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Analysis of differentially expressed genes associated with cold tolerance in rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis)

Grant number: 18/23831-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Anete Pereira de Souza
Grantee:Ramir Bavaresco Junior
Host Institution: Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética (CBMEG). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The rubber tree is of great economic importance because it is the largest source of natural rubber in the world. Natural rubber is the raw material for manufacturing more than 50,000 products, playing a key role in the tire industry. Latex has unique physicochemical properties and can not be entirely replaced by synthetic rubber. Although the rubber tree is a native species of the Amazon rainforest, whose soil and climatic conditions are optimal for its growth and production, in this region there is also the fungus Microcyclus ulei, which causes SALB (South American leaf blight) or leaf blight, the main disease that affects the heveculture in Brazil. In this way, rubber plantations expanded to regions of escape, which present abiotic stress conditions, such as cold and dry, that limit their growth and the production of latex. The genetic improvement programs in rubber trees have been searching for genotypes not only resistant to the M. ulei fungus but also tolerant of the abiotic stress conditions imposed by the escape regions. The complete cycle of the genetic improvement of rubber tree takes from 20 to 30 years to obtain and recommend a new genotype. The use of molecular biology techniques associated to bioinformatics tools can aid breeding programs by reducing experimental areas and time to obtain new varieties. The sequencing of messenger RNA (RNA-Seq) by sequencers of the new generation (NGS) has become a very important tool in the search of genes responsible for agronomic characters of interest. Thus, the present project aims to understand differentially expressed genes and networks of differential coexpression in genotypes that present distinct strategies for the characteristic of cold tolerance, as well as to investigate the family of heat shock proteins. (AU)

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