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Molecular, morphological, anatomical and biochemical aspects of fruit development in passionfruits (Passiflora spp., Passifloraceae)

Grant number: 11/08131-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: July 01, 2011 - June 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Carnier Dornelas
Grantee:Marcelo Carnier Dornelas
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Adriana Zerlotti Mercadante ; Paulo Mazzafera ; Sandra Maria Carmello-Guerreiro


The genus Passiflora comprehends about 400 species distributed mainly in the American continent, and the majority of species are from South America. To the genus Passiflora belongs Passiflora edulis var. flavicarpa, the yellow passionfruit, which has great economic importance for Brazil. Despite its importance, there is a large gap on the knowledge about the development and reproductive biology in the genus Passiflora. This project aims the characterization of fruit development in three Passiflora species: P. edulis var. flavicarpa (the yellow passionfruit), P. alata (the sweet passionfruit) e P. caerulea (a wild species from the Southeastern brazil, with interesting characteristics). This characterization will involve the use of light microscopy and electron microscopy associated to molecular biology and analytical biochemistry techniques. We aim to obtain the morphological and anatomical descriptions of fruit and seed ontogenesis for the three studied species, with emphasis on the development of the aril, where the fruit juice is produced. The contrasting characteristics of the juice of the three studied species will be analyzed by the determination of their concentrations of sugars, proteins, and organic acids, as well as carotenoids and flavonoids. Additionally, we intent to associate specific stages of ovule differentiation to the expression pattern of candidate genes, via RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. (AU)

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