This study proposes the use of mass spectrometry for isolates of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (FOC), the fungi that causes panama disease in banana crop. This is one of the six more important banana disease, and causes serious economic impact (Ploetz, 2006). It causes death of the plants and the use of fungicides is not enough to solve this problem (Cordeiro & Matos, 2005). The method currently utilized to face this disease is the genetic resistance of the cultivars to the pathogen, and the exact knowledge about FOC diversity in the region is extremely necessary (Ploetz, 2006). FOC has more than eight phylogenetic lineages which are not distinguishable by conventional morphological analysis. Therefore, alternative techniques are needed for the complete characterization of FOC, such as molecular analyses (Fourie et al., 2011). The aim of this study is the characterization of FOC lineages by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization with time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), to assess intra-species differentiation of lipid and ribosomal proteins fingerprinting. This is an efficient method for rapid identification of microorganisms (Braga et al., 2013; Ahamad et al., 2012). This study will be developed together with MSc. Robert Harri Hinz (Empresa de Pesquisa Agropecuária e Extensão Rural de Santa Catarina - EPAGRI) and MSc. Cristiane Maria da Silva (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina - UFSC). The isolates are already being characterized by morphologic and genetic methods at EPAGRI. At the end of the study, we are going to compare genetic and molecular data, which will contribute to a better understanding of FOC biology and panama disease control in the evaluated producing region.
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