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Translocation of quorum sensing molecules from transgenic rootstocks to sweet orange canopies: effect on resistance against phytopathogens

Grant number: 17/16142-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Alessandra Alves de Souza
Grantee:Raquel Caserta Salviatto
Home Institution: Instituto Agronômico (IAC). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/10957-0 - Xylella fastidiosa-vector-host plant interaction and approaches for citrus variegated chlorosis and citrus canker control, AP.TEM

Abstract

Currently, the citriculture, one of the main Brazilian agribusiness, has been contributing to the large-scale use of environmentally harmful substances. The use of insecticides and copper-based compounds are the main products in the management of Citrus Variegated Chlorosis (CVC) and Citrus Canker in the field. Both diseases are highly damaging mainly to the citrus industry and are caused, respectively, by the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa and Xanthomonas citri subsp citri. A possible target for control of these bacteria refers to the system that regulates their mechanisms of pathogenicity. This regulation occurs by quorum sensing (QS) molecules, where its cell perception works as a molecular signal responsible for the up regulation or repression of different genes. In previous studies, it was shown that altering the bacterial behavior in transgenic plants producing Diffusible Signal Factor (DSF - the main QS molecules of X. fastidiosa and X. citri), reduced symptoms caused by X. fastidiosa in vines, tobacco and citrus. Interestingly, in transgenic citrus plants, the production of DSF also altered the behavior of X. citri reducing the severity of foliar symptoms. Due to changing the behavior of two different bacteria, the DSF is very promising for breeding programs mainly for the avoiding the usage of harmful substances to the environment. However, the release of genetically modified sweet orange varieties for possible commercialization is threatened public rejection. For these reasons, the development of rootstocks producing DSF and its translocation to non-transgenic canopies would be an interesting approach. Thus, Citrumelo Swingle plants, a rootstock widely used in citrus cultivation, will be transformed to produce DSF will be used as rootstocks for sweet orange varieties. Thus, our goal is to evaluate the effect of DSF molecules translocated to non-transgenic canopies of sweet orange in the development of symptoms caused by X. fastidiosa and X. citri.