Jaroslav Budis has pursued his Graduation from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics from the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He is the main author and co-author of several publications in genomics, metagenomics and bioinformatics and four patent applications in non-invasive chromosomal detection, fetal disorders and the protection of genomic data, one of which has already been approved. He leads a team of eight bioinformatics scientists in the Geneton company.
Bacteriophages are viral particles that infect and replicate inside bacterial organisms. Since they are specific to a particular strain of bacteria, advances in their research could lead to novel means of targeted treatment without adverse effects on natural microbiome in patient’s body. Moreover, this treatment could be effective against bacterial strains with antibiotic resistance. One of the main bottlenecks of bacteriophage research is inability to cultivate some of the phages due to missing information about their hosts. A bioinformatics pipeline, called Phage Host Exploration (Pheri) was designed to predict bacteriophage hosts from its genomic sequence. The decision is supported by a set of genes that should correspond to the specificity of the phage. We evaluated the pipeline on a set of 6277 phage sequences downloaded from several publicly available databases. Our pipeline has a potential to assist in discovery and characterization of novel phages and underlying mechanisms behind their behavior.
Klaudia Gustaw is pursuing her PhD at the Faculty of Food Sciences and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Microbiology and Human Nutrition within the University of Life Sciences in Lublin. She has also been working as an Assistant Lecturer in University of Life Sciences in Lublin,Poland.
Mannitol is a six-carbon compound, classified as sugar alcohol or polyol. It is similiar to sorbitol or xylitol. It occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. Mannitol is used in the pharmaceutical and food industries and can be only partially absorbed in the intestines and has zero glycemic index, also is half as sweet as sucrose. Therefore mannitol is used as a sweetner, most often due to its high cost in combination with other sweeteners. As a food additive it is considererd a healthy ingredient. Mannitol is known as osmotic diuretic and has antioxidant properties and neutralizes hydroxyl radicals. Currently, it is industrially produced through catalytic hydrogenation of a 1:1 glucose and fructose mixture using high temperature and pressure. However, production of manitol on industrial scale is not efficient due to the fact that, the final mixture contains only 25% mannitol and products of this reaction still require to be purified. Due to high production cost and low efficiency, new biotechnological production methods are highly desirable nowadays. This study focuses around the use of lactic acid bacteria, which are capable of converting D-fructose into D-mannitol through mannitol dehydrogenases. In this study we use Lactobacillus hilgardii to produce mannitol. This strain was isolated from mead, where its influence was unfavorable. However, properties of the environment such like mead adapted this strian to be a potential candidate to be a efficient mannitol producer.