DP_AEM student
Centro de Biologia Molecular e Ambiental (CBMA)
Doctoral Program in Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA)
Pedro Santos

Phd Thesis

Evolution and Adaptation in Pseudomonas driven by plant volatiles

Nowadays, laboratorial evolution is used as a tool to improve the performance of microorganisms for biotechnological processes. In such experiments, microorganisms are grown in selective conditions (e.g. carbon source, solvent, hydrophobic compound, etc) imposed by the operator, resulting in controlled stress to the population, during several generations.

The output of such experiments are different lineages adapted in different degrees to the selective conditions. During my Ph.D., Pseudomonas sp. M1 (a bacterium) was submitted to long-term evolution during 600 generations with a terpene (hydrophobic compound) as only carbon source. In the end of the experiment, 8 isolates were selected to proceed characterization. Such isolates showed a possible increment in the terpene’s catabolism. Characterization will proceed with phenotypic tests, genome, transcriptome and epigenome assessment. All the results will be compared between the evolved lineages and the ancestor strain looking for the processes and mutations related with the possible performance improvement. Moreover, mutations found in the genome of the isolates will be reproduced in the ancestor strain to prove its influence in the adaptation of the organism.

The purpose of this thesis is to enhance the ability of M1 to biotransform terpenes (hydrophobic compounds) into terpenoids (hydrophilic compounds), leading to relevant biotransformation yields for biotechnological applications, using forestall residues rich in terpenes (eg.Eucalyptus) as substrate.


Publication and Meetings

Soares-Castro, P., Soares, F., & Santos, P. M. (2021). Current Advances in the Bacterial Toolbox for the Biotechnological Production of Monoterpene-Based Aroma Compounds. Molecules26(1), 91.

Workshop 10-12 February 2020

Workshop 19 January 2021



Filipa Soares, Pedro Soares-Castro, Pedro M. Santos. 2019. Genomic-guided evaluation of long-term adaptation of Pseudomonas sp. M1 in the presence of terpenes. GenomePT Symposium. May 10th, Vairão, Portugal.

Pedro Soares-Castro, Filipa Soares, Francisca Reis, Teresa Lino-Neto and Pedro M. Santos. 2019. Bioprospection for novel functional modules towards plant monoterpene valorization. GenomePT Symposium. May 10th, Vairão, Portugal.

Organising comitee of "V Simpósio PDBMA”;

Open lab day in the Biology Department to schools.


Bionanoparticles: Challenges and therapeutic opportunities 

Degradação e Tráfego Intracelular de Proteínas na Saúde e na Doença

Biopolímeros Baseados em Fontes Renováveis: da Síntese à Aplicação

“Desenvolvimento e Validação de métodos ICP-OES / ICP-MS / LA-ICP-MS” - Specanalitica

“Micropipetas” - UniversalChemy

“Thunder Imagers – Decode 3D Biology in Real Time” - Leica

“Segurança e Equipamentos” - CBMA technitians

“Citometria de Fluxo Accuri B6 Demo” - Bdbiosciences

Science and Comunication skills held by Doutora Ana Salgado- March 2019