Pedro Santos

People Detail

Research Area : Biodiversity

Position : Integrated members


Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology of the University of Minho.


Currently, I am leading a research team in Bacterial Functional Genomics. Our team is strongly engaged in Systems Biology approaches using Pseudomonas selected isolates. Bacteria belonging to the Pseudomonas genus possess an intricate ability to tolerate and thrive in challenging environments such as the Human lungs, the deep sea or highly polluted soils. Such competence resides in their wide nutritional and metabolic versatility and in a complex network of adaptation mechanisms. In other words, the necessary code to efficiently cope with a wide variety of different substrates and biotic and/or abiotic stress conditions is included in their genomic catalog. Therefore, they hold great potential, as a source of novel biomolecules and cell factories, for different biotechnological applications, namely in the fields of biocatalysis, biosensors, bioremediation, and biomedicine.

Ongoing Projects

Title: VALEU - Towards the valorization of eucalyptus waste using Pseudomonas-based biocatalysts
Funding: 02/SAICT/2017
Period: 2018-2020
Role: Principal investigator

Title: GenomePortugal
Funding: ROTEIRO/0044/2013
Period: 2014-2020
Role: Team member (node coordinator)

Concluded Projects

Title: WRANA - Wastewater reuse: improving the odds by understanding natural attenuation (INDIGO-IPP1-026, ERA-NET)
Funding: Inn-INDIGO/0004/2014
Period: 2015-2018
Role: European Coordinator

Title: Cetaceans as marine ecosystem health sentinels
Funding: FCT- RECI/AAG-GLO/0470/2012
Period: 2013-2018
Role: Team member (task coordinator)

Title: Exploitation of immunogenic proteins of the Burkholderia cepacia complex to design new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies
Funding: FCT- PTDC/BBB-BIO/1958/2012
Period: 2013-2015
Role: Team member (responsible of the research activities at University of Minho)

Title: ROOT-INT- Role of a two-component regulatory system in the early interaction between Sinorhizobium meliloti and plant root hairs
Funding: FCT-PTDC/BIA-MIC/113733/2009
Period: 2011-2014
Role: Team member (responsible of the research activities at University of Minho)

Title: NANOECOTOX-Impacts of metal nanoparticles to aquatic ecosystems: from community responses to cellular targets
Funding: PTDC/AAC-AMB/121650/2010 (2012-2015)
Period: 2012-2015
Role: Team member

Title: ECOPLAST - Research in new biomass-based composites from renewable resources with improved properties for vehicle parts moulding
Funding: FP7-NMP-2009-SME-3 Collaborative Project Nº: 246176
Period: 2010- 2014
Role: Team member

Title: BIOMYR –Towards the metabolic engineering of beta-myrcene pathway Pseudomonas sp. M1: functional genomics and structural biochemistry approaches
Funding: FCT- PTDC/EBB-BIO/104980/2008
Period: 2010-2013
Role: Principal investigator

Title: Acute versus persistent infection by Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria in cystic fibrosis patients: underlying mechanisms, in particular the role of exopolysaccharide biosynthesis
Funding: PTDC/SAU-MII/69591/2006
Period: 2007- 2010
Role: Team member


Mesquita CS, Ribeiro A, Gomes AC, Santos PM (2021) Absence of Light Exposure Increases Pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Pneumonia-Associated Clinical Isolates. Biology, 10, 837,

Costa D, Fernandes T, Martins F, Pereira JA, Tavares RM, Santos PM, Baptista P, Lino-Neto T (2021) Illuminating Olea europaea L. endophyte fungal community. Microbiol Research 245, 126693

Soares-Castro P, Soares F, Santos PM (2020) Current Advances in the Bacterial Toolbox for the Biotechnological Production of Monoterpene-Based Aroma Compounds. Molecules 2021, 26, 91;

Viggor S, Jõesaar M, Soares-Castro P, Ilmjärv T, Santos PM, Kapley A, Kivisaar M (2020) Microbial Metabolic Potential of Phenol Degradation in Wastewater Treatment Plant of Crude Oil Refinery: Analysis of Metagenomes and Characterization of Isolates. Microorganisms. 8 DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms8050652. PMID: 32365784; PMCID: PMC7285258.

Sousa SA, Soares-Castro P, Seixas AMM, Feliciano JR, Balugas B, Barreto C, Pereira L, Santos PM, Leitão JH (2020) New insights into the immunoproteome of B. cenocepacia J2315 using serum samples from cystic fibrosis patients. New Biotechnology, 54:62-70.

Soares-Castro, P., Araújo-Rodrigues, H., Godoy-Vitorino, F., Ferreira M, Covelo P, López A, Vingada J, Eira C, Santos PM (2019). Microbiota fingerprints within the oral cavity of cetaceans as indicators for population biomonitoring. Sci Rep 9, 13679 (2019).

Soares-Castro, P., Yadav, T.C., Viggor, S., Kivisaar M, Kapley A, Santos PM (2019). Seasonal bacterial community dynamics in a crude oil refinery wastewater treatment plant. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 103, 9131–9141 (2019).

Mesquita CS, Soares-Castro P, Faustino A, Santos HM, Capelo JL, Santos PM (2019)
Identification of genomic loci associated with genotypic and phenotypic variation among Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates from pneumonia. Microbial Pathogen, 136.

Reis F, Soares-Castro P, Costa D, Tavares RM, Baptista P, Santos PM, Lino-Neto T (2019) Climatic impacts on the bacterial community profiles of cork oak soils. Appl. Soil Ecol. 143, 89-97

Proteomics and antioxidant enzymes reveal different mechanisms of toxicity induced by ionic and nanoparticulate silver in bacteria (2019) Barros D, Pradhan A, Mendes VM, Manadas B, Santos PM, Pascoal C, Cássio F. Environ. Sci.: Nano, 6, 1207-1218

Soares-Castro P, Montenegro-Silva P, Heipieper HJ, Santos PM (2017) Functional characterization of a 28-kb catabolic island from Pseudomonas sp. M1 involved in biotransformation of b-myrcene and related plant-derived volatiles. Applied Envi. Microbiol 83. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03112-16

Godoy-Vitorino F, Rodriguez-Hilario A, Alves AL, Gonçalves F, Cabrera-Colon B, Mesquita CS, Soares-Castro P, Ferreira M, Marçalo A, Vingada J, Eira C, Santos PM (2017) The microbiome of a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) stranded in Portugal. Res Microbiol. 168:85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2016.08.004.

Silva IN, Santos PM, Santos MR, Zlosnik JEA, Speert DP, Buskirk SW, Bruger EL, Waters CM, Cooper VS, and Moreira LM. Long-term evolution of Burkholderia multivorans during a chronic cystic fibrosis infection reveals shifting forces of selection. mSystems 1(3):e00029-16, 2016.

Freschi L, Jeukens J, Kukavica-Ibrulj I, Boyle B, Dupont M-J, Laroche J, Larose S, Maaroufi H, Fothergill JL, Moore M, Winsor GL, Aaron SD, Barbeau J, Bell SC, Burns JL, Camara M, Cantin A, Charette SJ, Dewar K, Déziel É, Grimwood K, Hancock REW, Harrison JJ, Heeb S, Jelsbak L, Jia B, Kenna DT, Kidd TJ, Klockgether J, Lam JS, Lamont IL, Lewenza S, Loman N, Malouin F, Manos J, McArthur AG, McKeown J, Milot J, Naghra H, Nguyen D, Pereira SK, Perron GG, Pirnay J-P, Rainey PB, Rousseau S, Santos PM, Stephenson A, Taylor V, Turton JF, Waglechner N, Williams P, Thrane SW, Wright GD, Brinkman FSL, Tucker NP, Tümmler B, Winstanley C and Levesque RC (2015) Clinical utilization of genomics data produced by the international Pseudomonas aeruginosa consortium. Front. Microbiol. 6:1036. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01036

Baptista P, Reis F, Pereira E, Tavares RM, Santos PM, Richard F, Selosse M, Lino-Neto T (2015) Soil DNA pyrosequencing and fruitbody surveys reveal contrasting diversity for various fungal ecological guilds in chestnut orchards. Environ Microbiol Rep doi: 10.1111/1758-2229.12336

Silva I, Santos PM, Moreira L (2015) Draft Genome Sequence of Two Burkholderia multivorans Sequential Isolates from a Chronic Lung Infection of a Cystic Fibrosis Patient. Genome Annouc. 3(1). pii: e01531-14.

Soares-Castro P, Santos PM (2014) Deciphering the genome repertoire of Pseudomonas sp. M1 towards ß-myrcene biotransformation. Gen. Biology Evol. 7:1-17. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evu254.

Madeira A, Santos S, Santos PM, Coutinho CP, Tyrrell J, McClean S, Callaghan M, Sá-Correia I (2013) Proteomic Profiling of Burkholderia cenocepacia Clonal Isolates with Different Virulence Potential Retrieved from a Cystic Fibrosis Patient during Chronic Lung Infection. PlosOne, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.008306

Soares-Castro P, Santos PM (2013) Towards the description of the genome catalog of Pseudomonas sp. M1. Genome Announcements 1: e00146-12

Soares-Castro P, Marques D, Demyanchuk S, Faustino A, Santos PM (2011) The genome sequence drafts of two Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolates with different antibiotic susceptibilities. J. Bacteriol. 193:5573

Madeira, A., Santos PM, Coutinho, C.P., Pinto-de-Oliveira, A., Sá-Correia, I.(2011) Quantitative proteomics (2-D-DIGE) reveals molecular strategies employed by Burkholderia cenocepacia to adapt to the airways of cystic fibrosis patients under antimicrobial therapy. PROTEOMICS, 11:1313-1328.

Roma-Rodrigues C, Santos PM, Benndorf D, Rapp E, Sá-Correia I. 2010. Response of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 to phenol at the level of membrane proteome. Journal of Proteomics, 73:1461-1478

Santos PM, Sá-Correia I. (2009) Adaptation to beta-myrcene catabolism in Pseudomonas sp. M1: an expression proteomics analysis. Proteomics 9:5101-11.

Teixeira M.C., Santos PM, Rodrigues C, Sá-Correia I. (2009) Teaching Expression Proteomics: From the Wet-Lab to the Laptop. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Education 37:279–286.

Santos PM, Simões T, Sá-Correia I. (2009) Insights into yeast adaptive response to the agricultural fungicide mancozeb: a toxicoproteomics approach. Proteomics 9:657-670.

Cosme A.M., Becker A., Santos M.R., Sharypova L.A., Santos PM, Moreira L.M. (2008) The outer membrane protein TolC from Sinorhizobium meliloti affects protein secretion, polysaccharide biosynthesis, antimicrobial resistance and symbiosis. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 21:947-957.

Santos PM, Sá-Correia I. (2007) Characterization of the unique organization and co-regulation of a gene cluster required for phenol and benzene catabolism in Pseudomonas sp. M1. Journal of Biotechnology 131:371-378.

Santos PM, Roma V., Benndorf D., von Bergen M., Harms H., Sá-Correia I. (2007) Mechanistic insights into the global response to phenol in the phenol-biodegrading strain Pseudomonas sp. M1, revealed by quantitative proteomics. OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology 11:233-251.

Mendes N.D., Casimiro A., Santos PM, Sá-Correia I, Oliveira A.L. Freitas A.T. (2006) MUSA: A parameter free algorithm for the identification of biologically significant motifs. Bioinformatics 22:2996-3002.

Teixeira M.C., Santos PM, Fernandes A.R., Sá-Correia I. (2005) A proteome analysis of the yeast response to the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Proteomics 5:1889-1901.

Santos PM, Benndorf D., Sá-Correia I. (2004) Insights into Pseudomonas putida KT2440 response to phenol-induced stress by quantitative proteomics. Proteomics 4:2640-2652.

Fernandes A.R., Durão P.J., Santos PM, Sá-Correia I. (2003) Activation and significance of vacuolar H+-ATPase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae adaptation and resistance to the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 312:1317-1324.

Kabelitz N., Santos PM, Heipieper H.J. (2003) Effect of aliphatic alcohols on growth and degree of saturation of membrane lipids in Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. FEMS Microbiology Letters 220:223-227.

Santos PM, Mignogna G., Heipieper H.J., Zennaro E. (2002) Occurrence and properties of glutathione S- transferases in phenol-degrading Pseudomonas strains. Research in Microbiology 153:89-98.

Santos PM, Leoni L., Di Bartolo I., Zennaro E. (2002) Integration host factor is essential for the optimal expression of styABCD operon in Pseudomonas fluorescens ST. Research in Microbiology 153: 527-536.

Santos PM, Di Bartolo I., Blatny J.M., Valla S., Zennaro E. (2001) New broad-host-range promoter probe vectors based on the plasmid RK2 replicon. FEMS Microbiology Letters 195:91-96.

Santos PM, Blatny J.M., Di Bartolo I., Valla S., Zennaro E. (2000) Physiological analysis of the expression of the styrene degradation gene cluster in Pseudomonas fluorescens ST. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 66:1305-1310.

Isken S., Santos PM, de Bont J.A.M. (1997) Effect of solvent adaptation on antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas putida S12. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 48:642-647.