Microalgae show enormous promise to simultaneously create industries aiming for remediation of wastewaters and producing value-adding coproducts for large nonsaturable markets, such as biofuels, biofertilizers, and biopolymers. To date, however, their commercially realized exploitation is restricted to a few strains for the production of fine chemicals, nutraceuticals, food additives, and as feed in aquaculture. Algal taxonomy has remained a mystery for applied phycologists. In this chapter, we aim to unriddle this puzzle by providing a brief overview of the difficulties of placing microalgae in a hierarchical, phylogenetically meaningful, classification scheme. The evolutionary origin of algal diversity is discussed, which explains why creating a phylogenetically meaningful classification scheme is fraught with difficulties. Finally, commercially used microalgae or those with demonstrated potential are described with a focus on their identifying characteristics. These described microalgae are then cross-linked to their remediation and bioproduct potential in the last two sections of this chapter.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Marine Microalgae|
|Subtitle of host publication||Biotechnology Advances|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2015|
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