquaculture. Application of different microalgae from Sunderban –the largest Mangrove Forest as value-added feed ingredients for colored fishes carp fishes at field level would be discussed.                    

Algae have their inherent capacity for phytoremediation of toxic chemicals.  Over the past few decades, a significant attention has been paid to toxic and precious metal removal employing a phytoremediation technique for environmental protection. Different selectivities of various algae towards different metals are generally exploited in precious metal separation process and removal of toxic metals including stable metals and radionuclides.Therefore, Phycoremediation or use of algae as bio-reagent in metal removal process is considered as one of the most suitable methods for environmental management. Use of local strain, Leptolyngbya valderiana in arsenic removal process to be discussed using a designed Biofilter and their mechanism is an interesting study of Algal biotechnology.

Phyco-nanotechnology is another promising field of algal biotechnology, where exploiting  algal biomass as bioreagent, several metal nanoparticles like gold, silver,Fe, Cu and Cr, and their alloys can be produced in green technology-based process and their use in different fields, like antibacterial, anti-cancerous and in fruit preservation appeared to be very effective. 

For any biotechnological program local strain exploitation is more effective, therefore algal diversity study and the cultivation of potential strains at field level would be discussed as a prerequisite of Algal biotechnology.