The ecology of Dunaliella in high-salt environments

Aharon Oren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Halophilic representatives of the genus Dunaliella, notably D. salina and D. viridis, are found worldwide in salt lakes and saltern evaporation and crystallizer ponds at salt concentrations up to NaCl saturation. Thanks to the biotechnological exploitation of D. salina for β-carotene production we have a profound knowledge of the physiology and biochemistry of the alga. However, relatively little is known about the ecology of the members of the genus Dunaliella in hypersaline environments, in spite of the fact that Dunaliella is often the main or even the sole primary producer present, so that the entire ecosystem depends on carbon fixed by this alga. This review paper summarizes our knowledge about the occurrence and the activities of different Dunaliella species in natural salt lakes (Great Salt Lake, the Dead Sea and others), in saltern ponds and in other salty habitats where members of the genus have been found.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number23
JournalJournal of Biological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Oren; licensee BioMed Central.


  • Dead Sea
  • Dunaliella
  • Great Salt Lake
  • Halophilic
  • Hypersaline
  • Salterns


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