The growing importance of biocatalysis in the syntheses of enantiopure molecules results from the benefits of enzymes regarding selectivity and specificity of the reaction and ecological issues of the process. Ene-reductases (ERs) from the old yellow enzyme family have received much attention in the last years. These flavo-enzymes catalyze the trans-specific reduction of activated CC bonds, which is an important reaction in asymmetric synthesis, because up to two stereogenic centers can be created in one reaction. However, limitations of ERs described in the literature such as their moderate catalytic activity and their strong preference for NADPH promote the search for novel ERs with improved properties. In this study, we characterized nine novel ERs from cyanobacterial strains belonging to different taxonomic orders and habitats. ERs were identified with activities towards a broad spectrum of alkenes. The reduction of maleimide was catalyzed with activities of up to 35.5 U mg−1 using NADPH. Ketoisophorone and (R)-carvone, which were converted to the highly valuable compounds (R)-levodione and (2R,5R)-dihydrocarvone, were reduced with reaction rates of up to 2.2 U mg−1 with NADPH. In contrast to other homologous ERs from the literature, NADH was accepted at moderate to high rates as well: Enzyme activities of up to 16.7 U mg−1 were obtained for maleimide and up to 1.3 U mg−1 for ketoisophorone and (R)-carvone. Additionally, excellent stereoselectivities were achieved in the reduction of (R)-carvone (97–99% de). In particular, AnabaenaER3 from Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413 and AcaryoER1 from Acaryochloris marina MBIC 11017 were identified as useful biocatalysts. Therefore, novel ERs from cyanobacteria with high catalytic efficiency were added to the toolbox for the asymmetric reduction of alkenes. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2013; 110: 1293–1301. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.