Speaker at Pharma Virtual 2020 2020 - Carlos J.C. Rodrigues
iBB-Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Department of Bioengineering, Instituto Superior T├ęcnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Title : Improving bioprocesses by using adaptation strategies of Rhodococcus


Rhodococcus are characteristic of the taxon mycolata which includes the genera Mycobacterium and Nocardia. These cells have a cell envelope characterized by the presence of long chain ?-alkyl-?-hydroxy fatty acids, called mycolic acids. T hese lipids increase the tolerance of Rhodococcus cells to the presence of toxic compounds and challenging environmental conditions  [1]. These cells  are also  able  to modulate the  composition of the  fatty acids of the  phospholipids of  the cellular membrane as response to stressful conditions [2] and to produce specialized lipids [3]. R. erythropolis may be adapted to survive high osmotic stress and conditions that are usually considered extreme [2, 4]. Additionally, Rhodococcus cells contain efflux systems able to extrude toxic compounds [5]. These features, together with the large set of enzymes that Rhodococcus cells contain, make the cells very interesting for biocatalysis and bioremediation processes [6, 7]. Furthermore, the cells may survive when placed at  16ºC and at 100ºC for up to 15 min by adjusting the fluidity of the cellular membrane. These properties may be used to improve bioprocesses using toxic compounds such as the bioremediation of petroleum hydrocarbons under saline conditions. In this presentation, several adaptive mechanisms of Rhodococcus cells, and how they may be exploited to improve biotechnological processes, will be discussed.


Carla C.C.R. de Carvalho graduated in Chemical Engineering in 1998 and did a Master in Biotechnology (Biochemical Engineering) in 1999 at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (UTL). She completed a PhD in Biotechnology at UTL in 2003. She was awarded 2 Post-doctoral grants (2004-2006, IST-UTL;  2007-Feb 2008, IST-UTL and UFZ, Leipzig, Germany). In 2008, she  was awarded a FCT ‘Ciencia2007’ 5-year contract and in 2014 she received a ‘FCT Investigator 2013’ 5-year contract as Principal Investigator. Since 2019, she is Assistant Professor at IST, Universidade de Lisboa. She published ca. 90 research papers in international peer reviewed journals and wrote 13 book chapters.