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Genomic analysis of Pseudonocardia and diversity of antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria associated with fungus-growing ants

Grant number: 16/17614-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2016
Effective date (End): November 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal researcher:Mônica Tallarico Pupo
Grantee:Weilan Gomes da Paixão Melo
Supervisor abroad: Cameron Robert Currie
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:15/01001-6 - Discovering bacterial symbionts diversity associated with ants in different Brazilian biomes, BP.PD


Attini ants cultivate Basidiomycetes, with which they maintain a permanent and obligatory symbiotic association. To help prevent nest infection by parasites, ants have adopted several mechanisms, including an association with symbiotic Actinobacteria of the genus Pseudonocardia that produce secondary metabolites which specifically suppresses the parasite Escovopsis. Studies on the association between antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria and fungus-growing ants have led to the isolation and identification of many antimicrobial compounds. Recent developments in genome sequencing and molecular biology facilitate the discovery of antimicrobial compounds and enable to place the natural products into an ecological context, and might allow drawing more general conclusions about the biosynthetic origins, the ecology and evolution of symbiotic associations. This project aims to determine through genomic sequencing the secondary metabolite potential as well as the ecological and evolutionary context associated with antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria ability to produce natural products. Further, we aim to explore the diversity of antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria associated with fungus-growing ants from three biomes: Atlantic Forest, Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado, through phylogenetic analyses. In this proposal we intend to carry out the assembly and data analyses using specific software that will be conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Cameron Currie (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), which has experience in studies on ecology and evolution of the association between Attini ants and microorganisms. Key words: Genomic sequencing, ecological, evolutionary, natural products, Actinobacteria. (AU)

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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)
ORTEGA, HUMBERTO E.; LOURENZON, VITOR B.; CHEVRETTE, MARC G.; FERREIRA, LEONARDO L. G.; ALVARENGA, RENE F. RAMOS; MELO, WEILAN G. P.; VENANCIO, TIAGO; CURRIE, CAMERON R.; ANDRICOPULO, ADRIANO D.; BUGNI, TIM S.; et al. Antileishmanial macrolides from ant-associated Streptomyces sp. ISID311. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, v. 32, . (13/25658-9, 16/17614-0, 14/14095-6, 13/50954-0, 19/16559-3, 13/07600-3, 16/20154-0)

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