XtremeBio | - CCMAR -


Short Title 

We are engaged in the smart and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, including micro- and macroalgae, seagrasses, marine invertebrates and also coastal plants (halophytes).




Our research is divided in 5 sub areas: XtremeFoods (for human nutrition); XtremePharma (for pharmaceutical uses), XtremeVet (for veterinary aplications); XtremeBeauty (for cosmetics) and XtremeCrops (Production of selected species).

Most relevant expected contributions of this research team includes the development and optimization of innovative commercial products incorporating active extracts from selected marine species, to be used in different commercial areas, and of sustainable cultivation technologies, such as in vitro techniques, greenhouse cultivation and IMTA systems, aiming the production of biomass and ingredients for commercial purposes.



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Coordenador Posição
Luísa Custódio Senior Researcher
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Retrato de Catarina Guerreiro Pereira
Retrato de Cristiana do Couto Pereira Maia
PhD Student
Retrato de Eliana Fernandes
PhD Student
Retrato de Maria João Rodrigues
Retrato de Marta Oliveira
Todas publicações
Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira CGuerreiro, Oliveira M, Zengin G, Custódio L. Salt-Tolerant Plants as Sources of Antiparasitic Agents for Human Use: A Comprehensive Review. Marine Drugs. 2023;21(2):66. doi:10.3390/md21020066
Bendjedou H, Benamar H, Bennaceur M, et al. New Insights into the Phytochemical Profile and Biological Properties of Lycium intricatum Bois. (Solanaceae). Plants. 2023;12(5):996. doi:10.3390/plants12050996
Pereira CGuerreiro. Special Issue on Advances in Marine Biotechnology: Exploitation of Halophyte Plants. Applied Sciences. 2022;12(20):10573. doi:10.3390/app122010573
Youssef S, Custódio L, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Nutritional anti-nutritional chemical composition and antioxidant activities of the leaves of the sea cliff dwelling species Limonium spathulatum (Desf.) Kuntze. Frontiers in Plant Science. 2022;13. doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.979343
Custódio L, Garcia-Caparros P, Pereira CGuerreiro, Castelo-Branco P. Halophyte Plants as Potential Sources of Anticancer Agents: A Comprehensive Review. Pharmaceutics. 2022;14(11):2406. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics14112406
Custódio L, Slusarczyk S, Matkowski A, et al. A first approach for the micropropagation of the medicinal halophyte Polygonum maritimum L. and phenolic profile of acclimatized plants. Frontiers in Plant Science. 2022;13. doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.960306
Sinan KIbrahime, Zengin G, Fiorentino A, et al. Shining the spotlight on NMR metabolic profiling and bioactivities of different solvent extracts of Piliostigma thonningii. Food Bioscience. 2022;47:101760. doi:10.1016/j.fbio.2022.101760
Bendjedoua H, Bennaceura M, Benamar H, et al. In vitro Antioxidant and Enzyme Inhibitory Properties and Phenolic Contentsof Crude Extracts and Fractions from Different Organs of the HalophyteLycium europaeum LBackground:Objective:Methods:Results:Conclusion:. Current Bioactive Compounds. 2022;18(2). doi:10.2174/1573407217666210713101441
Rodrigues MJoão, Custódio L, Mecha D, et al. Nutritional and Phyto-Therapeutic Value of the Halophyte Cladium mariscus L. (Pohl.): A Special Focus on Seeds. Plants. 2022;11(21):2910. doi:10.3390/plants11212910
Rodrigues MJoão, Jekő J, Cziáky Z, Pereira CG, Custódio L. The Medicinal Halophyte Frankenia laevis L. (Sea Heath) Has In Vitro Antioxidant Activity, α-Glucosidase Inhibition, and Cytotoxicity towards Hepatocarcinoma Cells. Plants. 2022;11(10):1353. doi:10.3390/plants11101353
Pereira CG, Moraes CBorsoi, Franco CH, et al. In Vitro Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi Activity of Halophytes from Southern Portugal Reloaded: A Special Focus on Sea Fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.). Plants. 2021;10(11):2235. doi:10.3390/plants10112235
Rukavina I, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira CG, et al. Greener Is Better: First Approach for the Use of Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NADES) to Extract Antioxidants from the Medicinal Halophyte Polygonum maritimum L. Molecules. 2021;26(20):6136. doi:10.3390/molecules26206136
Pan Y-L, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira CG, et al. Exploring the Biotechnological Value of Marine Invertebrates: A Closer Look at the Biochemical and Antioxidant Properties of Sabella spallanzanii and Microcosmus squamiger. Animals. 2021;11(12):3557. doi:10.3390/ani11123557
Custódio L, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira CG, et al. A Review on Sarcocornia Species: Ethnopharmacology, Nutritional Properties, Phytochemistry, Biological Activities and Propagation. Foods. 2021;10(11):2778. doi:10.3390/foods10112778
Placines C, Castañeda-Loaiza V, Rodrigues MJ, et al. In Vitro Enzyme Inhibitory and Antioxidant Properties, Cytotoxicity, and LC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS Profile of Extracts from the Halophyte Lotus creticus L. Jundishapur Journal of Natural Pharmaceutical Products. 2021;16(1). doi:10.5812/jjnpp10.5812/jjnpp.101125
Yaagoubi MEl, Mechqoq H, Ortiz S, et al. Chemical Composition and Biological Screening of the Essential Oils of Micromeria macrosiphon and M. arganietorum (Lamiaceae). Chemistry & Biodiversity. 2021;18(12). doi:10.1002/cbdv.v18.1210.1002/cbdv.202100653
Rodrigues MJoão, Castañeda-Loaiza V, Monteiro I, et al. Metabolomic Profile and Biological Properties of Sea Lavender (Limonium algarvense Erben) Plants Cultivated with Aquaculture Wastewaters: Implications for Its Use in Herbal Formulations and Food Additives. Foods. 2021;10(12):3104. doi:10.3390/foods10123104
Castañeda-Loaiza V, Placines C, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. If you cannot beat them, join them: Exploring the fruits of the invasive species Carpobrotus edulis (L.) N.E. Br as a source of bioactive products. Industrial Crops and Products. 2020;144:112005. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.112005
Castañeda-Loaiza V, Placines C, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. In vitro enzyme inhibitory and anti-oxidant properties, cytotoxicity and chemical composition of the halophyte Malcolmia littorea (L.) R.Br. (Brassicaceae). Natural Product Research. 2020:1 - 4. doi:10.1080/14786419.2020.1719484
Gangadhar KN, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira H, et al. Anti-Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HepG2) Activities of Monoterpene Hydroxy Lactones Isolated from the Marine Microalga Tisochrysis Lutea. Marine Drugs. 2020;18(11):567. doi:10.3390/md18110567
Mota AHenriques, Andrade JM, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Synchronous insight of in vitro and in vivo biological activities of Sambucus nigra L. extracts for industrial uses. Industrial Crops and Products. 2020;154:112709. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2020.112709
Rodrigues MJoão, Monteiro I, Castañeda-Loaiza V, et al. Growth performance, in vitro antioxidant properties and chemical composition of the halophyte Limonium algarvense Erben are strongly influenced by the irrigation salinity. Industrial Crops and Products. 2020;143:111930. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.111930
Trentin R, Custódio L, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Exploring Ulva australis Areschoug for possible biotechnological applications: In vitro antioxidant and enzymatic inhibitory properties, and fatty acids contents. Algal Research. 2020;50:101980. doi:10.1016/j.algal.2020.101980
Zengin G, Sinan KIbrahime, Ak G, et al. Chemical profile, antioxidant, antimicrobial, enzyme inhibitory, and cytotoxicity of seven Apiaceae species from Turkey: A comparative study. Industrial Crops and Products. 2020;153:112572. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2020.112572
Dra LAit, Rodrigues MJoão, Neng Nda Rosa, et al. Exploring Caralluma europaea (Guss.) N.E.Br. as a potential source of bioactive molecules: In vitro antioxidant and antidiabetic properties, and phenolic profile of crude extracts and fractions. Industrial Crops and Products. 2019;139:111527. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.111527
Mota AHenriques, Direito R, Carrasco MP, et al. Combination of hyaluronic acid and PLGA particles as hybrid systems for viscosupplementation in osteoarthritis. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2019;559:13 - 22. doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2019.01.017
Rodrigues MJoão, Matkowski A, Slusarczyk S, et al. Sea knotgrass (Polygonum maritimum L.) as a potential source of innovative industrial products for skincare applications. Industrial Crops and Products. 2019;128:391 - 398. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.11.038
Rodrigues MJoão, Monteiro I, Placines C, et al. Dataset on functional and chemical properties of the medicinal halophyte Polygonum maritimum L. under greenhouse cultivation. Data in Brief. 2019;25:104357. doi:10.1016/j.dib.2019.104357
Rodrigues MJoão, Monteiro I, Placines C, et al. The irrigation salinity and harvesting affect the growth, chemical profile and biological activities of Polygonum maritimum L. Industrial Crops and Products. 2019;139:111510. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.111510
Trampetti F, Pereira C, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Exploring the halophyte Cistanche phelypaea (L.) Cout as a source of health promoting products: In vitro antioxidant and enzyme inhibitory properties, metabolomic profile and computational studies. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2019;165:119 - 128. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2018.11.053
Vizetto-Duarte C, Figueiredo F, Rodrigues MJoão, Polo C, Rešek E, Custódio L. Sustainable Valorization of Halophytes from the Mediterranean Area: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Their Fatty Acid Profile and Implications for Human and Animal Nutrition. Sustainability. 2019;11(8):2197. doi:10.3390/su11082197
Zengin G, Mahomoodally MFawzi, Paksoy MYavuz, et al. Phytochemical characterization and bioactivities of five Apiaceae species: Natural sources for novel ingredients. Industrial Crops and Products. 2019;135:107 - 121. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2019.04.033
Zengin G, Paksoy MYavuz, Aumeeruddy MZakariyyah, et al. New insights into the chemical profiling, cytotoxicity and bioactivity of four Bunium species. Food Research International. 2019;123:414 - 424. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2019.05.013
Zengin G, Stefanucci A, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Scrophularia lucida L. as a valuable source of bioactive compounds for pharmaceutical applications: In vitro antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, enzyme inhibitory properties, in silico studies, and HPLC profiles. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2019;162:225 - 233. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2018.09.035
Baessa M, Rodrigues MJ, Pereira C, et al. A comparative study of the in vitro enzyme inhibitory and antioxidant activities of Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub. and Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poiret from Pakistan: New sources of natural products for public health problems. South African Journal of Botany. 2019;120:146 - 156. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2018.04.006
Rodrigues MJ, Oliveira M, Neves V, et al. Coupling sea lavender (Limonium algarvense Erben) and green tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) to produce an innovative herbal beverage with enhanced enzymatic inhibitory properties. South African Journal of Botany. 2019;120:87 - 94. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2017.12.003
Pereira CGuerreiro, Barreira L, Bijttebier S, et al. Health promoting potential of herbal teas and tinctures from Artemisia campestris subsp. maritima: from traditional remedies to prospective products. Scientific Reports. 2018;8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23038-6
Rodrigues MJoão, Vizetto-Duarte C, Gangadhar KN, et al. In vitro and in silico approaches to unveil the mechanisms underlying the cytotoxic effect of juncunol on human hepatocarcinoma cells. Pharmacological Reports. 2018;70(5):896 - 899. doi:10.1016/j.pharep.2018.02.001
Roggatz CC, González-Wangüemert M, Pereira H, et al. A first glance into the nutritional properties of the sea cucumber Parastichopus regalis from the Mediterranean Sea (SE Spain). Natural Product Research. 2018;32(1):116 - 120. doi:10.1080/14786419.2017.1331224
Zengin G, Rodrigues MJoão, Abdallah HH, et al. Combination of phenolic profiles, pharmacological properties and in silico studies to provide new insights on Silene salsuginea from Turkey. Computational Biology and Chemistry. 2018;77:178 - 186. doi:10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2018.10.005
González-Wangüemert M, Roggatz CC, Rodrigues MJoão, Barreira L, da Silva MMoreira, Custódio L. A new insight into the influence of habitat on the biochemical properties of three commercial sea cucumber species. International Aquatic Research. 2018;10(4):361 - 373. doi:10.1007/s40071-018-0210-9
Rodrigues MJoão, Slusarczyk S, Pecio Ł, et al. In vitro and in silico approaches to appraise Polygonum maritimum L. as a source of innovative products with anti-ageing potential. Industrial Crops and Products. 2018;111:391 - 399. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2017.10.046
Rodrigues MJ, Pereira CA, Oliveira M, et al. Sea rose (Armeria pungens (Link) Hoffmanns. & Link) as a potential source of innovative industrial products for anti-ageing applications. Industrial Crops and Products. 2018;121:250 - 257. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.05.018
Barreira L, Rešek E, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Halophytes: Gourmet food with nutritional health benefits?. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2017;59:35 - 42. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2017.02.003
Braga T, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira H, et al. Bursatella leachii from Mar Menor as a Source of Bioactive Molecules: Preliminary Evaluation of the Nutritional Profile, In Vitro Biological Activities, and Fatty Acids Contents. Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology. 2017;26(10):1337 - 1350. doi:10.1080/10498850.2017.1392670
Rocha MI, Rodrigues MJ, Pereira C, et al. Biochemical profile and in vitro neuroprotective properties of Carpobrotus edulis L., a medicinal and edible halophyte native to the coast of South Africa. South African Journal of Botany. 2017;111:222 - 231. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2017.03.036
Grosso C, Cardoso AL, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Hetero-Diels-Alder approach to Bis(indolyl)methanes. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 2017;25(3):1122 - 1131. doi:10.1016/j.bmc.2016.12.028
Oliveira M, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira C, et al. First report of the in vitro antileishmanial properties of extremophile plants from the Algarve Coast. Natural Product Research. 2017:1 - 5. doi:10.1080/14786419.2017.1326489
Pereira CGuerreiro, Barreira L, Bijttebier S, et al. Chemical profiling of infusions and decoctions of Helichrysum italicum subsp. picardii by UHPLC-PDA-MS and in vitro biological activities comparatively with green tea ( Camellia sinensis ) and rooibos tisane ( Aspalathus linearis ). Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. 2017;145:593 - 603. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2017.07.007
Lopes SMM, Sousa EP, Barreira L, Marques C, Rodrigues MJoão, Melo TMVDPin. Synthesis and anti-cancer activity of chiral tetrahydropyrazolo[1,5- a ]pyridine-fused steroids. Steroids. 2017;122:16 - 23. doi:10.1016/j.steroids.2017.03.006
Rodrigues MJoão, Gangadhar KN, Zengin G, et al. Juncaceae species as sources of innovative bioactive compounds for the food industry: In vitro antioxidant activity, neuroprotective properties and in silico studies. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2017;107:590 - 596. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.04.006
Rodrigues MJoão, Custódio L, Lopes A, et al. Unlocking the in vitro anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic potential of Polygonum maritimum. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2017;55(1):1348 - 1357. doi:10.1080/13880209.2017.1301493
Oliveira M, Junior PAdemar Sal, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Unlocking the in vitro anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity of halophyte plants from the southern Portugal. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2016;9(8):735-41. doi:10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.06.015
Custódio L, Laukaityte S, Engelen AH, et al. A comparative evaluation of biological activities and bioactive compounds of the seagrasses Zostera marina and Zostera noltei from southern Portugal. Natural Product Research. 2016;30(6):724 - 728. doi:10.1080/14786419.2015.1040791
Ismael A, Henriques MSC, Marques C, et al. Exploring saccharinate-tetrazoles as selective Cu(. RSC Adv. 2016;6(75):71628 - 71637. doi:10.1039/C6RA15051A
Pereira H, Custódio L, Rodrigues MJ, et al. Profiling of antioxidant potential and phytoconstituents of Plantago coronopus. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2016;(ahead). doi:10.1590/1519-6984.02416
Rodrigues MJoão, Neves V, Martins A, et al. In vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Limonium algarvense flowers' infusions and decoctions: A comparison with green tea (Camellia sinensis). Food Chem. 2016;200:322-9. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.01.048
Lopes A, Rodrigues MJoão, Pereira C, et al. Natural products from extreme marine environments: Searching for potential industrial uses within extremophile plants. Industrial Crops and Products. 2016;94:299 - 307. doi:10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.08.040
Grosso C, Cardoso ALúcia, Lemos A, et al. Novel approach to bis(indolyl)methanes: de novo synthesis of 1-hydroxyiminomethyl derivatives with anti-cancer properties. Eur J Med Chem. 2015;93:9-15. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2015.01.050
Pereira H, Custódio L, Rodrigues MJoão, et al. Biological Activities and Chemical Composition of Methanolic Extracts of Selected Autochthonous Microalgae Strains from the Red Sea. Mar Drugs. 2015;13(6):3531-49. doi:10.3390/md13063531
Rodrigues MJoão, Gangadhar KN, Vizetto-Duarte C, et al. Maritime halophyte species from southern Portugal as sources of bioactive molecules. Mar Drugs. 2014;12(4):2228-44. doi:10.3390/md12042228
Título do Projeto Coordenador Período Financiamento CCMAR Total
ManaCruzi Marine Natural Products Against T. cruzi 01/01/2014 a 31/12/2015 FCT
XTREMEBIO Halófitas: um recurso precioso de elementos nutricionais e compostos bioactivos Luísa Custódio 01/05/2013 a 31/08/2015 FCT 135.21k€
SEABIOMED Organismos fotossintéticos marinhos da costa Algarvia com aplicações biomédicas Luísa Custódio 04/01/2010 a 30/04/2013 FCT 159.02k€
Título do Projeto Coordenador Período Financiamento CCMAR Total
HaloFarMs Development and Optimization of Halophyte-based Farming systems in salt-affected Mediterranean Soils 01/10/2020 a 30/09/2024 1.000,00k€
Tipo de Evento 
Sala 2.31 I Edifício 7 I Campus Gambelas
Qua, 24/04/2019
Sala 2.31 I Edifício 7 I Campus Gambelas
Luísa Custódio trabalhou anteriormente no CCMAR como investigadora auxiliar e juntou-se ao grupo XtremeBio. Parabéns à nova posição Luísa!
Catarina Guerreiro Pereira apresentou e defendeu a sua tese sobre “Chemical and biological characterization of halophyte plants with ethnopharmacological use in the Algarve coast”.
Viana Loaiza, juntou-se ao grupo de investigação XtremeBio. Bem-vinda à equipa!