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Transgenic sugarcane: addressing an improvement sustainable productivity

Abstract

Sugarcane is one of the most important crops in Brazil, and it is used as raw material for the production of sugar and bioethanol. Although important advances have been achieved in the development of cultivars over the last decade, obtaining cultivars able to maintain high levels of productivity in restrictive environments represents one of the major challenges of the sugarcane breeding programs. The development of sugarcane cultivars from genetic engineering, despite its challenges, presents itself as a great opportunity to obtain a more efficient and sustainable agriculture. In this sense, our group has dedicated efforts in the exploration and characterization of sugarcane genes involved with traits capable of contributing to the increase of productivity within a sustainable context. Recently, two genes were identified and evaluated using functional genomics with rice as a model plant. The first refers to the SHINE Transcription Factor (ShSHN1), a gene involved with the cell wall synthesis pathway. Transgenic rice lines overexpressing the sugarcane ShSHN1 gene showed increased biomass production (91-340%), pectin (26-209%), and cellulose content (10-22%), with a reduction in lignin content (17 -35%), resulting in an increase in saccharification efficiency (5-53%). The second corresponds to the gene coding for the Dirigent-Jacalin protein (ShDJ), belonging to the lectin group, which function has not yet been reported in sugarcane. Transgenic rice lines overexpressing the ShDJ gene from sugarcane showed an increase in biomass content (35-350%) when subjected to water deprivation, indicating that this gene is involved with drought tolerance. Based on these results, this project proposes to evaluate, as proof of concept, the effect of ShSHN1 and ShDJ genes on sugarcane. In addition, transgenic sugarcane plants overexpressing the ShSHN1 and ShDJ genes will be analyzed by global gene expression analysis (RNA-seq) in an attempt to elucidate the mechanisms involved in biomass increase and drought tolerance, respectively. Supplementary, biochemical cell wall analysis and saccharification efficiency will be performed for transgenic lines overexpressing the two genes. ShDJ lines will still have their performance evaluated under restrictive water conditions. Once corroborated the data with those obtained in rice, superior transgenic lines could be cloned and support future field experiments. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
ANDRADE, LARISSA MARA; PEIXOTO-JUNIOR, RAFAEL FAVERO; RIBEIRO, RAFAEL VASCONCELOS; NOBILE, PAULA MACEDO; BRITO, MICHAEL SANTOS; RIBEIRO MARCHIORI, PAULO EDUARDO; CARLIN, SAMIRA DOMINGUES; BOER MARTINS, ALEXANDRE PALMA; GOLDMAN, MARIA HELENA S.; PORTILLA LLERENA, JUAN PABLO; et al. Biomass Accumulation and Cell Wall Structure of Rice Plants Overexpressing a Dirigent-Jacalin of Sugarcane (ShDJ) Under Varying Conditions of Water Availability. FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, v. 10, . (17/24420-0, 08/57495-3, 11/50661-8)

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.
Filed patent(s) as a result of this research project

MÉTODOS DE TRANSFORMAÇÃO DE UMA CÉLULA DE PLANTA OU TECIDO DE PLANTA USANDO AGROBACTERIUM, PLANTA TRANSGÊNICA, CÉLULA TRANSGÊNICA OU TECIDO TRANSGÊNICO, MEIO DE CULTURA, E, USO DE UM MÉTODO PARA TRANSFORMAR UMA CÉLULA DE PLANTA OU TECIDO DE PLANTA BR1020200153544 - Instituto Agronômico de Campinas (IAC) . LARISSA MARA DE ANDRADE ; SILVANA APARECIDA CRESTE DIAS DE SOUZA - July 2020, 28