CCMAR Seminars: Peculiar plants with outstanding biotechnological potential | - CCMAR -

CCMAR Seminars: Peculiar plants with outstanding biotechnological potential

Quarta, 13 Dezembro, 2017
Anf.C (CP) - Gambelas Campus UAlg


December 13th, at 1:30 pm on Amph. C (CP)

Halophyte species: Peculiar plants with outstanding biotechnological potential

Luísa Custódio
(CCMAR, MarBiotech group)






Halophytes are naturally salt-tolerant plants able to grow in extreme locations characterized by high temperature and salinity conditions, such as coastal sand dunes, salt marshes and salt flats. In order to withstand environmental constraints and cope with oxidative stress, halophytes are endowed with eco-physiological mechanisms and powerful antioxidant defence systems, usually molecules displaying important biological activities. Those molecules include vitamins, phenolics, polysaccharides and glycosides, displaying a vast array of activities, for example antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumoural. In turn, these bioactivities can be crucial for the prevention of several diseases: e.g., cancer, chronic inflammation and cardiovascular disorders. Halophytes are thus considered an outstanding and almost unexploited reservoir of novel functional foods and bioactive compounds. In this presentation I will talk about some unique characteristics of halophytes and some results obtained in the Marbiotech group on the course of our search for biotechnological applications of halophytes common in the southern Portugal.

Short CV

Luísa Custódio, 43 years old, graduated in Agronomy in 1999 from the University of Algarve (Portugal) and in 2006 completed a PhD in Biological Sciences (Plant Biotechnology). In 2009 she joined the Marine Biotechnology group of Centre of Marine Sciences (MB/CCMAR/University of Algarve) and started, along with J. Varela (group leader) and L. Barreira (Assistant Professor) a new line of research: bioactive compounds of marine origin. In July 2013 she was hired as an assistant researcher in the FCT researcher contest. It is currently responsible for the PharmaBlue research line (Biologically active natural products from marine organisms and halophyte plants) of the MB group. In this research line Luísa C. is engaged in the search for biotechnological application of natural products from marine organisms, especially halophytes, in different areas, as for example food, cosmetic, pharma and veterinary sectors. Over the past five years Luísa C. was the principal investigator of the following R&D projects funded by FCT: SEABIOMED (PTDC/MAR/103957/2008), XtremeBio (PTDC/MAR-EST/4346/2012), MaNaCruzi (bilateral project, FCT/CAPES 2358, 2014/2015) and XtremeVet (bilateral collaboration nº3742, PHC Pessoa 2017-2018). She supervised 12 master's and 12 bachelor degrees, and currently supervises 4 PhD students. In total, she has aprox. 50 communications (oral or poster) in national and/or international conferences and published 64 articles in scientific journals.



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