Project code: MRI-OG-08-26
Contract period: 01.04.2005
Purpose of research: Applied research
In spite of the very significant resources allocated to the problem of foodborne disease, the inability to effectively improve the situation is a matter of major concern in Europe, which calls for more studies on foodborne pathogens. This project will be particularly directed towards new and emerging pathogens and bacterial cultures offering protection against these pathogenic strains. Within the five year project period, this integrated project will develop several innovative biotechnological platforms mainly based on advanced method of mircorscopy, bioimaging techniques and functional genomics.
One major task is the development of robust microarrays, which later can be used as sensitive and effective tools to detect lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria strains able to inhibit pathogenic bacteria. For this purpose, a wide range of strains already existing in the culture collections of project partners will be screened for antagonistic activities. Moreover, new bacterial strains with protective properties will be isolated from food products and animals. PCR and Q-PCR methods are fast and sensitive tools to detect specific sequences in the genome of protective cultures. But these technologies are limited to identify only a few DNA sequences in parallel. More complex genetic profiles or patterns can only be obtained by the use of DNA-microarrays. Protective qualities of microorganisms are a complex system based on the presence and the expression of all related structural and regulatory genes involved in such protective properties. Such complex systems will be studied by specially developed microarrays that are able to detect the multiplex occurence and expression of genes coding for protective properties.