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Molecular approaches to study the relationship between ethylene and sugarcane ripening

Grant number: 13/15576-5
Support type:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Thematic Grants
Duration: March 01, 2014 - February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Menossi Teixeira
Grantee:Marcelo Menossi Teixeira
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Ana Maria Magalhaes Andrade Lagoa ; Eduardo Caruso Machado ; Giuseppina Pace Pereira Lima ; Lucia Mattiello ; Marcelo de Almeida Silva ; Rafael Vasconcelos Ribeiro
Associated scholarship(s):15/23789-4 - Evaluation of the role of genes encoding ACC sinthase in the development of sugarcane plants, BP.PD
14/10003-0 - Cross-talk between brassinosteroid and ethylene in sugarcane ripening: regulation of ACC synthase via brassinosteroid, BP.PD
14/15172-4 - Transcription factors controlling ACC synthase expression in sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), BP.DD


Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is one of the most important raw materials for Brazilian economy, unique in its ability to accumulate large amounts of sucrose in the stalk. The ripening stage is crucial in agronomic terms, influencing harvesting season, milling operations, and very importantly sucrose yield itself. Despite sugarcane being an excellent model for studying source-sink relationship - synthesis of sucrose in the leaves (source) and accumulation in the internodes (sink) - little is known about the molecular hormonal and developmental regulation of this process. Several plant growth regulators or ripeners, analogous to plant hormones, like ethylene, are commonly applied to sugarcane fields to increase sucrose accumulation, accelerate ripening or inhibit flowering. Ethylene is also identified as the key internal cue that regulates the transition from active vegetative growth to cane maturation (and ripening) phase. With ethylene being one of the most commercially successful hormones used for manipulating sugarcane ripening, and that it is a natural primer for cane maturation, we aim to understand its synthesis and action in relation to sugar accumulation and ripening regulation, and how it can be manipulated to increase sugar yield and crop productivity. We investigate this topic by three different but complementary approaches: (i) identify the key (regulatory) genes (via transcriptome analysis) that are modulated by ethylene during sugarcane ripening and understand how they regulate sucrose accumulation and plant growth; (ii) identify promoters and their regulators of genes encoding the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS), the regulatory enzyme in the biosynthesis of ethylene, to gain molecular insight into the regulation of ethylene in relation to cane ripening; and (iii) characterize functionally the sugarcane gene encoding the DELLA protein, the main integrator of ethylene and gibberellin actions and plant growth and development, and evaluate its role in source-sink regulation using transgenic sugarcane plants with its up- and down-regulation. These studies will expand our understanding of the physiological, molecular and developmental mechanisms involved in sucrose accumulation, contributing to future breeding programs and biotechnological improvement of sugarcane. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP about the research grant
Key gene to accelerate sugarcane growth is identified 
Study reveals how a hormone increases sucrose accumulation in sugarcane  

Scientific publications (9)
(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)
PERES, ANA LAURA G. L.; SOARES, JOSE SERGIO; TAVARES, RAFAEL G.; RIGHETTO, GERMANNA; ZULLO, MARCO A. T.; MANDAVA, N. BHUSHAN; MENOSSI, MARCELO. Brassinosteroids, the Sixth Class of Phytohormones: A Molecular View from the Discovery to Hormonal Interactions in Plant Development and Stress Adaptation. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, v. 20, n. 2 JAN 2 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
MODOLO, DIEGO G.; HORN, CYNTHIA S.; SOARES, JOSE S. M.; YUNES, JOSE A.; LIMA, LEILA M.; DE SOUSA, SYLVIA M.; MENOSSI, MARCELO. Transgenic Nicotiana tabacum seeds expressing the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Alanine- and Proline-rich antigen. AMB EXPRESS, v. 8, OCT 31 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
TAVARES, RAFAEL GARCIA; LAKSHMANAN, PRAKASH; PEITER, EDGAR; O'CONNELL, ANTHONY; CALDANA, CAMILA; VICENTINI, RENATO; SOARES, JOSE SERGIO; MENOSSI, MARCELO. ScGAI is a key regulator of culm development in sugarcane. Journal of Experimental Botany, v. 69, n. 16, p. 3823-3837, JUL 20 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
ALESSIO, VALTER MIOTTO; CAVACANA, NATALE; DE BARROS DANTAS, LUIZA LANE; LEE, NAYOUNG; HOTTA, CARLOS TAKESHI; IMAIZUMI, TAKATO; MENOSSI, MARCELO. The FBH family of bHLH transcription factors controls ACC synthase expression in sugarcane. Journal of Experimental Botany, v. 69, n. 10, p. 2511-2525, APR 27 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.
GUIDELLI, V, GIOVANNA; MATTIELLO, LUCIA; GALLINARI, RAFAEL H.; DE LUCCA, PAULO CEZAR; MENOSSI, MARCELO. pGVG: a new Gateway-compatible vector for transformation of sugarcane and other monocot crops. GENETICS AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, v. 41, n. 2, p. 450-454, APR-JUN 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
COTRIM, CAMILA A.; SOARES, JOSE SERGIO M.; KOBE, BOSTJAN; MENOSSI, MARCELO. Crystal structure and insights into the oligomeric state of UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase from sugarcane. PLoS One, v. 13, n. 3 MAR 1 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.
CUNHA, CAMILA P.; ROBERTO, GUILHERME G.; VICENTINI, RENATO; LEMBKE, CAROLINA G.; SOUZA, GLAUCIA M.; RIBEIRO, RAFAEL V.; MACHADO, EDUARDO C.; LAGOA, ANA M. M. A.; MENOSSI, MARCELO. Ethylene-induced transcriptional and hormonal responses at the onset of sugarcane ripening. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 7, MAR 7 2017. Web of Science Citations: 4.

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Filed patent(s) as a result of this research project

MÉTODO PARA ACELERAÇÃO DO CRESCIMENTO VEGETAL E PLANTAS TRANSGÊNICAS BR1120180135321 - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) . Marcelo Menossi Teixeira; Rafael Garcia Tavares; Prakash Lakshmanan; Anthony O’Connell - June 2018, 29

METHOD FOR ACCELERATING PLANT GROWTH AND TRANSGENIC PLANTS PCT/BR2017/000150 - Sugar Research Australia Limited ; Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) . Marcelo Menossi Teixeira; Anthony O’Connell; Prakash Lakshmanan; Rafael Garcia Tavares - December 2017, 19

Solicitação em análise e dentro do prazo legal de sigilo previsto na legislação US62/440,207 - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) . Solicitação em análise e dentro do prazo legal de sigilo previsto na legislação - December 2016, 29