Tropical Plants | Exploring value-added compounds from tropical marine plants

The ocean ecosystem is the largest ecosystem comprising of more than 70% of the earth’s surface and only 20% of it is known to man. The term “marine plants” is often defined loosely including sea grass, mangrove, macroalgae, and microalgae. As photosynthetic organisms, the tropical marine plants convert CO2 into energy by absorbing sunlight and then sustain almost all life forms in the ocean. They produce approximately half of the oxygen on earth. Besides, some of them (unicellular microalgae) form mutualistic partnerships with coral reefs, providing habitats for about 25% of marine species, including over 4000 fish species. Since these plants underneath the sea do not need external care, they are more “strong” than territorial flora. To survive the great depths of the ocean and thrive in salt water, the tropical marine plants have evolved the ability to adapt to the specific environment by producing a variety of metabolites, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g., DHA and EPA), polysaccharides (e.g., exopolysaccharides), sterols, pigments (e.g., fucoxanthin and astaxanthin), and many other small molecular compounds (e.g., anti-UV MAAs and skin cell-activating factor α-GG). Some of these compounds are of medical or industrial value. However, biosynthesis, regulation, exploration, and application of these compounds still remain a wonder and mystery to scientists. To date, with the development of omics technology, system biology, and synthetic biology, combined with analytic chemistry, conventional plant physiology, and molecular biology, studies on tropical marine plants have made a great advance and hold great promise for the sustainable provision of various bioresources for human domestic and industrial consumption. Current Special Issue is intended to reflect the research statuses and trends, and promote research on exploring and understanding value-added compounds from tropical marine plants by publishing high-quality papers relating to the research progress of discovery and utilization of value-added compounds from tropical marine plants. We welcome submissions of full-length articles and short communication letters of original research or review/mini reviews to this special issue; the topics include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Novel chemical discovery;
  2. Key enzyme characterization;
  3. Biosynthetic pathway illumination;
  4. Metabolic engineering;
  5. Synthetic biology;
  6. Value-added compounds extraction;
  7. Downstream applications;
  8. Biology of sea grass, mangrove, algae
  9. Cultivation and production processes
  10. Blue carbon


Submission Deadline

The deadline for manuscript submissions is May 1, 2023, but we can accommodate extensions on a case-by-case basis. All papers will be published as open access articles upon acceptance.

Submission Instructions

Please submit the full manuscript to Tropical Plants via our online submission system ( Additionally, please choose a topic of this special Issue when submitting, and mention it in your cover letter. For further inquiries, please contact Guest Editor(s)



Guest Editors

Yunxiang Mao, Ph.D & Professor. Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and Hainan Tropical Ocean University, China;;

Kalyanee Paithoonrangsarid, Ph.D & Researcher. National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand;;

Anping Lei, Ph.D & Professor. Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Marine Bioresource and EcoEnvironmental Science, Shenzhen University Mangrove & Wetland Research Center, College of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, China;;

Wenjun ZHANG, Ph.D & Professor. CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China;;

Yi XIN, Ph.D & Professor. State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China Sea, Hainan University, China;;

Yandu LU, Ph.D & Professor. State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China Sea, College of Oceanology, Hainan University, China;;