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Multi-User Equipment approved in grant 2014/50880-0. Equipment: tabletop scanning electron microscope


Citrus industry is one of the most important activities of the Brazilian agriculture. São Paulo, Sergipe and Bahia are the main citrus producers, and Brazil is by far the main producer and exporter of frozen concentrated (FCOJ) and not from concentrated (NFC) orange juice in the world. The low Brazilian yield (approximately 2 boxes 40.8 kg/tree/year) is strictly associated to the incidence of pests and diseases, resulting in a substantial influence over the production costs, groves in non-irrigated areas, and the narrow genetic basis especially of the industrial citrus production. It is estimated that more than 80 % of the costs for citrus production in Brazil are associated with the control of pests and diseases. Diseases like huanglongbing (HLB), citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC), leprosis, citrus black spot (CBS), sudden death, citrus canker, citrus brown spot, gummosis, and tristeza have expressive contribution in the increasing production costs. As headquarter of the NIST Citrus, the Citriculture Center, expanded the database of citrus genomes, integrating breeding, comparative and functional genomics of citrus and some of their pathogens. Besides generating the largest database of citrus genomes in the world, this project greatly increased the number of new citrus hybrids evaluated in the field, molecular markers for genetic mapping, and identified new genes potentially associated with disease resistance.The proposal submitted to the Notice of 016/2014 NIST represents the continuation and expansion of the Citrus NIST program with leading research groups working on citrus in Brazil, focusing on topics related to breeding and comparative and functional genomics of citrus and their pathogens. This new NIST Citrus proposal maintains the structure of the three platforms, optimizing and integrating them, and focusing on the development of new knowledge and technology for the citrus industry.Platform of Comparative Genomics focuses on studies of comparative genomics of more citrus genotypes (genomes of nuclear core collection), completion of the genomes of important pathogens, in addition to expanding the database of miRNA and epigenetic regulation processes. Understanding the citrus pathogens and their relationships, the search for genes and promoters, the genomic diversity of the citrus group (platform SNPs), the regulation of genetic processes are the most relevant aspects of that platform.Platform for Functional Genomics gathers specific projects in all pathosystems with the goals of expanding the potentially applicable knowledge in the following phases of the program. All proposals have specific foci derived from the knowledge generated in the previous NIST.Platform of Assisted Breeding represents the advanced interface of breeding, from which previously generated data (markers, maps, genes, promoters), as well as genetic materials (hybrids of controlled crosses and events of transformation already available) will be validated under field conditions, to permit a reliable approach to the strategy of marker-assisted breeding. From this platform, new materials will be released for the Brazilian citrus industry. (AU)

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