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Diversity and functional roles of yeasts in fungus-growing insects

Grant number: 19/24412-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2020
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:André Rodrigues
Grantee:Rodolfo Bizarria Júnior
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/03746-0 - Collaborative research: Dimensions US-São Paulo: integrating phylogeny, genetics, and chemical ecology to unravel the tangled bank of the multipartite fungus-farming ant symbiosis, AP.BTA.TEM

Abstract

Many yeasts live in association with insects, playing a role in detoxification and chemical signaling, protection against antagonists and, eventually, in larval development. Several studies revealed the large amount of yeasts in fungus-growing insects, which are considered biological models to study insect-fungus symbioses. Nevertheless, the diversity of yeast in these systems is still poorly addressed. The present project aims at describing the diversity of yeasts and dimorphic fungi in fungus-growing insects. Attine ants (Hymenoptera: Myrmicinae: Attina) and ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) will be used as study models. Moreover, yeasts will be evaluated for Killer toxin production. Such toxins play a role in fungal communities, by interference competition towards sensitive strains, and can elucidate the identification of predominant microbes in this environment. Symbiotic fungi associated with beetles (Ophiostomatales, Microascales, and occasionally Hypocreales: Fusarium) will be evaluated for gene polymorphisms that encode for plant polymer-degrading enzymes. Such analyses may reveal selective pressures that tighten the symbioses between beetles and fungi. Therefore, the study will generate a descriptive profile in yeast community of fungus-growing insects. Additionally, it will reveal the occurrence of killer yeasts in such environments and the gene polymorphism associated with the beetles-fungus symbiosis. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BIZARRIA, JR., RODOLFO; PAGNOCCA, FERNANDO CARLOS; RODRIGUES, ANDRE. Yeasts in the attine ant-fungus mutualism: Diversity, functional roles, and putative biotechnological applications. YEAST, SEP 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.