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Resistence and adaptation: from the garage to the genome

Researchers from CIQUIBIC discover a local bacterium that grows in an environment contaminated by heavy metals

Dr. Andrea Smania, together with Adela Luján and Sofia Feliziani, members of their research group at CIQUIBIC, described the genome of a bacterial strain isolated from the floor of a mechanical workshop at “Las Flores” neighborhood in the city of Córdoba. There, the workshop owner threw the used car oil, a very hazardous waste as it contains high levels of heavy metals and hydrocarbons.

Dr. Smania and her team identified in this sample the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an environmental bacterium present in soil and water but also an opportunistic human pathogen responsible for the 10% of nosocomial infections. With the interest of understanding how this local bacterium had such adaptive capacity, they were able to sequence their genome and identify the presence of “cassettes” of genes that allow bacteria to resist heavy metals. This information is not only very useful for researchers working in the bioremediation field but also to understand how the pathogen infects humans and resists the action of antibiotics. The work was recently published in the journal “Genome Announcements”, of the Society of Microbiology of the United States.

Source: La Voz del Interior (see complete journalistic note; spanish only)