Open Meeting

Open Meeting
Date: February 12th-14th, 2020
Venue: Instituto Superior Técnico, Conference Center, Civil Engineering Building
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

This meeting will be the first open conference run by Cost Action CA18113, with presentations from all the areas represented in the Action. These will explore fundamental aspects of microbial responses to low pH and include applications in food and drink, biotechnology, and health care.  A focus of the meeting with is on synergies and cross-overs between these diverse research areas.


This meeting is open to all participants pending registration in this form. On-site registrations might be possible pending available budget. In specific, eligible participants for reimbursements can claim 4 nights of accommodation (at the maximum rate that will be agreed by the Management Committee), the meals that are not offered by the local organisers (20€/meal) and airfare/train expenses (whose associated documents MUST always have your name, surname, date and the total paid amount).  For other travelling expenses such as public transport, taxi or car please read carefully the COST Vademecum available here. Note that travelling to and from countries other than that where the approved meeting is being held and the country where you are residing as to be pre-approved from COST Association at least one month before the event (see COST Vademecum Pag.27 to see how to proceed).

How to reach the venue? 

The meeting will take place at Instituto Superior Técnico in the Conference Center (located in the -2 floor of the Civil Engineering Building). IST has a quite central location that can be easily reached by two metro stations, Alameda (green line, slightly less accessible as you will need to go through a small hill) and Saldanha II (red line, go through the Filipa de Vilhena Exit and then you just need to go straight ahead until you find the lateral door of IST campus. Check map here


The accommodation in this meeting is directly made by the participants. Two hotels are partners of our conference and will offer discount rates as long as you mention your participation in this conference. These hotels are both walking distance from IST. To book the ALIF hotel you should directly contact the hotel through the email . Don’t forget to mention that your reservation goes through the COST-IST meeting. To book the Turim Alameda hotel make the reservation directly in the website and use the PROMO CODE EUROMICROpH (only available from Oct 26 onwards). These should grant you access to discount rates. 

Poster Presentation

Posters should have 110x80cm (height x width). Poster presenters are kindly asked to expose their posters on the numbered poster boards as soon as possible. Assignment of the poster board number will be performed at the moment of registration in the meeting.

How to access wi-fi

To connect to wi-fi you can use eduroam with credentials from your university. In case you don’t have access to eduoram you can use the tecnico-guest wifi. User name: euromicroph; password: sE3B4j.

Book of abstracts

The book of abstracts that accompanies the conference is now available for download here

12th February – For Management Committee Members Only

8-9.30Arrival and registration of Management Committee (MC) delegates
9.30-10.30MC meeting (part I): administration of the action
11-12.30MC meeting (part II): preparative meetings concerning organization of WG activities and preparation of GAPG2

12th February – For All Registered Participants

14-15.10Low pH and the EuroMicropH action

Welcome notes (Nuno P Mira, conference chair; Professor Joaquim Sampaio Cabral, Full professor of IST and Director of Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences; Prof João Pedro Conde, Full Professor of IST and Director of the Department of Bioengineering;)

The EuroMicropH COST Action (Pete Lund, Action Chair)

Opening conference.

Andreas Gombert, University of Campinas, Brazil
What can the industrial production of fuel ethanol from sugarcane teach us about tolerance to low pH in yeast?
15.45-17.30Integration of fundamental knowledge on impacts of low pH on micro-organisms and identification of knowledge and technical gaps.
Session chairs: Conor O’Byrne, NUI Galway, Ireland; Oded Liran, Galilee Research Institute, Israel

Introduction to Working Group 1 (Connor O’Byrne, NUI Galway, Ireland; WG1 leader)

Daniela De Biase (Sapienza University, Italy) 
Die or survive under very low pH stress: when an amino acid can make the difference

Miguel Machuqueiro (Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal) 
Computational methods to evaluate the impact of low pH on the cellular water/membrane interface

– Karen Trchounian, Faculty of Biology, Armenia – Interaction of membrane-bound enzymes related to proton transport and hydrogen production in Escherichia coli at acidic pH
– Matthias G. Steiger, Technical University of Wien, Austria – Organic acid secretion by filamentous fungi;
– Hana Sychrová, Institute of Physiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic – Potassium transporters participate in yeast pH homeostasis and tolerance to low external pH
– Armands Vigants, University of Latvia, Latvia – The acetic acid tolerance of the yeast Kluveromyces marxianus.
– Sholem Griffin, University of Malta, Malta -The Effect of Carbon Dioxide as a Climatic Parameter on Microbial Food Contaminants and Selective Isogenic Mutants
17.30-19Poster session (on the ground-floor of the Civil Engineering building) 

13th February

9–10.30Methodologies and expertise in the study of micro-organisms at low pH.
Session chairs: Gertien Smits, University of Amsterdam; Ott Scheler; Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Introduction to Working Group 2 (Gertien Smits, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; WG2 leader) 

Teuta Pilizota, University of Edinburgh, UK
The ability to maintain pH in E. coli is set by the maximum achievable proton motive force

Pete Lund, University of Birmingham, UK
High throughput methods for genetic analysis of acid stress

– Luís Ferraz, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy; Membrane engineering to improve Saccharomyces cerevisiae robustness towards organic acids
– Mathew Milner, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; Can Transposon Directed Insertion-site Sequencing (TraDIS) be used to explore multiple outcomes of evolution under stressful environments?
– Ott Scheler, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia; Analysis of microbial growth and heterogeneity using droplet microfluidics
– Elia Tomás-Pejó, IMDEA Energy Institute, Spain; Evolutionary engineering of Lactobacillus pentosus improves lactic acid productivity from xylose-rich media at low pH
– Vasilis Valdramidis, University of Malta, Malta; Quantitative approaches to address the spore resistance in low pH food processing environments: the case of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris
11-12.30Low pH responses in medicine, biotech, and food: what can we learn and how can we help each other (part I)
Session chairs: Karolina Rudnicka, University of Lodz, Poland; Rebecca Hall, University of Birmingham, UK; Jana Sedláková, Institute of Biology and Ecology, Slovakia

Introduction to Working groups 3, 4 and 5 (Nuno Mira, WG3 leader; Zeynep Gurol, WG4 leader; Estefania Noriega Fernandez, WG5 leader)

Jaroslav Michalko, Slovak Academy of Sciences
How systematic literature review and meta-analysis may provide a better understanding of the acidic stress response in highly pathogenic foodborne bacteria
12.30-14Free time for lunch
14-15.30Low pH responses in medicine, biotech, and food: what can we learn and how can we help each other (part II)
Session chairs: Nuno P Mira, Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal; Jana Sedláková, Institute of Biology and Ecology, Slovakia;

Karolina Rudnicka, University of Lodz, Poland
How Helicobacter pylori resists gastric acid and sucessfully modulate hosts responses

Božidar Santek, University of Zagreb, Croatia 
Yeast Trichospron oleaginosus: a producer of microbial lipids from lignocellulose containing feedstocks

Zeynep Gurol, KTH University, Sweden
Acidogenic bacteria as our co-workers for more sustainable production process
16-17.30Poster session
19.30Social dinner (at Museu da Cerveja, Terreiro do Paço)

14th February

9– 10.30Low pH responses in medicine, biotech, and food: what can we learn and how can we help each other (part III)
Session chairs: Estefania Noriega Fernandez, Nofima, Norway

Nicholas Brian Johnson, Nestlé Research Center, Switzerland
Low pH and High Acid: a challenge or opportunity for the Food Industry

Mustafa Turker, Pakmaya, Turkey
Potential Applications and Opportunities in Low pH in Food and Industrial Biotechnology

– Jana Sedlakova-Kadukova, Faculty of Science, Slovakia; Acidophilic microorganisms – capable workers in metal-bearing waste treatment
– Ljupco Angelovski, University of “Ss. Cyril and Methods”, Republic of North Macedonia; Effect of organic acids on pathogen microorganisms in meat
– Aleksandra Djukić-Vuković, Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy, Serbia; Low pH in production of lactic acid and probiotic biomass 
– Lucian C. StaicuUniversity of Warsaw, Poland;Recovery and characterization of PbS using a novel strain of Bacillus 
– Aysenur Ugurlu, Hacettepe University, Turkey; Acclimatization of anaerobic microorganisms to low pH conditions for enhancement of biogas production
11-12.30WG6: Dissemination at EuroMicropH
Session chair: Paola Branduardi, University of Milano-Biccoca

Michael Sauer, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria (leader of WG6)
Communication and Dissemination in COST Actions
Final conference, 
Session chair: Daniela De Biase, University of Sapienza, Italy
Sara Bover Cid, Institute of Agriculture and Food Research and Technology, Spain
Predictive microbiology approaches to quantitatively assess the impact of pH on behaviour of foodborne bacteria
12.30-14Free time for lunch
14-16Open parallel sessions for all WGs (review work performed and establish goals for GP2)
Working Group 1 – Auditorium (-1 floor)
Working Group 2 – Room 0.2.1 (-2 floor) 
Working Group 3 – Room 0.2.3 (-2 floor)
Working Group 4 – Room 0.1.1 (-1 floor)
Working Group 5 – Room 0.2.2. (-2 floor)
16-17.30Core Group meeting

Tips for food

IST has in its premises several restaurants that can be used for lunch by the participants. Some of these are compiled in the map available here, along with a set of other options that are located in the surroundings (all walking distance) of IST. You can also find the GPS coordinates of all the designated places.


If you have questions about this meeting use the contact form.

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