Perspectives on domestication research for sustainable seaweed aquaculture

Myriam Valero, Marie-Laure Guillemin, Christophe Destombe, Bertrand jacquemin, Claire Gachon, Yacine Badis

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


In this paper, we address several issues related to seaweed domestication from an evolutionary and ecological perspective. We briefly cover the history of human interactions with seaweed and assess the importance of pre-domestication evolutionary processes. The various steps of the trajectory from wild to domesticated seaweeds are discussed for five crop seaweeds (i.e. Saccharina japonica (kombu), Pyropia sp. (nori), Undaria pinnatifida (wakame), Gracilaria chilensis (pellilo) and Kappaphycus sp.) to evaluate their domestication status. We show that seaweed domestication resulted from long-term interactions between humans, seaweeds, and environmental factors. This interplay has deeply modified the coastal ecosystem – sometimes with very detrimental effects (pests and invasions) – but was a key element in the evolutionary process leading to domestication. We then highlight the challenges for future research on seaweed domestication and show how better integration of knowledge on ecology and genetic diversity of wild populations and on the selective pressures exerted by cultivators can promote sustainable seaweed aquaculture
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages13
JournalPerspectives in Phycology
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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