Group Leader/s



The problem of environmental pollution generated by the massive use of plastic materials derived from the petrochemical industry has attracted much interest in the implementation of sustainable processes, involving the use of biomass derived from waste to generate alternative materials (bioplastics) to these high consumption products. Although our projects involve several polymers of biotechnological interest like bacterial nanocellulose, many of our research activities focus on the production of bacterial polyesters or polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which are considered one of the most promising bioplastics due to their biodegradable character. Our designs are based on the use of industrial and urban biowastes such as glycerol, fatty residues or synthetic gas (syngas) as sources for the bacterial fermentation. Both natural-producing bacteria, such as Pseudomonas putida and Rhodospirillum rubrum, as well as genetically optimized microorganisms, are considered in these processes. We invest our effort in studying the metabolic and regulatory networks in producing microorganisms and others sharing their natural environment such as predatory bacteria like Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. We apply our findings in the production of new materials including the second generation functionalized PHA with new properties (e.g. anti-microbial), and susceptible to chemical modification after its biosynthesis. In addition, we are very interested in the design and development of new downstream systems to process the bacterial biomass for the separation of intracellular bioproducts. In this aspect, we use different strategies to control the release of bioproducts to the extracellular medium as controlled self-cell-disruption systems based on the production of lytic proteins in the producer microorganism. Finally, we are working on the identification and characterization of enzymes for synthesis and biodegradation of materials, as well as the production of building blocks as monomers for polymer synthesis.


Revelles O, N Tarazona, JL García, MA Prieto  [2016]. Carbon roadmap from syngas to polyhydroxyalkanoates in Rhodospirillum rubrum. Environmental microbiology. Environmental Microbiology, February, 2016. DOI:10.1111/1462-2920.13087




Proyecto: Biopolymers from syngas fermentation (SYNPOL).

Entidad financiadora: call FP7-KBBE-2012-6

Referencia UE: FP7-311815

Investigadora principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duración: 2012-2016


Proyecto: Integración de agentes líticos de origen biológico en el diseño de nuevos métodos de “downstream” para la producción de bioplásticos.

Entidad financiadora: MINECO

Referencia: BIO2013-44878-R

Investigadora principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duración: 2014-2017


Proyecto: Revalorización del gas de síntesis (syngas) mediante fermentación bacteriana (Revalgas).

Entidad financiadora: Retos Colaboración

Referencia: RTC-2014-1764-3

Coordinador: Abengoa Research

Investigadora Principal: Elena Puerta-Fernández

Duración: 2014-2016


Proyecto: Diseño, desarrollo y producción de nanocontenedores y nanovehículos.

Entidad financiadora: CAM

Referencia: P2013/MIT2807

Coordinador: José María Valpuesta

Investigadora Principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duración: 2014-2018


Proyecto: P4SB–From Plastic waste to Plastic value using Pseudomonas putida Synthetic.

Entidad financiadora: EU-H2020-LEIT-BIO-2014-1

Referencia: 633962-2

Investigadora principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duración: 2015-2019



Red de excelencia para la explotación de bacterias con fines terapéuticos. Bacfitered.

Entidad financiadora: MINECO

Referencia: SAF2014-56716-REDT

Investigador principal: ESTEBAN VEIGA CHACON


Proyecto Retos-Colaboración:  "Producción de bioproductos a través de residuos alimentarios".

Entidad financiadora: MINECO, Cofinanciado UE, FONDOS FEDER

Referencia: RTC-2015-3825-5

Investigadora Principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto

Coordinador: Biopolis S.L.

Entidades Participantes: Biopolis S.L. DACSA (Maicerías Españolas S.A.), GAIKER Centro Tecnológico, CIB-CSIC

Duración: 2014-2017


Proyecto “Explora Ciencia” y “Explora Tecnologia” recientemente concedido "Antibióticos vivos frente

a patógenos intracelulares”.

Referencia: BIO2014-61515-EXP

Entidad financiadora: MINECO

Investigadora principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duración: 2015-2017


Proyecto: CELBICON – Cost-effective CO2 conversion into chemicals via combination of capture,

electrochemical and biochemical conversion technologies.

Entidad financiadora: EU- H2020-ISIB-2015-2

Referencia: 679050

Investigadora principal: Mª Auxiliadora Prieto Jiménez

Duración: 2016-2019


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