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Cecropia-Azteca symbiosis study: interspecific microbial interactions as elicitors of antimicrobial activity

Grant number: 16/26230-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): June 03, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Mônica Tallarico Pupo
Grantee:Camila Fiori Pereira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The biological activity of substances isolated from microorganisms originates from interactions between them and the environment in which they are inserted. Therefore, microorganisms associated with social insects show up as an important source for the search of new chemical structures with antimicrobial activity, and it is also important to understand the ecological function of theses structures and the role of the microorganisms in the environment that they are inserted. This project aims the chemical study of the microbial community associated with the symbiosis between ants of the genus Azteca and myrmecophytes of the genus Cecropia. This study will search for the chemical and the ecological understanding of the metabolites produced from the microorganisms interactions. Although the Cecropia-Azteca symbiosis has been described in the literature for many years, the chemical ecology of the microorganisms in this system has not been studied yet. For the development of this project, strains of microorganisms isolated from the Azteca ants and the Cecropia plants from a single individual plant, previously collected in the Itatiaia National Park, will be used. The microorganisms will be cultivated and antagonism assays (pairwise interactions) will be done against Beauveria bassiana (entomopathogen) and Pseudomonas syringae (phytopathogen). After the antagonism assay, some microorganisms will be selected for the mixed culture technique, and later, extractions will be done. Lastly, chemical profiles of the extracts will be analyzed, in comparison with the chemical profiles of the extracts of the single cultures, in order to understand the ecological relationships established between microorganisms when they grow together. (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)
FUKUDA, TAISE T. H.; PEREIRA, CAMILA F.; MELO, WEILAN G. P.; MENEGATTI, CARLA; ANDRADE, PAULO H. M.; GROPPO, MILTON; LACAVA, PAULO T.; CURRIE, CAMERON R.; PUPO, MONICA T. Insights Into the Ecological Role of Pseudomonas spp. in an Ant-plant Symbiosis. FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY, v. 12, FEB 1 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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