Marine algae are of high importance in their natural habitats and even more now in the world of green technology. The sprouting interest of the scientific community and industries in these organisms is driven by the fast-growing world of modern biotechnology. Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and their integration collectively termed here as ‘marine algal-omics’ have broadened the research horizon in view of enhancing human’s life by addressing environmental problems and encouraging novelty in the field of pharmaceuticals among so many more. Their use in the human society dates back to 500 B. C. in China and later across the globe; they are still being used for similar purposes and more today. There is a hiking interest in marine algae and their derivatives—from phycoremediation, food supplements, pharmaceuticals to dyes. Marine algae are currently considered as an emerging panacea for the society. They are being studied in a multitude of arenas. The multi-use of marine algae is enticing and promises to be a boon for industrial applications. Yet, most marine algae face challenges that might variably constrain their commercialisation. This chapter gives an overview of marine algae including all the ‘omics’ technologies involved in studying marine algae and it explores their multitude applications. It also draws the various successful industries budded around them and presents some of the challenges and opportunities along with future directions.
Part of the book: Algae