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Investigating the wheat infection polymorphism within the Fusarium graminearum species complex using transcriptome-wide analyses of coleoptile infections

Grant number: 19/16045-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): October 07, 2019
Effective date (End): April 06, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Benedito Corrêa
Grantee:Sabina Moser Tralamazza
Supervisor abroad: Daniel Croll
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:15/21378-7 - Identification and toxigenic profile of Fusarium graminearum species complex by infrared spectroscopy, BP.PD


The Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC) is composed of a series of morphological undistinguishable plant pathogens capable to produce potent mycotoxins, and cause the Fusarium head blight disease that severely affects cereals grains worldwide. The members of the group may differ in aggressiveness, growth rate and mycotoxin profile, which makes their rapid detection in cereals an important tool for this organisms control. The post-doctorate project performed in Brazil will evaluate the ability of infrared spectroscopy to correctly identify early-stage wheat contamination of different species of the FGSC. For that, the input data about the metabolic diversity of the species during the infection process, would greatly improve the infrared prediction model. Understanding their different adaptations to infection will be essential for the robustness of the infrared analysis, but also very significant to the overall plant pathology field, since environmental changes and the pathogens high adaptive capabilities could rapidly alter disease severity and the fungi toxin profiles. Thus, the main objective of the project is to perform the fungal transcriptome analyses during the infection of wheat coleoptiles of five species of the FGSC. In addition, we will identify the main gene functions associated with wheat infection, investigate the specialized metabolite gene clusters involved in the process of infection, and determine the infection polymorphism within the FGSC. To our knowledge, our transcriptomic work will be the first on any other species within the FGSC beyond the well-characterized F. graminearum s.s.