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Chemical study of symbiont bacteria from soil pest insects

Grant number: 12/22147-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2013
Effective date (End): December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Moacir Rossi Forim
Grantee:Naiara Soares Melo da Silva
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced with the aim of increasing crop yields through controlling pest insects. Due to the adaptation and resistance developed by these insects, each year more insecticides are consumed. However, this practice has been causing undesirable effects such as environmental contamination accompanied by an increase in the cost of food production. Pest insects have endosymbiotic microorganisms that help in the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as in the adaptation for insecticides, being these symbionts found especially in insects with a specialized diet. Among the pest insects, soil insects such as Diabrotica speciosa have a prominent position. D. speciosa is a pest that has underground habits consuming the root system of the plants. The present work is part of a wide project (Fapesp No. 2011/11860-5) of multidisciplinary initiative, joining the scientific areas of chemical ecology, natural products, and microbiology for the understanding of interactions among plant/pest insects and pest insects/endosymbiotic microorganisms. This work aims at the chemical study of the bacterium Luteibacter sp. - an endosymbiotic microorganism from D. speciosa, evaluating the impact of the different mediums on metabolite production and their potential biotechnological application. Previous studies have identified a high potential herbicide and production capacity of biopolymers. In this case, it will be prepared various extracts and fractions, evaluating their chemical chromatographic profile, isolating, and identifying metabolites. Classical techniques will be applied to prepare and to fraction of extracts, and to isolate metabolites. These compounds will be identified by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods. The obtained materials are biologically evaluated. (AU)

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