University of Helsinki
Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
The Cyanobacteria Group
Contact information:

Department of Food and Environment Sciences
Division of Microbiology and Biotechnology
P.O.Box 56
Viikki Biocenter, (Viikinkaari 9)
FIN-00014 Helsinki University
Fax: +358 2 941 911


Toxic cyanobacterial mass occurrences are a worldwide problem. They have caused animal poisonings and pose a serious health risk for humans. Blooms of toxic cyanobacteria have become one of the biggest threats to the production of safe drinking water and the use of water bodies for recreational activities. Understanding why and how toxic blooms develop would help to protect water bodies and water users.

We have shown in previous studies that toxic mass occurrences of cyanobacteria are common in Finnish lakes and in the Baltic Sea. Neurotoxic and hepatotoxic cyanobacteria are found in freshwater bodies while only hepatotoxic blooms occur in the Baltic Sea.

Toxic cyanobacterial blooms in lake Tuusulanjärvi and the Baltic Sea.

We maintain a culture collection of cyanobacteria containing many axenic cultures of cyanobacteria. These cyanobacteria serve as a source of bioactive compounds, model strains to study bioactive compound biosynthesis, cyanobacterial phylogeny, physiology or ecology.

Photos: J. Jokela & Yliopisto-lehti

Click here to read about our current research projects