Yoav and Luz Bashan to Discuss Microalgae and Bacteria in Alginate Spheres for Potential Biotech Applications on April 25th at the ASL

Yoav and Luz Bashan, of the Northwestern Center of Biological Research (CIBNOR), will present a seminar, “Interaction of Microalgae and Bacteria in Alginate Spheres: From Basic Studies of Plant–Bacteria Interaction to Potential Biotechnological Applications”, at the ASL on April 25th. The event will be held in Building N239, Room #B39 from 12:00-1:00pm. Refreshments will be provided and you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Bios for both of the speakers and an abstract of their talk follow below. Questions about this event can be directed to the POC, Peter Minogue.

Abstract:

A simple, quantitative experimental model, offering a convenient and basic approach to studies of plant–bacterium interactions, is proposed. This involves immobilizing a unicellular, freshwater microalga, a species of Chlorella that serves as the plant and a plant growth-promoting bacterium (PGPB), a strain of a species of Azospirillum of agricultural origin. The two micro-organisms are co-immobilized in small alginate beads to allow close interaction and avoid external interference from bacterial contaminants. Indole-3-acetic acid that is produced by the bacteria has demonstrated its role in enhancing growth rates and population size of the microalga. This close interaction positively affects nitrogen, phosphorus, carbohydrates, lipid, and photosynthesis metabolisms. All these significant metabolic changes during co-immobilization of the two micro-organisms are interlinked and offer several biotechnological applications. These include wastewater treatment, carbohydrate and lipid production, photosynthetic pigments, and food for human and animals. This model is also a simple and easy to handle tool for basic science biological studies. All these aspects will be discussed in the presentation.

About the Speakers:

Prof. Yoav Bashan

Since 1997, Prof. Yoav Bashan, has been the group leader of Environmental Microbiology at the Northwestern Center for Biological Research (CIBNOR), a research institute of the federal government of Mexico. Since 2009, he has served as the research coordinator of a strategic institutional research line on this topic. From 1990–1997, he served as the department head of microbiology at the same institute. In addition, he serves as the President of The Bashan Foundation, an international research institute devoted to global diffusion of science (www.bashanfoundation.org).

In the last two decades, the research group cooperated on research projects with other institutions, such as the USDA-Coravllis in Oregon, Auburn University in Alabama, Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Germany, University of Oldenburg in Germany, University of California-Los Angeles, Sonoma State University-St. Clara, University of Arizona-Tucson, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Laval University, Quebec, Institute of Tropical Forestry in Guangzhou, China, Korean Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology in Daejeon, Korea, Ben Gurion University in Israel, and several companies, including TerraBioGen Technologies in Vancouver, Canada, Plant Health in Corvallis, Oregon, and Stoller Co. in Brazil/Argentina. These cooperative efforts yielded dozens of scientific papers, demonstration fields, and restored wetlands.

Prof. Bashan’s main field of research during the last three decades is the interaction of plant growth-promoting bacteria and plants in agricultural and environmental settings; this includes restoration of degraded soils and water. His studies are based on biochemical, physiological, and molecular interaction among micro-organisms and plants, with emphasis on application of the best treatment to greenhouse, field, and natural settings. In this context, he restored several wetlands in Mexico to their natural functionality and restored eroded lands in natural settings. The main micro-organisms that Prof. Bashan uses in his research are Azospirillum spp. and Bacillus spp. bacteria and the microalgae Chlorella spp.

Prof. Bashan published 350 scientific papers, of which 203 were published in peer-reviewed journals with an average impact factor of 2.44. Most of the other works are chapters in books and popular science publications. Additionally, he published 22 websites and serves on editorial boards of 14 journals. He serves as a reviewer for an additional 183 scientific journals in 39 countries and 25 funding agencies in 15 countries. The standards international indicators of scientific quality for Prof. Bashan are 10,662 citations of his studies; H-index of 55; i-index of 171; and RG index of 39.84 (1 April 2014).

Dr. Luz E. de-Bashan

Since 2011, Dr. Luz E. de-Bashan is a Research-Assistant Professor in the Environmental Microbiology group at the Northwestern Center for Biological Research (CIBNOR), a research institute of the federal government of Mexico, and a research scientist since 2000. From 1994–2000, she was an Assistant Professor at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, a leading university in Colombia. She serves as the vice-president of The Bashan Foundation, an international research institute devoted to global diffusion of science (www.bashanfoundation.org). Dr. de-Bashan’s main fields of research in the last 15 years are (1) interaction among plant growth-promoting bacteria and unicellular microalgae in an environmental settings, and (2) water and soil restoration. Her studies are based on biochemical, physiological, and molecular interaction among the micro-organisms, with emphasis on application of the best treatment for environmentally sound solutions, mainly related to restoration of wastewater and degraded soil. Dr. de-Bashan and Prof. Bashan serve as a team sharing the same projects, facilities, students, and publications. The main micro-organisms that Dr. de-Bashan uses are the bacteria Azospirillum spp. and Bacillus spp. and the microalgae Chlorella sp.

Dr. de-Bashan published 98 scientific papers, of which 46 were published in peer-reviewed journals with an average impact factor of 3.003. The other works are one book, chapters in books, and popular science publications. Additionally, she published four websites. Dr. de-Bashan serves as an editorial board member of two journals and a reviewer of an additional 33 scientific journals in 12 countries and 7 funding agencies. The standards international indicators of scientific quality for Dr. de-Bashan are 3067 citations of her studies, H-index of 25, i-index of 39, and RG index of 27.72 (1 April 2014).

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