MICROALGAE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     19th October 2023        
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Context: Recently, a new study suggests that microalgae have developed a unique strategy to adapt to global warming while playing a critical role in the ocean's food chain and capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  • As climate change reduces the availability of nutrients in the sea, marine microalgae or eukaryotic phytoplankton fire up a protein called rhodopsin.
  • It is related to the protein in the human eye responsible for vision in dim light.

Microalgae

  • Microalgae are organisms that can grow in aquatic environments and use light and carbon dioxide (CO2) to create biomass. 
  • It contains lipids and fatty acids as membrane components, storage products, metabolites, and sources of energy.
  • They are excellent at converting CO2 and sunlight into oil-rich biomass, especially when compared to land-based crop plants like soy.
  • The potentials of algae as the alternative biofuel sources have been widely reviewed.
  • Microalgae cultivation provides tremendous opportunity in the field of agriculture as a source of biofertilizers.
  • Example: Chlorella and Spirulina.
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