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Metagenomic profiles of microbial comunities associated with sugarcane under organic versus conventional cultivation and prospection of plant growth promoting microorganisms

Abstract

In recent years, industrial agriculture of sugarcane has been characterized by an intensification of agricultural inputs and expansion of monoculture. On the other hand, there is an increasing demand for healthier and more sustainable natural products. In this sense, organic farming has been considered. However, to supply the demand, this agroecosystem must also be productive, which requires the adoption of adequate management practices, and which must be improved with greater knowledge of the related biogeochemical processes. In this context, the microorganisms are the protagonists, acting especially in the soil and in association with the plants. In order to evaluate the microorganism diversity and the colonization structure in the tissues and the rhizosphere of plants under two modes of cultivation (organic x conventional), we propose the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing for the study of microorganisms associated with sugarcane. Amplicons (16S and ITS) will be sequenced from samples of the surface or inside the roots, shoots and leaves. The data will be analyzed by means of taxonomic identification and functional profiles prediction, required for evaluation of diversity and co-occurrence of the Operational Taxonomic Units found. The sequencing of rhizosphere metagenomes will also be performed and the data will be analyzed via assembly approach followed by functional and taxonomic annotation. In addition, we intend to prospect plant growth promoting microorganisms by means of the cultivation of microbial communities, followed by biochemical and experimental evaluations of innoculated model plant (Setaria viridis). Thus, we intend to expand the knowledge about the complex relationships among microorganisms, plant and environment and, with this, to contribute with the development of solutions to the problem of increasing production yield avoiding damage to ecosystems. This should be the way to achieve sustainability in agriculture. (AU)