Isolation and identification of intestinal and food-borne bacteria;
Characterisation of probiotic microorganisms, especially bifidobacteria
- Use of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics in the characterisation of probiotics
- Physiological characterisation, and characterisation of metabolic profiles
- Bioavailability of nutrients and bioactive substances in probiotic foods.
- Study of complex microbial communities via culturing and culture-independent techniques (qPCR, DGGE, flow cytometry, fluorescence, etc.), and via more advanced mass analysis techniques (metagenomic techniques)
Development of bioinformational tools for the study of the gut microbiota and probiotics
- Models of microorganism/microbiota-eukaryotic cell interactions, using cell lines and primary cultures of enterocytes and immune system cells.
- Response of eukaryotic cells to microbial macromolecules and components of the diet, with special reference to immune mediators, cell markers, gene expression and immunofluorescence, etc.
- Functionality and mechanisms of action of bacterial exopolysaccharides and proteins/peptides
Studies on exopolysaccharides of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria
- Genetic characterisation and physico-chemical properties of exopolysaccharides
- Characterisation of biological properties (immunomodulatory capacity, pathogen antagonism, etc.)
Technological properties of probiotic microorganisms and starters
- Technological properties (acidification and coagulation of milk, proteolytic and viscosifying properties, microbial compatibility, production of volatile compounds and organic acids)
- Analysis of the macro- and microstructure of the lactic matrix of fermented foods
- Sensorial analyses