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Discovering new kinases and receptor-like kinases associated with the response to drought stress in maize

Grant number: 18/06442-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): May 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry
Cooperation agreement: CNPq - INCTs
Principal researcher:Paulo Arruda
Grantee:Viviane Cristina Heinzen da Silva
Home Institution: Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética (CBMEG). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50897-0 - Open-acess Medicinal Chemistry Centre (OpenMedChem), AP.TEM


The plant response to drought stress has become one of the primary goals of today´s plant breeding programs due to challenges in food and energy production in a scenario of global climate change and water resources limitations. Currently it is well established that several mechanisms are involved in the response to drought, but more than 90% of the literature in these area is concentrated in a few metabolic pathways, notably the phytohormoneabscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA). Although protein kinases are well known to be responsible for their regulatory and post-translational functions, there is a lack of comprehensive databases for plant kinases: no more than 50 of 1000 protein kinases from plants were investigated. This project is an effort of the SGC-UNICAMP Protein Kinase Chemical Biology Center to use the "gene a probe" platform for the discovery of new plant kinases, which are have been so far little or no studied. For this purpose, genomic and transcriptomic tools are used to identify new genes of kinases whose expression is altered in plants submitted to drought stress. The kinase domain of these proteins are cloned, expressed, purified and characterized. The chemical ligands identification is performed by accessing crystallographic structure. Afterwards, mutagenized, transgenic and genome-edited genotypes corresponding to these kinases will be tested in greenhouse and field conditions with respect to stress tolerance. In this project, induced mutation and genome editing will be used to investigate the functions of PAN2, SIRK1, MRH1, BSK5, and GRMZM2G113373 kinases, in response to drought in Zea mays. The structural and biochemical studies of these kinases are already at an advanced stage in our group. All methodologies and reagents as well as plants obtained will be available to scientific community, thus fulfilling the main objective of our INCT. (AU)

News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: