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The University of Texas
Marine Science Institute
750 Channel View Drive
Port Aransas, TX 78373
Phone: 361-749-6711

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Leão, Pedro

Pedro Leão

Working on prokaryote genomes and metabolic pathways reconstruction from environmental samples

Pedro finished his Ph.D. in microbiology in 2018 at UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro). His thesis title was "Diversity of Magnetotactic organisms: New frontiers for magnetotaxis evolution." Pedro worked as a visiting professor at the department of Microbiology of the same institution and as an FSE fellow at the University of Groningen as part of the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB). His interests are in metabolic and phylogenetic diversity of prokaryotes and it evolution.

At the moment, Pedro is a postdoc fellow under the supervision of Dr. Brett Baker at the University of Texas, Austin studying the diversity of Asgard archaea and it role in the origin of eukaryotic life.


1. Leão, Pedro; Le Nagard, Lucas; Yuan, H.; Cypriano, J.; Silva-Neto, I.; D.A. Bazylinski; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; Lins de Barros, H.; Hitchcock, Adam P.; Lins, Ulysses; Abreu, Fernanda. Magnetosome magnetite biomineralization in a flagellated protist: evidence for an early evolutionary origin for magnetoreception in eukaryotes. Environmental Microbiology, v. 1, p. 1-12, 2020.

2. Cypriano J, Bahri M, Dembelé K, Baaziz W, Leão P, Bazylinski DA, Abreu F, Ersen O, Farina M, Werckmann J. insight on thermal stability of magnetite magnetosomes: implications for the fossil record and biotechnology. Scientific reports. v. 10(1):1-0, 2020.

3. Koziaeva, V.; Dziuba, M.; Leão, P; Uzun, M.; Krutkina, M.; Grouzdev, D. Genome-based metabolic reconstruction of a novel uncultivated freshwater magnetotactic coccus Ca. Magnetaquicoccus inordinatus UR-1, and proposal of a candidate family Ca. Magnetaquicoccaceae. Frontiers in Microbiology, v. 10, p. 1-20, 2019.

4. Melo, R.D.; Leão, P; Abreu, Fernanda; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel. The swimming orientation of multicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes and uncultured magnetotactic cocci in magnetic fields similar to the geomagnetic field reveals differences in magnetotaxis between them. Antonie Van Leeuwehoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology, v. 1, p. 1-13, 2019.

5. Cypriano, Jefferson; Weckmann, Jacques; Vargas, Gabriele; Lopes dos Santos, Adriana; Silva, Karen T.; Leão, Pedro; Almeida, Fernando P.; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Farina, Marcos; Lins, Ulysses; Abreu, Fernanda. Uptake and persistence of bacterial magnetite magnetosomes in a mammalian cell line: Implications for medical and biotechnological applications. PLoS One, v. 14, p. e0215657, 2019

6. Leão, Pedro; Gueiros-Filho, F. J.; D.A. Bazylinski; Lins, Ulysses; Abreu, Fernanda. Association of magnetotactic multicellular prokaryotes with Pseudoalteromonas species in a natural lagoon environment. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (Dordrecht online). , v.1, p.1 - 11, 2018.

7. Abreu, Fernanda; Leão, Pedro; Vargas, Gabriele; Cypriano, Jefferson; Figueiredo, Viviane; Enrich-Prast, Alex; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Lins, Ulysses. Culture-independent characterization of a novel uncultivated magnetotactic member of the Betaproteobacteria class of the Proteobacteria phylum from an acidic lagoon. Environmental Microbiology. , v.1, p.9 - 31, 2018.

8. Vargas, G.; Cypriano J.; Correa, T.; Leão, P ; D.A. Bazylinski ; Abreu, F. Applications of Magnetotactic Bacteria, Magnetosomes and Magnetosome Crystals in Biotechnology and Nanotechnology: Mini-Review. Molecules, 2018.

9. Gonçalves, Diego de Souza; Ferreira, Marina da Silva; Liedke, Susie Coutinho; Gomes, Kamilla Xavier; De Oliveira, Gabriel Afonso; Leão, Pedro Ernesto Lopes; Cesar, Gabriele Vargas; Seabra, Sergio H.; Cortines, Juliana Reis; Casadevall, Arturo; Nimrichter, Leonardo; Domont, Gilberto Barbosa; Junqueira, Magno Rodrigues; Peralta, Jose Mauro; Guimaraes, Allan J. Extracellular vesicles and vesicle-free secretome of the protozoa Acanthamoeba castellanii under homeostasis and nutritional stress and their damaging potential to host cells. Virulence. , v.9, p.818 - 836, 2018.

10. Leite, D.; P. Leão; Garrido, A. G.; U. Lins; Santos, H. F.; Pires, D.; Castro, C.; Elsas, J. D. V.; Zilberberg, C.; Rosado, A.; Peixoto, R. Broadcast Spawning Coral Mussismilia hispida Can Vertically Transfer its Associated Bacterial Core. Frontiers in Microbiology (Online). , v.8, p.176 - , 2017.

11. Leão, P.; Chen, Yi-ran; Abreu, Fernanda; Wang, Mingling; Zhang, Wei-Jei-Jia; Zhou, Ke; Xiao, Tian; Wu, Long-Fei; Lins, U. Ultrastructure of ellipsoidal magnetotactic multicellular prokaryotes depicts their complex assemblage and cellular polarity in the context of magnetotaxis. Environmental Microbiology (Print). , v.1, p.1 - , 2017.

12. Zhu, Xiaohui; Hitchcock, Adam P.; Le Nargard, Lucas; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Morillo, Viviana; Abreu, Fernanda; Leão, Pedro; Lins, Ulysses X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Magnetism of Synthetic Greigite and Greigite Magnetosomes in Magnetotactic Bacteria. Geomicrobiology Journal, v.02, p.00 - 00, 2017.

13. Araujo, Ana Carolina V.; Morillo, V.; Cycriano, J.; Teixeira CRS, Lia; Leão, P.; Lira, S.; Almeida, Luiz Gonzaga; D.A. Bazylinski; De Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; Abreu, F.; Lins, U. Combined genomic and structural analyses of a cultured magnetotactic bacterium reveals its niche adaptation to a dynamic environment. BMC Genomics. , v.17, p.363 - 375, 2016.

14. Abreu, Fernanda; Araujo, Ana Carolina V.; Leão, Pedro; Silva, Karen Tavares; Marques de Carvalho, Fabíola; De Lima Cunha, Oberdan; Almeida, Luiz Gonzaga; Geurink, Corey; Farina Marcos; Rodelli, Daniel; Jovane, Luigi; Pellizari, Vivian H.; De Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; Bazylinsky, Dennis A.; Lins, Ulysses. Culture-independent characterization of novel psychrophilic magnetotactic cocci from Antarctic marine sediments. Environmental Microbiology (Print). , v.1, p.1 - 16, 2016.

15. Leão, P.; Teixeira, Lia C. R. S.; Cypriano, Jefferson; Farina, M; Abreu, Fernanda; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Lins, Ulysses. North-Seeking Magnetotactic Gammaproteobacteria in the Southern Hemisphere. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Print). , v.82, p.5595 - 5602, 2016.

16. Abreu, Fernanda; Silva, Karen Tavares; Leão, Pedro; Guedes, Iame Alves; Keim, Carolina Neumann; Farina, Marcos; Lins, Ulysses. Cell Adhesion, Multicellular Morphology, and Magnetosome Distribution in the Multicellular Magnetotactic Prokaryote Candidatus Magnetoglobus multicellularis. Microscopy and Microanalysis (Print). , v.20, p.1 - 9, 2013.

17. Silva, K. T.; Leão, P. E.; Abreu, F.; Lopez, J. A.; Gutarra, M. L.; Farina, M.; Bazylinski, D. A.; Freire, D. M. G.; Lins, U. Optimized magnetosome production and growth by the magnetotactic vibrio Magnetovibrio blakemorei strain MV-1 using statistical experimental design. Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Print). , v.79, p.2823 - 2827, 2013.


1. Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; Leão, Pedro; Abreu, Fernanda; Bazylinski, Dennis A.

Magnetotaxis In: Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences.2 ed. : Elsevier, 2018, v.1, p. 1-17.

2. Leão, P; Werneck, C.; Lins, U.; Abreu, F. Microscopy Techniques to Assess Prokaryotic Molecular Diversity in Environmental Samples In: Molecular Diversity of Environmental Prokaryotes.1 ed. Florida : Taylor & Francis Group, 2016, v.1, p. 205-227.

July 2018                                      Cover of Environmental Microbiology (SFAM)

August 2016                                 Cover of Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM)

2013 – 2018                                 PhD. Scholarship (CNPq)

2013 – 2015                                 M.S. Scholarship (CNPq)

2012                                             Best undergrad conclusion work in Environmental Microbiology (UFRJ)

2009 – 2013                                 Scientific initiation scholarship (CNPq)