Vicente Mariscal



Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis (IBVF)
Avda. Américo Vespucio, 49
41092, Seville, Spain
Phone: +34 954489534

I hold a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular biology of microalgae from The University of Córdoba (Emilio Fernandez’s lab), where I studied the transport systems mediating inorganic nitrogen uptake in microalgae. For my postdoc, I worked in biochemistry and cell biology of filamentous, heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. The main achievement of my postdoctoral research is the identification of the conduits mediating intercellular molecular exchange of substrates and signal molecules between cells.

Currently head of the group Plant-Cyanobacteria Symbiosis at the Institute of plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis (IBVF, CSIC). We study mutualism between symbiotic cyanobacteria and plant species of agricultural interest, with the aim of obtaining new biofertilizers that improve the growth of crops and restore degraded ecosystems.


Research interests

  • Soil microbial communities in Andalusian paddies
  • Plant-cyanobacteria symbiosis
  • Microalgae Biotechnology



  • 2000-2005 – European PhD in Biochemistry (Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Córdoba, Spain) “Molecular and functional characterization of new transporters from NRT2 and NAR1 families in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii”. PhD Supervisors: Emilio Fernández and Aurora Galván. Defended: May, 20th2005. Evaluated with the highest honors (cum laude).
  • 1999-2000 – Master Thesis (Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Córdoba, Spain) “Regulation of growth rate and nitrate assimilation by NAR1 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii”. Supervisors: Emilio Fernández and Aurora Gálvan.
  • 1993-1998 – Bachelor in Biochemistry. University of Córdoba, Spain




  • 2011 – to date – Indefinite-term postdoc at the Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis (IBVF), CSIC, Spain.
  • 2006 – 2011   Postdoc at the Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis (IBVF)-Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain.
  • 2002 – 2006   PhD Fellowship. FPD e I program. Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Córdoba, Spain.
  • 1999 – 2002   3 Fellowships (Ascribed to different projects). Dept. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Córdoba, Spain.


Experience in foreign laboratories


  • 2013, 2014 – Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago (USA). IP: Robert Haselkorn.
  • 2007, 2008, 2010 – Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. Queen Mary University of London (UK). IP: Conrad Mullineaux.
  • 2004 – Rothamsted Research Institute (UK). IP: Anthony Miller.


Seminars and Oral presentations (last five years)


  • 2019 –  Seminar: Cyanobacteria-rice mutualism: towards the design of new biofertilizers based on N2-fixing Cyanobacteria. John Innes Centre, Norwich.
  • 2019 – Seminar: Diversity of N2-fixing cyanobacteria from Andalusian paddy fields and analysis of their potential as bioinoculants. Máster de Biotecnología Ambiental, Industrial y Alimentaria. University Pablo de Olavide.
  • 2019 – Seminar: N2-fixing cyanobacteria as ecological biofertilizers. University Pablo de Olavide.
  • 2019 – Análisis de la diversidad microbiana en suelos de las marismas arroceras del Guadalquivir. VII Reunión de Microbiología de Plantas. Seville.
  • 2018 – Keynote: Diversity of N2-fixing cyanobacteria from Andalusian paddy fields and analysis of their potential as bioinoculants. 23rd European Nitrogen Cycle Meeting. Alicante.
  • 2017 – Isolation and characterization of culturable N2-fixing cyanobacteria from the paddy fields in marshes of Guadalquivir river. FEBS3+ Congress. Barcelona.
  • 2017 – Seminar: Multicellularity in cyanobacteria: molecular and structural aspects. School of Biology and Environmental Science, University of Dublin. Dublin.
  • 2016 – Seminar: Comunicación intercelular y multicelularidad en cianobacterias. VII Jornadas de divulgación de la investigación en biología molecular, cellular, genética y biotecnología. Córdoba, Spain.
  • 2015 – Comunicación intercelular en la fisiología del filamento diazotrófico en Anabaena. XXXVIII Congreso de la SEBBM. Valencia, Spain.
  • 2015 – Comunicación intercelular en la fisiología del filamento diazotrófico en Anabaenasp. PCC7120. Simposio IBVF 2015. Sevilla, Spain.
  • 2014 – Seminar: Multicelularidad en cianobacterias: proteínas implicadas en la comunicación y adhesión celular. Seminario Interdepartamental, Programa de Posgrado “Biociencias y Ciencias Agroalimentarias”. Universidad de Córdoba. Córdoba, Spain.


Other academic awards and activities


  • 2016 – to date – Member of The Spanish Society of Microbiology (SEM).
  •  2000 – to date – Member of The Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM).
  • 2010 – to date – Member of the divulgation committee at the IBVF. This committee organizes internal symposia, seminars, etc.
  • 2006 – Accreditation as “Profesor Ayudante Doctor” by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain, ANECA.
  • 2016 – Accreditation as “Profesor Contratado Doctor” by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain, ANECA.
  • 2016 – Accreditation as “Profesor de Universidad Privada” by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain, ANECA.



  • 2019 – 2021: Diseño de nuevos biofertilizantes para cultivos del bajo Guadalquivir (BFE14300). Financed by Technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA). Funding: 94 380 €. Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Vicente Mariscal and Dr. Fernando P. Molina.
  • 2019 – 2020: Extractos de cianobacterias como agentes potenciadores del crecimiento en cultivos de algodón y tomate (Grant AT-5236) – Provisional resolution. Junta de Andalucía, Spain. Funding: 46 400 €. Principal Investigator (PI): Dr. Vicente Mariscal.


35. Álvarez C, Navarro JA, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal V* (2020) Endophytic colonization of rice (Oryza sativa L.) by the symbiotic strain Nostoc punctiforme PCC 73102. Mol. Plant Microbe Interact.  doi: 10.1094/MPMI-01-20-0015-SC. 

34. Álvarez C, Ramírez-Moncayo C, Alves-Martínez P, Molina-Heredia FP, Mariscal V* (2019) Diversity of N2-fixing cyanobacteria from Andalusian paddy fields and analysis of their potential as bioinoculants. BIOSAIA, 8. ISSN-e: 2254-3821 

33. Torrado A, Ramírez-Moncayo C, Navarro JA, Mariscal V*, Molina-Heredia FP* (2019) Cytochrome c6 is the main respiratory and photosynthetic soluble electron donor in heterocysts of the cyanobacterium Anabaenasp. PCC 7120. BBA Bioenergetics, 1860 (1): 60-68. 

32. Ramos-León F, Arevalo S, Mariscal V, Flores E (2018) Specific mutations in the SepJ permease domain discriminate between the cell-cell binding and communication functions of septal junctions in the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena. Microbial Cell. 5 (12): 555-565.

31. Santamaría-Gómez J, Mariscal V, Luque I (2018) Mechanisms for protein redistribution in thylakoids of Anabaena during cell differentiation. Plant and cell physiology. pcy103.

30. Bornikoel J, Carrión A, Fan Q, Flores E, Forchhammer K, Mariscal V, MullineauxC, Perez R, Silber N, Wolk P, Maldener I (2017) Role of Two Cell Wall Amidases in Septal Junction and Nanopore Formation in the Multicellular Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 7 (386): 1-15.

29. Ramos-León F, Mariscal V, Battchikova N, Eva-Mari A, Flores E (2017) Septal protein SepJ from the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena forms multimers and interacts with peptidoglycan. FEBS Open Bio. 7: 1515-1526..

28. Nieves-Morión M, Lechno-Yossef S, López-Igual R, Frías JE, Mariscal V, Nürnberg D, Mullineaux CW, Wolk CP, Flores E (2017) Specific glucoside transporters influence septal structure and function in the filamentous, heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 3 7120. J Bacteriol, 199: e00876-16.

27. Mariscal V, Nürnberg D, Herrero A, Mullineaux CW, Flores E (2016) Overexpression of SepJ alters septal morphology and heterocyst pattern regulated by diffusible signals in Anabaena. Mol Microbiol, 101:968-81.

26. Chamizo-Ampudia A, Sanz-Luque E, Llamas A, Ocaña-Calahorro F, Mariscal V, Carreras A, Barroso JB, Galván A, Fernández E (2016) A dual system formed by the ARC and NR molybdoenzymes mediates nitrite-dependent NO production in Chlamydomonas. Plant, cell and Environment, 39: 2097-107.

25. Higuera JJ, Calatrava V, González Z, Mariscal V, Siverio JM, Fernández E Galván A (2016) NRT2.4 and NRT2.5 are two half-size transporters from the Chlamydomonas NRT2 family. Agronomy 6(1), 20.

24. Omairi-Nasser A*, Mariscal V*, Austin JR, Haselkorn R (2015) Requirement of Fra proteins for communication channels between cells in the filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. PNAS. 112: e4458-64. *Co-First author

23. Escudero L, Mariscal V, Flores E (2015) Functional dependence between septal protein SepJ from Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 and an amino acid ABC-type uptake transporter. J Bacteriology, 197:2721-30.

22. Pernil R, Picossi S, Herrero A, Flores E, Mariscal V (2015) Amino Acid Transporters and Release of Hydrophobic Amino Acids in the Heterocyst-Forming Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120. Life. 5:1282-1300.

21. Nürnberg D*, Mariscal V*, Bornikoel J, Nieves-Morión M, Krauß N, Herrero A, Maldener I, Flores E (2015) Intercellular diffusion of a fluorescent sucrose analog via the septal junctions in a filamentous cyanobacterium. mBio. 17;6(2):e02109. *Co-First author

20. Ramos-León F, Mariscal V, Frías JE, Flores E, Herrero A (2015) Divisome-dependent subcellular localization of cell-cell joining protein SepJ in the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena. Molecular Microbiology, 96:566-80.

19. Corrales-Guerrero L, Tal A, Arbel-Goren R, Mariscal V, Flores E, Herrero A, Stavans J (2015) Spatial fluctuations in expression of the heterocyst differentiation regulatory rene hetR in Anabaena filaments. PLOS Genetics. 1;11(4):e1005031.

18. Plominsky A, Delherbe N, Mandakovic D, Riquelme B, González K, Bergman B, Mariscal V*, Vásquez M* (2015) Intercellular transfer along the trichomes of the invasive terminal heterocyst forming cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505. FEMS Microbiology, 362: fnu009.  *Co-senior.

17. Corrales-Guerrero L, Mariscal V, Nürnberg D, Elhai J, Mullineaux CW, Flores E, Herrero A (2014) Subcellular localization and clues for the function of the HetN factor influencing heterocyst distribution in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. Journal of Bacteriology,  196: 3452-60.

16. Nürnberg D, Mariscal V, Parker J, Mastroianni G, Flores E, Mullineaux CW (2014) Branching and intercellular communication in the Section V cyanobacterium Mastigocladus laminosus, a complex multicellular prokaryote. Molecular Microbiology, 91: 935-949.

15. Corrales-Guerrero L, Mariscal V, Flores E, Herrero A (2013) Functional dissection and evidence of intercelular transfer of the heterocyst-differentiation patS morphogen. Molecular Microbiology, 88: 1093-1105.

14. Merino-Puerto V, Mariscal V, Schwarz H, Maldener I, Mullineaux C, Herrero A, Flores E (2011) FraH is required for reorganization of intracellular membranes during heterocyst differentiation in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. Journal of Bacteriology, 193: 6815-6823.

13. Merino-Puerto V, Schwarz H, Maldener I, Mariscal V, Mullineaux C, Herrero A, Flores E (2011) FraC/FraD-dependent intercellular molecular exchange in the filaments of a heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium, Anabaena sp. Molecular Microbiology, 82: 87-98.

12. Mariscal V, Herrero A, Nenninger A, Mullineaux C, Flores E (2011) Functional dissection of the three-domain SepJ protein joining the cells in cyanobacterial trichomes. Molecular Microbiology, 79: 1077-1088.

11. Mariscal V, Flores E (2010) Multicellularity in a heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium: pathways for intercellular communication. Adv Exp Med Biol. 675: 123-35.

10. Merino-Puerto V, Mariscal V, Mullineaux C, Herrero A, Flores E (2010) Fra proteins influencing filament integrity, diazotrophy and localization of septal protein SepJ in the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Molecular Microbiology, 75: 1159-1170.

9. Nicolaisen K, Mariscal V, Bredemeier R, Pernil R, Moslavac S, López-Igual R, Maldener I, Herrero A, Schleiff E, Flores E (2009) The outer membrane of a heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium is a permeability barrier for uptake of metabolites that are exchanged between cells. Molecular Microbiology, 74: 58-70.

8. Pernil R, Picossi S, Mariscal V, Herrero A, Flores E (2008) ABC-type amino acid uptake transporters bgt and N-II of Anabaena sp strain PCC 7120 share an atpase subunit and are expressed in vegetative cells and heterocysts. Molecular Microbiology, 67: 1067-1080.

7. Mullineaux C, Mariscal V, Nenninger A, Khanum H, Herrero A, Flores E, Adams D (2008) Mechanism of intercellular molecular exchange in heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. The EMBO Journal, 27: 1299-1308.

6. Mariscal V, Herrero A, Flores E (2007). Continuous periplasm in a filamentous, heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium. Molecular Microbiology, 65(4): 1139-45.

5. Flores E, Pernil R, Muro-Pastor AM, Mariscal V, Maldener I, Lechno-Yossef S, Fan Q, Peter CW, Herrero A (2007). Septum-localized protein required for filament integrity and diazotrophy in the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. Journal of Bacteriology, 189: 3884-3890.

4. Mariscal V, Moulin P, Orsel M, Miller A, Fernández E, Galván A (2006). Differential regulation of the Chlamydomonas Nar1 gene family by carbon and nitrogen. Protist, 157 (4): 421-433.

3. Navarro MT, Mariscal V, Macías M, Fernández E, Galván A (2005). Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strains expressing nitrate reductase under control of the cabII-1 promoter: isolation of chlorate resistant mutants and identification of new loci for nitrate assimilation. Photosynthesis Research, 83: 151-161.

2.  Mariscal V, Rexach J, Fernández E, Galván A (2004). The plastidic nitrite transporter NAR1.1 improves nitrate use efficiency for growth in Chlamydomonas. Plant, Cell and Environment, 27: 1321-1328.

1.  Galván A, Rexach J, Mariscal V, Fernández E (2002). Nitrite transport to the chloroplast in Chlamydomonas: molecular evidences for a regulated process. Journal of Experimental Botany, 53: 845-854.


Book Chapters

7. Mariscal V (2014). Cell-cell joining proteins in heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. “The Cell Biology of Cyanobacteria” Caister Academic Press. I.S.B.N. 978-1-908230-38-6. pp. 125-158.pp. 293-304.

6. Fernández E, Llamas A, Tejada-Jiménez M, Camargo A, Mariscal V, de Montaigu A, Sanz-Luque E, Higuera JJ, González-Ballester D, Galván A (2009). Transporte y reducción de nitrato y nitrito en Chlamydomonas. “Avances en el Metabolismo del Nitrógeno: de la genómica y la proteómica a las aplicaciones agronómicas, industriales y medioambientales”. I.S.B.N.: 978-84-8454-806-5. Pp. 25-29.

5. Flores E, Pernil R, Mariscal V, Picossi S, Herrero A (2007). Intercellular transfer of nitrogen in heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. “Biological nitrogen fixation: towards poverty alleviation through sustainable agriculture” Springer Science. I.S.B.N.: 978-1-4020-8251. pp. 363-364.

4. Galván A, Mariscal V, González-Ballester D, Fernández E (2006). The green alga Chlamydomonas as a tool to study the nitrate assimilation pathway in plants. “Model plants, crop improvement”. CRC Taylor & Francis Group I.S.B.N. 978-0-8493-3063-6. pp. 125-158.

3. Mariscal V, Galván A, Fernández E (2004). Actualización sobre la familia de transportadores de nitrato Nrt2 en Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. “Avances en el metabolismo del Nitrógeno”. Servicio de publicaciones de la Universidad de Huelva, I.S.B.N. 84-96373-55-X pp. 119-124.

2. Mariscal V, Navarro MT, Marhuenda F, Fernández E, Galván A (2002). Identificación de un locusesencial para el crecimiento en nitrato y luz continua y de dos nuevos sistemas de transporte de nitrato (V y VI) en Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. “Avances en el metabolismo del Nitrógeno: de la Biología Molecular a la Agronomía”. Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra, I.S.B.N.: 84-9507-588-1 pp. 61-69.

1. Mariscal V, Rexach J, Fernández E, Galván A (2000). Regulación de la ruta de asimilación de nitrato en Chlamydomonas reinhardtii por Nar1. En “Avances en el metabolismo del nitrógeno: de la Fisiología a la Biología Molecular”. Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Málaga, I.S.B.N.: 84-7496-842-9 pp. 151-155.


PhD Theses
  • Macarena Iniesta Pallarés. In process (2019-2022). PIF fellowship 
  • Félix Ramos León. 2017. Molecular analysis of Septal protein SepJ from the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena. University of Seville, Spain. European mention (Supervised jointly with Prof. Enrique Flores). 
Master Theses


  • Ruth Ernica Ponce. 2018. Expression studies of genes involved in cyanobacteria-plant symbiosis. University of Seville, Spain.
  • Alejandro Carrión Sanabria. 2015. Inactivation of the genes in the cluster amiC1amiC2in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. University of Seville, Spain.


Grade Theses


  • Oliver Soliveres Acuyo. 2019. Análisis de la actividad PGPR de cianobacterias sobre plantas de arroz. University of Seville, Spain.
  • Ana Jiménez Baus. 2015. Regulation of hormogonia differentiation in Nostoc punctiforme. University of Seville, Spain.




  • Oliver Soliveres. 2019. External scholarship. University of la Laguna, Tenerife. 3 months.
  • Javier Velázquez. 2019. External scholarship. University Pablo de Olavide, Seville. 1 month.
  • Almudena Neva. 2018. External scholarship. University Pablo de Olavide, Seville. 1 month.
  • Melanie Duchaine. 2018. External scholarship. Erasmus + program. Eplefpa Bordeaux Blanquefort, France. 3 months.
  • Samuel Belton. 2016. Research visit.EMBO Short term fellowship.University of Dublin. 3 months.
  • Álvaro Plominsky. 2014. Research visit. Universidad Pontificia of Chile. 2 months.
  • Félix Ramos. 2011. JAE Intro (scholarship for undergraduate students from CSIC). 2 months.
  • Carmen Salguero. 2009. JAE Intro (scholarship for undergraduate students from CSIC). 2 months.
  • Laura Medina. 2007. JAE Intro (scholarship for undergraduate students from CSIC). 2 months.



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