LS106: Plant-cyanobacteria Symbiosis



We study the mutualistic relationships between cyanobacteria and crop plants, with the aim of obtaining new biofertilizers for crop production. Some cyanobacteria, able to fix atmospheric nitrogen (N2), use photosynthesis as the primary source of energy to assimilate this element, and are known for their enormous contribution to nitrogen and carbon cycles in the biosphere. Some cyanobacteria genera live in symbiosis with plants, providing nitrogen to the host. The use of biofertilizers containing these symbiotic cyanobacteria constitutes a sustainable alternative to nitrogen fertilizers, reducing the environmental risk associated to our current agronomic techniques.

Our research is supported by:



Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis (IBVF)
CicCartuja, Avda. Américo Vespucio, 49
41092, Seville, Spain



Group leader:

Vicente Mariscal (personal website) (ORCID)



Foto de Fernando

Fernando P. Molina (Associate Prof. at Univ. Seville) (ORCID)
Foto de Consolación

Consolación Álvarez (ComFuturo Postdoc) (ORCID)

Foto de Alejandro


Alejandro Torrado (Postdoc María Zambrano) (ORCID)


Foto de Macarena

Macarena Iniesta (PIF PhD student)


Lucía Jiménez Ríos (Graduate contract)


Foto de Laura

Laura Frías (lab technician)




2019-2020: Extractos de cianobacterias como agentes potenciadores del crecimiento en cultivos de algodón y tomate (Grant AT-5236). Junta de Andalucía, Spain. Principal Investigator. (PI): Dr. Vicente Mariscal Romero

2019-2021: Diseño de nuevos biofertilizantes para cultivos del bajo Guadalquivir (BFE14300). Financed by Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA). Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Vicente Mariscal and Dr. Fernando P. Molina

2018-2022: Diseño de nuevos biofertilizantes de uso agrícola que potencien la interacción planta-cianobacteria (CVC4632). Fundación General CSIC- Programa ComFuturo. Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Consolación Álvarez Núñez




  • Álvarez C, Jiménez-Ríos L, Iniesta-Pallarés M, Jurado-López A, Molina-Heredia FP, Ng CKY, Mariscal V. (2023). Symbiosis between cyanobacteria and plants: from molecular studies to agronomic applications. Journal of Experimental Botany, erad261.


  • Redondo-Gómez S, Mesa-Martín J, Pérez-Romero JA, Mariscal V, Molina-Heredia FP, Álvarez, C, Pajuelo E, Rodríguez-Llorente ID, Mateos-Naranjo E. (2023). Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Improve Rice Response to Climate Change Conditions. Plants, 12, 2532.


  • Iniesta-Pallarés M, Brenes-Álvarez M, Lasa AV, Fernández-López M, Álvarez C, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal V. (2023). Changes in the rhizosphere and bulk soil bacterial communities in the Doñana wetlands at different growth stages. Applied Soil Ecology, 190, 105013.



  • Torrado A, Connabeer HM, Röttig A, Pratt N, Baylay AJ, Terry MJ, Moore CM, Bibby TS. (2022). Directing cyanobacterial photosynthesis in a cytochrome c oxidase mutant using a heterologous electron sink. Plant Physiology, 189, 2554-2566.


  • Álvarez C, Brenes-Álvarez M, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal V. (2022). Quantitative Proteomics at Early Stages of the Symbiotic Interaction Between Oryza sativa and Nostoc punctiforme Reveals Novel Proteins Involved in the Symbiotic Crosstalk. Plant and Cell Physiology, pcac043.


  • Belton S, Lamari N, Jermiin LS, Mariscal V, Flores E, McCab PF, Ng CKY. (2022). Genetic and lipidomic analyses suggest that Nostoc punctiforme, a plant-symbiotic cyanobacterium, does not produce sphingolipids. Access Microbiology, 4:000306.



  • Iniesta-Pallarés M, Álvarez C, Gordillo-Cantón FM, Ramírez-Moncayo C, Alves-Martínez P, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal, V. (2021). Sustaining Rice Production through Biofertilization with N2-Fixing Cyanobacteria. Appl. Sci. 11, 4628.


  • Rodríguez-Gil T, Torrado A, Iniesta-Pallarés M, Álvarez C, Mariscal V, Molina-Heredia FP. (2021). Cytochrome cm is probably a membrane protein similar to the c subunit of the bacterial nitric oxide reductase. Appl. Sci. 11, 9396.


  • Redondo-Gómez S, Mesa-Martín J, Pérez-Romero JA, López-Jurado J, García-López JV, Mariscal V, Molina-Heredia FP, Pajuelo E, Rodriguez-Llorente ID, Flowers TJ, Mateos-Naranjo E. (2021). Consortia of Plant-Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria Isolated from Halophytes Improve Response of Eight Crops to Soil Salinization and Climate Change Conditions. Agronomy. 11: 1609.



  • Álvarez C, Navarro JA, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal V (2020). Endophytic colonization of rice (Oryza sativa L.) by the symbiotic strain Nostoc punctiforme PCC 73102. Mol. Plant Microbe Interact.  33: 1040-1045.



  • Álvarez C, Ramírez-Moncayo C, Alves-Martínez P, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal V. (2019). Diversity of N2-fixing cyanobacteria from Andalusian paddy fields and analysis of their potential as bioinoculants. Biosaia, vol. 8. 



  • Torrado A, Ramírez-Moncayo C, Navarro JA, Mariscal V, Molina-Heredia FP. (2019). Cytochrome c6 is the main respiratory and photosynthetic soluble electron donor in heterocysts of the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. BBA Bioenergetics, 1860 (1): 60-68.


Yo Investigo (by CSIC)



Espacio Protegido (by Canalsur TV)

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