The first annual meeting of the IIMENA project funded by a Challenge Grant of the Novo Nordisk Foundation was held in Copenhagen, Denmark on 17th of April, 2018. The meeting was hosted by the Technical University of Denmark, a coordinating partner of the consortium. The meeting allowed the partners to present what they have done in the first year as well as the next steps and plans for the years to come.
The picture shows the result of the confrontation between an endophytic fungus, living inside plant tissues and a phytopathogen using a co-culture technique. It allows the in vitro simulation of microorganism’s interactions that may happen in their natural environment. The endophytic species Dothiora sp. (black fungi) faced the phytopathogen strain Hypoxylon mediterraneum (white fungi) for 14th days in a Petri plate and an agar environment at 22ºC. Both microorganisms might be detecting each other’s presence through the diffusion of environmental signals, generating an antagonistic reaction that inhibits the phytopathogen growth. We can observe how the H. mediterraneum´s hyphas are restrained and cannot invade its opponent. New studies have recently demonstrated the relevancy of this technique for the induction of new secondary metabolites. Find more information here.
On Feb 9th, four DTU scientists met at Fundación Medina in Granada to discuss the progress of the screening-related work packages of the iimena Challenge Grant project. “It is great to see the progress of our project and the interaction of our groups”, says Tilmann Weber, the iimena coordinator. “I’m really excited now on the next steps, where we will determine the full genome sequences of the strains that were so far identified in the screenings against our panel of clinical pathogens and perform Genome Mining studies on these strains”.
Fundación MEDINA keeps working on the investigation of new antibiotics and is one of the three participants of the Project IIMENA “Integration of Informatics and Metabolic Engineering for the discovery of Novel Antibiotics” financed by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. This new 7.7 M euros research program is led by the new center DTU-Biosustain (Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability) of the Technical University of Denmark and counts with the active participation of Fundación MEDINA and KAIST, the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology. Find more information here.
Antibiotics are a product of nature, and researchers have sought and found many new antibiotics in fungi and bacteria since penicillin was first discovered in 1928. The overuse of most antibiotics in animal feed and antibacterial treatment has led to a massive increase in antibiotic resistance. This has led researchers to seek completely new types of antibiotics – using novel methods. Find more about it here.
Since the paper ‘Dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes from antibiotic producers to pathogens’ was published in Nature Communications the 7th of June, and afterwards was written as a news article in a less scientific language, it has received huge media attention all across the globe. For more than 30 years, scientists have proposed that resistance genes actually originate from the microorganisms producing the antibiotic. Now, research shows for the very first time that antibiotic resistance genes originate from the same place as the antibiotic compounds, i.e. from a group of soil bacteria called Actinobacteria. According to Altmetric, that collect and collate data to provide information of the online activity related to publications, the article has been published by 15 different news media. This includes Science Daily, Science World Report, Scicasts,…
The official Kick-off meeting of the Iimena project funded by a Challenge Grant of the Novo Nordisk Foundation was held in Lyngby, Denmark on 28th of March, 2017. The meeting was hosted by the Technical University of Denmark, a coordinating partner of the consortium. The project allowed the partners to know each other, share ideas and research strategies. The project plan was discussed and also the collaboration within the consortium.