Exploring The Potential of Microalgae-Fungi Co-Cultivation for Sustainable Bioprocessing in Microalgae Biorefinery



  • Muhammad Hizbullahi Usman Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Sokoto State University (SSU), Sokoto State, Nigeria https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4567-1011
  • Mohd Farizal Kamaroddin Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3838-5463
  • Mohd Helmi Sani Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia
  • Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik Malek Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia; Center for Sustainable Nanomaterials (CSNano), Ibnu Sina Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (ISI-ISIR), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia


Microalgae, fungi, co-cultivation, bioflocculation, wastewater, biofuels


Developing co-cultivation systems involving microalgae and fungi has shown promising potential for microalgae harvesting technology. As discussed in this review, the co-cultivation of microalgae and fungi has emerged as a novel approach for enhancing biomass and lipid production, wastewater treatment, biofuel production, and high-value products. However, despite being used for a few years, this technique is still in its early stages of development and has yet to be widely applied in the industry. The main challenges associated with co-cultivation include designing effective cultivation systems, managing nutrient requirements, selecting compatible strains, and implementing contamination control measures. In this study, bibliometric analysis was conducted (using the Web of Science database) to examine global trends and developments in microalgae-fungi co-cultivation research between 2014 and 2023, which aimed to identify the research progression, prominent contributors, and leading countries in the research field. The dataset comprised 682 articles, 242 reviews, 31 book chapters, and 22 conference papers. The results showed a rapid increment of publications with China as an active nation in this research area, followed by India, the USA, Italy, Spain, etc. As demonstrated in this study, the immense potential of co-cultivation techniques suggests further exploration, particularly in employing different microalgae species with exceptional characteristics in conjunction with non-pathogenic and edible fungi for profitable industrialization.


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Author Biographies

Mohd Farizal Kamaroddin, Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia

Bioscience and Senior Lecturer

Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik Malek, Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia; Center for Sustainable Nanomaterials (CSNano), Ibnu Sina Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (ISI-ISIR), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia

Assoc. Prof. Ts. ChM. Dr. Nik Ahmad Nizam Nik Malek Bioscience


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How to Cite

Usman, M. H., Kamaroddin, M. F. ., Sani, M. H., & Nik Malek, N. A. N. (2023). Exploring The Potential of Microalgae-Fungi Co-Cultivation for Sustainable Bioprocessing in Microalgae Biorefinery. Malaysian Applied Biology, 52(6), 23–46. https://doi.org/10.55230/mabjournal.v52i6.2783



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