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Hydrocarbon production and molecular characterization of microorganisms isolated from Antarctica

Grant number: 13/22062-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2014
Effective date (End): January 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Valeria Maia Merzel
Grantee:Michel Rodrigo Zambrano Passarini
Home Institution: Centro Pluridisciplinar de Pesquisas Químicas, Biológicas e Agrícolas (CPQBA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Paulínia , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The increase in global energy demand and the impacts caused by the exploitation of natural resources led to the urgent need to develop new renewable energy sources. Psychrophilic and psychrotolerant microorganisms have attracted attention due to the unique characteristics that enable them to survive in low temperatures found in biomes such as the Antarctic continent. Studies have been conducted to obtain microbial cells aiming the synthesis of hydrocarbons or derived compounds for use as biofuels. In this sense, the interest in new technologies that offer the possibility of ecofriendly fuel production, as an alternative compound from microbial systems in replacement of petroleum-derived fuels, is becoming notorious. The objective of the present work consists in the prospection of hydrocarbons produced by psychrophilic or psychrotolerant microorganisms isolated from Antarctica samples, aiming at future application in biofuel production processes. In addition, the selected microorganisms with biotechnological potential will be taxonomically identified and the compounds chemically characterized. The results will allow to broaden the knowledge of the microbial diversity found in low temperature habitats, as well as to offer alternative compounds for future use in the biofuel production field. (AU)