The aim of this line of research is the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic study of anthropologically impacted ecosystems. The group is currently focused on the microbial community analysis of Estuaries, Agricultural soils and Vineyards.

 In the case of estuarine waters, two ongoing thesis are been conducted 1- “Unraveling the Bay of Biscay planktonic biodiversity by massive parallel sequencing” and 2-”Metabarcoding analysis of the eukaryotic planktonic communities of Bilbao and Urdaibai estuaries”. It is our main objective to build a reference map of the planktonic diversity in the Bay of Biscay. Therefore, taxonomic diversity will be characterized by identifying and comparing the planktonic taxa (bacterioplankton, phytoplankton and zooplankton) present in two estuaries with different levels of anthropogenic pressure: Nervion and Urdaibai. Functional diversity will also be assessed by identifying and comparing the group of planktonic genes active in both estuaries. Results could be applied on the development of an accurate, straightforward and cost-effective method for plankton monitoring applicable in adaptive response to climate change and pollution, invasive species…

 Regarding the studies on soil and plant microbiota, several projects are ongoing: a) The impact of agricultural management on microbial community. This is a basic research on the theory of succession and stabilization of microbial community following a stress. The group is involved in a time series analysis of the soil microbiota when converting a grassland into a vineyard, and on the effect of conventional and organic agricultural practices onto the soil and root microbial community of Beta vulgaris and Solanum lycopersicum. b) Understanding grapevine-microbe interactions. This is a baseline survey of the microbiota associated to different varieties of Vitis vinifera, to give insights about whether particular traits of a specific variety are associated with a particular microbial community, and so, if we could manipulate the community composition to reproduce desirable traits. The group also aims to monitor the bacteria and yeast fate along the wine making process (from grape harvest to fermentation). This study will provide a better understanding of the regionalization of wines, as well as a way of determining Terroir specific microbiota profiles that could be used for Geo-traceability.