Disputation: Vittoria Mallia

MSc. Vittoria Mallia at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is defending the thesis «Potential endocrine disrupting activity of cyanobacteria – possible roles for microcystins» for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

Bildet av kandidaten.


Due to the travel restriction caused by the ongoing Pandemic, the Disputation will be held digital using Zoom. 
The Chair of Defense will lead the Disputation and the Defense technician will solve technical issues.

Ex auditorio questions: The Chair of Defense will invite the audience to ex auditorio questions. These can be asked orally, by clicking "Participants - Raise hand" in the Zoom menu. The Zoom-host will grant you to speak in the meeting. 

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Download Zoom here

Order the Dissertation as PDF from this email address with the name of the Candidate: a.c.gartner@kjemi.uio.no


18th. of November 10:30 AM, Zoom

‘’Metabolomics - applications and drawbacks in environmental analysis’’

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Conferral summary

Cyanobakterier er bakterier som ser ut som alger. Cyanobakterier lever i vann over hele verden. De lager og frigjør en mengde kjemiske forbindelser ut i vannet, inkludert potente giftstoffer som "mikrocystiner".

Målet med oppgaven var å undersøke hvordan forbindelser produsert av cyanobakterier, med spesiell fokus på mikrocystiner, kan skade organismer ved å forstyrre hormonbalansen.

Main research findings

«Fifty shades of …cyanobacterial green»

This thesis investigated the connection between two major global concerns for human and wildlife health: the first one, the infamous toxic cyanobacteria, commonly called “blue-green algae”, and the second one, the endocrine disruptors, compounds able to interfere with the endocrine (hormonal) system.

Do cyanobacteria exert endocrine disrupting activity? How? Are the cyanobacterial toxins “microcystins” involved in this activity?

Cyanobacterial extracts, complex combinations of known and unknown compounds including microcystins, were screened using specific in vitro assays to assess their potential endocrine activity and related mechanisms. Pure microcystins were also tested.

Results showed that cyanobacterial compounds (microcystins, but also other metabolites) could have an endocrine disrupting activity, especially interfering with hormone production and metabolism.

Furthermore, a combination of chemical analysis and reactions were used to deepen structural knowledge of microcystins (they constitute a family including hundreds of congeners!). Seven new microcystin congeners were identified in this work.

In summary, resulting data on the endocrine activity of cyanobacteria as well as the discovery of new microcystins highlighted the complexity and the many “unknowns” that remain behind these two global concerns and their interconnection.




Published Nov. 5, 2020 10:53 AM - Last modified Nov. 18, 2020 10:14 AM