Analysis of Biological Pigments, Photosynthesis and Cyanobacteria

Centre Algatech – CyanoGroup

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CyanoGroup is an assembly of scientists, students and technicians from two laboratories at the Algatech Centre in Třeboň, conducting focused research on various aspects of cell biology, physiology and ecology of cyanobacteria. The key topics covered are the biogenesis of photosynthetic apparatus, metabolism of photosynthetic pigments and structure and toxicity of cyanobacterial secondary metabolites. The team has long-term experience with photosynthetic organisms, and uses cutting-edge multidisciplinary techniques, optimized for studies with cyanobacteria.

Selected Publications:

  • Staleva, H., Komenda, J., Shukla, MK, Šlouf, V., Kaňa, R., Polívka, T., Sobotka, R. (2015) Mechanism of photoprotection in the cyanobacterial ancestor of plant antenna proteins. Nature Chemical Biology 11, 287-291, doi:10.1038/nchembio.1755
  • Chidgey, J.W., Linhartová, M., Komenda, J., Jackson, P.J., Dickman, M.J., Canniffe, D.P., Koník, P., Pilný, J., Hunter, C.N., Sobotka, R. (2014) A cyanobacterial chlorophyll synthase-HliD complex associates with the Ycf39 protein and the YidC/Alb3 insertase. Plant Cell 26:1267-79
  • Knoppová, J., Sobotka, R., Tichý, M., Yu, J., Halada, P., Nixon, P.J., Komenda, J. (2014) Discovery of a Chlorophyll Binding Protein Complex Involved in the Early Steps of Photosystem II Assembly in Synechocystis. Plant Cell 26, 1200-1212
  • Mareš, J. Hájek, P. Urajová, J. Kopecký, Hrouzek, P. (2014) A Hybrid Non-Ribosomal Peptide/Polyketide Synthetase Containing Fatty-Acyl Ligase (FAAL) Synthesizes the beta-Amino Fatty Acid Lipopeptides Puwainaphycins in the Cyanobacterium Cylindrospermum alatosporum. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111904

Protein Science Instruments/Methods

  • Analysis of protein complexes including membrane complexes by 2D electrophoresis – Clear-Native/SDS or Blue-Native/SDS systems, 2D western blots Apply
  • Purification Systems – HPLC and FPLC system for purification of proteins by ion-exchange chromatography and/or by gel-filtration Apply
  • Identification of proteins by mass-spectrometry – from solution or from gel bands/spots Apply – cannot offer at the moment

Analysis of biological pigments

  • Analysis of pigments by HPLC – separation and quantification of chlorophylls and other tetrapyrroles (hemes, bilins), carotenoids, bacterial pigments; detection by DAD and fluorescence detectors
  • Purification of pigments by preparative HPLC – mg quantities, characterization by high-resolution mass-spectrometry
  • Quantification of intermediates in tetrapyrrole (chlorophyll) biosynthesis – HPLC separation and quantification of all intermediates from coproporphyrin(ogen) to chlorophyllide, Apply

Omics and structural methods/ instruments

  • Metabolomics – analysis of complex natural extracts of primary and secondary metabolites using HPLC-HRMS and GC-HRMS techniques
  • Characterization of low molecular metabolites by HRMS – determination of exact mass, elemental composition and fragmentation pattern of low-molecular metabolites.
  • Purification of low-molecular metabolites – mg-g quantities using preparative HPLC and counter current chromatography (CCC) in high purity.


  • Phenotyping of cyanobacterial strains/mutants – grown under controlled regimes: various light intensities, CO2/O2 levels, nutrients etc. Strains can be characterized by various approaches including modulated chlorophyll fluorescence, pigment analysis, proteomics and metabolomics techniques – cannot offer proteomics


  • Bioinformatics Software
  • Bioinformatics Databases
  • Protein Science Instruments/methods
  • Biophysical Instruments/methods
  • Molecular Biology Instruments/methods
  • Cell Biology Instruments/methods (Omics instruments/methods)
  • Photosynthesis/cyanobacteria
  • Analysis of biological pigments