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EMU Collections and Infrastructure: acquisition of a robotics system for large-scale, high-performance maintenance and analysis of genetically modified strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other microorganisms


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the simplest and most widely investigated model organism among eukaryotes. This microorganism can be grown on agar plates or liquid medium; it grows rapidly, and it is easily manipulated genetically and biochemically. Various molecular biology, biochemical and genetic techniques are well established. Furthermore, a repository (SGD = Saccharomyces Genome Database) is public available on the internet ( with free access of comprehensive and integrated information, stimulating the discovery of functions associated with genes, many of which are conserved in humans. In fact, several relevant contributions have been produced by studies with yeast, for example related to cell cycle regulation; autophagy; transcription; responses to different stresses; mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration among other processes. Some of these contributions have been awarded Nobel Prizes ( Several collections of genetically modified yeasts are maintained and made available free of charge by the Laboratory of Proteins and Redox Biology, coordinated by Dr. Luis Netto (IB-USP). Other collections and strains are also maintained by groups associated with this proposal. It would be important to improve the infrastructure of this resource shared by several Brazilian research groups with the acquisition of the robotic system ROTOR+ and PIXL ( ROTOR+ and PIXL form a set of equipment that operates with complementary purposes. Colonies selected by PIXL can give rise to libraries that are sorted, replicated, or mated to other strains in ROTOR+. Thus, in addition to being important for carrying out replicas of the collections that we currently have in the laboratories, this robotic systems will make it possible to carry out experiments on a genomic scale such as SGA (Synthetic Genetic Array) and BiFC (bimolecular fluorescence complementation) assays. Furthermore, high throughput screenings should make it possible to determine genotype-phenotype correlations on a genomic scale, through the application of system biology approaches. Another possible outcome of this project is the increased interaction between research groups that will share the use of ROTOR+ and PIXL. Collections of other genetically modified microorganisms may also be maintained and investigated using these robotic systems. (AU)

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