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Characterization of a New Blastobotrys navarrensis Strain

Characterization of a New Blastobotrys navarrensis Strain | iBB | Scoop.it

A BSRG-iBB research paper just published in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology reports the isolation, identification, and morphological and phylogenetic characterization of Blastobotrys navarrensis IST 508. The isolation of this yeast strain from a soil sample collected underneath an olive tree in Ferreira do Alentejo was essential to propose the taxonomic separation of B. navarrensis, so far represented by the single strain CBS 139.77, from Blastobotrys proliferans, which until this study was considered a synonym species. Molecular and phylogenetic data was used to propose B. navarrensis as an independent species and not a later synonym of B. proliferans. An emended description of B. navarrensis was also proposed. This research paper has as first- and corresponding- author Dr. Margarida Palma, who coordinated the investigation with contributions by Professor Isabel Sá-Correia. The article is also co-authored by former Master students Érica Vieira and Margarida Pataco, both from MSc in Biotechnology, IST.

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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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Use of Non-conventional Yeasts to Enrich the Aroma Profile of Beer

Use of Non-conventional Yeasts to Enrich the Aroma Profile of Beer | iBB | Scoop.it

There is a wide diversity of non-conventional yeast species, which often present distinctive metabolic properties and can therefore impart different flavours and aromas to beer. Because of this, brewers now regard non-conventional yeast species as a tool to differentiate their beers from other products in the market. In fact, some of these yeasts are already used to produce specific beer styles, such as lambics. A study recently published in Food Microbiology, coordinated by Dr. Margarida Palma and Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and first authored by the BIOTECnico PhD student Nuno Melo, investigates how two non-conventional yeast species commonly found in wineries, Hanseniaspora guilliermondii and Hanseniaspora opuntiae, influence the volatile composition of beer. These two species, initially selected by a preliminary organoleptic evaluation, were found to modulate the aroma profile of beer, namely by increasing phenylethyl acetate concentration (‘rose’, ‘honey’ aroma). These findings highlight the importance of non-conventional yeasts in shaping the aroma profile of beer and suggest a role for Hanseniaspora spp. in improving it.

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Beer Tasting at BSRG-iBB

Beer Tasting at BSRG-iBB | iBB | Scoop.it

Portuguese craft beer brewers were invited to iBB to integrate a professional taste panel to try out beers produced using yeast species/strains isolated and selected at BSRG labs. The research on beer bioflavoring, which explores S. cerevisiae and non-conventional yeasts, was developed by MSc students Nuno Melo, Miguel Rocha and Pedro Bonifácio in the scope of a collaborative project with D’Ourique Flavors, Cerveja Artesanal. The main goal of the project, which is coordinated by Isabel Sá-Correia and Margarida Palma, is to develop new S. cerevisiae and non-Saccharomyces starters to produce craft beers with high sensorial complexity.

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Regulation of Zygosaccharomyces bailii Early Response to Acetic Acid and Copper Stress

Regulation of Zygosaccharomyces bailii Early Response to Acetic Acid and Copper Stress | iBB | Scoop.it

The non-conventional food spoiling yeast species Zygosaccharomyces bailii is remarkably tolerant to acetic acid, a highly important microbial inhibitory compound in Food Industry and Biotechnology. The study recently published in Scientific Reports, coordinated by Isabel Sá-Correia and Margarida Palma and first authored by the BIOTECnico PhD student Miguel Antunes, investigates the genomic transcription changes occurring during the early response of Z. bailii to acetic acid or copper stresses and uncovers the regulatory network activated under the bifunctional transcriptional factor ZbHaa1 control. This study provides valuable insights regarding Z. bailii adaptation mechanisms to acetic acid or copper stresses, ZbHaa1-dependent regulatory network, and the evolution of transcription factors and regulatory networks in pre- whole genome duplication (WGD) and post-WGD yeast species.

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The International Microorganism Day was a Success!

The International Microorganism Day was a Success! | iBB | Scoop.it
The International Microorganism Day, organized and sponsored by The Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM), the "Ordem dos Biólogos", UNESCO and Ciência Viva, was celebrated on the 17th September 2017, at Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Lisbon. The Department of Bioengineering of Instituto Superior Técnico and the Biological Sciences Research Group (BSRG) of iBB played an key role in the initiative. Organized by Jorge Leitão, BSRG’s contribution included the promotion of 3 activities that attracted the curiosity of around 1000 visitors of all ages: “Artisanal Beer”, “Gellan, a microbial gum” and “Bioinformatics”. Beer production was highlighted by Margarida Palma and “Clube de Cervejeiros do IST”. BSRG’s partner company “Cerveja artesanal d´Ourique” offered its beers for degustation. The use of bacterial gums in the food, pharma and cosmetic industries, and the analysis of DNA and protein sequences by bioinformatic tools were also on display with the aid of students from Núcleo de Engenharia Biológica of IST. Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia, SPM President, was also present at the event.
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Genome Sequence of the Highly Weak-acid-tolerant Zygosaccharomyces bailii IST302

Genome Sequence of the Highly Weak-acid-tolerant Zygosaccharomyces bailii IST302 | iBB | Scoop.it

The study recently published in FEMS Yeast Research, coordinated by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and first authored by Margarida Palma, with contributions from our collaborators from the Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology/Technical University of Munich, describes the annotation of the genome sequence of Zygosaccharomyces bailii IST302, a strain recently proven to be amenable to genetic manipulations and physiological studies. Contrasting with the reference Z. bailii CLIB 213T, strain IST302 does not form cell aggregates, allowing its manipulation in the laboratory for genetic and physiological studies. Cell cycle analysis suggests that Z. bailii IST302 is haploid, which makes this strain very attractive for the functional analysis of non-essential genes envisaging the elucidation of mechanisms underlying its high tolerance to weak acid food preservatives, or the investigation and exploitation of the potential of this resilient yeast species as cell factory. Click on title to learn more.

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In Search for the Genes Responsible for the High Acetic Acid Tolerance of Zygosaccharomyces bailii

In Search for the Genes Responsible for the High Acetic Acid Tolerance of Zygosaccharomyces bailii | iBB | Scoop.it

Zygosaccharomyces bailii is the most problematic acidic food and beverage spoilage yeast species due to its exceptional capacity to tolerate high concentrations of fungistatic weak acid preservatives, such as acetic acid. However, the mechanisms underlying such highly important phenotype are very poorly understood. A study recently published in BMC genomics, coordinated by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and co-first authored by Margarida Palma and Filipa Roque from BSRG-iBB, allowed the identification of several strong candidate determinants of tolerance to acetic acid in the highly acetic acid tolerant Z. bailii-derived hybrid strain ISA1307. These results may be explored for the improvement of yeast cells robustness against acetic acid if the objective is their use as cell factories.

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Genome Sequence and Analysis of the Flavinogenic Yeast Candida membranifaciens

Genome Sequence and Analysis of the Flavinogenic Yeast Candida membranifaciens | iBB | Scoop.it

A BSRG-iBB research paper just published in Journal of Fungi (special issue “New Trends in Yeast Genomics”) reports the isolation of Candida membranifaciens strains from soil, their physiological characterization and comparison regarding the production of riboflavin (vitamin B2). The first annotated genome sequence of C. membranifaciens IST 626 is provided, as well as the comparative genomic analysis with other relevant yeast species. This research work is first-authored by Dr. Margarida Palma, who coordinated the investigation with Professor Isabel Sá-Correia. The work has contributions from Master students Mariana Pereira and Érica Vieira and researchers from Joint Genome Institute, Berkeley, USA.

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Exploring Oleaginous Red Yeasts for Sugar Beet Pulp Valorization

Exploring Oleaginous Red Yeasts for Sugar Beet Pulp Valorization | iBB | Scoop.it

Agro-industrial residues rich in pectin are generated in high amounts worldwide from the sugar industry or the industrial processing of fruits and vegetables. A recent paper by BSRG-iBB researchers, published in the Journal of Fungi (special issue “Yeast Biorefineries” (edited by Isabel Sá-Correia and Naseem Gaur), describes the optimization of the performance of Rhodotorula strains envisaging the use of the major carbon sources present in Sugar Beet Pulp (SBP) hydrolysates. SBP valorization through the production of lipids and carotenoids by the oleaginous red yeasts examined, supported by complete catabolism of the major carbon sources present, looks promising for industrial implementation. The work was conducted by the PhD student of the IST PhD Programme in Biotechnology and Biosciences Luís C. Martins (FCT_DP AEM programme fellowship) under the supervision of Isabel Sá-Correia. This work was developed in the context of the ERA-NET-Industrial Biotechnology-2 project, “YEASTPEC-Engineering of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for bioconversion of pectin-containing agro-industrial side-streams”.

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Nuno Bourbon Delivers Oral Presentation at Microbiotec’19

Nuno Bourbon Delivers Oral Presentation at Microbiotec’19 | iBB | Scoop.it

Nuno Bourbon, PhD student from the BIOTECnico doctoral programme at iBB-BSRG, presented his work during the symposium on “Industrial and Food Microbiology” of the Congress of Microbiology and Biotechnology 2019 (Microbiotec’19), which was held between the 5th and 7th of December 2019 in Coimbra, Portugal. The presentation, entitled “Use of Hanseniaspora guilliermondii and Hanseniaspora opuntiae in co-fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae to enhance the aromatic profile of craft beer”, focused on the potential of using two distinct Hanseniaspora yeast species to improve the organoleptic properties of beer. This work was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia (iBB-BSRG) and Dr. Margarida Palma (iBB-BSRG), in collaboration with Prof. Maria Rosário Bronze’s team (IBET and Faculty of Pharmacy, ULisboa, for the analysis of volatile compounds).

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Physiological Genomics of the Highly Weak-Acid-Tolerant Food Spoilage Yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii (Book Chapter)

Physiological Genomics of the Highly Weak-Acid-Tolerant Food Spoilage Yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii (Book Chapter) | iBB | Scoop.it

Zygosaccharomyces bailii and two other species of Z. bailii sensu lato (Z. parabailii and Z. pseudobailii) are frequently implicated in the spoilage of acidified preserved foods and beverages due to their tolerance to very high concentrations of weak acids used as food preservatives. In a recent book chapter, Margarida Palma and Isabel Sá-Correia from BSRG-iBB provide an overview of taxonomical, ecological, physiological, and biochemical aspects of Z. bailii sensu lato species. The focus is on the exploitation of physiological genomics approaches that are providing the indispensable holistic knowledge to guide the effective design of strategies to overcome food spoilage or the rational exploitation of these yeasts as promising cell factories. 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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Acetic Acid tolerance in Yeasts - A Physiological Genomics Perspective

Acetic Acid tolerance in Yeasts - A Physiological Genomics Perspective | iBB | Scoop.it

Acetic acid is an important yeast growth inhibitor. Used as a food preservative, it is produced during normal metabolism and is a major inhibitory compound in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. The molecular mechanisms underlying Saccharomyces cerevisiae response and adaptation to acetic acid have been studied for years. More recently they have been examined in the food spoilage yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii, in particular at BSRG-iBB by Isabel Sá-Correia and Margarida Palma. A review paper published by the group in Frontiers in Microbiology emphasizes genome-wide strategies that are providing global insights into the molecular targets, signaling pathways and mechanisms behind S. cerevisiae and Z. bailii response/tolerance to acetic acid. The paper was published within the topic “Functional and Comparative Genomics of Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces yeasts: potential for Industrial and Food Biotechnology” of the Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology section, edited by I. Sá-Correia and Ed Louis, University of Leicester, UK.

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Research by Palma, Sá-Correia Reccomended in F1000Prime

Research by Palma, Sá-Correia Reccomended in F1000Prime | iBB | Scoop.it

A study on the role of the Zygosaccharomyces bailii transcription factor Haa1 on stress response by Margarida Palma, Isabel Sá-Correia and co-workers from BSRG-iBB, which was published earlier this year in BMC Genomics, has a received a recommendation in F1000Prime, an expert review service that identifies key articles in biology and medical research publications. The recommendation was made by Carol Mackintosh and David E.K. Ferrier in the context of the F1000Research review “Recent advances in understanding the roles of whole genome duplications in evolution”. Click on the title to learn more about the recommendation.

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The Zygosaccharomyces bailii Bifunctional Transcription Factor Haa1/Cup2 is Required for Response and Tolerance to Acetic Acid and Copper Stress

The Zygosaccharomyces bailii Bifunctional Transcription Factor Haa1/Cup2 is Required for Response and Tolerance to Acetic Acid and Copper Stress | iBB | Scoop.it

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the transcription factor Haa1 is the main player in genomic expression reprogramming in response to acetic acid stress. However, the role of its homologue in the highly acetic acid tolerant food spoilage yeast species Zygosaccharomyces bailii (ZbHaa1) was unknown. The study recently published in BMC Genomics, coordinated by Prof. Isabel Sá-Correia and first authored by Dr Margarida Palma, allowed the functional and evolutionary characterization of ZbHaa1 that emerged as a bifunctional transcription factor involved in the regulation of the adaptive response and tolerance to acetic acid and copper-induced stresses. Results suggest the sub-functionalization of the ancestral Haa1/ Cup2 orthologue after whole genome duplication, originating Haa1 and Cup2 paralogues that, in S. cerevisiae, are individually involved in the regulation of the response and tolerance to acetic acid and copper stresses, respectively. Also, ZbHaa1 appears as a good candidate molecular target for the rational design of new strategies to overcome Z. bailii spoilage in acidic foods and beverages. Click on title to learn more.

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