Our technology platform allows for an efficient isolation of unialgal cultures, even from highly complex cyanobacterial blooms. Isolated strains are being classified according to their taxonomy. At this stage about one third is pre-selected for further analyses. Our proprietary protocols for strain preservation enable a reliable preservation of almost all known cyanobacterial species.


Pre-selected strains enter a screening procedure, employing proprietary PCR methods for the detection of biosynthetic genes for natural products as well as HPLC/MS analyses of cell and media extracts after cultivation under certain conditions. Again about one in three strains entering this phase is selected for upscale cultivation to yield biomass for bioactivity assays.


Positively screened strains are scaled up to culture volumes of up to 1000 liters. For selected strains, cultivation conditions are optimized with respect to natural product formation and yield. When required the biosynthetic genes are induced by specific growth conditions to further enhance production of known target compounds.

Purification / Fractionation

Following harvest and freeze-drying of up-scaled production strains the target compounds are purified in a multi-step process. An elaborated extraction and fractionation procedure in combination with our automated CPC, LC/MS and liquid handling technology yields libraries of pure substances or pre-purified extract fractions suitable for microplate based automated assays.

Analysis / Dereplication

All isolated compounds or fractions are analyzed employing state-of-the-art equipment, including HPLC coupled with high-resolution multi-stage mass spectrometric detection of the compounds. The identification of known cyanobacterial natural products is facilitated using commercially available databases as well as Cyano Biotechs proprietary in-house database of cyanobacterial natural products. Structures can be elucidated using a combination of tandem-HRMS and one- and two-dimensional NMR experiments.

Bioactivity Assays

Our MTP libraries of pure compounds as well as fractions are screened in various assays for bioactivity with a focus on antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activity. However, the company is also testing their libraries for antioxidative activity, kinase and phosphatase inhibition as well as for activity against parasites causing malaria, sleeping sickness or leishmaniasis.

Molecular biology / Strain development

Cyanobacterial strains are optimized using an array of proprietary techniques. Click here for more details.

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