photosynthetic microbes

Junior Professorship Synthetic Biology of Photosynthetic Organisms

photosynthetic microbes
Graphic: JAZZ

Julie Zedler is on currently on parental leave and will return to work on June, 1st 2023. Emails are not forwarded and cannot be answered regularly. In urgent matters, please contact Anika Thürk for help.

Welcome to the website of the junior professorship of synthetic biology of photosynthetic organisms at the Matthias Schleiden Institute!

Our research focuses on developing and utilising synthetic biology principles to improve photosynthetic cell factories. Our interest is to advance photosynthetic host chassis as a sustainable alternative towards biotechnological applications. To achieve this, we are using metabolic and genetic engineering techniques as well as molecular biology and biochemical methods. We are mainly working with cyanobacteria and with the eukaryotic model microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Apart from their plethora of proposed applications, we are also interested in unravelling fundamental cell biological processes (such as protein trafficking). Additionally, we want to gain more insights into the processing of environmental signals in co-cultures and communities of these organisms.

On this website you can find news and information about research and teaching in the group.


Follow us on Twitter for more news: @SynBioJazz

News from and about the group


  • September, 28th 2022: Our PhD student Miriam Verucchi won the poster prize at the "Cyano2022 –7th Early Career Researcher Symposium on Cyanobacteria" in Leipzig.  What a great start for our CRC "ChemBioSys" Project and for her personally as a new PhD student!
  • September, 15th 2022: Our microdroplets manuscripts has now been published in Scientific Reports. DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-19773-6
  • July 2022: New preprint from our work in collaboration with the Physical Chemistry/ Microreaction Technology Group at TU Ilmenau: Droplet-based microfluidics as a media optimization tool for cyanobacteria
  • March 2022: Our PhD student Alexandra Schirmacher came second in the 3-Minute-Thesis Competition at the FSU 3 Minute Thesis Competition - congratulations!


  • December, 13th 2021: The preprint is now published in the Journal of Bacteriology. DOI: 10.1128/JB.00504-21
  • October, 9th 2021: A new preprint by David A. Russo et al. about "Development of a highly sensitive luciferase-based reporter system to study two-step protein secretion in cyanobacteria" is out.  DOI: 10.1101/2021.10.08.463751
  • September, 14th 2021:The Cebitec Young Researcher Award 2021 was awarded to Julie Zedler at the 10th International CeBiTec Research Conference.
  • September 2021: The group has received Seedfunding from the Excellene Cluster Balance of the Microverse and will eagerly get to work.
  • July 2021: We are joining the Collaborative Research Center ChemBioSys to further strengthen work in the CRC with cyanobacteria. Looking forward to some exciting collaborative research!
  • June, 26th 2021: Kick-start event iGEM Phototrophs Meetup, check out the break-out session about cyanobacterial transformation, recorded on Youtube  here
  • May 2021: the Young Algaeneers Symposium 2021 was a great success! Check out further details here


  • December, 18th 2020: An introduction to "Cyanobacteria for Biotechnology" I gave at the #Cyano2020 Summer School is now available on Youtube. Check it out here.
  • December, 2nd 2020: Our MSc Student Sayali Hanamghar received a scholarship from the federal state of Thuringia to continue her work with us as a PhD student – Congratulations!
  • October, 23rd 2020: Our review about natural competence in cyanobacteria was published (check out more details under Publications).
  • October, 9th 2020: A review article about protein translocation and secretion in cyanobacteria is now online (check out more details under Publications).
  • Mai, 12th 2020: Interview about the professorship and our interest: "Leben von Luft und Licht" (this is in German only) Article can be found here. de

Where can you find us?

Synthetic Biology of Photosynthetic Organisms
Room 309 + 310 (Office)
Dornburgerstraße 159
07743 Jena
Postal address:
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Matthias Schleiden Institute
Synthetic Biology of Photosynthetic Organisms

Dornburgerstr. 159
07743 Jena