V. Domain of Adaptive and Innovative Techniques


"Our goal is to develop innovative biotechnological solutions using microalgae as effective cell factories that could be naturally incorporated into the daily activities of modern society and contribute to the sustainable development and prosperity of humankind without endangering the Earth’s resources."

Domain of Adaptive and Innovative Techniques focuses on developing methods and technologies for cultivating and researching photosynthetic microorganisms. As part of our research in this section, we are engaged in a detailed characterization of the investigated biological systems under a wide range of conditions—including natural conditions, predictive scenarios and conditions simulating industrial environments. The domain’s activities are focused partly on acquiring deeper scientific understanding and partly on transforming basic research findings into practical applications.

During recent years, one aspect of the domain’s work has been to create infrastructure that would support research into and utilize the potential of photosynthetic microorganisms (especially algae and cyanobacteria) in biotechnological applications. Besides the abilities of these microorganisms to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and industrial emissions, their biological activity may offer the basis for the production of next-generation biofuels and valuable biological substances such as carotenoids, unsaturated fatty acids and various proteins.


  • Biorefining as circulation technology; programme National Centres of Competence; the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic
  • Strategic Partnership for Environmental Technologies and Energy Production; project OP VVV "SPETEP"; EU - Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
  • Epigenetic approaches in hepatocellular carcinoma; Czech Health Research Council
  • Analysis of reaction networks with limiting conditions as a tool for the experimental validation of biochemical and photobiological reactor models; Czech Science Foundation
  • Providing Expert Know-How and Services in Systems Biology; project OP VaVaI “C4Sys - Center for Systems Biology”; Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
  • Innovations for mitigating the impacts of global climate change; project OP VaVpI “CzechGlobe 2020 – Development of a Centre for Studying the Impacts of Global Climate Change”; Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports

Dr. Jan Červený

Scientific secretary
Petra Literáková

Drásov 470, 66424 Drásov

It includes:
Department of Adaptive Biotechnologies
Experimental High-Performance Photobioreactor


Department of Adaptive Biotechnologies

Červený Jan, Dr. - head

Scientists :
Búzová Diana, Dr., Ph.D.
Roitsch Thomas, Prof., Dr.
Zavřel Tomáš, Dr.

Ph.D. students :
Fedorko Jan, Mgr.
Literáková Petra, Mgr.
Segečová Anna, Mgr.
Troják Matej, Mgr.
Zlámal Tomáš, Mgr.

Others :
Jedličková Iveta
Svobodová Kateřina, Ing., Ph.D.



"Our goal is to develop innovative biotechnological solutions using microalgae as effective cell factories that could be naturally incorporated into the daily activities of modern society and contribute to the sustainable development and prosperity of humankind without endangering the Earth’s resources."

At the Department of Adaptive Biotechnologies we are engaged in applying advanced experimental methods and systems biology approaches to research into photosynthetic microorganisms and their interactions with the environment. The aim of the department’s activities is to identify microorganisms that have metabolic pathways leading to the production or even secretion of energy-rich, valuable biocompounds and substances that are optimally genetically transformable. This requires appropriate selection and management of cultivation technology that allows long-term sustainable cultivation. We are developing platforms and methods for characterization and optimization of photosynthetic microorganisms in simulated (aquatic) environment of photobioreactors that allow us to explore  selected microorganisms with respect to their potential for use in biotechnologies. We focus particularly on the investigation of their primary production and carbon sequestration capacity, the investigation of their stress and adaptation mechanisms and other physiological and biochemical properties. An essential part of the platform is fluorescence activated cell sorting that extends the platform’s capacity towards genetic evolution (or breeding) of various microorganisms. Methods and protocols for fluorescence staining specific to light sensitive photosynthetic microorganisms are designed with respect to staining limitations (extracellular polysaccharide formation, membrane/cell wall permeability, etc.). The methods and protocols enable routine analyses such as quantification of cell morphological properties, quantification of physiological parameters like cell viability and DNA topology and identification of lipid droplet formation. All data obtained using these methods contain single cell level information from a statistically significant sample of thousands cells per sample.

In order to expand our understanding of dynamic behavior of complex biological systems (represented in this case by photosynthetic microorganisms), we are developing a web-based platform for modeling of photosynthetic processes (www.e-photosynthesis.org and www.e-cyanobacterium.org ) in collaboration with the Systems Biology Laboratory, Masaryk University in Brno, led by Dr. David Šafránek. The platform provides easy and intuitive navigation through the structure of photosynthetic systems, storage and presentation of wet-lab experiments and unified representation of related biological networks. The platform serves both as an educational and research-oriented tool.

As a part of the above mentioned research activities we have built up a collection of characterized photosynthetic microorganisms for biotechnological applications, suitable both for basic and applied research.

The department’s main activities are:

  • We provide special services within activities of the Center for Systems Biology (C4Sys) project
  • Building up and administering a collection of biotechnologically promising microorganisms
  • Developing methods for the characterization and effective optimization of production and adaptive properties
  • Developing and designing technological solutions for viable microalgal biotechnologies
  • Developing a reference experimental platform for validation experiments
  • Developing a computational platform for predictive experiments (in silico)
  • High-throughput fluorescence microscopic single cell level analyses of photosynthetic cultures
  • Developing methods for the detailed physiological characterization of microorganisms in a series of laboratory bioreactors with a precisely controlled environment
  • Optimizing productive conditions in relation to the limitations of a real-life industrial environment
  • Sorting mixed populations and selecting subpopulations with "on demand" properties
  • Applying controlled selective (evolutionary) pressure on different types of microalgae, aimed at increasing their adaptivity to unnatural environments and improving their production capacity

Developed applications and tools:

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Highlited publications:

  • Advancement of the cultivation and upscaling of photoautotrophic suspension cultures using Chenopodium rubrum as a case study
    Segečová A, Červený J, Roitsch T
    2018. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult accepted
  • Effect of carbon limitation on photosynthetic electron transport in Nannochloropsis oculata
    Zavřel T, Szabó M, Tamburic B, Evenhuis C, Kuzhiumparambil U, Literáková P, Červený J, Ralph PJ
    2018. J Photochem Photobiol B 181: 31–43
  • Phenotypic characterization of Synechocystis sp . PCC 6803 substrains reveals differences in sensitivity to abiotic stress
    Zavřel T, Očenášová P, Červený J
    2017. PLoS One 12(12): 1-21
  • E-Cyanobacterium.org: A Web-Based Platform for Systems Biology of Cyanobacteria
    Troják M, Šafránek D, Hrabec J, Šalagovič J, Romanovská F, Červený J
    2016. In: Computational Methods in Systems Biology, Springer, pp 316–322
  • A quantitative evaluation of ethylene production in the recombinant cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 harboring the ethylene-forming enzyme by membrane inlet mass spectrometry
    Zavřel T, Knoop H, Steuer R, Jones PR, Červený J, Trtílek M
    2016. Bioresour Technol 202: 142–151
  • Mechanisms of high temperature resistance of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803: an impact of histidine kinase 34
    Červený J, Sinetova MA, Zavřel T, Los DA
    2015. Life 5(1): 676–699
  • Characterization of a model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 autotrophic growth in a flat-panel photobioreactor
    Zavřel T, Sinetová MA, Búzová D, Literáková P, Červený J
    2015. Eng Life Sci 15: 122 – 132
  • Biochemical Space: A Framework for Systemic Annotation of Biological Models
    Klement M, Děd T, Šafránek D, Červený J, Müller S, Steuer R
    2014. Electron Notes Theor Comput Sci 306: 31–44
  • Ultradian metabolic rhythm in the diazotrophic cyanobacterium Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142
    Červený J, Sinetova MA, Valledor L, Sherman LA, Nedbal L
    2013. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110: 13210–13215

Experimental High-Performance Photobioreactor

Sukačová Kateřina, RNDr., Ph.D. - head

Scientists :
Vícha Daniel, Ing.

Others :
Muselíková Kateřina, Bc.


To address challenges of production and aquatic systems monitoring on large scale/industrial level we focus on characterization and optimization of microalgae cultivations in experimental large scale photobioreactor. The experimental large scale photobioreactor consists of two inoculation units (flat panel photobioreactor-volume 25L and 120 L) and three types/different designs of large scale units (tubular, spiral and 3D photobioreactors). Photobioreactors are operated together with fully automatic media mixing and harvesting units.

Additional research activity linked to aquatic systems research is evaluation of microalgae potential for use in wastewater treatment applications. Selected algal species with predicted potential of nutrient remediation in wastewater treatment processes were isolated from different natural locations. Several microalgal and cyanobacterial species were immobilized to form algal biofilm. The algal biofilm is cultivated on different artificial and natural substrates to choose and design optimal surface for algal biofilm cultivation

For these purposes, the following are being designed, developed and tested in operation:

a) High-performance photobioreactor for the simulation and study of the industrial potential of selected organisms, and

b) Supporting system for work with autotrophic microorganisms.