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Natural products involved in symbiosis between actinobacteria and social insects

Grant number: 16/15576-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Mônica Tallarico Pupo
Grantee:Carla Menegatti
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Natural products play an important role in the discovery of new bioactive compounds. In this area, microorganisms are essencial once they are capable to produce highly complex chemicals as secondary metabolites, performing many biological functions in which several drugs originated or were inspired. Symbiosis is an intimate relationship between two or more organisms and the beneficial interactions between eukaryotic organisms and bacteria belong to evolutionary process of plants and animals. One of the best-known symbiotic associations was established over 50 million years between Attini ants and fungi cultivated by them for food. This association can be harmed by attack of pathogenic fungi of the genus Escovopsis. Thus one of the defense strategies acquired during the evolution of insects was the symbiotic association with bacteria capable of biosynthesize antimicrobial natural products against pathogens. This project proposes the study of natural products biosynthesized by bacteria associated with Acromyrmex ants and their fungal garden. 128 microorganisms have been isolated and preliminary results of antagonisms assays are promising; six of them were selected and actinobacteria will be cultured in the laboratory to obtain extracts, which will be fractionated for the isolation and identification of natural products. It is also intended to correlate the chemicals produced by these microorganisms to possible ecological functions and potential therapeutic applications by submitting to biological/ pharmacological tests.

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Scientific publications (4)
(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)
RODRIGUEZ-HERNANDEZ, DIEGO; MELO, WEILAN G. P.; MENEGATTI, CARLA; LOURENZON, VITOR B.; DO NASCIMENTO, FABIO S.; PUPO, MONICA T.. Actinobacteria associated with stingless bees biosynthesize bioactive polyketides against bacterial pathogens. NEW JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY, v. 43, n. 25, p. 10109-10117, . (17/01188-4, 13/50954-0, 14/17620-4, 16/15576-3, 15/01001-6, 18/07153-0)
MENEGATTI, CARLA; FUKUDA, TAISE T. H.; PUPO, MONICA T.. Chemical Ecology in Insect-microbe Interactions in the Neotropics. Planta Medica, v. 87, n. 01/02, p. 38-48, . (16/15576-3, 13/07600-3, 13/50954-0, 15/26349-5)
MENEGATTI, CARLA; LOURENZON, VITOR BRUNO; RODRIGUEZ-HERNANDEZ, DIEGO; DA PAIXAO MELO, WEILAN GOMES; GOMES FERREIRA, LEONARDO LUIZ; ANDRICOPULO, ADRIANO DEFINI; DO NASCIMENTO, FABIO SANTOS; PUPO, MONICA TALLARICO. Meliponamycins: Antimicrobials from Stingless Bee-Associated Streptomyces sp.. Journal of Natural Products, v. 83, n. 3, SI, p. 610-616, . (18/07153-0, 15/01001-6, 13/50954-0, 13/07600-3, 16/15576-3, 14/17620-4, 17/01188-4)
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, . (15/01001-6, 13/50954-0, 16/26230-0, 17/17305-0, 16/15576-3, 15/26349-5, 19/19099-3)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MENEGATTI, Carla. Natural products involved in the symbiosis between Streptomyces spp. and social insects. 2021. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC) Ribeirão Preto.

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