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iBB and DBE researchers identify novel bacterial species from marine sponges in Portugal

iBB and DBE researchers identify novel bacterial species from marine sponges in Portugal | iBB | Scoop.it

The marine bacterial genus Aquimarina (Flavobacteriaceae, Bacteroidota) receives increased attention due to its versatile natural product biosynthesis capacity and antimicrobial activities. iBB and DBE researchers Joana Couceiro,Matilde Marques, Sandra Silva, Tina Keller-Costa and Rodrigo Costa identified two novel Aquimarina species, Aquimarina aquimarini Aq135T and Aquimarina spinulae Aq349T, isolated from marine sponges in Portugal, and describe them in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Aq135T is known for its production of a unique set of peptide antibiotics, aquimarins, while Aq349T is known to produce the trans-AT polyketide cuniculene. In their polyphasic approach, the researchers used phylogenetic, phylogenomic, phenotypic, and biochemical analyses to determine the novel species statuses of both strains. The bacteria are available in BSRG-iBB’s culture collection associated with the ‘Portuguese Blue Biobank’ of the Blue Bioeconomy Pact and can be purchased at three internationally recognized culture collections - DSMZ, ATCC, and UCCCB.

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iBB/DBE members present their work at the 16th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology in Copenhagen

iBB/DBE members present their work at the 16th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology in Copenhagen | iBB | Scoop.it

PhD students Joao Couceiro, João Almeida, Matilde Marques, and Laurence Meunier presented posters about their marine microbiome and symbiosis research at BAGECO2023.  

DBE Faculty member and IBB researcher Rodrigo Costa, part of the scientific committee of BAGECO, chaired a full day of sessions on Host-Microbe Interactions and gave the talk entitled "Natural product biosynthetic potential reflects macroevolutionary diversification within a widely distributed bacterial taxon".

It was an excellent opportunity to network and connect with fellow scientists, foster new collaborations, and build lasting friendships.

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Matilde Marques and Tina Keller-Costa Present at the 15th International Coral Reef Symposium

Matilde Marques and Tina Keller-Costa Present at the 15th International Coral Reef Symposium | iBB | Scoop.it

Dr Tina Keller-Costa, BSRG-iBB researcher, and Matilde Marques, MIT Portugal PhD student in Biotechnology and Biosciences, attended the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), held from 03 to 08 July 2022 in Bremen, Germany. Tina gave a talk on her latest metagenomics studies on the octocoral microbiome while Matilde presented a poster on viruses and bacteriophage communities of octocorals and seawater. The event was hosted by the University of Bremen and counted with 1050 in-person and over 270 virtual participants. To enable a science-to-policy dialogue the symposium also welcomed leading German and international politicians, as well Prince Albert II of Monaco and H.H. Princess Mashael Saud AlShalan from Saudi Arabia, who advocated for ocean conservation and sustainability. It was the first time in its 50-years history that ICRS was brought to Europe and the first carbon neutral ICRS.

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iBB & DBE researchers translate the comic magazine “Coral Heroes” into Portuguese

iBB & DBE researchers translate the comic magazine “Coral Heroes” into Portuguese | iBB | Scoop.it

PhD students Matilde Marques and Joana Couceiro, under coordination of Tina Keller-Costa, translated the comic magazine “Coral Heroes”, a copyrighted production of SECORE International, Inc, published for educational purposes. It provides information on the value, importance, and the threats to coral reefs around the world. The comic invites children to dive into the world of coral heroes Al, Samy, Jo, and Bran and join them on their adventures in the secret reefs of Towabonga.

It is a free publication, intended to be widely distributed without cost. With the Portuguese version added, the comic is now available in nine languages and can be downloaded here.

The idea to bring “Coral Heroes” to Portuguese-speaking children was born at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Germany in 2022 where Tina met Coral Heroes author Dr Carin Jantzen who leads outreach and public relations for SECORE International.

The Portuguese version premiered in a public school in Lisbon in June 2023, with Tina teaching a class on coral symbionts and her daughter Laura reading the comic to primary school children.

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Marine Sponge and Coral-Associated Bacteria Show Versatile Secondary Metabolite Biosynthesis Potential and Inhibit Human Pathogens

Marine Sponge and Coral-Associated Bacteria Show Versatile Secondary Metabolite Biosynthesis Potential and Inhibit Human Pathogens | iBB | Scoop.it

Marine microbiomes are prolific sources of bioactive compounds of pharmaceutical value. A new study, published in Marine Drugs, inspected two culture collections comprising 919 host-associated marine bacteria belonging to 55 genera and several unclassified lineages. The study identified numerous isolates with a potentially rich secondary metabolism and inhibitory activities towards human-pathogenic bacteria and fungi. These culture collections, available at iBB-IST and Aveiro University, are a valuable resource of understudied marine bacteria that hold promise for a future, sustainable production of novel drug leads. The work was developed within the SymbioReactor project (DGPM | Fundo Azul program), first-authored by MSc João Almeida and coordinated by Dr Tina Keller-Costa and Prof Rodrigo Costa. The study also involved PhD student Matilde Marques, Dr Dalila Mil-Homens, Prof Miguel Teixeira and Prof Arsénio Fialho from iBB as well collaborators from Aveiro University and Biocant.

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