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“God created seaweed … The seaweed made the world “
John B. KEANE, Irish writer

The name  « algae » is a collective term for a polyphyletic assemblage of aquatic or subaerial organisms referred as « microalgae » and « macroalgae - seaweeds ».


Considering the great morphological diversity and the widely ranging chemical composition, this group of organisms represents one of the most promising sources for new products and applications.

However, algae are overlooked, perhaps because their abundance and importance are not estimated at their true value.

How many algae are there? Anybody knows.

Algae are notoriously difficult to identify, showing substantial-environmentally-induced plasticity. Moreover taxonomy is under constant revision at all levels following every new genetic and ultrastructure evidence. Consequently, all phycologists pay homage to Michael D. Guiry and collaborators for the creation and continual maintenance of the Internet-accessible database « algae base », that is become an important and comprehensive database in Phycology.

Algae are not found in the same diversity throughout the world’s oceans but everywhere an algal species shows its own biochemical characteristics and properties for bioactive compounds likely to be of industrial interest.

It is well important to understand that a species collected in the Atlantic Ocean will offer different properties than the same species collected in an other Ocean.

Each algal synopsis presented here gives general information on several algal aspects e.g. major morphological, biological and in biochemical characteristics, in addition to proved bioactivities and common uses, without pretention of giving comprehensive scientific state.


« The common focus of phycotechnology is the alga and the binding endeavor of phycotechnologists
is to improve algae and thereby human affairs”

Arthur Michio NONOMURA, Univ. California La Jolla.




Ascophyllum nodosum
Bifurcaria bifurcata
Caulerpa lentillifera
Codium fragile
Corallina officinalis
Fucus serratus
Fucus spiralis
Fucus vesiculosus
Gelidium sesquipedale
Halidrys siliquosa
Halopteris scoparia  (Stypocaulon scoparium)
Himanthalia elongata
Jania rubens
Kappaphycus alvarezii
Laminaria ochroleuca
Laminaria saccharina   (Saccharina latissima)
Lessonia nigrescens
Macrocystis pyrifera
Meristotheca dakarensis
Pelvetia canaliculata
Porphyra umbilicalis
Rissoella verruculosa
Sargassum muticum
Undaria pinnatifida