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Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 4 PM CET we will gather as a group of cyanobacteria enthusiasts in an online Zoom meeting to learn more about the latest research around cyanobacteria by invited guests and expert from around the world. 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.

Research Associate

Dr. Nicolas Schmelling
Universitätsstr. 1 Building: 22.07
Floor/Room: 00.045

Head of Institute

Prof. Dr. Ilka Maria Axmann
Universitätsstr. 1 Building: 22.07
Floor/Room: 00.047
+49 211 81-10361

Next Seminar - June 10th 4 PM

Timo Niedermeyer
Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

From well-known to unknown cyanotoxins: Microcystins as leads for drug substances and the identification of the novel cyanotoxin Aetokthonotoxin

Cyanobacteria are famous for the production of toxins such as microcystins, anatoxins, or cylindrospermopsins. However, “toxin” is just a synonym for “compound with impressing biological activity”. None of the drug substances on the market today is free of toxicity if misused. Thus, also cyanobacterial “toxins” can serve as lead compounds for drug development. Microcystins, potent inhibitors of protein phosphatases, are known as toxins causing severe liver damage. Due to their pronounced cytotoxicity, they could potentially be used as anti-cancer drugs. In the first part of the talk, I will present our work in this field. Using precursor-directed biosynthesis, we have developed easy-to-derivatize microcystins that can e.g. be used as biochemical probes, or be coupled to monoclonal antibodies as payloads in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for targeted cancer therapy. Vacuolar Myelinopathy (VM) is a fatal neurological disease that has been observed in water birds, raptors, and other animals throughout the south-eastern US since 1994. It is spreading and has already affected thousands of animals, including the iconic bald eagle. Previous studies could link the disease to the occurrence of Aetokthonos hydrillicola, a novel cyanobacterial genus that grows epiphytically on water plants such as Hydrilla verticillata. Despite years of work, the putative cyanobacterial toxin remained elusive. In the second part of the talk, I will present the isolation and identification of a novel penta-brominated bisindole alkaloid, Aetokthonotoxin (AETX), that we showed to be the cyanotoxin causing VM.


Date Speaker Affiliation Title
June, 24th, 4PM Elisabeth Janssen Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Switzerland tba - #CyanoMetDB
July, 8th, 4PM Paula Tamagnini University of Porto, Portugal tba - #EPS
July, 22nd, 4PM Nicole Pietrasiak New Mexico State University, USA tba - #taxonomy #biocrust
August, 12th, 9AM Satoru Watanabe Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan tba
August, 26th, 4PM Paul D'Agostino University of Dresden, Germany tba
September, 9th, 4PM Alistair McCormick University of Edinburgh, UK tba - #synbio
September, 23th, 4PM Luis López-Maury University of Sevilla, Spain tba - #copper #redox_regulation
October, 14th, 4PM Jeff Johansen John Carroll University, USA tba - #nomenclature #species_concept
October, 28th, 4PM Karl Forchhammer Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen, Germany The Autotrophy-Heterotrophy Switch in Cyanobacteria: Coherent Decision-Making at Multiple Regulatory Layers
November, 11th, 4PM Petr Dvorak Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic tba - #phylogeny #taxonomy #evolution
November, 25th, 4PM Nina Kamennaya Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel Accumulation of phosphate in periplasm of marine cyanobacteria
December, 9th, 4PM Ralf Steuer Humboldt University Berlin, Germany tba - #modelling #metabolism
December, 23th, 4PM tba tba tba

Upcoming Confirmed Speaker (not yet scheduled) 

  • Robert Tchitnga (Université de Dschang, Cameroon & University of Ulm, Germany)
  • Tal Dagan (University of Kiel, Germany)
  • María Fillat (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
  • Filipe Branco dos Santos (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Dennis Nürnberg (Freie University Berlin, Germany)

Previous Speaker

  • Felice Mastroleo (SCK CEN, Belgium)
  • Jörn Petersen (Leibniz Institute DSMZ, Germany)
  • Kathrin Rousk (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) - YouTube Video
  • Sonia Chamizo (University of Almeria, Spain) - YouTube Video
  • Florian Rudroff (Technical University Vienna, Austria) - YouTube Video
  • Nathan Chrismas (Marine Biological Association, UK) - YouTube Video
  • Kirstin Gutekunst (University of Kassel, Germany) - YouTube Video
  • Marc Nowaczyk (Ruhr University Bochum, Germany) - YouTube Video
  • Moritz Koch (University of British Columbia, Canada) - YouTube Video
  • Michelle Gehringer (Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany) - YouTube Video
  • Robert Kourist (Technical University Graz, Austria) - YouTube Video
  • Dmitry Shvarev (University of Osnabrück, Germany) - YouTube Video
  • David Russo (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany) - YouTube Video (coming soon)

Keynote Speaker at Cyano2020 Summer School

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