Axenic cultures of Trichococcus species will be analysed, with a special emphasis on Trichococcus strain ES5 that can produce PDO from glycerol. PDO can be used to compose polyesters and polyurethanes or it can be used as solvent and an antifreeze/protective agent5,6; its production from glycerol is attractive because this is a low cost substrate (byproduct resulting from the production of biodiesel). Among the known Trichoccocus species, production of PDO from glycerol was only observed by Trichococcus strain ES5. Although Trichococcus strains share high similarity in their 16S RNA gene, differences at genomic level seem to be much higher and low DNA-DNA hybridization values were observed for the different species7. We have currently a collaboration with the German Collection of Microorganisms (DSMZ) and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) for sequencing the genomes of all the thus far isolated Tricochoccus species, and the comparative analysis of these genomes will be done within this PhD project. Further on, proteomics will be performed to study specific physiological properties. For example, one fascinating physiological characteristic of Trichococcus species is the capability of growing at very low temperatures – specifically, Trichococcus patagoniensis8 can be a targeted species to study this feature as it can grow at -5oC by producing a mucous substance that covers the cells.