Molecular Microbiology


Ana Raquel Freitas (Post-doc)
Ângela Patrícia Amorim (Researcher)
Carla Alexandra Silva (Assistant Professor)
Carlos Novo (Assistant Researcher)
Clara Santana Sousa (Post-doc)
Ilda Sanches (Associate Professor)
Isabel Sá Nogueira (Associate Professor)
José Paulo Sampaio (Associate Professor) (Group Leader)
Luís Jaime Mota (Assistant Professor)
Luísa Vieira Peixe (Associate Professor)
Marco Coelho (Post-doc)
Patrícia Sofia Antunes (Assistant Professor)
Paula Gonçalves (Assistant Professor)
Paula Videira (Assistant Professor)
Rital Sobral (Assistant Professor)
Sérgio Filipe (Assistant Professor)

Infection Biology Lab
Microbial Genetics Lab
Pathogen Molecular Genetics Lab
Yeast Genomics Lab:
Glycoimmunology Lab:
MolMicro of Bacterial pathogens Lab: Rita Sobral lab


The Molecular Microbiology Research Group integrates researchers with broad interests in the study of applied and fundamental aspects of how the microbial cell functions and its interactions with the environment including, for pathogens, their eukaryotic hosts. The Portuguese Yeast Culture Collection (, a research infrastructure that gathers, maintains and distributes a unique collection of microorganisms from Mediterranean ecosystems, foods and beverages, is also part of this Research Group. 

The main objectives are: (i) the study of drug resistance mechanisms in key bacterial species both at the cell and population level; (ii) the study of the molecular mechanism underlying bacterial infection of human cells; (iii) the study of gene expression and regulation of carbohydrate metabolism in prokaryote and eukaryote model organisms, including aspects of horizontal gene transfer; (iv) the study of adaptation in antibiotic-resistant bacterial populations; (v) the molecular characterization of sexual systems in yeasts; and (vi) the study of genetic and phenotypic aspects of microbe domestication using population and functional genomics.


Cissé OH, Almeida JMGCF, Fonseca Á, Kumar AA, Salojärvi J, Overmyer K, Hauser PM, Pagni M.2013. Genome sequencing of the plant pathogen Taphrina deformans, the causal agent of peach leaf curl. mBio 4(3) e00055-13.

Marques MW, Lima NB, Morais JrMA, Barbosa MAG, Souza BO, Michereff SJ, Phillips AJL, Câmara MPS. 2013. Species of Lasiodiplodia associated with mango in Brazil. Fungal Diversity 61: 181-193.

Arêde P, Ministro J, Oliveira DC. 2013. Redefining the role of the β-lactamase Locus in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: β-Lactamase regulators disrupt the MecI-mediated strong repression on mecA and optimize the phenotypic expression of resistance in strains with constitutive mecA expression. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57: 3037-3045.

McGourty K, Thurston TL, Matthews SA, Pinaud L, Mota LJ, Holden DW. 2012. Salmonella inhibits retrograde trafficking of mannose-6-phosphate receptors and lysosome function. Science. 338: 963-967

Almeida F, Borges V, Ferreira R, Borrego MJ, Gomes JP, Mota LJ. 2012. Polymorphisms in Inc proteins and differential expression of inc genes among Chlamydia trachomatis strains correlate with invasiveness and tropism of lymphogranuloma venereum isolates. J Bacteriol. 194: 6574-6585.

Arêde P, Milheiriço C, de Lencastre H, Oliveira DC. 2012. The anti-repressor MecR2 promotes the proteolysis of the mecA repressor and enables optimal expression of b-lactam resistance in MRSA. PLoS Pathogens 8: e1002816.

Libkind D, Hittinger CT, Valério E, Gonçalves C, Dover J, Johnston M, Gonçalves P, Sampaio JP. 2011. Microbe domestication and the identification of the wild genetic stock of lager-brewing yeast. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108: 14539-14544.

Grosso F, Carvalho KR, Quinteira S, Ramos A, Carvalho-Assef AP, Asensi MD, Peixe L. 2011. OXA-23-producing Acinetobacter baumannii: a new hotspot of diversity in Rio de Janeiro? Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 66: 62-65.

Pires R, Ardanuy C, Rolo D, Morais A, Brito-Avô A, Gonçalo-Marques J, Liñares J, Santos-Sanches I. 2010 Emergence of ciprofloxacin-nonsusceptible Streptococcus pyogenes isolates from healthy children and pediatric patients in Portugal. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 54(6) 2677-2680.

Hittinger CT, Gonçalves P, Sampaio JP, Dover J, Johnston M, Rokas A. 2010. Remarkably ancient balanced polymorphisms in a multi-locus gene network. Nature 464: 54-58.

Ferreira MJ, de Sá-Nogueira,I. 2010. A multitask ATPase serving different ABC-Type sugar importers in Bacillus subtilis. Journal of Bacteriology 192: 5312-5318

Freitas AR, Novais C, Ruiz-Garbajosa P, Coque TM, Peixe L. 2009. Clonal expansion within clonal complex 2 and spread of vancomycin-resistant plasmids among different genetic lineages of Enterococcus faecalis from Portugal. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 63: 1104-1111.