This project will provide genetic tools and nutritional mapping of UK seaweeds to support development of seaweed production in the North Sea.
Expertise: The AlgaeBoost Project Team is a partnership between Mara Seaweed (Mara) and Stirling University’s Institute of Aquaculture (UoS), working in collaboration with Edinburgh University’s Roslin Institute (UoE). Mara is a leading seaweed company with an organic-certified supply chain from sea-to-shelf and award-winning seaweed foods. The Institute of Aquaculture and the Roslin Institute are leading experts on the genetics and nutrition of aquaculture species.
Background: Seaweed offers solutions to food security and environmental challenges through sustainable food production, healthier nutrition, and greenhouse gas mitigation. By 2050, food production must double to meet global rise in demand. Seaweed can help feed the world’s increasing population; however, investment in R&D is required to deliver sustainable and economically viable production growth.
R&D Shortfall & Requirement: Seaweed breeding techniques are still under development. Aiming to harness the full potential of seaweed production and breeding, the project aims to develop genomic resources for two species, Alaria esculenta and Saccharina latissima, which show the highest commercial potential as value-added foods.
The project will analyse the effect of different environmental conditions on growth and nutritional content of both species and develop genomic resources associated with these traits. The objective is to push seaweed production a step forward towards the state of most agriculture/livestock productive systems, by the establishment of selective breeding schemes and the improvement of economically important traits.