About BEB
CNC Research
BEB in the Media
March 5 - 9
Milton Costa and Nuno Empadinhas
Life can be found everywhere, even in the harshest environments imaginable! How can organisms survive and be metabolically active at boiling or subfreezing temperatures? How does microbial life thrive on toxic levels of sulphides or at extremely high concentrations of heavy metals? How is it possible to find organisms in the ocean depths, buried deep within land masses or in UV-exposed and extremely arid deserts? This course provides insights into extant microbial biodiversity and the extraordinary range of metabolic versatility that continues to expand as new species are isolated from these environments. It also highlights some strategies to endure and adapt to such conditions and what can biomedical research learn from these fascinating strategies.
The course will also focus on the microbiology of trace metals in response to changing environments and the cellular strategies to evade metal-deprivation or toxic overload. The big picture about how does a bacterium orchestrate the different systems to obtain a healthy cellular environment and what is there left to be discovered will be disclosed.
The characterization of pathogenic isolates plays a central role in the epidemiology of infectious diseases, generating the information for identifying, tracking, and intervening against disease outbreaks. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) was proposed as a universal approach to provide accurate, portable data that were suitable for the epidemiological investigation of bacterial pathogens and which also reflected their evolutionary and population biology. We will explore a simple analysis of Legionella pneumophila population genetics to elucidate and discuss the MLST current paradigm.
In natural environments yeast and bacteria co-exist with synergistic or antagonistic relationships. The information available shows a strong metabolic interaction namely on food processing or on commensalism. The interaction between yeast and bacteria extends to the capacity of yeast to actually sense and respond to the presence of bacterial LPS. Particularly in situations of mixed infections where yeasts are both exposed to live and lysed bacteria (due to macrophage attack), such a LPS-induced/sensing mechanism would be an advantage for the survival of yeast, and can be viewed as an evolutionary aspect of the mammalian inflammatory response.

Affiliations, contacts and references

Milton S. da Costa, PhD
Department of Biochemistry and Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology
University of Coimbra
3001-401 Coimbra
e-mail: milton@ci.uc.pt
Albuquerque L, Simoes C, Nobre MF, Pino NM, Battista JR, Silva MT, Rainey FA, da Costa MS (2005) Truepera radiovictrix gen. nov., sp. nov., a new radiation resistant species and the proposal of Trueperaceae fam. nov. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 247:161-9.

Nuno Empadinhas, PhD
Investigator (Post-Doc)
Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology
University of Coimbra
3004-517 Coimbra
e-mail: numenius@cnc.uc.pt
Empadinhas N, and da Costa MS (2006) Diversity and biosynthesis of compatible solutes in hyper/thermophiles. Int. Microbiol. 9:199-206.

André Antunes, PhD
Investigator (Post-Doc)
Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology
University of Coimbra
3004-517 Coimbra
e-mail: andre.pt@gmail.com
Antunes A, Eder W, Fareleira P, Santos H, Huber R (2003) Salinisphaera shabanensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel, moderately halophilic bacterium from the brine-seawater interface of the Shaban Deep, Red Sea. Extremophiles 7:29-34.

Paula Morais, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Institute of Environment and Life
Faculty of Science and Technology
University of Coimbra
3001-401 Coimbra
e-mail: pvmorais@iav.uc.pt
Branco R, Chung AP, Verissimo A, Morais PV (2005) Impact of chromium-contaminated wastewaters on the microbial community of a river. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 54:35-46.

Gregor Grass, PhD
Institute for Microbiology
Martin-Luther University
06120 Halle/Saale
e-mail: g.grass@mikrobiologie.uni-halle.de
Grass G (2006) Iron transport in Escherichia coli: all has not been said and done.
Biometals 19:159-72.

Teresa Gonçalves, PhD
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Medicine and Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology
University of Coimbra
3004-504 Coimbra
e-mail: tmfog@ci.uc.pt
Marques JM, Rodrigues RJ, de Magalhaes-Sant´ana AC, Gonçalves T (2006) Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hog1 protein phosphorylation upon exposure to bacterial endotoxin. J. Biol. Chem. 281:24687-94.

António Veríssimo, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Zoology and Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology
University of Coimbra
3004-517 Coimbra
e-mail: averiss@ci.uc.pt
Costa J, Tiago I, da Costa MS, Verissimo A (2005) Presence and persistence of Legionella spp. in groundwater. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:663-671.

Fred Rainey, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
e-mail: frainey@lsu.edu
Rainey FA, Ray K, Ferreira M, Gatz BZ, Nobre MF, Bagaley D, Rash BA, Park MJ, Earl AM, Shank NC, Small AM, Henk MC, Battista JR, Kampfer P, da Costa MS (2005) Extensive diversity of ionizing-radiation-resistant bacteria recovered from Sonoran Desert soil and description of nine new species of the genus Deinococcus


Monday, 5 March
obtained from a single soil sample. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:5225-35.

10-12h Biodiversity of microorganisms
    .........Milton Costa (Sala Anatomia Patológica, 1º piso Medicina)
15-17h Meet the Extremophiles! We´re not so tough after all!!
    Milton Costa (Sala Quimica Fisiológica, R/c Medicina)
Tuesday, 6 March
10-12h Biosynthesis of compatible solutes in Extremophiles:From hell to health!
            Nuno Empadinhas (Sala Anatomia Patológica, 1º piso Medicina)
15-17h  Microbiology of the brine-filled deeps of the Red Sea
   ..........André Antunes (Sala Fisiologia, 1º piso Medicina)
Wednesday, 7 March
11-13h  Microbiology of heavy-metal impacted environments:
             From the community to the individual response
    .........Paula Morais (Sala Fisiologia, 1º piso Medicina)
15-17h  Microbiology of trace metals in response to changing environments: Cellular .............strategies to evade metal-deprivation or toxic overload
    .........Gregor Grass (Sala Quimica Fisiológica, R/c Medicina)
Thursday, 8 March
10-12h  Yeast-bacteria interactions: from metabolic interrelationship to the  
             evolution of mammalian inflammatory system
 ............Teresa Gonçalves (Sala Quimica Fisiológica, R/c Medicina)
15-17h  Pursuing a universal typing system: Legionella pneumophila.António Veríssimo (Sala Histologia, 2º piso, Medicina) as a case study
Friday, 9 March
11-13h  Exploring bacterial diversity – classical and molecular approaches
    .........Fred Rainey (Sala Quimica Fisiológica, R/c Medicina)
16:00h Seminar (Auditorium IBILI)
   .........Desiccation and ionizing radiation resistance: Adaptations to life in arid ............environments
   .........Fred Rainey
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