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Reproductive development in passion fruit: a transcriptomic approach to phase transition

Grant number: 18/24827-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Crop Science
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Carnier Dornelas
Grantee:Scott Carrara
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Brazil is the world's leading producer of passion fruit, with almost 1 million tons, obtained from about 50 thousand hectares. The passion fruit (Passiflora edulis var. Flavicarpa) belongs to the genus Passiflora, which is composed of about 600 species, distributed mainly in South America. Despite its importance, there is a lack of knowledge about passion fruit development and its reproductive biology. The genus Passiflora is an excellent model to study phase transition, as there are clear morphological differences among plants at the juvenile stage, adult vegetative and adult reproductive. In almost all Passiflora species, the plants produce leaves with different morphologies in the juvenile and mature stages. During juvenile stage plants do not produce tendrils. At the adult vegetative stage, passionfruit plants produce tendrils and at the reproductive stage produce both tendrils and flowers from the same axillary meristem. The ontogenesis and disposition of these structures lead some authors to consider the tendrils as part of a modified reduced inflorescence in Passiflora, but the molecular aspects that define these structures remain elusive. Nonetheless, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the molecular mechanisms related to phase transition are controlled by a hierarchy of genetic interactions that involve many modulators of plant development, including transcription factors and genes related to the biosynthesis and perception of hormones. The main hypothesis of this work is that conserved molecular mechanisms, involved in the modulation of meristematic activity, or in the induction of de novo meristematic activity may have a fundamental role in phase transition. Using tools to study plant development, transcriptomics and gene expression, we aim to increase the knowledge about phase transition in passionfruits, what may contribute in the future with increments in fruit productivity. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
CARRARA, Scott. Reproductive development in passion fruit: a transcriptomic approach to phase transition. 2022. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Biologia Campinas, SP.

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