Visible light influences primary and secondary metabolism, growth, and sexual and asexual development in many fungal species. However, little is known about the effects of light during mycelial growth on the stress tolerance of the developing fungal conidia. In this study, conidia of several entomopathogenic fungi will be produced under continuous visible light and dark, and the conidial tolerance will be evaluated under different stress conditions including solar UV radiation, osmotic stress, and 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (a genotoxic agent). The cellular mechanism in which light changes the stress tolerance will be studied based on differential gene expression. In addition, the light-sensing machinery in M. robertsii (ARSEF 2575) will be studied based on deletion of the white collar-1 genes. The coding for proteins for white collar genes are best understood in the WC-1 photoreceptor of Neurospora crassa. The genes contain a LOV (light, oxygen, or voltage) domain, similar to that present in fungal blue-light receptors. The results will provide insight about the effect of light on conidia in several fungi used for insect control. The fungi whose conidia are more stress resistant could be used in large-scale production.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: