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Algae > Volume 37(2); 2022 > Article
Algae 2022;37(2): 85-103. doi: https://doi.org/10.4490/algae.2022.37.3.3
Kelps in Korea: from population structure to aquaculture to potential carbon sequestration
Eun Kyoung Hwang1, Ga Hun Boo2, Louis Graf2, Charles Yarish3, Hwan Su Yoon2,*, Jang Kyun Kim4,*
1Fisheries Seed and Breeding Research Institute, National Institute of Fisheries Science, Haenam 59002, Korea
2Department of Biological Sciences, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, Korea
3Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, CT 06901, USA
4Department of Marine Science, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
*Corresponding Author  Hwan Su Yoon, 
Email: hsyoon2011@skku.edu
Jang Kyun Kim, Tel: +82-32-835-8877, Fax: +82-32-835-0806, 
Email: jang.kim@inu.ac.kr
Received: January 10, 2022;  Accepted: March 3, 2022.  Published online: June 21, 2022.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Korea is one of the most advanced countries in kelp aquaculture. The brown algae, Undaria pinnatifida and Saccharina japonica are major aquaculture species and have been principally utilized for human food and abalone feed in Korea. This review discusses the diversity, population structure and genomics of kelps. In addition, we have introduced new cultivar development efforts considering climate change, and potential carbon sequestration of kelp aquaculture in Korea. U. pinnatifida showed high diversity within the natural populations but reduced genetic diversity in cultivars. However, very few studies of S. japonica have been conducted in terms of population structure. Since studies on cultivar development began in early 2000s, five U. pinnatifida and one S. japonica varieties have been registered to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). To meet the demands for seaweed biomass in various industries, more cultivars should be developed with specific traits to meet application demands. Additionally, cultivation technologies should be diversified, such as integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) and offshore aquaculture, to achieve environmental and economic sustainability. These kelps are anticipated to be important sources of blue carbon in Korea.
Key words: aquaculture; climate change; cultivar; genetics; population structure; Saccharina japonica; Undaria pinnatifida

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