Title: Cyanobacterial extracellular vesicles: from their role in metal resistance to applications in Blue biotechnology


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are spherical structures, ranging between 20-400 nm in diameter, released by virtually all cells into their surrounding environment. Vesicles are delimited by a lipid bilayer and cannot replicate themselves. In this seminar, I will show that vesiculation is a common bacterial response mechanism to high-copper concentrations, including in cyanobacteria. Our results suggest that release of EVs represent a novel copper-secretion mechanism, shedding light into alternative mechanisms of bacterial metal resistance. In a more biotechnological approach, we demonstrated that cyanobacterial EVs can be used as nanocarriers of heterologous proteins for applications in fish. Altogether, this highlights the importance of studying EVs in cyanobacteria for better understanding their cell biology and physiology, but also for exploring novel biotechnological applications.


Name: Paulo Oliveira


POliveira has dedicated his scientific career to the study of cyanobacteria. In the last few years, his research has focused on cyanobacterial secretions mechanisms, particularly in the form of extracellular vesicles, developing methods for their isolation and characterization, identifying players involved in vesicle biogenesis, and unveiling biological roles. More recently, he contributed to demonstrate that cyanobacterial vesicles represent an innovative, biocompatible protein carrier system for fish, expanding the molecular toolbox available for the transport of biologically active proteins in aquaculture.


The seminar will take place at CIIMAR headquarters (Boca da Baleia Auditorium).


External members of CIIMAR should send an email to, requesting authorization to enter the Leixões Terminal area


If you are a CIIMAR member you can also access last seminars recordings through the LINK.