Postdoctoral scientist


Phone: (34) 93 230 95 00

Mireia Burnat

I studied Biology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and performed my Master’s thesis there, which was focused on the effects of heavy metals on cyanobacterial populations from microbial mats and laboratory cultures, using mainly microscopic techniques. Once fallen in love with cyanobacteria, I moved to Seville to do my PhD Thesis, in the Instituto de Bioquímica Vegetal y Fotosíntesis (IBVF-CSIC), where I gained experience and skills with molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. During my thesis, I worked with the model filamentous-heterocyst forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Cyanobacteria are the unique oxygenic photosynthetic prokaryotes and have become relevant both for their ecological role and their role in the evolution of the biosphere. Some cyanobacteria can also fix atmospheric nitrogen (a process known as diazotrophy) and these diverse growth strategies make them key players in the carbon and nitrogen biogeochemical cycle of the biosphere. Cyanophycin is a dynamic nitrogen-rich reservoir polymer found in most cyanobacteria, made of aspartate and arginine, being the arginine the most nitrogen-rich amino acid.My research topic during my thesis, and the following two years, was to describe how cyanophycin is metabolized and then, how these nitrogen atoms are made available during the subsequent arginine catabolism pathways for the growth of the filamentous heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp.

Since March 2018, I joined at the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM), Department of Marine Biology and Oceanography, with a Juan de la Cierva – Formación program. My research interest here is to explore the metabolic pathways present in marine cyanobacteria in order to investigate the nitrogen mobilization in the ocean through these microorganisms.


Catabolic pathway of arginine in Anabaena involves a novel bifunctional enzyme that produces proline from arginine (2019)

Burnat M., Picossi S., Valladares A., Herrero A., Flores E.

Molecular Microbiology. pp. 0962-1083. DOI: 10.1111/mmi.14203

Homospermidine biosynthesis in the cyanobacterium Anabaena requires a deoxyhypusinesynthase homologue and is essential for normal diazotrophic growth (2018)

Burnat M., Li B., Kim S.H., Michael A.J., Flores E.

Molecular Microbiology, 109, 763-780. DOI: 10.1111/mmi.14006

The Peptidoglycan-Binding Protein SjcF1 Influences Septal Junction Function and Channel Formation in the Filamentous Cyanobacterium Anabaena (2015)

Rudolf M., Tetik N., Ramos-León F., Flinner N., Ngo G., Stevanovic M., Burnat M., Pernil R., Flores E., Schleiff E.

MBio, 6, e00376. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00376-15

Cell envelope components influencing filament length in the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaenasp. strain PCC 7120 (2014)

Burnat M., Schleiff E., Flores E.

Journal of Bacteriology,196, 4026-35. DOI: 10.1128/JB.02128-14

Compartmentalized cyanophycin metabolism in the diazotrophic filaments of a heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium (2014)

Burnat M., Herrero A., Flores E.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 111, 3823-8. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1318564111

Cyanophycin, a cellular nitrogen reserve material (2014)

Herrero A., Burnat M.

The Cell Biology of Cyanobacteria. (Book Chapter)pp. 211-219. Caister Academic Press.

Confocal laser scanning and electron microscopic techniques as powerful tools for determining the in vivo effect and sequestration capacity of lead in cyanobacteria (2013)

Esteve I., Maldonado J., Burgos A., Diestra E., Burnat M., Solé A.

Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Toxicology and Management(Book Chapter)pp. 179-195

Confocal laser scanning microscopy coupled to a spectrofluorometric detector as a rapid tool for determining the in vivo effect of metals on phototrophic bacteria (2010)

Burnat M., Diestra E., Esteve I., Solé A.

Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 84,55-60. DOI: 10.1007/s00128-009-9907-1

In situ determination of the effects of lead and copper on cyanobacterial populations in microcosms (2009)

Burnat M., Diestra E., Esteve I., Solé A.

PLoSOne, 4(7):e6204. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006204