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Biological aspects of the development of marine dinoflagellate: effects of metal pollutants on the cell structure and expression of proteins

Grant number: 97/02291-8
Support type:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: July 01, 1997 - June 30, 2002
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Biochemistry of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Pio Colepicolo Neto
Grantee:Pio Colepicolo Neto
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In this project we will tackle two different aspects of the cellular, biochemical and molecular physiology of the marine dinoflagellate Gonyaulax polyedra. In preliminary experiments we observed that the presence of metal-pollutants such as Hg, Cd, Pb and Cu simultaneously induce cysting of these cells and the induction of the expression of various proteins. Therefore, part of this project will be related to the detailed study of the effects of pollutant metals on the behavior of these algae, as well as, their effects on the induction of the expression of proteins. In the second aspect, we will continue with the molecular characterization of the biological clock In these studies we will focus our interest on the SOD enzymes, ascorbate peroxidase, leucine aminopeptidase, on the process of synthesis of carotenoids and finally, on the mechanisms of phosphorylation of proteins, which apparently are involved in the process of transduction of biological clock signals. (AU)