The Bioinnovation Centre at Universidad de Antofagasta was recently created to promote innovative research based on microorganisms with potential biotechnological applications.
The principal research area is the study of microbial biodiversity in natural environments, focusing on aquatic coastal marine system in the north of Chile and saline waters of the Altiplano in the Andes and the Atacama Desert.
Microorganisms are isolated under variation of the culture media and conditions and possible biotechnological applications from secondary metabolites are investigated. The major goal is to understand the biological interactions of microorganisms with other organisms, which frequently come along with the production of secondary metabolites with antimicrobial or anti-cancer activity. The contribution to the Marine Fungi project will be the study of fungi associated with marine algae in coastal waters off Chile and the selection on the basis of biosynthetic genes of the PKS and NRPS pathways. Due to the almost total absence of previous studies on fungi in this habitat and the favourable environmental conditions for fungi this will be an important future project at the University of Antofagasta.
PI contact: Dr. Cristina Dorador Ortiz cdorador (@) uantof.cl