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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 835761, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/835761
Review Article

Biologically Active Metabolites Synthesized by Microalgae

1Laboratory of Microbiology and Biochemistry, College of Chemistry and Food Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande, P.O. Box 474, 96203-900 Rio Grande, RS, Brazil
2Laboratory of Biochemical Engineering, College of Chemistry and Food Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande, P.O. Box 474, 96203-900 Rio Grande, RS, Brazil

Received 19 September 2014; Revised 26 December 2014; Accepted 11 January 2015

Academic Editor: Olga Genilloud

Copyright © 2015 Michele Greque de Morais et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Microalgae are microorganisms that have different morphological, physiological, and genetic traits that confer the ability to produce different biologically active metabolites. Microalgal biotechnology has become a subject of study for various fields, due to the varied bioproducts that can be obtained from these microorganisms. When microalgal cultivation processes are better understood, microalgae can become an environmentally friendly and economically viable source of compounds of interest, because production can be optimized in a controlled culture. The bioactive compounds derived from microalgae have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities, among others. Furthermore, these microorganisms have the ability to promote health and reduce the risk of the development of degenerative diseases. In this context, the aim of this review is to discuss bioactive metabolites produced by microalgae for possible applications in the life sciences.