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Implementation of metabolome approach in the study of symbiosis between plant-fungi

Grant number: 11/18233-6
Support type:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: January 09, 2012 - July 08, 2012
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Massuo Jorge Kato
Grantee:Massuo Jorge Kato
Visiting researcher: Silas Granato Villas Boas
Visiting researcher institution: University of Auckland, New Zealand
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Activity I - Establishment of protocol at IQUSP to analyse secondary metabolites, as developed in New Zealand. Such protocols include methodology for sampling and quenching biological samples, extraction and analysis of primary metabolites by spectrometric analysis.Activity II - Selection of endophytes for metabolome study based on fast growing in culture media and cultivation of their host plants free of pathogens. Activity III - Metabolomic analysis of fungi, plants and fungi+plants by GC-MS and direct infusion of samples in the Q-ToF systems. Three classes of samples should be obtained: (1) samples from endophytes growing in culture media; (2) samples from plants free from pathogens; and (3) samples from plants with pathogens. Primary and secondary metabolites should be extracted and analysed by GC-MS and direct infusion of samples in the Q-ToF systems. The basic idea is to determine the overall metabolic effect of endophytes in the host plants and possible role in the secondary metabolites. Activity IV - Graduate course on "Metabolome" Metabolomics is one of newest "omics" technology which is capable of screening a large number of metabolites in biological samples. Although sometimes considered as a young field of research, metabolomics has been evolving rapidly during recent years and it is now complementary to different "omics" technologies, such as transcriptomics and proteomics. As a consequence, metabolomics has been widely used as a functional genomics tool as well as playing essential role in systems biology studies. Today we can find metabolomics being applied to different areas of research in life sciences, from phenotypic characterization of microbial strains, gene-knockout mutants and plant cultivars, to diagnostic of diseases and metabolic disorders. Lastly, metabolomics is capable of providing important information about the cell metabolic state and about the activity of metabolic pathways. Recently, our group published a tool named PAPi. It is an R package which calculates what we called the "Activity Score" of metabolic pathways. As a result, it generates graphs highlighting the metabolic pathways that tend to be more important to define the differences between experimental conditions. This way, we can use metabolomics data sets to predict metabolic flux distribution and to characterize the metabolic response of organisms to different environment conditions.For more information about the platform and methods used in our laboratory, please visit our Group publication section. (AU)