Prof. Milton S. da Costa

Milton S. da Costa

Prokaryotes represent the earliest forms of life on Earth. They include the Bacteria, a few of which are important pathogens and the Archaea, which inhabit some of the most extreme environments on our planet. Our research focuses on several aspects of microbiology:

  1. The microbial biodiversity found in these environments, namely hydrothermal, hypersaline environments, alkaline springs and deserts.
  2. We investigate mechanisms that allow microbes to thrive under harsh conditions, namely the biosynthesis and accumulation of specific “stress” molecules known as compatible solutes. We develop cell systems for the production of these solutes due to their importance in biotechnology.
  3. We examine polysaccharide biogenesis and rare glycolipid assembly in the medically important genera Mycobacterium and in the antibiotic producers Streptomyces. These unique structures and their biosynthesis are potential targets for new anti-mycobacterial therapies.

Source: Homepage of the Microbiology and Extreme Environments Group

in Micro B3 he will give advice on biodiversity of extremophiles and bioinformatics as the basis for bioprospecting and biotechnology

University of Coimbra