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Characterization of mating type loci of Sporisorium scitamineum, the causal agent of sugarcane smut

Grant number: 11/16503-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): January 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Claudia Barros Monteiro Vitorello
Grantee:Maria Carolina Pezzo Kmit
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Sporisorium scitamineum is a basidiomycete and the causal agent of sugarcane smut disease which historically caused extensive crop damage worldwide. The fungus presents two distinct phases - monokaryotic and dikaryotic - during their life cycle. To infect the host, S. scitamineum needs to undergo sexual cross to form dikaryotic hyphae. Infection culminates with the outgrowth of a whip like structure known as smut whip. They emerge from the terminal bud or from the lateral shoots of infected stalks and are composed of both plant and fungal tissues. Within these whip-like structures are millions of teliospores that can spread the disease very quickly. Teliospores germinate and undergo meiosis forming four haploid basidiospores. Haploid cells grow saprophytically and are not able to cause disease. The mating reaction is controlled by two loci named a and b. Despite of their role in pathogenicity, little is known about genomic organization and function of other genes present within these two loci in S. scitamineum and in other smut fungi. The general objective of this work is to isolate and to analyze the genomic region comprising loci a and b of S. scitamineum. The DNA region will be isolated from BAC genomic library of S. scitamineum strain SSC39, isolated from a highly susceptible sugarcane variety. Clones will be selected by hybridization with a probe prepared from a PCR product obtained by primers previously described which amplifies a 450 bp region of locus b. The inserts will be fully sequenced by shotgun and comparatively annotated using as reference the complete sequenced genomes of U.maydis and S. reilianum, causal agents of corn smut. In addition, key genes within each locus between haploid cells with compatible mating-types will be selected, PCR amplified, sequenced and compared.

Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
KMIT, Maria Carolina Pezzo. Characterization of mating type loci of Sporisorium scitamineum, the causal agent of sugarcane smut. 2014. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz Piracicaba.

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