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Responses of Passiflora edulis to a combination of nitrogen and ozone stress

Grant number: 19/10819-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 07, 2019
Effective date (End): November 07, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Ecosystems Ecology
Principal Investigator:Marisa Domingos
Grantee:Marcela Regina Gonçalves da Silva Engela
Supervisor: Elena Paoletti
Host Institution: Instituto de Botânica. Secretaria de Meio Ambiente, Infraestrutura e Logística (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Istituto di Ricerca sugli Ecosistemi Terrestri, Firenze (IRET), Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:18/18077-3 - Characterization of the metabolic profile of native species of Atlantic Forest exposed to environmental stressors, BP.DR


Lianas, such as Passiflora edulis, are important components of the dynamics of tropical forests, contributing to biomass and plant diversity, affect tree mortality and growth, contribute to the formation of clearings in the forest and impede the regeneration of trees. Passiflora is the largest genus of Passifloraceae with about 520 species and has wide geographic distribution. In Brazil, the family occurs throughout the country and in practically all plant formations, with about 150 species in four genera. Brazil is considered the hotspot in the biodiversity of Passifloraceae. Passiflora are generally dominant in forest fragments and secondary forest formations, areas under large surrounding urban centers, industrial centers and extensive agricultural land. In addition to land-use pressure, lianas in these areas constantly suffer from high environmental concentrations of air pollutants, such as ozone and nitrogenous compounds. Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a secondary pollutant and is considered one of the most toxic air pollutants with some of the most detrimental effects, proving an increase in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which will initiate multiple oxidation events in plants. Moreover, nitrogen oxides, besides important precursors of ozone, are additional stressors to the natural ecosystems, contribute to increase the amount of N compounds available to the plants in the soil through dry and humid depositions. High levels of nitrogen can cause changes in the composition of plant species and in many ecological processes. Plants can scavenge excess ROS by invoking the antioxidant defense system composed by non-enzymatic and enzymatic substances. However, other non-enzymatic defenses, as phenolic compounds and carbohydrates have also been reported to act as antioxidants or indicators of air pollution stress. In Brazil, there are few studies focusing on the effects of environmental stressors on P. edulis, which in controlled experiments presented great adaptation and acclimatization to drought. However, the combined effects of O3 and N deposition on Passiflora edulis are completely unknown. These aspects led us to consider it as the model species in the present study. Thus, this project aims to provide knowledge about the composition and content of primary and secondary metabolites in Passiflora edulis Sims exposed to ozone concentration and nitrogen addition in the soil. (AU)

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