André Antunes

André Antunes
Macau University of Science and Technology | MUST · State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences

Associate Professor, PhD

About

115
Publications
21,964
Reads
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1,647
Citations
Citations since 2016
60 Research Items
1130 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Introduction
Dr André Antunes is an environmental microbiologist, having devoted most of his research life to the study of microbial communities in marine and extreme environments. He is particularly interested in microbial biodiversity, changes in microbial community structure across environmental gradients, adaptations to extreme conditions and in cross-disciplinary research in the fields of geomicrobiology and astrobiology.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
Macau University of Science and Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Associate Professor Leader of the Astrobiology Center
January 2016 - July 2019
Edge Hill University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2016 - July 2019
Edge Hill University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Senior Lecturer Programme Coordinator for BSc in Biotechnology 2nd Year Coordinator for the Biology Department Employability Lead for the Biology Department

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Full-text available
Water bodies on Mars and the icy moons of the outer solar system are now recognized as likely being associated with high levels of salt. Therefore, the study of high salinity environments and their inhabitants has become increasingly relevant for Astrobiology. Members of the archaeal class Halobacteria are the most successful microbial group living...
Conference Paper
In our solar system Mars and Enceladus are the most promising targets for a search for evidence of life. The subsurface of Mars and the subsurface oceans of Enceladus might be habitable. The general environmental conditions of both are quite different, but both have in common the presence of water, low average temperatures, the availability of carb...
Article
Surfactants are tensioactive molecules with a wide range of applications, especially in the detergent, biomedical and petroleum industries. The global surfactant market moves billions, however most commercially available surfactants are petroleum-based and their extensive use may lead to significant environmental impact. This, together with the inc...
Article
Full-text available
An actinobacterium, designated strain EGI L10124 T , was isolated from saline lake sediment collected in Xinjiang province, PR China. The taxonomic position of the isolate was determined based on polyphasic taxonomic and phylogenomic analyses. Phylogenetic analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities indicated that strain EGI L10124 T formed a...
Article
Full-text available
An actinobacterium, designated strain EGI L100131T, was isolated from saline lake sediment in Xinjiang Province, China. The taxonomic position of the isolate was determined using analysis based on the polyphasic taxonomy and phylogenomics. Phylogenetic analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities indicated that strain EGI L100131T formed a dist...
Article
Full-text available
Water present on the surface of early Mars (>3.0 Ga) may have been habitable. Characterising analogue environments and investigating the aspects of their microbiome best suited for growth under simulated martian chemical conditions is key to understanding potential habitability. Experiments were conducted to investigate the viability of microbes fr...
Article
Full-text available
Mars analogue environments are some of the most extreme locations on Earth. Their unique combination of multiples extremes (e.g. high salinity, anoxia and low nutrient availability) make them valuable sources for finding new polyextremophilic microbes, and for exploring the limits of life. Mars, especially at its surface, is still considered to be...
Article
Full-text available
Mars exploration motivates the search for extraterrestrial life, the development of space technologies, and the design of human missions and habitations. Here, we seek new insights and pose unresolved questions relating to the natural history of Mars, habitability, robotic and human exploration, planetary protection, and the impacts on human societ...
Article
Full-text available
The waters that were present on early Mars may have been habitable. Characterising environments analogous to these waters and investigating the viability of their microbes under simulated martian chemical conditions is key to developing hypotheses on this habitability and potential biosignature formation. In this study, we examined the viability of...
Article
Full-text available
Mars exploration motivates the search for extraterrestrial life, the development of space technologies, and the design of human missions and habitations. Here, we seek new insights and pose unresolved questions relating to the natural history of Mars, habitability, robotic and human exploration, planetary protection, and the impacts on human societ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mars exploration motivates the search for extraterrestrial life, the development of space technologies, and the design of human missions and habitations. Here we seek new insights and pose unresolved questions relating to the natural history of Mars, habitability, robotic and human exploration, planetary protection, and the impacts on human society...
Conference Paper
Mars analogues environments are some of the most extreme locations on Earth. Their unique combination of multiple extremes (e.g. high salinity, anoxia, and low nutrient availability) make them a valuable source of new polyextremophilic microbes in general, and for exploring the limits of life. These are seen as vital sources of information for Astr...
Article
Full-text available
Habitability has been generally defined as the capability of an environment to support life. Ecologists have been using Habitat Suitability Models (HSMs) for more than four decades to study the habitability of Earth from local to global scales. Astrobiologists have been proposing different habitability models for some time, with little integration...
Preprint
Full-text available
Habitability has been generally defined as the capability of an environment to support life. Ecologists have been using Habitat Suitability Models (HSMs) for more than four decades to study the habitability of Earth from local to global scales. Astrobiologists have been proposing different habitability models for some time, with little integration...
Article
Since the industrial revolution, human activity and the ongoing burning of fossil fuels has drastically increased the concentrations of greenhouse gases. As an example, carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, which ranged from 180 to 280 parts per million (ppm) for most of the last hundreds of thousands of years, increased to 400 ppm in the period bet...
Article
Full-text available
After a less dynamic period, space exploration is now booming. There has been a sharp increase in the number of current missions and also of those being planned for the near future. Microorganisms will be an inevitable component of these missions, mostly because they hitchhike, either attached to space technology, like spaceships or spacesuits, to...
Article
The applicability of extremophilic amylases in hydrolyzing food waste for bioethanol production has not been investigated much. The current study aims to extract amylases from halophilic bacteria isolated from a hypersaline mat and to use them for the saccharification of food waste to produce bioethanol. Nine halophilic bacteria belonging to the ge...
Article
Full-text available
A novel slightly halophilic Gram-stain-negative bacterial strain (MKS20T) was isolated from a brine sample collected from one of the Anderton brine springs in the Cheshire salt district, located in Northern England. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed a close proximity to Motilimonas eburnea (98.30 %), followed by Motilimon...
Article
Full-text available
Habitability has been generally defined as the capability of an environment to support life. Ecologists have been using Habitat Suitability Models (HSMs) for more than four decades to study the habitability of Earth from local to global scales. Astrobiologists have been proposing different habitability models for some time, with little integrati...
Article
Full-text available
The deep-sea brines of the Red Sea are some of the most extreme environments on Earth. They have high salinity, high temperature, high pressure, and no oxygen. Despite such harsh conditions, several organisms still live in these brines. The study of deep-sea brines and their inhabitants has several advantages. In addition to finding several new spe...
Article
Full-text available
Two extremely halophilic archaeal strains, designated SB29 T and SB3 T , were isolated from the brine-seawater interface of Discovery Deep in the Red Sea. Cells of both strains were pleomorphic (irregular polyhedrals, ovals, and rods) and stained Gram-negative; colonies were pigmented pink. The sequence similarity of the 16S rRNA gene of strain SB2...
Conference Paper
The deep-sea anoxic brines of the Red Sea include some of the most extreme locations on Earth (1). Their unique combination of high salinity, high-pressure, anoxia, and varying levels of hydrothermal input make them a valuable source of new polyextremophilic microbes and for exploring the limits of life. They have recently been proposed as relevant...
Article
Full-text available
Mycobacterial infections are a resurgent and increasingly relevant problem. Within these, tuberculosis (TB) is particularly worrying as it is one of the top ten causes of death in the world and is the infectious disease that causes the highest number of deaths. A further concern is the on-going emergence of antimicrobial resistance, which seriously...
Preprint
Full-text available
Habitability has been generally defined as the capability of an environment to support life. Ecologists have been using Habitat Suitability Models (HSMs) for more than four decades to study the habitability of Earth from local to global scales. Astrobiologists have been proposing different habitability models for some time, with little integration...
Article
Full-text available
We have recently argued that, because microbes have pervasive – often vital – influences on our lives, and that therefore their roles must be taken into account in many of the decisions we face, society must become microbiology‐literate, through the introduction of relevant microbiology topics in school curricula (Timmis et al. 2019. Environ Microb...
Article
Full-text available
Metal nanoparticles (MNPs) have been extensively studied. They can be produced via different methods (physical, chemical, or biogenic), but biogenic synthesis has become more relevant, mainly for being referred by many as eco-friendly and more advantageous than others. Biogenic MNPs have been largely used in a wide variety of applications, from ind...
Article
Full-text available
The icy moons of the outer Solar System harbor potentially habitable environments for life, however, compared to the terrestrial biosphere, these environments are characterized by extremes in temperature, pressure, pH, and other physico-chemical conditions. Therefore, the search for life on these icy worlds is anchored on the study of terrestrial e...
Article
Several icy moons of the outer solar system have been receiving considerable attention and are currently seen as major targets for astrobiological research and the search for life beyond our planet. Despite the limited amount of data on the oceans of these moon, we expect them to be composed of brines with variable chemistry, some degree of hydroth...
Article
The Earth's atmosphere is an extremely large and sparse environment which is quite challenging for the survival of microorganisms. We have long wondered about the limits to life in the atmosphere, starting with Leeuwenhoek's observation of "animalcules" collected from the air. In the past century, significant progress has been made to capture and i...
Article
Full-text available
The icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn are perhaps the most promising places in the Solar System regarding habitability. However, the potential habitable environments are hidden underneath km-thick ice shells. The discovery of Enceladus’ plume by the Cassini mission has provided vital clues in our understanding of the processes occurring within t...
Technical Report
An international consensus policy to prevent the biological cross-contamination of planetary bodies exists and is maintained by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science, which is consultative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Currently, COSPAR’s planetary protection policy...
Chapter
Ha.lo.plas'ma. Gr. n. hals, salt; Gr. neut. n. plasma, something formed or molded, a form; N.L. neut. n. Haloplasma, a salt‐loving form. Firmicutes / Bacilli / Haloplasmatales / Haloplasmataceae / Haloplasma The genus Haloplasma, classified within the family Haloplasmataceae and order Haloplasmatales within the phylum Firmicutes, consists of Gram‐n...
Article
The Cheshire Salt District (UK) is home to a wide range of largely unexplored inland brine springs, whose increased salinity originates from subterranean Triassic salt rock deposits. Our study focused on the Anderton Brine Spring System, a set of pools of varying salinity which are subjected to regular salinity fluctuations depending on drainage an...
Article
To ensure that scientific investments in space exploration are not compromised by terrestrial contamination of celestial bodies, special care needs to be taken to preserve planetary conditions for future astrobiological exploration. Significant effort has been made and is being taken to address planetary protection in the context of inner Solar Sys...
Chapter
The deep-sea brines of the Red Sea are unusual extreme environments and form characteristically steep gradients across the brine-seawater interfaces. Due to their unusual nature and unique combination of physical-chemical conditions these interfaces provide an interesting source of new findings in the fields of geochemistry, geology, microbiology,...
Chapter
Ha.lo.plas.ma.ta'les. N.L. neut. n. Haloplasma, type genus of the family; suff. ‐ales, ending denoting an order; N.L. fem. pl. n. Haloplasmatales, the Haloplasma order. Firmicutes / Bacilli / Haloplasmatales The order Haloplasmatales was circumscribed on the basis of phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences. The order currently includes onl...
Chapter
Ha.lo.plas.ma.ta.ce'ae. N.L. neut. n. Haloplasma, type genus of the family; suff. ‐aceae, ending denoting an order; N.L. fem. pl. n. Haloplasmataceae, the Haloplasma family. Firmicutes / Bacilli / Haloplasmatales / Haloplasmataceae Pleomorphic cells, usually with contractile “tentacle‐like” protrusions. Motile by cellular contraction. Non‐spore‐for...
Article
Full-text available
Blue tits are exposed to a vast array of bacteria throughout their life cycle and are particularly exposed during a breeding attempt. Any pathogenic bacteria within their microbiome can have a detrimental effect on their fitness and that of the nestlings they are raising. This study aims to identify the bacterial species richness that birds of this...
Conference Paper
The project MEXEM (Mars EXposed Extremophiles Mixture) is an astrobiological survey of responses of selected (facultative) anaerobic microorganisms to conditions on current day or on early Mars. MEXEM will test the hypothesis that selected terrestrial microbial pure strains, mixed cultures and original samples from extreme Mars-analogue environment...
Article
Full-text available
The Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus prefer to use nest boxes to raise their young rather than nests in natural tree cavities. However, nest boxes provide a warm, humid microclimate that is favourable to the growth of rich bacterial communities. In this study we investigated how the bacterial community developed throughout the breeding season and wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The increasing spectrum of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a major global public health concern, necessitating discovery of novel antimicrobial agents. Here, members of the genus Bacillus are investigated as a potentially attractive source of novel antibiotics due to their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities. We specifically foc...
Article
Full-text available
Salt has been historically used for preventing decay and preserving food, as many microbes are unable to survive under high salinities. Despite this, several organisms - also known as halophiles (from the greek "salt-loving") - are specifically adapted and thrive under such conditions. The study of their biodiversity provides us important new biomo...
Conference Paper
The presence of water is central to when, where, and under what conditions, past or present life may have existed. Increasing evidence suggests that liquid water is present on bodies in the outer Solar System, for example large aqueous brine oceans beneath the outer ice shells of the icy moons, Europa, Ganymede and Enceladus [1,2]. Measurements fro...
Conference Paper
The study of extreme environments and extremophiles is a prominent field of Astrobiology. The interest in surveying analogues to conditions on Mars and icy moons of the solar system, in particular, has been sparked by evidence for the presence of liquid water and brines. Here we present a short overview of current knowledge on the geochemistry and...
Conference Paper
Assessing the habitability of Mars and detecting life, if it ever existed there, depends on knowledge of whether the combined environmental stresses experienced on Mars are compatible with life as we know it and whether a record of that life could ever be detected. So far, only few investigations were performed to understand the combined effect of...
Chapter
In 1990, Woese et al. divided the Tree of Life into three separate domains: Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea. Archaea were originally perceived as little more than “odd bacteria” restricted to extreme environmental niches, but later discoveries challenged this assumption. Members of this domain populate a variety of unexpected environments (e.g. soil...
Article
Biological wastewater treatment plants were originally used mainly for removing organic matter and suspended soils, but later advances increased their goals to eliminate toxic metals, odours, nutrients and pathogens.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Planetary protection aims at the preservation of our ability to study planets and moons of astrobiological interest as they exist in their natural state. The contamination with Earth organisms and organics (potential biosignatures) would give false positive results with severe impacts on future exploratory missions. In addition, the Earth's biosphe...
Chapter
Ha.lo.rhab'dus. Gr. n. hals halos salt; Gr. n. rhabdos rod or stick; N.L. fem. n. Halorhabdus salt(-loving) rod. Euryarchaeota / Halobacteria / Halobacteriales / Halobacteriaceae / Halorhabdus The genus Halorhabdus, classified in the family Halobacteriaceae, order Halobacteriales in the class Halobacteria, consists of highly pleomorphic, Gram-stain...
Article
The deep-sea anoxic brines of the Red Sea comprise unique, complex and extreme habitats. These environments are too harsh for metazoans, while the brine–seawater interface harbors dense microbial populations. We investigated the adjacent pelagic fauna at two brine pools using net tows, video records from a remotely operated vehicle and submerged ec...
Article
A survey of European Microbial Biological Resource Centers and their users provided an overview on microbiology education and training. The results identified future increases in demand despite several shortcomings and gaps in the current offer. Urgent adjustments are needed to match users' needs, integrate innovative programs, and adopt new techno...
Article
Full-text available
Covering a quarter of the world's tropical coastlines and being one of the most threatened ecosystems, mangroves are among the major sources of terrestrial organic matter to oceans and harbor a wide microbial diversity. In order to protect, restore, and better understand these ecosystems, researchers have extensively studied their microbiology, yet...
Article
Full-text available
Microorganisms produce an enormous variety of chemical compounds. It is of general interest for microbiology and biotechnology researchers to have means to explore information about molecular and genetic basis of functioning of different microorganisms and their ability for bioproduction. To enable such exploration, we compiled 45 topic-specific kn...
Article
Full-text available
The deep-sea brines of the Red Sea include some of the most extreme and unique environments on Earth. They combine high salinities with increases in temperature, heavy metals, hydrostatic pressure, and anoxic conditions, creating unique settings for thriving populations of novel extremophiles. Despite a recent increase of studies focusing on these...
Article
Full-text available
Mangroves are unique, and endangered, coastal ecosystems that play a vital role in the tropical and subtropical environments. A comprehensive description of the microbial communities in these ecosystems is currently lacking, and additional studies are required to have a complete understanding of the functioning and resilience of mangroves worldwide...
Data
Selected chemical parameters of the sampling locations in this study
Data
Classification of top ten viral hits based on taxonomic assignment
Data
Breakdown of genes based on taxonomic assignment.