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Unearthing the secrets of the Rhizosphere: unlocking the potential of microbial functional genes for drought-resistant agriculture

Grant number: 23/00429-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): November 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Soil Science
Principal Investigator:Lucas William Mendes
Grantee:Ana Vitória Reina da Silva
Supervisor: Francisco Dini Andreote
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Pennsylvania State University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:22/00552-2 - Functional profile of the drought-tolerant common bean rhizosphere microbiome, BP.MS


Here, we present a research internship plan abroad with the objective of directly and reliably addressing the central objectives of the candidate proposals (FAPESP 2022/00552-2), which focus on the functional processing of metagenomic sequences from rhizosphere soils, to analyze and search for possible microbial genes that help the plant withstand periods of drought. The main objective of this proposal is to use rhizosphere soil metagenome sequencing data and apply tools for comparative genomics, relating this set of data with the chemical and physical properties of soils and other physiological parameters of plants. Based on these analyses, the following steps will be developed: i) Analysis of data generated by shotgun metagenomic sequencing. For this, the sequences will be processed in MG-RAST and the taxonomic and functional tables retrieved, and the structure of the communities will be evaluated by alpha and beta diversity analysis, correlation, and network analysis; and ii) Ecological interpretation of the data set. For this, all datasets will be interpreted in an ecological context, considering their implications. The expected results of this research internship abroad will allow a better understanding of plant-microorganism relationships and their applications in sustainable agriculture projects. (AU)

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