Extreme environments and extremophiles are hotspots to explore the evolution of metabolisms and new metabolic pathways. Most of these ecosystems and organisms can also be excellent sources of novel biomolecules with unique properties for biotechnological application. My research group has summarized different profiles and roles of microbiomes associated with extreme environments and their potential application to improve ecosystem resilience, agricultural productivity and industrial enzymes production. Here I will present our recent data on novel bacterial groups and metabolisms from extreme environments (high-salinity soils, high solvent contaminated areas, Antarctic cold and hot (volcanic) soils), with emphasis on thermophilic bacteria. I will also explain how we are manipulating these microbiomes to understand basic concepts about the ecology and metabolic profiles of such extreme microbes and how this knowledge can be used to protect and restore impacted ecosystems, for the development of sustainable agriculture, carbon fixation and sequestration and the generation of alternative sources of energy and fertilizers (especially nitrogen), through the further use of cutting edge tools, such as synthetic biology.
Prof. Alexandre Soares Rosado is a full Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil and Visiting Professor at the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California - Davis, USA. He is
the former the Director of the Institute of Microbiology at UFRJ (IMPG-UFRJ), where he leads a productive laboratory, with more than 20 years of experience working with multidisciplinary research groups. He was also the Vice-President of the Brazilian Society of Microbiology (SBM) and led different research consortia and international projects by raising funds from different sources. He is the leader of a current project on thermophiles that describes new mechanisms of nitrogen and carbon fixation processes; this process may lead to new biotechnological products for sustainable agriculture and bioenergy. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology, and Master and PhD in Microbiology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (and part of his thesis developed at the Wageningen University & Research, WUR, The Netherlands). Prof. Rosado has mentored over 55 graduate students and post- docs. During the past 20 years he published more than 200 peer reviewed manuscripts, several book chapters and edited books (including the new edition of the “Modern Soil Microbiology”, one of the most frequently cited and used textbooks in soil microbiology, Released in April 2019). His background is on environmental microbiology, with focus on molecular microbial ecology, soil ecogenomics and biotechnology, extreme environments, evolution of metabolisms and new metabolic pathways and bioremediation.