The Applied Biocatalysis Group was started 40 years ago by Dr. Antonio Ballesteros, and currently leaded by Dr. Francisco J. Plou. The group studies the application of enzymes  at different industries, such as  biomedics, pharmacologic nutraceutic, pulp industries, functional foods or sustainable chemistry.

Research lines

Enzymatic Glycosylation

Enzymatic Acylation of Sugars and Antioxidants

Immobilization of Enzymes


Group Leader

Francisco J. Plou (Investigador científico)

Group Staff

Relación de personal del Grupo
Antonio Ballesteros (Prof.)
Lucía Fernández-Arrojo (personal de investigación)
Noa Míguez (Estudiante de doctorado)
José Luis Gonzalez (Estudiante de doctorado)
David Fernández (Estudiante de doctorado)
Fadia Cervantes (Estudiante de doctorado)
Jose Manuel Hernández (Técnico)


“Enzymatic procedure for the preparation of alfa-glucosylated derivatives of resveratrol with surfactant properties”.

Torres, F.J. Plou, A. Ballesteros, J.L. Parra, F. Comelles, J. Jiménez-Barbero and A. Poveda

Spanish Patent 200930037PCT/ES2010/070177

“Alginate-based immobilized biocatalyst for the biotransformation of carbohydrates .

Fernández-Arrojo, F.J. Plou, M. Alcalde, A. Ballesteros, M. Fernández-Lobato y P. Gutiérrez-Alonso

Spanish Patent 200930001PCT/ES2010/070104


“Procedimiento de obtención de una enzima inmovilizada en un soporte renovable derivado de un residuo agroalimentario”.

M.A. Martin-Luengo, M. Yates, F.J. Plou, R. Lozano E. Saez, A.M. Martinez, L. Vega, L. Medina V. Zurdo, M. Ramos, F. Valero, M.D. Benaiges. 

Spanish Patent 201330114


“Novel trends in the food industry for the preparation of bioactive ingredients using last-generation glycosydic enzymes”, GLICO-BIOCATFinancial Organization: Spanish MINECO; Reference: BIO2016-76601-C3-1-R; Principal Investigators: Francisco J. Plou and Antonio Ballesteros

“Spanish Network on Biotechnology for lignocellulose: Towards the efficient use of biomass as renewable feedstock “, LIGNOCELFinancial Organization: Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad; Reference: BIO2017‐90757‐REDT ; Principal Investigator: Susana Camarero (CIB-CSIC)

“International Network for the Search, Evaluation and Application of Enzymes in the Food Industry” , ENZALFinancial Organization: Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT, Chile); Reference: REDI170057; Principal Investigator: Carlos Vera (Universidad de Santiago de Chile)


Alonso, G. Santiago, I. Cea-Rama, L. Fernandez-Lopez, C. Coscolín, J. Modregger, A. K. Ressmann, M. Martínez-Martínez, H. Marrero, R. Bargiela, M. Pita, J. L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, M. L. Briand, D. Rojo, C. Barbas, F. J. Plou, P. N. Golyshin, P. Shahgaldian, J. Sanz-Aparicio, V. Guallar and M. Ferrer. Genetically engineered proteins with two active sites for enhanced biocatalysis and synergistic chemo- and biocatalysis.Nature Catalysis(2019)doi:10.1038/s41929-019-0394-4

M. Ramirez-Escudero, N. Miguez, M. Gimeno-Perez, A.O. Ballesteros, M. Fernandez-Lobato, F.J. Plou and J. Sanz-Aparicio. Deciphering the molecular specificity of phenolic compounds as inhibitors or glycosyl acceptors of β fructofuranosidase from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous.  Scientific Reports 9, 17441 (2019)doi:10.1038/s41598-019-53948-y

S. Neifar, F.V. Cervantes, H. BenHlima, A. Bouanane-Darenfed, A.O. Ballesteros, F.J. Plou, S. Bejar. Immobilization of the glucose isomerase from Caldicoprobacter algeriensis on Sepabeads EC-HA and its efficient application in continuous High Fructose Syrup production using packed bed reactorFood Chemistry (2019)doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.125710

Garcia-Arellano, J. L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, C. Ubilla, F. Comelles, M. Alcalde, M. Bernabé, J-L Parra, A. O. Ballesteros and F. J. Plou. Production and surfactant properties of tert-butyl α-D-glucopyranosides catalyzed by cyclodextrin GlucanotransferaseCatalysts(2019)doi:10.3390/catal9070575

Santos-Moriano, P. Kidibule, N. Miguez, L. Fernández-Arrojo, A.O. Ballesteros, M. Fernández-Lobato and F. J. Plou. Tailored enzymatic synthesis of chitooligosaccharides with different deacetylation degrees and their anti-inflammatory activityCatalysts (2019)doi:10.3390/catal9050405

Gomez de Santos, F.V. Cervantes, F. Tieves, F.J. Plou, F. Hollmann, M. Alcalde. Benchmarking of laboratory evolved unspecific peroxygenases for the synthesis of human drug metabolitesTetrahedron (2019)doi:10.1016/j.tet.2019.02.013 Molina-Espeja, P. Santos-Moriano, E. García-Ruiz, A. Ballesteros, FJ. Plou and M. Alcalde. One-point oriented immobilization of an evolved unspecific peroxygenaseInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences(2019)doi:10.3390/ijms20071627

J.L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, P. Peñalver, A.O. Ballesteros, J.C. Morales and F.J. Plou. Effect of a-glucosylation on the stability, antioxidant properties, toxicity and neuroprotective activity of (-)-epigallocatechin gallateFrontiers in Nutrition (2019)doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00030

J.L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, L. Casas-Godoy, J. Arrizon, D. Arrieta-Baez, A.O. Ballesteros, G. Sandoval and F.J. Plou. Lipase-catalyzed synthesis of fatty acid esters of trisaccharidesMethods Molecular Biology, 1835:287-296. (2018)doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-8672-9_15

J.L. González-Alfonso, N. Míguez, J. D. Padilla, L. Leemans, A. Poveda, J. Jimenez-Barbero, A. O. Ballesteros, G. Sandoval and F. J. Plou. Optimization of Regioselective Glucosylation of Hesperetin Catalyzed by Cyclodextrin Glucanotransferase. Molecules, 23, 2285, (2018) doi:10.3390/molecules23112885

Míguez, M. Ramírez-Escudero, M. Gimeno-Pérez, A. Poveda, J. Jiménez-Barbero, A. O. Ballesteros, M. Fernández-Lobato, J. Sanz-Aparicio and F. J. Plou. Fructosylation of hydroxytyrosol by the β-fructofuranosidase from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous: Insights into the molecular basis of the enzyme specificityChemCatChem(2018)doi:10.1002/cctc.201801171

Santos-Moriano, P.E. Kidibule, E. Alleyne, A.O. Ballesteros, A. Heras, M. Fernandez-Lobato, F.J. Plou. Efficient conversion of chitosan into chitooligosaccharides by a chitosanolytic activity from Bacillus thuringiensisProcess Biochemistry, (2018). doi:10.1016/j.procbio.2018.07.017

J.L. Gonzalez-Alfonso, L. Leemans, A. Poveda, J. Jimenez-Barbero, A.O. Ballesteros and F.J. Plou. Efficient α-glucosylation of epigallocatechin gallate catalyzed by cyclodextrin glucanotransferase from Thermoanaerobacter sp. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 66, 7402–7408 (2018)doi:10.1021/acs.jafc.8b02143

J.L. González-Alfonso, D. Rodrigo-Frutos, E. Belmonte-Reche, P. Peñalver, A. Poveda, J. Jimenez-Barbero, A.O. Ballesteros, Y. Hirose, J. Polaina, J.C. Morales, M. Fernández-Lobato and F. J. Plou. Enzymatic synthesis of a novel pterostilbene α-glucoside by the combination of cyclodextrin glucanotransferase and amyloglucosidase. Molecules 25;23(6) (2018). doi:10.3390/molecules23061271

Miguez, M. Gimeno-Perez, D. Fernandez-Polo, F.V. Cervantes, A.O. Ballesteros, M. Fernandez-Lobato, M.H. Ribeiro, F.J Plou. Immobilization of the β-fructofuranosidase from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous by entrapment in polyvinyl alcohol and its application to neo-fructooligosaccharides productionCatalysts8(5), 201 (2018)doi:10.3390/catal8050201

Gomez-Fernandez, E. Garcia-Ruiz, J. Martin, P. Gomez de Santos, P. Santos-Moriano, F.J. Plou, A. Ballesteros, M. Garcia, M. Rodriguez, V.A.