Secondary metabolites and bioactive compounds

Starting date: TBD

Registration deadline: TBD

Location: Online + Tromsø


Students should register to this course through here +UiT. Registration opens: TBD

Course leader

Practical info

This course will be a combination of digital, on site in Tromsø. First One-week online lectures, one week of laboratory exercises at UiT Campus Tromsø, one week home assignement followed by on-line presentation. The responsible institution is UiT. To be admitted to the course you must register both here and at UiT(for instructions click here).

Important! Registration is binding! Do not register for a course unless you are sure that you can attend.
Course participants must register in two ways:

  1. Register to Photosyntech using the form at the top of this page
  2. Register through UiT, the host university
  • UiT students must register through studentweb by August 15th.
  • Non-UiT students must request guest status from UiT by June 1st. Instructions can be found here.

Course content

The course shall give general understanding of the concepts in secondary metabolites research in plants and other phototrophic organisms. It will give most essential theory behind the major methods in bioprospecting workflow and secondary metabolites application. The laboratory exercises will give the necessary tool-box for those who want to pursue investigations in the field of Secondary Metabolites and Bioactive Compounds. 

The course is built of three blocks: Lectures, laboratory exercises and home assignment with presentation.  

Lectures will cover the following topics:

  • Secondary metabolites. Characteristics, chemical and functional diversity, biosynthesis and regulation of gene expression. The theory will cover secondary metabolites produced by both plants and algae, as well as prokaryotic phototrophs. 
  • Principles and most commonly used methods for extraction. Chromatography: separation and isolation of secondary metabolites. 
  • Analytical chemistry. A theoretical introduction to the methods and principles in identification and chemical structure elucidation of secondary metabolites.  The techniques covered in this block are mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).   
  • Post MS analyses: dereplication of secondary metabolites, use of databases and the molecular networking. 
  • Functional analyses of the secondary metabolites:  various types of bioactivity testing, bioactivity screening strategies and workflows, application of the test results. 

Laboratory exercises will be run on defined case studies and will include the following: 

  • Culturing cyanobacteria  
  •  Extraction of secondary metabolites from the biomass and fractionation of obtained extracts. 
  • Bioactivity tests: antimicrobial, enzyme inhibition assays. 
  • Practical exercise on Identification of bioactive compounds using MS spectrometry and the SM databases. 

Home assignment and presentation.

The students will have to make a study and give a presentation on a topic of choice related to the course content. 

Learning outcome

Course dates


Admission deadline


Admission requirements

To apply for this course you must be a PhD candidate at one of the Norwegian institutions. If you are not a student at UiS you must apply for status a guest student by….

The course will be arranged with a minimum number of students:xx. Maximum participants: .

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, applicants will be ranked in this order: 1. Photosyntech PhD candidate members 2. UiT PhD candidates. 3. Other.