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Colloquium Natural and Life Sciences - Wolfgang R. Hess

Cyanobacteria, their impact on the biosphere and why there is bio-tech interest

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang R. Hess
Genetics and Experimental Bioinformatics
University of Freiburg

Cyanobacteria, their impact on the biosphere and why there is bio-tech interest
When Jun 05, 2018
from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
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Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97353
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More than 3 billion years old cyanobacterial microfossils represent the earliest traceable forms of life on our planet. As the only bacteria performing oxygenic photosynthesis, Cyanobacteria (sometimes wrongly called “blue-green algae”) are important primary producers. They populate every habitat on Earth as long as there is light. Cyanobacteria thrive in marine and fresh-water ecosystems, soil environments, they form biofilms on solid surfaces or biological soil crusts in arid regions of the world. Accordingly diversified life-styles exist, including unicellular and multicellular forms, free-living as well as symbiontic species. Using tools addressing the genomic underpinnings of these different lifestyles substantial insight has been obtained in the evolution of photosynthesis, multicellularity and many other fundamental questions in biology. Further surprising findings have been related to their biosynthetic capabilities. Cyanobacteria produce alkanes, alcohols and many other compounds which are of biotechnological interest.