Algae: a frontline photosynthetic organism in the microplastic catastrophe

Habasi Patrick Manzi, Reda A.I. Abou-Shanab, Byong Hun Jeon, Junling Wang, El Sayed Salama

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recalcitrancy in microplastics (MPs) contributes to white pollution. Bioremediation can remove MPs and facilitate environmental sustainability. Although recent studies have been conducted on the interaction of algae and MPs, the role of algae in MP removal with the simultaneous implementation of ‘omics studies has not yet been discussed. Here, we review the adverse effects of MPs on the environment and possible approaches to remove them from the aquatic environment by using algae. We highlight the mechanism of MP biodegradation, the algal species that have been used, and how these are affected by MPs. We propose that algomics, characterization of biodegrading enzymes, and genetic engineering could be effective strategies for optimizing MP degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1172
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the startup fund for the construction of the double first-class project (No. 561119201 ), Lanzhou University, China. The authors gratefully acknowledge the authors and publishers of the corresponding articles that included the figures adapted for use in this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • algae
  • algomics
  • enzymes
  • microplastics
  • phycoremediation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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