Bioprospecting the Solar Panel Microbiome: High-Throughput Screening for Antioxidant Bacteria in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model

Front Microbiol. 2019 May 7:10:986. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00986. eCollection 2019.


Microbial communities that are exposed to sunlight typically share a series of adaptations to deal with the radiation they are exposed to, including efficient DNA repair systems, pigment production and protection against oxidative stress, which makes these environments good candidates for the search of novel antioxidant microorganisms. In this research project, we isolated potential antioxidant pigmented bacteria from a dry and highly-irradiated extreme environment: solar panels. High-throughput in vivo assays using Caenorhabditis elegans as an experimental model demonstrated the high antioxidant and ultraviolet-protection properties of these bacterial isolates that proved to be rich in carotenoids. Our results suggest that solar panels harbor a microbial community that includes strains with potential applications as antioxidants.

Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; antioxidant; bioprospecting; microbiome; sun-exposed environment.