Cyanobacterial diversity held in microbial biological resource centers as a biotechnological asset: the case study of the newly established LEGE culture collection

Vitor Ramos1,2 & João Morais1 & Raquel Castelo-Branco1 & Ângela Pinheiro1 & Joana Martins1 & Ana Regueiras1,2 & Ana L. Pereira1 & Viviana R. Lopes1,3 & Bárbara Frazão1,4 & Dina Gomes1,5 & Cristiana Moreira1 & Maria Sofia Costa1 & Sébastien Brûle6 & Silvia Faustino7 & Rosário Martins1,8 & Martin Saker1,9 & Joana Osswald1 & Pedro N. Leão1 & Vitor M. Vasconcelos1,2

30 January 2018

Cyanobacteria are a well-known source of bioproducts which renders culturable strains a valuable resource for biotechnology purposes.We describe here the establishment of a cyanobacterial culture collection (CC) and present the first version of the strain catalog and its online database ( The LEGE CC holds 386 strains, mainly collected in coastal (48%), estuarine (11%), and fresh (34%) water bodies, for the most part from Portugal (84%). By following the most recent taxonomic classification, LEGE CC strains were classified into at least 46 genera from six orders (41% belong to the Synechococcales), several of them are unique among the phylogenetic diversity of the cyanobacteria. For all strains, primary data were obtained and secondary data were surveyed and reviewed, which can be reached through the strain sheets either in the catalog or in the online
database. An overview on the notable biodiversity of LEGE CC strains is showcased, including a searchable phylogenetic tree and images for all strains.With this work, 80% of the LEGE CC strains have now their 16S rRNA gene sequences deposited in GenBank. Also, based in primary data, it is demonstrated that several LEGE CC strains are a promising source of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Through a review of previously published data, it is exposed that LEGE CC strains have the potential or actual capacity to produce a variety of biotechnologically interesting compounds, including common cyanotoxins or unprecedented bioactive molecules. Phylogenetic diversity of LEGE CC strains does not entirely reflect chemodiversity. Further bioprospecting should, therefore, account for strain specificity of the valuable cyanobacterial holdings of LEGE CC.

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