Microbial Biodegradation and Bioprospecting

Principal Investigator:
Maria de Fátima Carvalho

The Microbial Biodegradation and Bioprospecting team is interested in investigating the biodegradation processes of organic environmental pollutants, with special emphasis in fluorinated compounds. With this objective, the team is focused in obtaining and characterising microbial consortia capable of efficiently degrading these compounds and in investigating the metabolic mechanisms responsible for the biodegradation processes, generating essential knowledge for the treatment of contaminated industrial effluents.

Another important focus of the team is the bioprospecting of marine actinobacteria for the discovery of novel bioactive compounds with pharmaceutical/industrial applications. The potential of actinobacteria for the production of bioactive metabolites is enormous and actinobacteria associated with Portuguese marine sources are highly unexplored. The team is thus keen in finding new antimicrobials, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity compounds, as well as new biosurfactants and other industrially relevant molecules. By searching for compounds relevant to the health and industrial sectors, the team seeks to translate biotechnological research into products with high added value and to contribute to the development of the blue economy.

Publications Highlights

Ribeiro, I., Antunes, J.T., Alexandrino, D.A.M., Tomasino, M.P., Almeida, E,, Hilário, A., Urbatzka, R., Leão, P., Mucha, A.P., Carvalho, M.F. (2023). Actinobacteria from Artic and Atlantic deep-sea sediments-biodiversity and bioactive potential. Frontiers in Microbiology, 14, 862.   

Alexandrino, D.A., Almeida, C.M.R., Mucha, A.P., Carvalho, M.F. (2022). Revisiting pesticide pollution: The case of fluorinated pesticides. Environmental Pollution, 292: 118315.   

Alexandrino, D.A., Mucha, A.P., Tomasino, M.P., Almeida, C.M.R., Carvalho, M.F. (2021). Combining Culture-Dependent and Independent Approaches for the Optimization of Epoxiconazole and Fludioxonil-Degrading Bacterial Consortia. Microorganisms, 9: 2109. 

Alexandrino, D.A., Mucha, A.P., Almeida, C.M.R., Carvalho, M.F. (2021). Atlas of the microbial degradation of fluorinated pesticides. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology

Ribeiro, I., Girão, M., Alexandrino, D.A.M., Ribeiro, T., Santos, C., Pereira, F., Mucha, A.P., Urbatzka, R., Leão, P.N., Carvalho, M.F. (2020). Diversity and Bioactive Potential of Actinobacteria Isolated from a Coastal Marine Sediment in Northern Portugal. Microorganisms, 8: 1691.  

Alexandrino, D.A.M., Mucha, A.P., Almeida, C.M.R., Carvalho, M.F. (2020). Microbial degradation of two highly persistent fluorinated fungicides - epoxiconazole and fludioxonil. Journal of Hazardous Materials 394: 122545.  

Girão, M., Ribeiro, I., Ribeiro, T., Azevedo, I.C., Pereira, F., Urbatzka, R., Leão, P.N., Carvalho, M.F. (2019). Actinobacteria isolated from Laminaria ochroleuca: a source of new bioactive compounds. Frontiers in Microbiology.