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Algal blue bioeconomy: valorization of algal biomass through studies of functional and chemical biodiversity

Abstract

Benthic marine algae are fundamental components of the marine ecosystem and the Blue Amazon, representing a strategic and renewable natural resource that offers diverse ecosystem services and goods. One of the main challenges in the applicability of macroalgae is the lack of biomass produced by algiculture or present in the natural environment. Thus, both the production of high quality seedlings and the prospection of underused biomass such as seaweeds are plausible solutions to reduce the pressure of predatory extractivism, increase algiculture activity and promote the valorization of algal biomass. Based on these backgrounds, this proposal has the general objective of contributing to studies on the physiological performance of marine macroalgae under controlled laboratory conditions (functional diversity) and to characterize the chemical profile and its bioactive properties (chemical diversity) of potential species for exploitation, integrating analytical approaches based on biorefinery and omics sciences for the valorization of algal biomass as a source of functional and bioactive products. To this end, approaches on functional diversity will be focused on the agarophyte Gracilariopsis tenuifrons and, eventually, on Neopyropia spiralis, which will be tested under different regimes of a low-cost commercial fertilizer and light intensities. Approaches to chemical diversity will have as biological material different species of seaweed and seaweed collected in the environment. In addition, we intend to contribute to bringing science and society together through the scientific video production for science popularization. The knowledge generated in this project will be useful for use in the productive sector and by artisanal farmers, being able to establish partnerships for technology transfer, promote sustainable development and reconcile regional development through the generation of income through algiculture. (AU)

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