Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 423–430 | Cite as

Insight into the studies of the practical use of microalgae in the former Soviet Union

  • Santa Purvina
  • Maija Balode


Microalgae have been intensively cultivated and used in the national economy of the Soviet Union in Russia (Moscow, Leningrad, Pushcino, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk), the Ukraine, Byelorussia (Minsk), Azerbaijan (Baku), Uzbekistan (Tashkent), Latvia (Riga) and other former Soviet republics. The first studies on the practical use of microalgae started already at the beginning of last century and were connected with treatment of waste water in biological ponds. Ecophysiological studies of marine plankton algae in mono- and mixed cultures as well as in experimental systems with zooplankton organisms started at the end of the 1950s. In the 1960s, started to apply different equipments for cultivation of microalgae in open water basins and closed ecological systems. Research innovations were introduced in agriculture. The productivity of aquatic ecosystems and the distribution of energy within food chains were studied. Intensive research on microalgae continued, paying attention to the chemical composition, physiological and biochemical features. Nutrient supply appeared as one of the main problem for productivity of algal cultures, along with the procession, biochemistry of nutrients and nutrition value of organic matter produced by algae. The most attention was paid to the Chroococcales proteins and possibilities for their use in man-made closed ecological systems. The potential use of microalgae for regeneration of the atmosphere and purification of water in spacecrafts was studied. During the 1970s attention was paid to the role of algae in self-purification processes and biodegradation of surface-active substances in water bodies. Research in microalgae as bioindicators for the assessment of environment quality of aquatic ecosystems and as test objects for biotesting of natural and waste waters was conducted from the 1970s to 1980s.


algae application in national economy cultivation history nutrition 


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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Aquatic EcologyUniversity of LatviaRigaLatvia

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