LC-PUFA from photosynthetic microalgae: occurrence, biosynthesis, and prospects in biotechnology
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- Khozin-Goldberg, I., Iskandarov, U. & Cohen, Z. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 91: 905. doi:10.1007/s00253-011-3441-x
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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.