ALFF - Bioinformatics workshop | Federation of European Phycological Societies

ALFF - Bioinformatics workshop

Why are we studying algae and their relationship with microbes?

Globally, algal aquaculture is developing rapidly and is a multi-billion dollar industry employing millions of people. As any friend of Asian cuisine knows, algae arean important and healthy source of food that is growing in popularity, but we use algae also in many other industries. In the chemical and pharmaceutical industries algae serve as fertilizers, soil conditioners and for wastewater treatment. The energy industry has been developing biofuels from both microalgae and seaweeds and scientists from the University of Konstanz now even suggest their use as a crude oil substitute. Algae are also popular ingredients in the cosmetics industry too.

But like all farmed crops, it is important to know what algae need to flourish, and to understand and control their diseases and pests. The single biggest biological challenge to further develop algal aquaculture is to first understand and then control both beneficial and harmful microbes – the microbial flora or algal microbiome. Some bacteria control the development of algae, others are indispensable for their survival while pathogens may cause devastating diseases, the impact of which worsens with the intensification of aquaculture practices. This is why we must study algae and their microbiome.

Monday, July 3, 2017 - 09:00 to Friday, July 7, 2017 - 17:00
Ghent University

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