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Inês Cardoso Pereira Lab

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We investigate metabolic pathways and enzymes used for energy production in anaerobic microorganisms that are relevant to health and the environment, and explore their biotechnological applications.

Inês Cardoso Pereira
Professora Catedrática
PhD, Oxford University, UK

Phone (+351) 214469327 | Extension 1327
Email ipereira@itqb.unl.pt

 

Research Interests

The BEM group studies anaerobic bacteria that descend from some of the most ancient life forms on earth, and obtain energy from respiring sulfur compounds. These bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment and in animal guts. They play a key role in the biogeochemical cycles of Sulfur and Carbon, with a high impact on the biogeochemistry of our planet. They are also key members in anaerobic microbial communities where their flexible energy metabolism allows them to form syntrophic interactions with other bacteria.

We study the unique energy metabolism of these bacteria, and explore it, and associated enzymes, for useful biocatalytic transformations.

The main lines of research in the BEM lab are:

  1. Study of sulfur metabolism in anaerobes, and how it leads to energy conservation.
  2. Studying and engineering redox enzymes from anaerobic bacteria with biotechnological relevance (e.g. for H2 production/oxidation and CO2 reduction).
  3. Explore biotechnological applications of enzymes and anaerobic microorganisms in biocatalysis or bioremediation.
  4. Study syntrophic associations of anaerobes and their role in electroactive communities.
     

Group Members

  • Mónica Martins Neves, Research Associate

  • Américo Duarte, Research Associate

  • Renato Domingos, Post-Doc

  • Kazuhiro Umezawa, visiting Post-Doc

  • Delfim Ferreira, PhD student

  • Ana Rita Oliveira, PhD student

  • Ana Catarina Barbosa, PhD Student

  • Ana Margarida Coito, PhD Student

  • Rita Manuel, Research fellow

  • Catarina Toste, Master student

  • Gonçalo Manteigas, Master student

  • Henrik Hapke, Master student

 

Selected Publications

  1. Santos A¥, Venceslau SS¥, Grein F, Leavitt WD, Dahl C, Johnston DT and Pereira IAC* (2015) A protein trisulfide couples dissimilatory sulfate reduction to energy conservation . Science 350, 1541
  2. Duarte AG, Catarino T, White GF, Lousa L, Neukirchen S, Soares CM, Sousa FL, Clarke TA & Pereira IAC* (2018) An electrogenic redox loop in sulfate reduction reveals a likely widespread mechanism of energy conservation . Nature Comm., 9, 5448
  3. Marques MC, Tapia C, Gutiérrez-Sanz O, Ramos AR, Keller KL, Wall JD, De Lacey AL, Matias PM*, Pereira IAC* (2017) The direct role of selenocysteine in [NiFeSe] hydrogenase maturation and catalysisNature Chem. Biol., 13, 544-550

 

Laboratory's Website

For further information please visit the laboratory's website

 

Metabolismo Energético Bacteriano (PT)

O laboratório de Metabolismo Energético Bacteriano estuda o metabolismo de bactérias modelo que produzem energia pela respiração de compostos orgânicos ou inorgânicos, em vez de oxigénio. Nestes organismos os processos de respiração celular são muito diferentes dos organismos aeróbios. Em particular, investigamos as bases moleculares dos processos que permitem a um grande grupo de bactérias respirar compostos de enxofre (como sulfato e sulfito). Estas bactérias são organismos ancestrais que existiam muito antes do aparecimento do oxigénio na Terra, e que se encontram disseminadas no ambiente, (incluindo os intestinos de mamíferos). São organismos relevantes em diversas áreas como Bioremediação, Produção Biológica de Hidrogénio, Células de Combustível Biológicas, Biocorrosão e Tratamento de Esgotos. O estudo do metabolismo respiratório destes organismos é essencial para uma adequada exploração do seu potencial biotecnológico, e também para um melhor contrôle da sua actividade biológica, incluindo os seus potenciais efeitos adversos a nível ambiental e de saúde.

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