Functional Biology of Lactic Acid Bacteria (BFBL)


Group members

Research Staff

  • Carmen Peláez.
  • Teresa Requena.
  • Carmen Martínez.

Postdoctoral Staff

  • Beatriz Solo de Zaldívar

Predoctoral Staff

  • Alicia Bellanco Sevilla

Technical Staff

  • Esteban Sáez

Research Summary


For years now, the Group has focused its activities on the characterization of lactic bacteria metabolic functions and the applicability for improving the technology of fermented foods. We have worked on the development of strategies to enhance and accelerate the cheese ripening process, optimize the production of cheese aroma, or prevent technological problems in dairy products, by means of applicable biological systems without legal restrictions. We have studied their mechanisms of action to provide scientific bases for their applicability. Many times, our study has been carried in collaboration with the industry to facilitate transfer and value enhancement.

Over the last years, the Group has developed specific molecular biology techniques for detecting and studying the functionality of probiotic bacteria of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera. Functional characterization of lactic bacteria and bifidobacteria, has allowed determining their metabolic advantages towards poorly digestible substrates that reach the colon intact (prebiotic) and from which metabolites beneficial for the organism are obtained. The interaction between these bacteria, their metabolites, and the intestinal epithelium has been studied using human cell lines.

Since the beginning of 2011, the Group has led the scientific-technical design and installation of a Dynamic Gastrointestinal Simulation System (SIMGI) in the CIAL. The interest of the Group is focused on studying models of intestinal microbiota associated to obesity, assessment of the interaction between microbiota and gut mucosa, and modulation of this microbiota through the diet.

Highlighted publications

  • Anklam, E., Bahl, M.I., Ball, R., Beger, R.D., Cohen, J., Fitzpatrick,S., Girard, F., Halamoda-Kenzaoui, B., Hinton, D., Hirose, A., Hoeveler, A., Honma, M., Hugas, M., Ishida, S., Kass, G., Kojima, H., Krefting, I., Liachenko, S., Liu, Y., Masters, S., Marx, U., McCarthy, T., Mercer T., Patri A., Pelaez, C., Pirmohamed, M., Platz, S., Ribeiro A.F.S., Rodricks J., Rusyn, I., Salek, R.M., Schoonjans, R.,  Silva, P., Svendsen, C.N., Sumner S., Sung, K., Tagle D., Tong, L., Tong, W., van den Eijnden-van-Raaij, J.,  Vary, N., Wang, T., Waterton, J., Wang, M., Wen, H., Wishart, D., Yuan, Y., Slikker W.   Emerging technologies and their impact on regulatory science. Mini review. Exp. Biol. Med. 2021, 246, 1-75.
  • Requena, T., Song, Y., Peláez, C., Martínez-Cuesta, M.C. Modulation and metabolism of obesity-associated microbiota in a dynamic simulator of the human gut microbiota. LWT – Food Sci. Technol. 2021, 141, 110921.
  • Martínez-Cuesta, M.C., del Campo, R., Garriga-García, M., Peláez, C., Requena, T. Taxonomic characterization and short-chain fatty acids production of the obese microbiota. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 2021, 11, 598093.
  • Peláez, C. The role of diet on stability, resilience and modulation of the human gut microbiota. Toxicol. Lett. 2021, 350S, S15.
  • Calvo-Barreiro, L., Eixarch, H., Cornejo, T., Costa, C., Castillo, M., Mestre, L., Guaza, C., Martínez-Cuesta, M.C., Tanoue, T., Honda, K., González-López, J.J., Montalban, X., Espejo, C. Selected Clostridia strains from the human microbiota and their metabolite, butyrate, improve experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Neurotherapeutics 2021, 18, 920-937.
  • Naya-Català, F., Peçanha, G.A.W., Piazzon, M.C., López-Martínez, M.I., Estensoro, I., Calduch-Giner, J.A., Martínez-Cuesta, C.M., Requena, T., Sitjà-Bobadilla, A., Miguel, M., Pérez-Sánchez, J. Modulation of gilthead sea bream gut microbiota by a bioactive egg white hydrolysate: Interactions between bacteria and host lipid metabolism. Front. Mar. Sci. 2021, 8, 698484.
  • Requena, T., Velasco, M. Microbioma humano en la salud y la enfermedad. Rev Clin Esp 2021, 221, 233-240.
  • Zepeda-Hernández, A., Garcia-Amezquita, L.E., Requena, T., García-Cayuela, T. Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics added to dairy products: Uses and applications to manage type 2 diabetes. Food Res Int. 2021, 142:110208. IF: 4.972 (Q1).

Recent Research Projects

Desarrollo de alimentos probióticos fermentados con actividad frente a patotipos diarreicos de India para la prevención de la diarrea infantil (INDEKA).

  • Referencia: Project IDI-20190077
  • Duración: 2019-2022
  • IP: Teresa Requena
  • Entidad financiadora: Indo-Spanish Joint Programme for Technological Cooperation in Biotechnology CDTI

Effect of the consumption of food additives on the human intestinal microbiome.

  • Referencia: Project PID2019-106071RB-I00
  • Duración: 2020-2023
  • IPs: Teresa Requena & Carmen Martínez-Cuesta
  • Entidad financiadora: MICIN

Recent Research Contracts

Investigación industrial y obtención de ingredientes y alimentos adaptados que promuevan el bienestar intestinal SyBARIOTA.

  • Empresa financiadora: PRONAT
  • IP: Teresa Requena
  • Duración: 2021-2024