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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Crosstalk between Yeast Cell Plasma Membrane Ergosterol Content and Cell Wall Stiffness

Crosstalk between Yeast Cell Plasma Membrane Ergosterol Content and Cell Wall Stiffness | iBB | Scoop.it

A BSRG-iBB research paper just published in Journal of Fungi (special issue “Yeast Biorefineries”) provides a comprehensive view of the effect that the content of ergosterol at yeast plasma membrane, associated to membrane ABC transporter Pdr18 activity, influences cell wall biophysical properties under acetic acid-induced stress,  as part of a coordinated response to counteract the deleterious effects of this important stress factor in lignocellulosic biorefineries. This research work is first-authored by the PhD student of the PhD programme in Biotechnology and Biosciences Ricardo Ribeiro (FCT_DP AEM fellowship), performed under the supervision of Isabel Sá-Correia and is also co-authored by Cláudia P. Godinho, also from the BSRG-iBB team. This is a collaborative study with Fábio Fernandes (BSIRG-iBB) and Mário S. Rodrigues and his team (BioISI, Faculty of Sciences, ULisboa).

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Exploring the Biological Function of Efflux Pumps for the Development of Superior Industrial Yeasts

Exploring the Biological Function of Efflux Pumps for the Development of Superior Industrial Yeasts | iBB | Scoop.it

The economic competitiveness of yeast-mediated bioprocesses in Chemical Biotechnology requires high tolerance of industrial strains to the multiple stresses that occur. Among the mechanisms used by yeast to overcome those deleterious effects is the activity of plasma membrane transporters involved in multidrug/multixenobiotic resistance (MDR/MXR). A new review article on these still poorly characterized transporters belonging to the MFS and the ABC Superfamily in yeasts of biotechnological relevance has just been published. The reported role of specific transporters in increasing the secretion of metabolites and other added-value bioproducts is also highlighted. The review article is co-authored by the BSRG-iBB researchers Isabel Sá-Correia and Cláudia P. Godinho and was published in the journal Current Opinion in Biotechnology (special Issue: Chemical Biotechnology 2022).

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Exploring N.C.Yeastract to Study Gene and Genomic Regulation in Non Conventional Yeasts

Exploring N.C.Yeastract to Study Gene and Genomic Regulation in Non Conventional Yeasts | iBB | Scoop.it

Responding to the recent interest of the yeast research community in non-Saccharomyces cerevisiae species of biotechnological relevance, the N.C.Yeastract was associated to YEASTRACT+, a curated repository of known regulatory associations between transcription factors (TFs) and target genes in yeasts. A recent Minireview published in FEMS Yeast Research aims to advertise the update of the existing information since the release of N.C.Yeastract in 2019, and to raise awareness in the community about its potential to help the day-to-day work on non-Saccharomyces species, exploring all the information and bioinformatics tools available in YEASTRACT +. Using simple and widely used examples, a guided exploitation is offered. The usage potentialities of the new CommunityYeastract platform by the yeast community are also discussed. The Minireview is coauthored by a BSRG-iBB team coordinated by Isabel Sá-Correia and including Cláudia P. Godinho, Margarida Palma, Miguel C. Teixeira and the PhD students Miguel Antunes and Marta N. Mota, in collaboration with INESC-ID colleagues.

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Cláudia Godinho Awarded the FEMS Science Communication Award 2021

Cláudia Godinho Awarded the FEMS Science Communication Award 2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, PhD researcher at the BSRG-iBB, is the winner of the first FEMS Science Communication Award. Cláudia’s contributions to several projects that aim to promote public understanding of microbiology topics were considered of relevance, especially her work as a volunteer for the International Microorganism Day. The award biennially distinguishes Europe-based microbiologists that apply science communications and public relations to contribute significantly to the public discourse about science and evidence. The winner was announced on 23rd July in the online conference World Microbe Forum, a collaboration between the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS), and several other societies. The awardee would like to acknowledge all those involved in the commemorations of the International Microorganism Day since 2017, the Portuguese Society of Microbiology for the recommendation for the prize, and her PhD supervisor, mentor and former President of the Portuguese Society of Microbiology Professor Isabel Sá-Correia.

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Adaptation to Acetic Acid Stress Involves Structural Alterations and Increased Stiffness of the Yeast Cell Wall

Adaptation to Acetic Acid Stress Involves Structural Alterations and Increased Stiffness of the Yeast Cell Wall | iBB | Scoop.it

The role of the cell wall in yeast response and tolerance to stress is frequently neglected. A BSRG-iBB research paper just published in Scientific Reports, provides, for the first time, a comprehensive view of the alterations occurring at the cell wall in a yeast population adapting to sub-lethal stress induced by acetic acid. The results reveal changes to the cell wall polysaccharide composition and nanomechanical properties, as well as alterations in the transcript levels of key cell wall biosynthetic genes. This paper reinforces the notion that the adaptive yeast response to acetic acid involves coordinated alterations of the cell wall at the biophysical and molecular levels. The gathered knowledge is important for the design of superior industrial strains and for the efficient control of the deleterious activity of spoilage yeasts, particularly in the Food Industry. This research work is first-authored by the PhD student of the PhD programme in Biotechnology and Biosciences Ricardo Ribeiro (FCT_DP AEM fellowship), performed under the supervision of Isabel Sá-Correia. This collaborative study with Fábio Fernandes (BSIRG-iBB) and Mário S. Rodrigues and his team (BioISI, Faculty of Sciences, ULisboa), is also coauthored by Cláudia Godinho (posdoc researcher) and the PhD student Nuno Bourbon-Melo (FCT_DP BIOTECnico) from the BSRG-iBB team.

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The ABC Transporter Pdr18 is Required for Yeast Thermotolerance

The ABC Transporter Pdr18 is Required for Yeast Thermotolerance | iBB | Scoop.it

A new paper by researchers from iBB-BSRG describes, for the first time, the involvement of a plasma membrane multidrug/multixenobiotic resistance (MDR/MXR) ABC transporter in yeast thermotolerance. The expression of the ABC transporter Pdr18, required for pleotropic drug resistance and involved in ergosterol transport at the plasma membrane level, is related with decreased plasma membrane permeabilization induced by a supraoptimal growth temperature. Ergosterol biosynthesis and plasma membrane ergosterol content were implicated in yeast response and capacity to overcome stress induced by supraoptimal growth temperatures. These results support the notion that MDR/MXR transporters perform biological activities other than their accepted role as drug/xenobiotic exporters. Cláudia Godinho is the first author of this research work, coordinated by Isabel Sá-Correia and published in the journal Environmental Microbiology.

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Physiological Genomics of Multistress Resistance in the Yeast Cell Model and Factory: Focus on MDR/MXR Transporters

Physiological Genomics of Multistress Resistance in the Yeast Cell Model and Factory: Focus on MDR/MXR Transporters | iBB | Scoop.it

Knowledge of the function and regulation of the yeast multidrug/multixenobiotic resistance (MDR/MXR) transporters can be explored to guide the design of robust yeast strains for industrial biotechnology and to overcome and control the deleterious activities of spoiling yeasts in the food industry. In a recent book chapter, Cláudia Godinho and Isabel Sá-Correia from BSRG-iBB provide an overview of the toxicity and tolerance to relevant stresses in the model yeast and cell factory Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The publication also explores how yeast models can be used to uncover the function of novel MDR/MXR transporters in the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana, and to develop efficient strategies to improve crop productivity in agricultural biotechnology. The chapter is part of the book “Yeasts in Biotechnology and Human Health - Physiological Genomic Approaches” edited by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia within the book series “Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology” published by Springer.

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Cláudia Godinho Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Cláudia Godinho Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia Sofia Pires Godinho will be defending her Ph D thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, thursday the 26th July 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Profs. Isabel Sá-Correia and Miguel Teixeira from BSRG-iBB, Cláudia has investigated the role of transporters in yeast multistress defense mechanisms. The title of her thesis is "ABC and MFS transporters involved in multistress defense mechanisms in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae: roles of Pdr18 and Tpol”.

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Yeast Response and Tolerance to Benzoic Acid Involves the Multidrug/Multixenobiotic Resistance Transporter Tpo1

Yeast Response and Tolerance to Benzoic Acid Involves the Multidrug/Multixenobiotic Resistance Transporter Tpo1 | iBB | Scoop.it

Benzoic acid is a widely-used food preservative. The efficacy of its action is compromised by the ability of spoilage yeasts to tolerate its toxic effects. In a paper recently published in the journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, the PhD student Cláudia Godinho and a team coordinated by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia, from BSRG-iBB, describe the involvement of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae multidrug transporter Tpo1 in yeast tolerance to benzoic acid. The study further unveiled the regulatory network behind Tpo1 transcription activation upon benzoic acid exposure. Collectively, results suggest Tpo1 as one of the key players standing in the crossroad between benzoic acid stress response and tolerance and the control of the intracellular concentration of nitrogenous compounds in yeast. Click on title to learn more.

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Cláudia Godinho Delivers Oral Presentations at Microbiotec21

Cláudia Godinho Delivers Oral Presentations at Microbiotec21 | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, a PhD researcher at BSRG-iBB, presented the work "The N.C.Yeastract and CommunityYeastract databases and tools: studying transcriptional regulation in non-conventional yeasts" during the Synthetic & Systems biology Symposium. Cláudia provided a guided exploration of the tools of the N.C.Yeastract database, which gathers all published regulatory associations and TF-binding sites for five yeast species of biotechnological potential. The potential of the database was also explained. The presentation was based in a recent MiniReview published this year in FEMS Yeast Research, resulting from collaborative work between the BSRG-iBB team coordinated by Isabel Sá-Correia and INESC-ID colleagues. Cláudia P. Godinho was also selected for presenting the International Microorganism Day initiative in the Teaching and Communicating in Science symposium. The purpose of the presentation, co-authored by Cláudia and Isabel Sá-Correia, was to report the results from IMD 2021 campaign and event, to promote IMD, and to provide an idea of the power of social media in Microbiology dissemination.

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Metabolic Engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Towards the Valorization of Pectin-rich Residues

Metabolic Engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Towards the Valorization of Pectin-rich Residues | iBB | Scoop.it

A recent article published in the journal Metabolic Engineering reports the metabolic engineering of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae envisaging the fast and complete consumption of D-galacturonic acid (d-GalUA) in crude sugar beet pulp hydrolysate under aerobic conditions. To this end, the fungal d-GalUA pathway was inserted in an S cerevisiae strain equipped with an NAD-dependent glycerol catabolic pathway. The constructed strain was able to consume d-GalUA with the highest reported maximum specific rate in synthetic minimal medium when glycerol was added. This work is the result of joint research in the framework of project YEASTPEC (Engineering of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for bioconversion of pectin-containing agro-industrial side-streams), funded through the ERA-IB scheme. In Portugal, the project was led by Isabel Sá-Correia (BSRG/iBB), in Germany by Elke Nevoigt, Jacobs University (corresponding author) and Wolfgang Liebl, TUM, and at VTT, Finland, by Peter Richard. The BSRG/iBB PhD graduate in Biotechnology and Biosciences Luis Martins also co-authored this article.

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Prediction of the Haa1-regulatory Network in the Oleaginous Yeast Rhodotorula toruloides

Prediction of the Haa1-regulatory Network in the Oleaginous Yeast Rhodotorula toruloides | iBB | Scoop.it

A new bioinformatics tool, developed by our computational biologist collaborators at INESC-ID, is described in a recent article published in BMC Bioinformatics. The BSRG-iBB team contributed to the application of the tool to predict the putative Haa1-regulon in the lipid producing yeast cell factory Rhodotorula toruloides. For this, genomic information on this species was collected and included in the CommunityYeastract to benefit from the access to all the comparative genomics queries offered in the YEASTRACT + portal. The transcription factor Haa1 is the main regulator of S. cerevisiae genomic response to acetic acid stress, regulating, directly or indirectly, the majority of acetic acid tolerance genes. The prediction of RtHaa1-regulon has an expected impact in the optimization of R. toruloides robustness for biorefinery processes using hydrolysates from lignocellulosic residues. The BSRG-iBB team involved in these studies included the PhD student Miguel Antunes, his supervisor Isabel Sá-Correia, and Cláudia P. Godinho and Miguel C. Teixeira. 

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BSRG-iBB at TVI “A Hora da Verdade” Myth-busting Program

BSRG-iBB at TVI “A Hora da Verdade” Myth-busting Program | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, PhD researcher at Sá-Correia’s lab in BSRG-iBB, participated in the clarification of a well-known myth for the TVI news section “A Hora da Verdade”. The participation can be watched here. The 5-second rule states a time window of 5 seconds where it is safe to pick up food after it has been dropped to the floor. The experimental setup organized at the iBB Biological Sciences Research Group Laboratories contributed to demonstrate that the transfer of bacteria from a contaminated floor to food takes less than 5 seconds to happen and that the “rule” is in fact false.

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Cláudia Godinho Awarded First Prize in “Science Communication in Microbiology”

Cláudia Godinho Awarded First Prize in “Science Communication in Microbiology” | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia P. Godinho, PhD researcher at iBB-BSRG, was awarded 1st place in the “GENERAL” category of the competition “Science Communication in Microbiology”, promoted by the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM) to commemorate the International Microorganism Day 2020. The competition aims to encourage and facilitate communication of relevant topics and research fields in ​​microbiology to the general public in a concise, clear and attractive way, through the presentation of an image and respective explanatory summary. The winning entry, entitled “Contribution of microbial diversity to a circular Bioeconomy”, draws attention to the role that yeast biodiversity can play in the production of a wide range of bioproducts, from agro-industrial residues.

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Adaptation and Survival Strategies of Bacteria in Aqueous Pharmaceutical Products

Adaptation and Survival Strategies of Bacteria in Aqueous Pharmaceutical Products | iBB | Scoop.it

The Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria are feared contaminants in pharmaceutical industries and cause nosocomial outbreaks, posing health threats to immunocompromised individuals and cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In this study, the adaptation and survival of B. cepacia and B. contaminans isolates was investigated after long-term incubation in nutrient depleted saline solutions supplemented with increasing concentrations of the biocidal preservative benzalkonium chloride (BZK), recreating the storage conditions of pharmaceutical products. This study just published in the section Biosafety and Biosecurity of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology is co-authored by several members of Isabel Sá-Correia team from iBB/BSRG. This study reveals mechanisms underlying the prevalence of Bcc bacteria as contaminants of aqueous pharmaceutical products containing BZK, which often lead to false-negative results during quality control and routine testing.

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The ABC Transporters Pdr18 and Snq2 Derive from a Recent Gene Duplication Event

The ABC Transporters Pdr18 and Snq2 Derive from a Recent Gene Duplication Event | iBB | Scoop.it

Several membrane transporters from the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily present in yeast genomes are implicated in multidrug/multixenobiotic resistance (MDR/MXR). This is the case of Pdr18, that confers tolerance to ethanol and acetic acid and several other toxicants in yeast and has a biological role attributed in ergosterol transport at the plasma membrane. A recently iBB-BSRG paper published in Frontiers in Genetics, Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology section, reconstructs the evolutionary history of the encoding gene PDR18 and the paralogue gene SNQ2. This publication results from the PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences of Cláudia P. Godinho advised by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia with collaboration of Paulo J. Dias and Elise Ponçot. By combining phylogenetic gene neighborhood analysis for 117 yeast genomes belonging to 29 species across the Saccharomycetaceae family, the gene duplication event was traced to the last common ancestor of the Saccharomyces genus yeasts. The fact that Snq2 and Pdr18 confer resistance to different sets of chemical compounds with little overlapping is consistent with the subfunctionalization and neofunctionalization of these gene copies. Remarkably, PDR18 is only found in Saccharomyces genus genomes. 

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Yeast Response to Acetic Acid Involves Pdr18-mediated Ergosterol Transport at the Membrane

Yeast Response to Acetic Acid Involves Pdr18-mediated Ergosterol Transport at the Membrane | iBB | Scoop.it

The ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to overcome the stress induced by cytotoxic compounds depends on the activity of plasma membrane transporters of the ABC superfamily, presumably through the questionable unspecific efflux of multiple drugs and xenobiotic compounds. A recent paper by iBB researchers provides new insights into the biological role of the ABC transporter of the pleiotropic drug resistance family of putative drug efflux pumps Pdr18, proposed to mediate ergosterol incorporation in plasma membrane. Pdr18 expression was found to help cells to counteract acetic acid-induced decrease of plasma membrane lipid order, increase the non-specific membrane permeability and decrease the transmembrane electrochemical potential. Results support the notion that Pdr18-mediated multistress resistance is linked to the status of plasma membrane lipid environment related with ergosterol content and the associated plasma membrane properties. The paper, published in Scientific Reports, results from the PhD project of Cláudia Godinho, advised by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia from BSRG-iBB in collaboration with Fábio Fernandes and Sandra Pinto from BSIRG-iBB).

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