Developmental Biology in Cyanobacteria

Cyanobacteria played a key role in the evolution of life in our planet, and they are also essential for the current operation of the biosphere. Additionally, these organisms are model systems in the study of some important biological processes such as oxygenic photosynthesis and the fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and dinitrogen. Some cyanobacteria are simple multicellular organisms that make filaments of cells or trichomes in which some cells carry out specialized functions. We are interested in the biology of cyanobacterial heterocyst-containing filaments, in which cells devoted to nitrogen fixation (the heterocysts) provide the photosynthetic vegetative cells of the filament with fixed nitrogen. How a vegetative cell differentiates into a heterocyst, a process involving a specific program of gene expression, and how intercellular communication takes place in the filament are key questions that we are addressing in our research.

1) Transcriptional regulation;

2) NtcA transcription factor;

3) Bacterial cell differentiation;

4) Membrane transport;

5) Intercellular communication

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Junta de Andalucía

Selected Publications
Publications in journals
Compartmentalized cyanophycin metabolism in the diazotrophic filaments of a heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium
Burnat, M., Herrero, A., Flores, E.
2014
3823-3828
PNAS
111(10)
Publications in journals
Compartmentalized function through cell differentiation in filamentous cyanobacteria
E. Flores, A. Herrero
2010
39-50
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.
8