Applications of cyanobacteria in biotechnology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

205 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cyanobacteria have gained a lot of attention in recent years because of their potential applications in biotechnology. We present an overview of the literature describing the uses of cyanobacteria in industry and services sectors and provide an outlook on the challenges and future prospects of the field of cyanobacterial biotechnology. Cyanobacteria have been identified as a rich source of biologically active compounds with antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer activities. Several strains of cyanobacteria were found to accumulate polyhydroxyalkanoates, which can be used as a substitute for nonbiodegradable petrochemical-based plastics. Recent studies showed that oil-polluted sites are rich in cyanobacterial consortia capable of degrading oil components. Cyanobacteria within these consortia facilitated the degradation processes by providing the associated oil-degrading bacteria with the necessary oxygen, organics and fixed nitrogen. Cyanobacterial hydrogen has been considered as a very promising source of alternative energy, and has now been made commercially available. In addition to these applications, cyanobacteria are also used in aquaculture, wastewater treatment, food, fertilizers, production of secondary metabolites including exopolysaccharides, vitamins, toxins, enzymes and pharmaceuticals. Future research should focus on isolating new cyanobacterial strains producing high value products and genetically modifying existing strains to ensure maximum production of the desired products. Metagenomic libraries should be constructed to discover new functional genes that are involved in the biosynthesis of biotechnological relevant compounds. Large-scale industrial production of the cyanobacterial products requires optimization of incubation conditions and fermenter designs in order to increase productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Cyanobacteria
Biotechnology
Oils
Polyhydroxyalkanoates
Metagenomics
Aquaculture
Fertilizers
Waste Water
Vitamins
Plastics
Antiviral Agents
Hydrogen
Industry
Nitrogen
Oxygen
Bacteria
Food
Enzymes
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Genes

Keywords

  • Bioactive compounds
  • Biofertilizers
  • Bioplastics
  • Biotechnology
  • Cyanobacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Applications of cyanobacteria in biotechnology. / Abed, R. M M; Dobretsov, S.; Sudesh, K.

In: Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol. 106, No. 1, 2009, p. 1-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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