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Bulletin Board
(26 December 2001)

Announcements: Miscellany of cyanobacteriological interest (last post 26 December 2001)
                          (see more, particularly regarding books, at CyanoSite)
Positions Available: Job ads (last post 23 October 2001)
Transitions: The comings and goings of ourselves (last post 26 December 2001)


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Global Anti-GlnA, Anti-Rubisco, Anti-PsbA (D1) Antibodies Available
(posted 26 December 2001)

Polyclonal antibodies have been developed that recognize peptide targets found in all known GlnA proteins (glutamine synthetase), RbcL Type I (ribulose bis-phosphate carboxylase; rubisco), and PsbA/D1 (Photosystem II core protein). The antibodies are commercially available from AgriSera AB. Using antibodies with broad taxonomic ranges may facilitate tracking changes in photosynthesis and metabolism in a wide range of samples, including uncharacterized cyanobacteria and mixed phytoplankton samples. More global antibodies are under development including Anti-NirB (nitrite reductase) and Anti-NifH (nitrogenase).
Contact: Joanna Porankiewicz-Asplund, AgriSera AB, Box 57, SE-911 21 Vännäs, Sweden. Phone: +46-(0)-935-33033; Fax:+46-(0)-935-33044; Email: Joanna@agrisera.se

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Monograph Describes Practical Application of Cyanobacteria
(posted 26 December 2001)

A new book, Algal Biotechnology, despite its name, devotes much of its 398 pages to cyanobacteria and their uses. The book (ISBN 8171322867) was written by PC Trevedi and published in 2001 by Pointer Publishers, Jaipur. It has several chapters on agricultural exploitation of cyanobacteria as well as problems in realizing their potential as food and feed. The book may be obtained from Books & Periodicals Agency
for US$56.25.
Contact: Books & Periodicals Agency- B-1, Inder Puri, New Delhi-12, INDIA. Fax: (U.S. number)1-719-623-7004 

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Aquatic Microbial Ecology Meeting
(posted 22 October 2001)

The 8th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology will be held 25 Oct to 30 Oct, 2002, in Taormina (Messina), Italy. The web site for the symposium (http://www.same-8.it/) already has posted a registration form. The scientific program ranges from classical ecology (food-chains, biogeochemical cycles, structure and role of the microbial communities in the aquatic systems) to molecular topics (mechanisms of adaptation to environmental changes, quorum sensing). There is also a session dedicated to the possible application of aquatic microorganisms (use of microorganisms for bioremediation, search for bioactive products).

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Applied Ecology/Int'l Society for Applied Phycology Meeting
(posted 22 October 2001)

The 9th International Conference on Applied Algology  and the 1st International Society for Applied Phycology Congress will be held jointly, 27 May to 31 May, 2002, in Aguadulce, Almería, Spain. Some topics that may be addressed are mass cultivation, stress physiology, bioactive molecules, and the use of algae for bioremediation. Those interested in attending may find registration information in the first announcement and further information on the Congress' web site (http://www.ual.es/Congresos/ISAP02/). The scientific secretariat, represented by E. Moline Grimes (Depto. Ingeniería Química, Universidad de Almería, 04001 Almería, SPAIN ) can be contacted by telephone (34 950 015032), fax (34 950 015484) or e-mail (isap02@ual.es).

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Cyanobacterial/Algal Phylogeny and Evolution Reviewed
(posted 30 April 2001)

Three reviews on the phylogeny of cyanobacteria and algae have recently appeared in the annual series Progress in Botany (published by Springer-Verlag, Berlin). Hans Preisig reviewed the systematics and evolution of cyanobacteria [Preisig HR (2000) Progress in Botany 61: 285-299] and earlier covered similar ground with algae [Preisig HR (1999) Progress in Botany 60: 369-412]. These reports focus on the years 1990-1998, during which hundreds or thousands of publications on the systematics and evolution of cyanobacteria or algae, respectively. Special reference is given to the phylogenetic relationships within the different groups of algae and cyanobacteria and the taxonomic implications of the new results. A third review [Melkonian M (2001) Progress in Botany 62:340-382] considers genomic aspects and the phylogeny of organelles such as plastids, mitochondria, and nucleomorphs in algae.

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A Key for the Identification of Cyanobacteria of the British Isles

Eutrophication of bodies of water is as much a problem in the British Isles as it is in many other places. Cyanobacterial blooms and scums are not only a symptom of eutrophication, but many strains produce potent toxins that can harm fish, livestock, pets, and humans. The need to identify cyanobacteria growing in bodies of water and assess the risk they entail has inspired the British Environment Agency in collaboration with Brian Whitton (University of Durham) to develop a taxonomic key that may enable those confronting blooms to see what their up against.

The key aids in the identification of any of 320 species in 65 genera of freshwater, terrestrial and marine blue-green algae found in the British Isles. It contains many illustrations and color images together with species descriptions. The CD-ROM format offers an interactive interface, where the user is asked questions and from the answers given descriptions and images of candidate species.

Contacts for CD-ROM availability and technical enquiries:
Brian Whitton, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK, Tel: 0191 3742427, Fax: 0191 3742417, E-mail: b.a.whitton@durham.ac.uk

Contacts for other enquiries:
Jan Krokowski, Environment Agency, National Centre for Ecotoxicology and Hazardous Substances, Evenlode House, Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8BD, UK, Tel: 01491 828548, Fax: 01491 828427, E-mail: jan.krokowski@environment-agency.gov.uk

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 Position offered: Post Doc (posted 23 October 2001)
 Contact: Peter Wolk, MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824-1312, U.S.A. E-mail: wolk@pilot.msu.edu; Tel: 1-517-353-2049; Fax: 1-517-353-9168.
 Research: study the developmental genetics of Anabaena (see http://www.prl.msu.edu/wolk.html)
Requirements: Strong molecular genetic and microbiological background essential; genomic background desirable.
 Send: Please e-mail letter of application with curriculum vitae and have three (e-)letters of reference sent.

 Position offered: Post Doc (posted 12 October 2001)
 Contact: Peter Nixon, Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London SW7 2AY, UK. E-mail: p.nixon@ic.ac.uk. Tel: 44-207-594-5269; Fax: 44-207-594-5207 or 44-207-225-0960.
 Research: Study the role of the FtsH family of proteases in the protection of cyanobacteria and plants from the damaging effects of light (so-called Photoinhibition). This project will exploit our recent discovery of a role for an FtsH protease in the early stages of repair of damaged photosystem two complexes in vivo. A combination of molecular biology and biochemical techniques will be used to investigate this protease in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803.
Requirements: Some expertise in molecular biology and/or biochemistry and a high degree of motivation. Training will be offered where necessary in molecular biology techniques and the purification and characterisation of membrane-bound protein complexes.
 Salary: Salary on the RA1A scale: 21,620 - 28,625 pounds per annum, including London Allowance.
 Send: CV, including relevant experience and the addresses of two referees, either posted or emailed.

 Positions offered: Professors:  (1) Assistant Professor, (2) Any rank (posted 6 September 2001):
 Contact: Ecology/Evolution Search Committee, Department of Biology, University of
Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1210 (See http://evolution.uoregon.edu/)
 Research: Of particular interest are individuals studying fundamental problems related to the ecology and evolution of molecular and developmental processes, population-level processes, the causes and consequences of global change, phylogenetic theory and genomics, or microbial systems, but outstanding applicants in other areas of ecology and evolution will also be considered..
 Send: Curriculum vitae, statements of research interest and teaching philosophy, and three letters of recommendation. Applications must be received by November 1, 2001 to ensure full consideration.

 Position offered: Post Doc (posted 6 September 2001)
 Contact: Cheng-Zai Zhang, Universite de la Mediterranee (Aix-Marseille II), Laboratoire de Chimie Bacterienne, UPR 9043-C.N.R.S., 31 chemin Joseph Aiguier, 13402 Marseille cedex 20, FRANCE, E-MAIL: czhang@ibsm.cnrs-mrs.fr (alternate: cczhang@esbs.u-strasbg.fr); Tel: 33-4-91164096; Fax: 33-4-91718914
 Research: Investigating the molecular mechanism underlying cell differentiation in the developmental cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. The study will
focus on the identification of signals required for cell differentiation and define their signalling pathways.
Requirements: Strong experience in either molecular genetics, or biochemistry, or cell biology, is required.
 Salary: About 12500 francs (1900 euros) per month plus social security package.
 Send: CV

 Positions offered: Post Doc (posted 6 September 2001)
 Contact: Bob Tabita, Director, Plant Biotechnology & Plant Molecular Biology/Biotechnology Program, Director, Plant-Microbe Genomics Facility, 
Department of Microbiology, The Ohio State University, 484 West 12th Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43210-1292 U.S.A.; E-MAIL: Tabita.1@osu.edu; Tel: 1-614-292-4297; Fax: 1-614-292-6337
 Research: Projects relative to carbon dioxide assimilation in diverse prokaryotes, including photosynthetic bacteria (nonsulfur purple and green sulfur bacteria), cyanobacteria and archaea. Specific projects relate to:
  • The control of CO2 fixation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides and R. capsulatus. [Dubbs et al (2000) J Biol Chem 275:19224-19230; Vichivanives et al (2000) J Mol Biol 300:1079-1099; Tichi & Tabita (2000) Arch Microbiol 174:322-333]
  • Interactive control of C, N, H, S, and aromatic hydrocarbon metabolism in Rhodopseudomonas palustris. [Joshi & Tabita (1996) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 93:14515-14520; Qian & Tabita (1998) J Bacteriol 180:4644-4649]
  • Control and enzymology of CO2 fixation in the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum. [Yoon et al (1999) J Biol Chem 274:29772-29778]
  • Role of RubisCO and RubisCO-like proteins in bacteria and archaea. [Hanson & Tabita (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci 98:4397-4402; Watson et al (1999) J Bacteriol 181:1569-1575]
Requirements: Strong molecular/biochemical background.
 Send: E-mail a current CV and the names, addresses, and E-mail addresses of three references. 

 Position offered: Post Doc (posted 13 August 2001)
 Contact: Wim Vermaas, Department of Plant Biology and Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis, Arizona State University, Box 871601, Tempe, AZ 85287-1601, USA; E-MAIL: wim@asu.edu; Tel: 1-480-965-3698; Fax: 1-480-965-6899
 Research: Structural and metabolic investigations (focusing on photosynthetic, respiratory, and related pathways) will be carried out at Arizona State University (Wim Vermaas and Robby Roberson), and proteome analysis will be done at the University of California - Los Angeles (Julian Whitelegge and Kym Faull). Scientists focusing on proteome analysis will be located at UCLA, and researchers in molecular physiology, molecular genetics, and structural aspects of the project will be stationed at ASU. 
Requirements: Training in biochemistry, proteomics, molecular metabolism/physiology, electron transfer analysis, and/or structural investigations (including immunolocalization) of photosynthetic and/or prokaryotic systems. Experience with cyanobacteria is preferred but not required. 
 Duration: Two years, extendable
 Send: (1) a statement with expertise and research interests, (2) a CV and publication list, and (3) names and addresses of at least 3 references.

 Positions offered: Post Doc, Grad Student, Lab Specialist
 Contact: Malcolm Potts, E-MAIL: geordie@vt.edu; TEL: 1-540-231-5745; FAX: 1-540-231-9070. Virginia Tech Center for Genomics, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, 205 Engel Hall, W. Campus Drive, Blacksburg VA 24061 USA
 Research: Metabolic engineering of long-term stability and stasis in mammalian cells and tissues. Involves differential display, microarray, proteomics, and physiological studies with cyanobacteria, Deinococcus, yeast and
mammalian cell lines. Additional areas of research include; chemical biology, functional genomics, and gene expression analysis as they pertain to gene products of extremophiles including cyanobacteria.
 Requirements: Research experience in molecular biology and
biochemistry, the ability to work independently, and writing skills in English. All qualified applicants will be considered but preference will be given to residents of the U.S. or persons whose visas readily allow travel between Europe and the U.S.
 Duration: Three-year period. Likely starting date May or June 2001.
 Send: Curriculum vitae and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references.


ADRIAN CLARKE moved in 2001 from University of Umeå to University of Gothenberg in south western Sweden. The chair position he accepted was part of the establishment of a new plant molecular biology department at the Botanical Institute.
  Botanical Institute, Göteborg University, Box 461, 405 30 Göteborg, SWEDEN. TEL:46-31-7732502; FAX:46-31-7732626; EMAIL: Adrian.Clarke@botinst.gu.se

FRANCOISE JOSET has retired from her position at University of Marseille, after a career of increasing our understanding of areas including carbon uptake and salt stress. She also managed to find time to write what has been a standard text in bacterial genetics. She plans to reinvent her life, rediscovering paths left unattended owing to the pressures of the moment. Cyanobacteria will still grow in Marseille, as her former lab is now inhabited by another cyanobacteriologist, Cheng-Cai Zhang. (26/xii/01)

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Boris V. Gromov

Boris Gromov died 28 August 2001 after a long career primarily at Leningrad State University/St. Petersburg State University. He had broad interests, contributing to the understanding of cyanobacterial ultrastructure, toxins and other bioactive products, cyanophages. His legacy includes the CALU collection of algae, which includes hundreds of cyanobacteria and the many cyanobacteriologists who developed under his tutelage.

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ALEX GLAZER was elected this past spring to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Alex has devoted much of his professional life to understanding the function of phycobilisomes. (11/ix/01)

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Germaine Stanier (Cohen-Bazire)

The death of Germaine Stanier on 9 May 2001 constitutes the loss of a major figure in our history. For details on her life, click here.

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MICHELLE WOOD has spent most of her career trying to understand the community structure of marine cyanobacteria. Now she turns her attention to the community of phycologists, assuming the post of President of the Phycology Society of America for the year 2001. She is currently serving as Vice-President/President-Elect. (7/ix/01)

JEFF ELHAI has moved from U. Richmond across town to Virginia Commonwealth University to work in the lab of Jerry Peters (not much more than 100 km from Washington, D.C., for those passing through). He'll continue to work on the regulation of heterocyst differentiation. (31/viii/01)
  Dept. of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1000 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23284 U.S.A. E-MAIL: ElhaiJ@VCU.Edu; TEL: 1-804-828-0794; FAX: 1-804-828-0503; WEB: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~elhaij

OLAF NEUSCHAEFER-RUBE, formerly at U. Konstanz, has moved to Oslo to work with Hans Utkilen on the regulation of microcystin biosynthesis.
  Folkehelsa, National Institute of Public Health, Dep. of environmental medicine, Geitmyrsveien 75, P.O.Boks 4404 Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo, Norge. E-MAIL: Olaf.Neuschaefer.Rube@folkehelsa.no; TEL: (+47) 22 04 23 70; FAX: (+47) 22 04 26 86

CONG-MING LU, of the Photosynthesis Research Center, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, will be joining Doug Campbell's group at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada, as a post-doctoral fellow starting in the fall of 2001.
  Department of Biology and Coastal Wetlands Institute, Mount Allison University, 63B York Street, Sackville, NB E4L 1G7, CANADA.

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Chris Bauer

Chris Bauer, who suffered from limb-girdling muscular dystrophy, died in Houston 21 May 2001. According to Henry Epstein, with whom Chris worked for several years on nematode myosin and dystrophin, he passed away in his sleep, peacefully. In Chicago, we are still processing data from the hundreds of experiments Chris did for his thesis. Chris was an eclectic and tenacious scientist, always challenging the world of nature. He was as brave as a man can be, refusing assistance until it became impossible to live without it. He even volunteered during the summers to work at a camp where the kids were in worse shape than he was. The world is a poorer place without him.

- Bob Haselkorn
Dept. of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago

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Jan Amesz

With grief and sadness we inform you that on Monday, January 29, 2001, Prof.Dr. Jan Amesz passed away unexpectedly.

For more than 40 years Jan has been working in the Department of Biophysics at the University of Leiden. Over those years he has contributed greatly to the development of the Department and its international stature. Strongly driven in his commitment to science, Jan also had a keen interest in and felt responsibility for the daily course of affairs in the Department. He was very supportive and inspirational to his students, and they will remember with gratitude the tireless efforts and energy which he put forth in the interpretation of experimental data and in transforming these into manuscripts and theses.

Even after his retirement Jan wished to remain associated with the Biophysics Department and scientific activities. Unfortunately, his involvement has abruptly ended. We will miss the great expertise and knowledge which he contributed, and especially we will miss him as a colleague and a friend who was open for discussions and always had a valuable word of advice. We are very grateful to Jan for the dedication and efforts in the many years over which he provided leadership to our Department.

Thijs Aartsma, Peter Gast, Hans van Gorkom, Arnold Hoff, Thomas Schmidt
Department of Biophysics, Leiden University, The Netherlands