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Shining a Light on Sugarcane and Energy-Cane Metabolic Networks: Insights into ShSHN1 Gene Overexpression

Grant number: 23/15599-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Claudia Barros Monteiro Vitorello
Grantee:Renato Gustavo Hoffmann Bombardelli
Supervisor: Harm Nijveen
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands  
Associated to the scholarship:22/04143-0 - Influence of ShSHN1 gene overexpression on the structure and function of the metabolic network of transgenic Vertix2 energy cane plants, BP.DR


Sugarcane is the major crop for a renewable energy source. Besides the well-established use of sugarcane for first-generation ethanol production, sugarcane straw and bagasse are relevant sources for second-generation energy production. Thirty percent of the total energy supply in Brazil (2020), according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), comes from biofuel and waste. The modern breed of energy-cane, a cane selected to have more fiber than sucrose in its composition, provides a three-times increase in biomass yield and has the potential to expand the total energy supply of clean energy in Brazil. A partnership between Nuseed Brazil (private sector) and IAC (Agronomic Institute of Campinas - Sugarcane Center) resulted in the production of cane-energy Vertix2 genetically modified cultivar overexpressing the transcriptional factor ShSHN1. The encoded protein of ShSHN1 activates wax biosynthesis, alters cuticle properties, and confers drought tolerance. We aim to analyze and compare the global gene expression using Next-Generation sequencing RNA and a dual-layer network combined with co-expression network, to determine the influence of ShSHN1 on overall sugarcane and energy-cane gene expression. Also, using as reference genomes assemblies of SP80-3280 and Saccharum spontaneum, initiate studies of allelic expression differentiation. Therefore, the results will ascertain security to regulatory procedures aiming at commercial cultivar release.

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