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ISEI, A little history and traits

Robert Armon
ISEI President

"Heavy metal pollution: and endless tale"
Heavy metals are key raw material for most industrial applications. In particular nowadays, with the change in technology which implies the ecological questions, the need for more and more of these supposes an increase on the possibilities of their dissemination in the environment, producing contamination.

On the other hand, the models assessing the risks related with the presence of heavy metals in the environment only consider total contents in these elements. However, it is clear than the risks which these elements imply are not directly related with total contents, but with their mobility and (bio)availability, nowadays easy to measure and quantify even at low cost.

In this keynote this question will be presented and discussed.

Pablo L. Higueras
Full Professor, University of Castilla-La Mancha

"Outdoor and indoor atmospheric pollution during COVID-19 in Spain"
Outdoor and indoor atmospheric pollution have important health implications. During the last two years we have suffered worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that have changed our exposure to atmospheric pollution since we have passed more time indoors and lest time outdoors.

In this conference we will summarize current studies focused in Spain (include the author´s one) of changes in outdoor indoor pollution due to restrictions in mobility and other measurements taken during the different phases of the pandemy together with main studies developed in Spain about indoor pollution related as well with the pandemy.

María Teresa Baeza
Full Professor Universidad de Castilla La Mancha

"Proteomic or how to scrutinize the cell secrets"
Luisa M. Sandalio. Group of Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species Signaling under Stress Conditions in Plants. Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology of Plants. Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC. Granada, Spain

Proteomic analysis, which provides a global view of total and specific proteins in biological systems, is a very useful tool to explore the mechanisms involved in cellular responses to changes in their environment. Given that different stress factors can give rise to changes in specific proteins, this type of analysis is capable of providing specific markers, which are useful for stress diagnostics, as well as for the selection of sensitive and resistant lines against different contaminants. A major recent advance in environmental proteomics has been the use of bioinformatic platforms to identify proteins in organisms, whose   genomic sequences are unavailable. Functional proteomics enables protein activity to be identified and can also identify interacting proteins in vivo, as well as their functionality, in order to determine how metabolic processes are regulated. Most proteins exist in different modified forms through post-translational modifications (PTMs) such as phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitilation, sulfenylation and nitrosylation. PTMs regulate protein activity, localization, stability and the interaction of proteins with other cellular components which facilitate   high proteome plasticity and highly efficient cellular regulation mechanisms. The purpose of this speech is to discuss the experimental results obtained to date using proteomics in response to abiotic stress, and to discuss new challenging future research.

Luisa M. Sandalio
Research full Professor

"Developing climate-resilient crops by improving plant tolerance to stressors combination"
Global warming and climate change are driving an alarming increase in the frequency and intensity of different abiotic stresses, such as droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, and flooding, negatively affecting crop yields and causing food shortages. Climate change is also altering the composition and behavior of different insect and pathogen populations adding to yield losses worldwide. Additional constraints to agriculture are caused by the increasing amounts of human-generated pollutants, as well as the negative impact of climate change on soil microbiomes. Although in the laboratory, we are trained to study the impact of individual stress conditions on plants, in the field many stresses, pollutants, and pests could simultaneously or sequentially affect plants, causing conditions of stress combination. Because climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of such stress combination events (e.g., heat waves combined with drought, flooding, or other abiotic stresses, pollutants, and/or pathogens), a concentrated effort is needed to study how stress combination is affecting crops. This need is particularly critical, as many studies have shown that the response of plants to stress combination is unique and cannot be predicted from simply studying each of the different stresses that are part of the stress combination. Strategies to enhance crop tolerance to a particular stress may therefore fail to enhance tolerance to this specific stress, when combined with other factors. Here we wil review recent studies of stress combinations in different plants and propose new approaches and avenues for the development of stress combination- and climate change-resilient crops.

Rosa Rivero
CSIC researcher

"Viruses present in the environment as indicators of human disease burden"
Wastewater contains viruses excreted by humans and animals being a source of contamination of water or food and a cause of disease.  Viruses that infect humans persistently may be used as indicators of fecal viral contamination. Also, pathogenic viruses detected in environmental compartments may be used as early warning tools overcoming the need of individual clinical testing. These applications will be revised in this conference highlighting how wastewater-based epidemiology has been applied during the COVID-19 pandemic to indicate disease burden in the population.

Sílvia Bofill-Mas is an associate professor of Virology at the Faculty of Biology at the University of Barcelona. She is a senior researcher at the Laboratory of Viruses Transmitted by Water and Food.

Sílvia Bofill-Mas
Professor of Virology

"Microbiological colonization, communities and dissemination"

Microbiological kingdom dimensions make it difficult to comprehend this group. The number of bacteria in one yogurt spoonful equals the world population (7.9 x 109). There is a continuous communication among bacteria and their environment (e.g., our guts and skin). Furthermore, bacteria are responsible for metabolic energy compounds production besides transmission of various molecules into and out. Therefore, it is reasonable to make a sweeping statement that microbial colonization and dissemination belong to the same metabolic structure. For instance, Salmonella sp. biofilm formation is an alternative mode of bacteria in detachment of dividing swarming cells in human small intestines. The multitudes of cells or viruses spread like "clouds of infective agents" and their behavior and prerequisites for their livelihood are vigorously studied. Nevertheless, they should also be examined as physicochemical surface associated traits. Alimentary microbiome compositions are commonly versatile, that facilitates adaptation to variable conditions within the digestive system. Guts microbial interactions within and host are consequently more of cooperation than competition, since bacterial types need each other for survival under varying conditions. This behavior is the basis of the "Bacteriological Intestinal Balance", that benefits human body, food uptake as well our immune system. Understanding of essential microbiological activities in our guts, as a surface phenomenon, opens our scientific conception to refer to microbes more as communities (in vivo) than as pure laboratory cultures (in vitro).

E. Elias Hakalehto
University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland, Finnoflag Oy, Kuopio Finland