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Deciphering the role of secondary metabolites in the chemical interaction between phytopathogens and the citrus host

Grant number: 22/02992-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Initial Project Research Grant
Duration: April 01, 2023 - March 31, 2028
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Convênio/Acordo: Serrapilheira Institute
Principal Investigator:Taicia Pacheco Fill
Grantee:Taicia Pacheco Fill
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Luis Gonzales Candelas ; Vito Valiante
Associated scholarship(s):23/06874-4 - Deciphering the role of secondary metabolites in the chemical interaction between phytopathogens and the citrus host, BP.DR


Phytopathogens have developed numerous specialized virulence strategies to facilitate colonization of plant tissues, as well as infect and modulate host plant physiology, including the production of secondary metabolites (natural products) that could act as virulence factors. Brazil is the largest producer of oranges and the largest exporter of orange juice in the world, and these citrus fruits are susceptible to numerous fungal diseases that cause significant losses to the Brazilian economy. The diseases that cause the greatest economic losses are the green and blue molds caused by the fungi Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum, respectively, although other phytopathogens have also been reported. Research on these phytopathogens mainly focuses on treatments against the symptoms of infection. However, the molecular basis of infection and host specificity remain largely unknown. In this sense, our objective is to structurally characterize peptides produced by these phytopathogens and study them in relation to their functionality in the pathogen-host interaction, through molecular and genetic biology studies. The idea is to perform the deletion of key genes involved in the biosynthesis of these metabolites (NRPSs), allowing the production of mutant organisms deficient in the respective metabolites, which will be studied in relation to virulence towards the host. These studies could provide more information about the strategies used by these Penicillium species and other fungal phytopathogens to infect citrus. Understanding phytotoxin production in its biological context represents an important step towards developing ways to protect citrus from fungal infections. (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)
DA SILVA, STEPHANIE NEMESIO; DE OLIVEIRA, LUIS FERNANDO; REPKE, RODRIGO ALBERTO; PEREIRA, ALANA KELYENE; BARBOSA, LUIDY DARLAN; NUNES, RAFAEL LEIRIA; SUSSULINI, ALESSANDRA; PINHEIRO, FABIO; FILL, TAICIA PACHECO. Metabolomic analysis reveals stress tolerance mechanisms in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) related to treatment with a biostimulant obtained from Corynebacterium glutamicum. MOLECULAR OMICS, v. N/A, p. 13-pg., . (21/00728-0, 22/02992-0)

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