Microbial Biotechnology


Microbial Biotechnology

Microbes (or microorganisms) are organisms that are too small to be seen by the unaided eye. The wide variety of microbial habitats reflects an enormous diversity of biochemical and metabolic traits that have arisen by genetic variation and natural selection in microbial populations.

Research in the Department of Microbial Biotechnology focusses on microbes of environmental, industrial or clinical relevance.  Our work includes several approaches based on molecular genetics, systems and synthetic biology, genomics, proteomics and metagenomics.  The scientific objectives of the department include five complementary aspects of microbial biology:

Environmental Microbiology: We study the regulatory mechanisms that degrade organic pollutants by analysing global regulation networks that control the hierarchical assimilation of nutrients in complex environments.  Understanding the overall regulation of bacterial metabolism will allow us to optimise bioremediation strategies and industrially important biotransformation processes. We use metagenomic approaches to evaluate the effect of toxic compounds, including biocides and herbicides, on natural microbial communities.

Microbial Pathogens: We direct our efforts to host pathogen interactions in infections caused by intracellular and opportunistic bacterial pathogens.  In addition, we study basic processes of microbial physiology, such as cell division, that are relevant in infection and to define antimicrobial targets.

Microbial response to hostile environments: The purpose is to determine bacterial responses to stressful environments, including general stress responses and specific responses to agents that cause DNA damage. We study how bacterial viruses and yeasts replicate their DNA and how bacteria repair DNA damage and promote segregation to improve genome stability.

Microbial Engineering: The goal is to obtain bacterial strains optimised to obtain products of interest (recombinant antibodies, hydrolytic enzymes), or to detect  and degrade pollutants. We engineer bacterial strains that attach to specific surfaces such as antigen-expressing human cells, including tumour cells, which often express proteins abnormally on the plasma membrane.

Microbial resistance to antibiotics and the search for new antimicrobials. We work to understand the mechanisms of bacterial resistance to antibiotics and to analyse the complex responses elicited upon exposure of microbes to sub-lethal concentrations of antibiotics. In addition we search for new targets as a way to develop new antimicrobials.

Microbial biotechnology is sometimes also referred to as industrial microbiology which is an old field that has been given new dimensions because of the discoveries made in the field of genetic engineering in vitro manipulation of DNA molecules to generate new combinations of genes or sequences, to place the gene under the control of different regulatory systems, to introduce a specific mutation in a molecule, etc.

Media Contact:
Liza Parker
Journal Manager
Microbiology: Current Research
Whatsapp no.-  +1(504)608-2390
Email: aamcr@microbialjournals.com
Submit manuscript: https://www.scholarscentral.org/submissions/microbiology-current-research.html