Cyano Online Seminar Series

One outcome of Cyano2020 was the idea of an online seminar series about cyanobacterial research. So here it is. We start with a bi-weekly schedule every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 4 PM CET as an online Zoom meeting. The talks will be ~30min and afterward, there will be time to get in contact with the speaker and ask questions in the Q&A session. If you are interested in given a talk yourself or on a specific topic or speaker, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Follow us on Twitter @CyanoWorld1 or @Synmibi and miss no information about upcoming seminars. 


For security reasons, we ask you to register for the meeting using the link below. Registration will be open till the start of the seminar, just in case you should decide to drop in spontaneously. After you entered your email address and institution, we will get notified and will manually accept your registration to avoid spam. Once registered you will have access to all upcoming seminars and you do not need to register again.

Registration Link:

Next Seminar - March 11th 4 PM

Marc Nowaczyk
Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Structural insights into photosystem II assembly

Membrane protein complexes play a central role in cyanobacterial bioenergetics. We have recently solved several structures of cyanobacterial membrane protein complexes by cryo-electron microscopy and complemented the work by spectroscopic analysis or molecular dynamics simulation (Schuller et al. 2019, Schuller et al. 2020). Photosystem II (PSII) is one of the best studied photosynthetic multi-subunit membrane protein complexes so far. It catalyzes a very unique reaction: the light-driven oxidation of water. Many details of PSII structure and function have been unraveled already. However, the molecular details of its biogenesis, particularly the role of auxiliary proteins, which assist the assembly of the various cofactors and subunits, remained unclear (Heinz et al 2016). Using cryo-electron microscopy, we solved the structure of a partially functional PSII assembly intermediate from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus at 2.94 Å resolution (Zabret et al. 2020). It contains three assembly factors (Psb27, Psb28, Psb34) and provides detailed insights into their molecular function. Binding of Psb28 induces large conformational changes at the PSII acceptor side, which distort the binding pocket of the mobile quinone (QB) and replace the bicarbonate ligand of non-heme iron with glutamate, a structural motif found in reaction centers of non-oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. These results reveal novel mechanisms that protect PSII from damage during biogenesis until water splitting is activated. Our structure further demonstrates how the PSII active site is prepared for the incorporation of the Mn4CaO5 cluster, which performs the unique water splitting reaction.


Date Speaker Affiliation Title
March 25th, 4PM Dmitry Shvarev University of Osnabrück, Germany tba - #abc_transporter
April 8th, 4PM Michelle Gehringer Technical University of Kaiserlautern, Germany How Cyanobacteria changed the Wo2rld 
April 22nd, 4PM Robert Kourist Technical University Graz, Austria Light-driven biotransformations for the synthesis of high-value chemicals – from cell engineering to process intensification
May, 13th, 4PM tba tba tba
May, 27th, 4PM David Russo Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany tba
June, 10th, 4PM Dennis Nürnberg  Freie University Berlin, Germany tba - #photosynthesis
June, 24th, 4PM Elisabeth Janssen Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland tba - #CyanoMetDB

Upcoming Confirmed Speaker (not yet scheduled) 

  • Robert Tchitnga (Université de Dschang, Cameroon & University of Ulm, Germany)
  • Paula Tamagnini (University of Porto, Portugal)
  • Tal Dagan (University of Kiel, Germany)
  • Nicole Pietrasiak (New Mexico State University, USA)
  • Paul D'Agostino (University of Dresden, Germany)
  • Alistair McCormick (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Previous Speaker

  • Felice Mastroleo (SCK CEN, Belgium)
  • Jörn Petersen (Leibniz Institute DSMZ, Germany)
  • Kathrin Rousk (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Sonia Chamizo (University of Almeria, Spain)
  • Florian Rudroff (Technical University Vienna, Austria)
  • Nathan Chrismas (Marine Biological Association, UK)

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Dr. Nicolas Schmelling

Universitätsstr. 1
Gebäude: 22.07
Etage/Raum: 00.045


Prof. Dr. Ilka Maria Axmann

Universitätsstr. 1
Gebäude: 22.07
Etage/Raum: 00.047
Tel.: +49 211 81-10361
Verantwortlich für den Inhalt: E-Mail sendenAnna Germann