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Natural products involved in chemical and biological interactions of microorganisms associated to nests of the leaf-cutting ants Atta Sexdens rubropilosa

Grant number: 12/24204-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Mônica Tallarico Pupo
Grantee:Eduardo Afonso da Silva Junior
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/24330-2 - Chemical and biological studies of symbiotic bacteria isolated from Atta sexdens rubropilosa, BE.EP.DR

Abstract

Over 10 million years ago, the leaf-cutting ants provide fresh plant material for fungi that they cultivate for food. Various microorganisms can parasitize their nests, and ants developed a series of defenses against these invaders. However, these defense mechanisms are not effective against specialized garden-parasite fungi of the genus Escovopsis. These insects have associated with others microorganisms such as some bacteria and yeasts, to protect themselves against invaders. Ants developed elaborate cuticular structures to house their antibiotic-producing symbiont microorganisms. Natural products produced by these microorganisms are still underexplored and may provide promising antimicrobial activity for the design of new drugs. Besides the ecological importance, these ants also cause great damage to agriculture, because they can collect the vegetables being grown. The leaf cutter ants of the Atta species are known as an important agricultural pest in the state of São Paulo and Brazil. There are no previous reported studies on the chemical interactions that occur between symbionts and pathogens microorganisms of these leaf-cutting ant nests. The knowledge of these interactions may allow the planning of combat strategies that are effective and selective for these ants. In this context, this doctorate project aims to study the natural products involved in chemical and biological interactions that occur among the microorganisms associated with nests of leaf-cutting ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa and to verify whether that natural products observed in the laboratory may occur in the natural environment.

Articles published in Agência FAPESP about the scholarship:
Bacteria and fungi play key roles in social insect colonies  
Bactérias e fungos desempenham papéis-chave nas colônias de insetos sociais 

Scientific publications
(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)
SILVA-JUNIOR, EDUARDO A.; RUZZINI, ANTONIO C.; PALUDO, CAMILA R.; NASCIMENTO, FABIO S.; CURRIE, CAMERON R.; CLARDY, JON; PUPO, MONICA T. Pyrazines from bacteria and ants: convergent chemistry within an ecological niche. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 8, FEB 7 2018. Web of Science Citations: 6.
PALUDO, CAMILA R.; MENEZES, CRISTIANO; SILVA-JUNIOR, EDUARDO A.; VOLLET-NETO, AYRTON; ANDRADE-DOMINGUEZ, ANDRES; PISHCHANY, GLEB; KHADEMPOUR, LILY; DO NASCIMENTO, FABIO S.; CURRIE, CAMERON R.; KOLTER, ROBERTO; CLARDY, JON; PUPO, MONICA T. Stingless Bee Larvae Require Fungal Steroid to Pupate. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 8, JAN 18 2018. Web of Science Citations: 3.
DA SILVA-JUNIOR, EDUARDO AFONSO; PALUDO, CAMILA RAQUEL; VALADARES, LOHAN; LOPES, NORBERTO PEPORINE; DO NASCIMENTO, FABIO SANTOS; PUPO, MONICA TALLARICO. Aflatoxins produced by Aspergillus nomius ASR3, a pathogen isolated from the leaf-cutter ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa. REVISTA BRASILEIRA DE FARMACOGNOSIA-BRAZILIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACOGNOSY, v. 27, n. 4, p. 529-532, JUL-AUG 2017. Web of Science Citations: 0.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
EDUARDO AFONSO DA SILVA JUNIOR. Natural products from microorganisms associated with nests of the leaf-cutter ant Atta sexdens rubropilosa. 2017. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto Ribeirão Preto.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.
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