Stress Biology (SB)
Published in 22/4/2022
- Stress responses
- Innovative and sustainable antimicrobial solutions
- Molecular mechanisms
- Omics and integrated omics approaches
- Systems and Integrative Biology
The SB RG adopts an integrated strategy to understand biological responses to stress, assessing multiple stressors (metals, radionuclides, toxins, antibiotics, nanomaterials, climate change), organisms (viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, plants, animals), and levels of biological organization (genome, proteome, organisms, communities). An integrative approach with an emphasis on molecular and multiple omics technologies, and related bioinformatics, is followed to allow a broad understanding of these processes. The aim is to contribute for clarifying impacts of stress on health and the environment and provide a solid basis to help a sustainable environment and economy, in a context of global changes.
The RG expertise includes: microbial diversity and evolution, environmental and molecular microbiology, microbial biotechnology and biochemistry, plant physiology and ecophysiology, mycology and plant pathology, toxicology, ecotoxicology, risk assessment, genome sequencing, high-throughput omics, epigenetics, and confirmatory assays (e.g. immunohistochemistry).
Main research topics include: i) responses of microorganisms and microbial communities to stressors (e.g. antibiotics, xenobiotics), including evolution and dissemination of antibiotic resistance, the role of horizontal gene transfer and the potential impact on human health; (ii) implementation of innovative approaches (e.g. phage therapy, photodynamic therapy) to inactivate microorganisms; iii) search for new antibacterials in extreme environments and understand their biosynthesis to generate novel compounds through directed evolution; iv) global plant responses to abiotic and biotic stress; v) diversity of fungal pathogens as well as their interaction with hosts and the environment; vi) assessment of the human risk associated to contaminants exposure (e.g. multiple toxins, low doses of radiation); and vii) molecular mechanisms underlying responses to stressors in environmental organisms, linking molecular and whole organism levels, building onto Adverse Outcome Pathways, envisaging a systems biology.