ADMISSION via GRE



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General information:

The program has two participating projects:

1) Title: Light and hormonal regulation of nutritional quality in Solanum lycopersicum

Abstract: Due to the high consumption and the biochemical profile, tomato fruit is an important component of the human diet contributing significant amounts of antioxidant compounds, such as carotenoids and tocopherols. Since these nutraceuticals are synthesized in the plastids, plastidial abundance and activity directly impact in the nutricional quality of the fruits. The differentiation and activity of chloroplasts are strictly controlled by light through a complex signal transduction cascade where phytochromes participate as receptors and phytochrome interacting factors are negative regulators of light response. This signal transduction pathway finally activates transcription factors, such as GLKs (GOLDEN LIKE) that induce plastid development and the expression of nuclear transcripts related to photosynthesis. Additionally, phytohormones and other signaling factors, including oxygen and nitrogen reactive species, also affect plastid differentiation. Particularly, nitric oxide (NO) is responsible for hormonal balance adjustments in response to phytochrome-mediated light signal. In this context, by applying functional genomic and biochemical approaches, this project proposes to improve the understanding of light, phytohormones and NO role in plastidial differentiation and activity aiming to identify genes and mechanisms that control the metabolism of nutraceutical compound in tomato.

Coordinator: Maria Magdalena Rossi

Process: FAPESP Thematic Project 2016/01128-9

Lab website: http://ib.usp.br/botanica/gmp/en/

 

2) Title: Genes, Genomes & Transposable Elements contribution to plant-microbe interaction: a sugarcane study case.

Abstract: Plant-Microbe interaction is a fundamental process in the biosphere that impacts natural ecosystems as well as agroecosystems. The understanding of the biological components and processes that control this interaction is expected to improve crop productivity and monitor environmental quality. Our approach to tackle this complex system is to use genome-wide molecular and bioinformatic tools to uncover key genes that control and/or mediate the interaction of sugarcane with three pathogens (Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli; Xanthomonas albilineans; Sporisorium scitamineum) and a nitrogen fixing bacteria (Gluconacetobacter) considered to be beneficial to sugarcane. Those organisms have a biotrophic interaction with sugarcane and the molecular aspects under biotrophy/hemibiotrophic are generally less understood. We aim to compare and contrast molecular responses across the individual interactions on both the host and on the microorganisms. Specifically, we will (i) focus on the expression patterns of a previously identified collection of resistance gene analogs (RGA) of sugarcane as well as of genes of specific metabolic responses involved in microbe interactions such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), carbohydrate metabolism, hormone synthesis and regulation, transposable elements genes, and a gene family related to gene editing in organelles and known to have members that are involved in the regulation of plant defenses via Nat- siRNA (pentatricopeptide); (ii) evaluate and compare across species the expression patterns of microbial genes with a particular focus on their secreted molecules among which one is expected to find effectors ; (iii) evaluate and compare changes in the expression patterns during two mixed infections, and (iv) evaluate and compare changes in the microbiome of the host as a result of the interaction with the mentioned microbes. As outreach products, we expect to deliver molecular information on the biology of sugarcane when interacting with various microbes looking forward to the development of a diagnostic kit to monitor sugarcane fields and to build a comprehensive sugarcane phytobiome database that could be used in comparative studies with other Poaceae.

Coordinator: Marie-Anne Van Sluys

Process: FAPESP Thematic Project 2016/17545-8

Lab website: http://www.ib.usp.br/botanica/gatelab/en/