Day 1 :
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany
Time : 09:30-10:00
Joachim Wink has completed his PhD in 1985 from Frankfurt University. He then went to the pharmaceutical industry and started his career at the Hoechst AG where he was responsible for the strain collection and specialized in the cultivation and taxonomic characterization of Actinobacteria and Myxobacteria. In 2012 he went to the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig where he founded the working group of the strain collection with its focus on Myxobacteria. He has published more than 40 papers on secondary metabolites and the taxonomy of the producing microorganisms in reputed journals.
The Myxobacteria with the order Myxococcales (TCHAN, POCHON and PRÉVOT 1948) belong to the Gram negative Proteobacteria and have first been described in detail by Thaxter in 1892 in the Botanical Gazette. Most known Myxobacteria, occur in soil and frequently develop on decomposing plant material, the bark of living trees or animal dung. Both in nature and in the laboratory their presence may be detected through the appearance of fruiting bodies. Since the introduction of Epotilon as anticancer therapeutic on the market, the Myxobacteria have their place in the group of industrial important bacteria. The biology of Myxobacteria is mainly characterized by two features that are the gliding on surfaces without any locomotion organelles and the formation of fruiting bodies. Myxobacteria also have a high GC contend and very huge genomes with a size of about 10 Mb which correlates with their ability to produce many different secondary metabolites. Until today the taxonomy of the Myxobacteria is basing on the morphological features together with the 16S rRNA sequence, in addition we have established a number of chemotaxonomic and molecular biological markers which can be used in myxobacterial taxonomy. A short overview on the history of Myxobacteria, the fruiting body formation, its taxonomic classification and additional methods for characterization is given in this talk.
Fundacion Medina, Spain
Time : 10:00-10:30
Olga Genilloud holds a PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and has extended research experiencernin microbial natural products in the academic, clinical and big pharma R&D environments. Currently, she is the Scientifi c Director of the non-profi t researchrnorganization Fundacion MEDINA established from the former MSD-Spain R&D programs, she leads the discovery programs and the international collaborationsrnwith academic centers, large pharma and biotechnology companies. As recognized leader in her field, she has an extended list of more than 100 publications inrninternational peer-review journals and book chapters, and 17 international patents.
MEDINA is a non-profi t research center focused on the discovery of novel drug candidates from microbial natural productsrnand one of the richest and most diverse microbial collections currently in expansion. Th is microbial collection harbors morernthan 116.000 strains from a wide diversity of environments and is at the origin of our collaborative discovery research programs.rnOne of our objectives is to enrich these collections with new and diverse strains from untapped environments, and to continue tornexploit the existing microbial collection through culture-based approaches in order to succeed in maximizing the chemical diversityrnof our libraries. Our research in microbial natural products is focused on the isolation and identifi cation of novel microbial speciesrnwith the potential to produce novel compounds with biological activity to be developed as potential new leads to respond to unmetrnmedical needs. Despite the eff orts to diversify the microbial sources, it is well known that only a small fraction of microbial speciesrnhave been investigated, and that a large diversity of microbial sources remains largely underexplored, opening new avenues for thernisolation of new strains previously not cultivated. MEDINA is also exploring novel approaches to mine the so-called microbial darkrnmatter and is isolating and domesticating in laboratory culture conditions new taxa previously reported only from metagenomicrnlibraries. A selection of success cases that support the approaches developed in our center will be discussed.
Univerity of Liège, Belgium
Time : 10:30-11:00
Patrick Fickers obtained a PhD from University of Liège (Belgium) in 2004. He worked as Post-doc at Polytech’Lille (France) and as a FNRS fellow at the Centre of Protein Engineering (Liege, Belgium). Between 2009 and 2014, he was an Associated Professor at Unversité libre de Bruxelles and the Head of the Biotechnology and Bioprocess Unit. In January 2015, he joined as a Professor the Microbial Processes and Interactions research unit (MiPI) at Gembloux AgroBiotech (Univerity of Liège). He has published 37 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and six book chapters. His researches focus on the development of yeast and bacterial strains by metabolic engineering and on process development in bioreactor for the production of valuable compounds.
The worldwide emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens is a serious medical concern nowadays. The need to discover new bioactive molecules active against these bacteria is crucial and is one of the main fields of research for modern microbiologists. Most natural antibiotics used in medicine are biosynthesized by Gram-positive bacteria. Recent advances in genomics and genome sequencing have shown that the potential of these organisms to produce molecules of pharmacological interest has been greatly underestimated. Full genome sequencing has revealed biosynthesis pathways for peptides manufactured by the conventional ribosomal assembly and NRPS metabolites (nonribosomal peptide synthetase). Here, we will report on the NRPS metabolite Mycosubtilin and the ribosomally synthesized peptide Amylolysin, both produced by Bacillus sp.