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Determine the active ingredient(s) of the anti-rust activity in the Metarhizium sp. culture filtrate and explore the potential of direct dsRNA application for managing soybean rust disease

Grant number: 19/19767-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Sérgio Florentino Pascholati
Grantee:Sabrina Holz
Supervisor: Zhi-Yuan Chen
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Louisiana State University (LSU), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/18393-2 - Potential of different isolates of Metarhizium sp in the alternative control (induced resistance) of Phakopsora pachyrhizi in soybean plants, BP.MS


The soybean rust, caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is one of the main diseases that affect the soybean crop, causing several losses. Thus, the search for new efficient management tools for disease control is increasing, notably alternative methods as "induced resistance and biological control". The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium sp. is considered to be a biological control agent and may present potential in the control of plant diseases. Metarhizium sp. produces a variety of metabolites included in different chemical classes that are toxic to a wide range of insects and microorganisms. In our preliminary results obtained in Brazil related to Sabrina Holz master dissertation, it was observed a direct effect of metabolites from culture filtrate of Metarhizium sp. on the germination of P. pachyrhizi urediniospores and also the possibility the of resistance induction in soybean plants. Thus, it is important to isolate, identify and characterize the biologically active molecules, aiming to clarify the mode of action as well as to possibly obtain a biological control product. In addition to the main objective, this project simultaneously seeks to create competence by the student Sabrina in a new groundbreaking approach to disease and pest control, the interference RNA. Therefore, the general goal of this BEPE proposal is to develop more effective and enviromental friendly strategies to manage the soybean rust disease in Brazil. Thus, the specific objectives are: 1) to identify the active compounds in the Metarhizium sp. culture filtrate that exhibited anti-rust activities, and 2) develop knowledge about dsRNA and to explore the potential of direct dsRNA application in managing soybean rust disease, which can be studied under in the Brazilian environmental conditions when the student returns. (AU)

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