Cardona Lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that control bacterial growth in different settings, such as during infection or biotechnological processes. To achieve our goals, we explore bacterial genomes with a focus on essential genes, and we build genetic and synthetic biology tools. We apply our knowledge and methods to solve global challenges like antibiotic resistance, crop disease, and pollution.
Our experimental model is bacteria of the genus Burkholderia, a group of Gram-negative microorganisms with large, multi-partite genomes and extraordinary metabolic capacities. Burkholderia species thrive in the soil, freshwater, and even disinfectants. In addition, they establish associations with plants, where they can promote growth or cause diseases. Some species of Burkholderia can cause infections in individuals with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis. Infections with Burkholderia are difficult to treat due to Burkholderia‘s high antibiotic resistance.
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