Tina Keller

POSITION: Post-doctoral researcher

RESEARCH THEME: Marine metagenomics and microbial ecology

E-mail: tinakellercosta@tecnico.ulisboa.pt;


Research Topics

  • Host-microbial interactions
  • Soft coral microbial ecology
  • Chemical signalling
  • Behaviour of symbiotic bacteria
  • Metagenomics and functional genomics of symbiotic microorganisms
  • Microbial cultivation

Selected Publications


Silva, S.G., Lago-Lestón, A., Costa, R. and Keller-Costa, T.$ Draft genome sequence of Sphingorhabdus strain EL138, a metabolically-versatile alphaproteobacterium isolated from the gorgonian coral Eunicella labiata. Genome Announcements 6(9): e00142-18. DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00142-18 (2018).

Rodrigues, G.N., Lago-Lestón, A., Costa, R. and Keller-Costa, T.$ Draft genome sequence of Labrenzia strain EL143, a coral-associated alphaproteobacterium with versatile symbiotic living capability and strong halogen degradation potential. Genome Announcements in press: DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00132-18 (2018).


Keller-Costa, T. $, Eriksson, D., Gonçalves, J.M.S., Gomes, N.C.M., Lago-Lestón, and Costa, R. The gorgonian coral Eunicella labiata hosts a distinct prokaryotic consortium amenable to cultivation. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 93(12): DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fix143 (2017).

Saraiva, J.L., Keller-Costa, T., Hubbard, P.C., Rato, A. and Canário, A.V.M. Chemical diplomacy in male tilapia: urine signal decreases aggression and increases sex hormone. Scientific Reports 7: 7636 DOI:  1038/s41598-017-07558-1 (2017).


Keller-Costa, T., Silva, R. Lago-Lestón, A. and Costa, R. Genomic insights into Aquimarina EL33, a bacterial symbiont of the gorgonian coral Eunicella labiata.Genome Announcements 4: DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.00855-16 (2016).

Keller-Costa, T., Saraiva, J.L., Hubbard, P.C. Barata, E.N. and Canário, A.V.M. A multi-component pheromone in the urine of dominant male tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) reduces aggression in rivals. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42(2): 173-182 (2016).

Kutsyna, O., Velez, Z., Canário, A.V.M., Keller-Costa, T. $ and Hubbard, P.C. Variation in urinary amino acids in the Mozambique tilapia: a signal of dominance or individuality? In: Schulte B., Goodwin T., Ferkin M. (eds) Chemical Signals in Vertebrates, vol 13. Springer International Publishing, pp 189-203 (2016).


Keller-Costa, T., Hubbard, P.C. and Canário, A.V.M. Chemical communication in cichlids: a mini-review. General and Comparative Endocrinology 221: 64-74 (2015).



Keller-Costa, T., Canário, A.V.M. and Hubbard, P.C. Olfactory sensitivity to steroid glucuronates in Mozambique tilapia suggests two distinct and specific receptor mechanisms for pheromone detection. Journal of Experimental Biology 217: 4203-4212 (2014).

Hubbard, P.C., Mota, V., Keller-Costa, T., da Silva, J.P. and Canário, A.V.M. Chemical communication in tilapia: a comparison of Oreochromis mossambicus with niloticus.General and Comparative Endocrinology 207: 13-20 (2014).

Keller-Costa, T., Hubbard, P.C., Paetz, C., Nakamura, Y., da Silva, J.P., Rato, A., Barata, E.N., Schneider, B. and Canário, A.V.M. Identity of a tilapia pheromone released by dominant males that primes females for reproduction. Current Biology 24(18): 2130-2135 (2014).

Keller-Costa, T., Jousset, A., van Overbeek, L., van Elsas, J.D. and Costa, R. The freshwater sponge Ephydatia fluviatilis habours diverse Pseudomonas with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. PloS ONE DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088429 (2014).



Costa, R., Keller-Costa, T., Gomes, N.C.M., Nunes da Rocha, U., van Overbeek, L. and van Elsas, J.D. Evidence for selective bacterial community structuring in the freshwater sponge Ephydatia fluviatilis. Microbial Ecology 65:232-244 (2013).


Keller-Costa, T., Lopes, O.S., Almeida, O., Hubbard, P.C., Iacovella, A., Lima, M,. Barata, E.N. and Canário, A.V.M. Muscular hypertrophy of urinary bladders in dominant tilapia facilitates the control of aggression through urinary signals. Behaviour 149: 953-975 (2012).


$corresponding author


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