Parasitic plants are those who draw water or nutrients from another plant, and the host plant may have affected its rate of development. Secondary metabolites are important chemical strategies used by plants in their defense against biotic or abiotic stress. The phenolic compounds - flavonoids , lignins and tannins - are important substances related to this defense. An example of plant parasitism present in nature is between Phoradendron crassifolium (Santalaceae) that parasites Tapirira guianensis (Anacardiaceae). The Laboratory of Anatomy, Institute of Biosciences, University of São Paulo, works with these two plants analyzing the anatomical changes that the parasite may causes the host plant. Studies on the secondary metabolites affected when a plant is parasitized by another are rare and, since those species are studied anatomically, a project aiming to evaluate chemical changes undergone by these interaction can contribute to the knowledge on parasitism between plants. Thus, this study aims to compare the amount of certain classes of phenolic substances, of nonstructural carbohydrates and lipids in T. guianensis parasitized and non- parasitized by P. crassifolium, and understand whether and how they are changed. We will performe quantitative analysis of tannins, flavonoids and phenolic substances, lignins, fiber, soluble sugars, starch, C/N ration and lipid content in leaves and stems of P. crassifolium and T. guianensis (parasitized and non- parasitized).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: