Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies. When browsing the site, you are consenting its use. Learn more

I understood
Microbial Diversity and Evolution - MDE

Microbial Diversity and Evolution - MDE

In the last decade NGS platforms have allowed sequencing of innumerable microbial genomes and of microbial DNA extracted from a broad range of environments. The implications of these massive sequencing efforts are only now being disclosed, and seminal contributions have changed hugely our understanding of microbes and their importance. The paradigmatic studies of the human gut microbiome, have set up a standard to unveil the overwhelming microbial genetic diversity of diverse environments. Numerous resourceful bioinformatics applications have extended our aptitude for data mining, to uncover patterns and genomic attributes. Despite all these advances, the diversity of the microbial gene pool and its ecophysiological significance is far from being understood. 


It was in this challenging scientific environment that the group of Microbial Diversity and Evolution (MDE) was founded in 2011. In the last few years, the research carried out by MDE has focused on a number of themes, including the validation of several culture-independent methods of bacterial detection and genotyping; description of evolutionary and epidemiological patterns; and characterization of the diversity and adaptation fitness of microorganisms to different environments, including host adaptation. The competencies and theoretical framework of the MDE group have increased consistently with international partnerships that brought an extensive expertise on microbial diversity and evolution and metagenomics analysis of a broad range of microbial communities.

Concomitantly to this basic and applied research, attention has been given to science education and outreach activities as important added values to strengthen and assess the societal impact of the group´s research. In the coming years the overarching MDE goal is to strengthen the ongoing research on biodiversity and evolution of microorganisms, aiming to understand and predict their influence in diverse ecosystems.

Some of the outreach activities developed by MDE:

microBIO 12 – from the lab to the classroom
PARRISE Project in Portugal

Teacher Training
Adequacy of bioinformatics tools to Elementary and Secondary Education
Extending bioinformatics to elementary and secondary school education
From the lab to the classroom: microbiology and experimental education

Summer activities
Microbiology recipes: antibiotics à la carte
Microorganisms and food: the good, the bad and the ugly

Share this: