Forging sustainability

Stress Biology (SB)

Stress Biology (SB)


  • Stress responses
  • Molecular mechanisms
  • Integrated omics approaches
  • Systems biology


The SB RG adopts an integrated strategy to understand biological responses to stress, assessing multiple stressors (metals, toxins, antibiotics, nanomaterials, climate change), organisms (bacteria, 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/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 and ecotoxicology, and risk assessment.
Main research topics include i) responses of microorganisms and microbial communities to stressors (e.g. antibiotics, xenobiotics), including the role of horizontal gene transfer and the potential impact on human health; ii) global plant responses to environmental stress and diversity of fungal pathogens as well as their interaction with hosts and the environment; iii) assessment of the human risk associated to contaminants exposure (e.g. multiple toxins, low doses of radiation); iv) search for new antibacterials in extreme environments and understand their biosynthesis to generate novel compounds through directed evolution; and v) molecular mechanisms underlying responses to stressors in environmental organisms, linking molecular and whole organism levels, building onto Adverse Outcome Pathways, envisaging a systems biology. 




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