Lanthipeptides are ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides containing thioether cross-links formed through addition of a cysteine to a dehydroalanine (to form lanthionine) or to a dehydrobutyrine (to form 3-methyllanthionine). Genome sequencing of marine cyanobacteria lead to the discovery of 1.6 million open reading frames encoding lanthipeptides. In many cases, a genome encodes a single lanthipeptide synthetase, but a large number of substrates. The enzymatic modification process in Prochlorococcus MIT9313 has been reconstituted in vitro, and a variety of experimental approaches have been used to try and understand how one enzyme is capable of modifying 30 different substrates. The methods used to characterize this system will be described along with a brief genomic description of the lanthipeptide landscape found in Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus.