Cândida Lucas


People Detail

Address : Institute of Science and Innovation on Bio-Sustainability (IB-S), University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal

Phone Number : +351253601584

Research Area : Biodiversity

Position : Integrated members


CURRENT ACADEMIC POSITION Full Professor (tenure), University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, since 2015. EDUCATION 2007 - Aggregation, UMinho, Portugal Dissertation: Regulation of gene expression. The particular case of stress response in yeasts. Program and Methods for Theoretical and Laboratory Classes. 1984/88 - PhD (Biotechnology/Microbiology); NOVA ULisbon/Gulbenkian Institute of Science, Portugal. Dissertation: Physiological studies in Candida shehatae Bluckley & van Uden: A xylose fermenting yeast. 1982/84 - MSc (Biotechnology /Molecular Biology), Gulbenkian Institute of Science, Portugal 1977/82 - Graduation (Biology), ULisbon, Portugal Dissertation (2 years), National Agronomic Station, Portugal: Two viruses infecting Cruciferae. PREVIOUS ACADEMIC/RESEARCH POSITIONS 1997/07 - Associate Professor of the Dep. of Biology, UMinho, Braga, Portugal. 1990/97 - Assistant Professor of the Dep. of Biology, UMinho, Braga, Portugal. 1988/90 - Post-doc Researcher, Centre of Neurosciencies, UCoimbra, Portugal.


RESEARCH INTERESTS 1. Deepening the knowledge on the complex role of the GUP genes on signalling in yeasts. The GUP genes are a pair of extremely pleiotropic genes involved in many crucial roles, which include: • glycerol utilisation • stress response • budding-site selection/cytoskeleton orientation • secretory/endocytic pathway • vacuole morphology • lipid production and distribution in membranes • RAFTs integrity and composition • GPI anchor remodelling • cell wall composition & integrity • cell and colony morphology • cellular differentiation • adhesion, adherence and invasiveness • biofilm formation • cell death These genes in mammalian cells are involved in Hedgehog pathway, promoting the chemical modifications that modulate the Hh morphogen action and travel through the ECM and therefore indirectly involved in cell differentiation and fate. The data from yeasts suggests analogous roles although the existence of a Hh-like pathway in yeast multicellular aggregates has not been confirmed. 2. Characterising the molecular composition and functionality of the yeast extracellular matrix (yECM). Yeasts, as other microorganisms are generally regarded as unicellular. However, in nature, they most often live in multicellular aggregates, where millions of cells stick together and multiply forming a biofilm. As it happens in the tissues of higher Eukaryotes, a biofilm requires a self-produced extracellular matrix (yECM) that provides a scaffold for spatial organisation and nutrient and water availability and promotes cellular differentiation. Previously, we characterised the main components of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ECM: an extremely large proteome (>600 proteins) including all the enzymes from glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and fermentation embedded in a highly glycosidic environment. Presently, the particular interests are on achieving a deeper knowledge on the roles the yECM plays in the promotion of differentiation and multicellularity. This work counts with an active collaboration with M. Pavão from UFRJ, Brasil. 3. Metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the efficient consumption of glycerol. This line of work is based on more than 20 years dedicated to the study of yeast physiology relating to glycerol: transport, accumulation, regulation of metabolism, and associated stress responses, and relies on active collaborations with the bioethanol industry in Brasil and the R. Brandão yeast group from the Federal University of Ouro Preto, MG Brasil. 4. Exploring the biotechnological potential of yeasts as biocidals for fungal plant pathologies threatening important world crop production Yeasts have been for long known to act as killers of other yeasts. Still, only recently have been yeasts recognised the ability to seriously antagonise bacteria and filamentous fungi. The latter are presently the greatest menace to world agriculture production in view of the inefficacy of fungicides and the increased legal restraints of their application. Yeasts, as GRAS microrganisms, easily manipulated and cheaply cultivated, might be explored as a sustainable solution for many phytopahological problems. We are presently studying their use in the control of cacao Whitche’s Broom Disease and olive Anthracnose.

Ongoing Projects

2016/20 - EcoAgriFood
Task: Evaluation of the potential of yeasts as antagonizers of phytopathogenic filamentous fungi causing severe diseases in economically important crops from the North of Portugal.
Funded by: NORTE2020
Personal role in the project: Researcher/supervisor

Concluded Projects


- 2013/16 - GLYCOPHARM - The sugar code: from bio(chemical) concept to clinics.
Funded by: Innovative Training Network, Marie Curie Actions, European Commission
Personal role in the project: Partner PI and Researcher

- 2012/15 - Engineering S. cerevisiae for the industrial utilization of bio-diesel glycerol wastes.
Funded by: CAPES, Brazil, Program Science Without Borders, Priority area - Biotechnology and Renewable Energy - Special Visiting Researcher.
Personal role in the project: PI

- 2011/13 - MyHealth /DoIt - Module MyBIOMARKERS – Utilization of spectroscopy and electrochemistry integrated techniques in the detection of biological markers.
Funded by: QREN/CCDRN, Portugal
Personal role in the project: Partner Project Manager

- 2005/07 - BIOVALOR Network 04-383 - Utilization of lignocellulosic products for biotechnological development: biomolecules for industrial, food and farmaceutic uses.
Funded by: IBEROEKA (Technological and Business Cooperation with Latin America) / CYTED (Ibero-American Sci&T Programme for Development)/ ADI (Agency for Innovation, Portugal).
Task: Cloning the specific high affinity xylose transporter from the xylose consuming yeast Debaryomyces hansenii in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Personal role in the project: Partner PI and Task Leader.

- 2002/05 - ZIMOCINA - Isolation and biochemical and functional characterization of the zymocin produced by the extreme halotolerant Candida nodaensis.
Funded by: FCT - POCTI/AGR/ 40084/2001.
Personal role in the project: PI

- 1995/98 - Engineering of yeast glycerol metabolism towards optimised yield of fermentation end products and improved tolerance to osmotic stress.
Funded by: European Commission, FP5 - BIOTECH - Life Sciences and Technologies - Cell Factories PL0161/95.
Personal role in the project: Partner PI and Task Leader.


- 2013/14 - Industrial Development project for FERMENTEC Ltd, Piracicaba, Brazil.
Development of a combined refinery process for the production of lipids from oleaginous yeasts from bioethanol production wastes for the production of biodiesel.
Personal role in the project: PI

- 2007/09 - Industrial Development project for AB/MAURI, Australia.
Engineering glycerol consumption by industrial strains of baker yeast.
Personal role in the project: PI


Pedro Ferraz - PhD Grantee FCT at CBMA, UMinho, Portugal.
Subject: Development of a yeast-based protocol for the biocontrol of the Witches broom disease fungus devastating cacao plants.

M. Rodrigues - Master Course on Ecology.
Subject: Evaluation of the antagonistic effect of yeasts in the biocontrol of the fungi responsible for Olea europaea (Olive tree) anthracnose. CBMA, UMinho, Portugal.

Coralie da Silva - Master Course in Molecular Genetics
Subject: A primitive question: can a yeast multicellular community provide active extracellular metabolism?


4 Post-Doc Researchers
13 PhD Students
15 Masters Students
8 Other Supervisory Roles



1. Integrated process for the production of oil and biogas from vinasse. Request nº BR 102015031011, 10/12/2015.
Authors: C. Lucas and S. Machado from the UMinho and H.V. Amorim, M.L. Lopes, A. Godoy, M. S. Lorenzi and S. Lima Paulillo from FERMENTEC – Tecnologias em Açúcar e Álcool Ltda, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
Status: Pending.
2 and 3. Manageable processes of using biocidal yeasts for the control of plant fungal diseases with large economic impact: the cacao infectious fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa (witches broom disease), and olive anthracnose causing agents Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. acutatum.
Authors: C. Lucas, P. Ferraz and M. R. Rodrigues.
Status: Under negotiation.


Ferraz P, Cássio F, Lucas C Potential of yeasts as biocontrol agents of the phytopathogen causing cacao Witches’ Broom Disease: is microbial warfare a solution? (Submitted)
da Cunha A, Santos AC, Riano-Pachon D, Oliveira J, Sousa A, Soaresa L, Godoy-Santosa F, Teixeira J, Faria-Oliveira F, Rosse I, Castro I, Lucas C, Brandão R Draft genome sequence of Wickerhamomyces anomalus LBCM1105, isolated from cachaça fermentation. (submitted)
da Cunha AC, Gomes LS, Godoy-Santos F, Faria-Oliveira F, Teixeira JA, Sampaio GMS, Trópia MJM, Castro IM, Lucas C, Brandão RL. (2019) High-affinity transport, cyanide-resistant respiration, and ethanol production under aerobiosis underlying efficient high glycerol consumption by Wickerhamomyces anomalus. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 46(5): 709-723. doi: 10.1007/s10295-018-02119-5.
Tulha JT, Lucas C (2018) Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondrial Voltage 1 Dependent Anion Channel (VDAC) Por1 interacts physically with the MBOAT O-acyltransferase Gup1/HHATL in the control of cell wall integrity and Programmed Cell Death. FEMS Yeast Research 8(8): foy097. doi: 10.1093/femsyr/foy097.
Monteiro B, Ferraz P, Barroca M, Collins T, da Curz SH, Lucas C (2018) Conditions promoting effective very high gravity sugar cane juice fermentation. Biotechnol Biofuels 11: 251. doi: 10.1186/s13068-018-1239-0
Cazzanelli G, Pereira F, Alves S, Francisco R, Azevedo L, Dias Carvalho P, Almeida A, Côrte-Real M, Oliveira MJ, Lucas C, Sousa MJ, Preto A (2018) The Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a Model for Understanding RAS Proteins and their Role in Human Tumorigenesis. Cells 7(2): E14. doi: 10.3390/cells7020014.
Lucas C, Ferreira C, Cazzanelli G, Franco-Duarte R, Tulha J (2016) Yeast Gup1(2) proteins are homologues of the Hedgehog morphogens acyl transferases HHAT(L): facts and implications. J. Dev. Biol. 4: 33.
Pinheiro ML, Serôdio P, Pinho JC, Lucas C (2016) The role of Social Capital towards Resource Sharing in collaborative R&D projects: evidences from the 7th Framework Programme. Int. J. Proj. Managm. 34: 1519-1536.
Azenha M, Lucas C, Granja JL, Carlos-Alves I, Guimarães E (2016) Glycerol resulting from biodiesel production as an admixture for cement-based materials: an experimental study. Eu. J. Environm. Civil Eng. doi.org/10.1080/19648189.2016.1177603
Faria-Oliveira F, Carvalho J, Ferreira C, Hernáez ML, Gil C, Lucas C (2015) Quantitative differential proteomics of yeast extracellular matrix: there is more to it than meets the eye. BMC Microbiol. 15(1):271.
Dušková M, Ferriera C, Lucas C, Sychrová H (2015) Two glycerol uptake systems contribute to the high osmotolerance of Zygosaccharomyces rouxii. Mol. Microbiol. 97(3): 541-559. doi: 10.1186/s12866-015-0550-1.
Conceição L, Saraiva M, Diniz R, Oliveira J, Barbosa G, Alvarez F, Correa L, Mezadri H, Coutrim M, Afonso R, Lucas C, Castro I, - - - Brandão R (2015) Biotechnological potential of yeast isolates from cachaça – the Brazilian spirit. J. Ind. Microbiol. & Biotechnol. 42(2): 237-46. doi: 10.1007/s10295-014-1528-y
Pinheiro ML, Lucas C, Pinho PC (2015) The outset of U-I R&D relationships: The specific case of Biological Sciences. Eur. J. Innov. Manag. 18(3): 282-306.
Pinheiro ML, Lucas C, Pinho JC (2015) Social Network Analysis as a new methodological tool to understand University-Industry cooperation. Int. J. Innov. Manag. 19(1): 1550013.
Faria-Oliveira F, Carvalho J, Belmiro CLR, Ramalho G, Pavão M, Lucas C, Ferreira C (2015) Elemental biochemical analysis of the polysaccharides in the extracellular matrix of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Basic Microbiol. 54: 1–10.
Faria-Oliveira F, Carvalho J, Belmiro CLR, Martinez-Gomariz M, Hernaez ML, Pavão P, Gil C, Lucas C, Ferreira C (2014) Methodologies to generate, extract, purify and fractionate yeast ECM for analytical use in proteomics and glycomics. BMC Microbiol. 14(1):244.
Ferreira D, Nobre A, Silva ML, Faria-Oliveira F, Tulha J, Ferreira C, Lucas C (2013) XYLH encodes a xylose/H+ symporter from the highly related yeast species Debaryomyces fabryi and Debaryomyces hansenii. FEMS Yeast Res. 13(7): 585-96.
Pinheiro M, Pinho JC, Lucas C (2012) Examining University-Industry interactions from the perspective of relationship marketing and business networks. IMP2012 – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – Roma, Italy (at: www.impgroup.org/paper_view.php?viewPaper=7841)
Tulha J, Faria-Oliveira F, Costa C, Lucas C, Ferreira C (2012) Programmed cell death in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is hampered by the deletion of Gup1p. BMC Microbiol. 12(1): 80.
Tulha J, Lima A, Lucas C, Ferreira C (2010) Saccharomyces cerevisiae glycerol/H+ symporter Stl1p is essential for cold/near-freeze and freeze stress adaptation. A simple recipe with high biotechnological potential is given. Microb. Cell Fact. 9(1): 82-89.
Ferreira C, Silva S, Faria-Oliveira F, Pinho E, Henriques M, Lucas C (2010) Candida albicans virulence and drug-resistance requires the O-acyltransferase Gup1p. BMC Microbiol. 15: 238-252.
Kayingo G, Martins C, Andrie R, Neves L, Lucas C, Wong B (2009) A permease encoded by STL1 is required for active glycerol uptake by Candida albicans. Microbiology 155: 1547-57.
Sant'Ana G, Paes L, Paiva A, Fietto L, Totola A, Tropia MJ, Giunchetti D, Lucas C, Fietto J, Brandão R, Castro I (2009) Protective effect of ions against cell death induced by acid stress in Saccharomyces. FEMS Yeast Res. 9: 701-12.
da Silva S, Calado S, Lucas C, Almeida-Aguiar C (2008) Unusual phenotypic properties of the halotolerant yeast Candida nodaensis killer toxin, CnKT. Microbiol. Res. 163: 243-51.
Ferreira C, Lucas C (2008) The yeast O-acyltransferase Gup1p interferes in lipid metabolism with direct consequences on the sphingolipid-sterol ordered domains integrity/assembly. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1778 (11): 2648-53.
Ferreira C, Lucas C (2007) Glucose repression over Saccharomyces cerevisiae glycerol/H+ symporter gene STL1 is overcome by high temperatures. FEBS Lett., 581: 1923-1927.
Ferreira C, Silva S, van Voorst F, Aguiar C, Kielland-Brandt M, Brandt A, Lucas C (2006) Absence of Gup1p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae results in a defective cell wall composition, assembly, stability and morphology. FEMS Yeast Res., 6: 1027-1038.
Gomes KN, Freitas SMAC, Pais TM , Fietto JLR, Totola AH, Arantes RME, Martins A, Lucas C, Schuller D, Casal M,, Castro IM, - Fietto LG, Brandão RL (2005) Deficiency of Pkc1 activity affects glycerol metabolism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEMS Yeast Res. 5: 767-776.
Ferreira C, van Voorst F, Martins A, Neves L, Oliveira R, Kielland-Brandt MC, Lucas C, Brandt A (2005) A member of the sugar transporter family, Stl1p is the glycerol/H+ symporter in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol. Biol. Cell 16: 2068–2076.
Oliveira R, Lucas C (2004) Expression studies of GUP1 and GUP2, genes involved in glycerol active uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Curr. Genet. 46: 140-146.
Neves L, Lages F, Lucas C (2004) New insights on glycerol transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEBS Lett., 565: 160-162.
Neves L, Oliveira R, Lucas C (2004) Yeast orthologues associated with glycerol transport and metabolism. FEMS Yeast Res. 5: 51-62.
Silva-Graça M, Lucas C (2003) Physiological studies on the long-term adaptation to salt-stress in the extremely halotolerant yeast Candida versatilis CBS4019 (syn. C. halophila) FEMS Yeast Res., 3: 247-260.
Silva-Graça M, Neves L, Lucas C (2003) Outlines for the definition of halotolerance/ halophily in yeasts: Candida versatilis (halophila) CBS4019 as the archetype? FEMS Yeast Res., 3: 347-362.
Oliveira R, Lages F, Silva-Graça M, and Lucas C (2003) Fps1p channel is the mediator of the major part of the glycerol passive diffusion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: artefacts and re-definitions. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. Biomemb. 1613: 57 – 71.
Aguiar, C, - - Lucas C (2000) Yeasts Killer/sensitivivity phenotypes and halotolerance. Food Technol. Biotechnol., 38 (1): 39-46.
Hölst B., Lunde C, Lages F, Oliveira R, Lucas C, Kielland-Brandt M (2000) GUP1 and its close homologue GUP2, encoding multi-membrane-spanning proteins involved in active glycerol uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol. Microbiol, 37: 98-107.
Nobre A, Lucas C, Leão C (1999) Transport and utilization of hexoses and pentoses in the halotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii. Appl. Environm. Microbiol., 65 (8): 3594-3598.
Lages F, Silva-Graça M, Lucas C (1999) Active glycerol transport is a mechanism underlying halotolerance in yeasts: a study of 42 species. Microbiol., 145: 2577-2586.
Neves ML, Oliveira RP, Lucas CM (1997) Metabolic flux response to osmotic stress in the halotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii. Microbiol., 143: 1133-1139.
Lages F, Lucas C (1997) Contribution to the physiological characterization of glycerol active uptake in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bioch. Biophys. Acta. Bioenergetics 1322: 8-18.
Sutherland FCW, Lages F, Lucas C, Luyten C, Albertyn J, Hohmann S, Prior B, Kilian SG (1997) Characteristics of Fps1-dependent and –independent glycerol transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J. Bacteriol., 179 (24): 7790-7795.
Oliveira RP, Lages F, Lucas C (1996) Isolation and characterization of mutants from the halotolerant yeast Pichia sorbitophila defective in H+/glycerol symport activity. FEMS Microbiol. Lett., 142: 147-153.
Lages F, Lucas C (1995) Characterization of a glycerol/H+ symport in the halotolerant yeast Pichia sorbitophila. Yeast, 11: 111-119.
Lucas C, da Costa M, van Uden N (1990) Osmoregulatory active sodium-glycerol co-transport in the halotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii. Yeast, 6: 187-191.
Lucas C, van Uden N (1988) Interconversion and glucose-induced inactivation of glucose transport systems in Candida shehatae. J. Basic Microbiol., 28: 639-643.
Lucas C, van Uden N (1986) Transport of hemicellulose monomers in the xylose fermenting yeast Candida shehatae. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 23: 491-495.
Lucas C, van Uden N (1985) The temperature profiles of growth, thermal death and ethanol tolerance of the xylose fermenting yeast Candida shehatae. J. Basic Microbiol., 25: 547-550.


Tulha T, Carvalho J, Armada R, Faria-Oliveira F, Lucas C, Pais C, Almeida J, Ferreira C (2011) Yeast, the man’s best friend. in “Scientific, Health and Social Aspects of the Food Industry”, ISBN 979-953-307-283-7 INTECH Open Acecss Publisher. Eds Benjamin Valdez, Roumen Zlatev, Michael Schorr, Instituto de Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexicali, México.


Lucas C, Pais C (2017) Old yeasts, new questions. InTechOpen.