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Metabolic potential of bacterial microbiomes from fungus gardens of Attini ants

Grant number: 16/02767-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2016
Effective date (End): November 22, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:André Rodrigues
Grantee:Mariana de Oliveira Barcoto
Supervisor: Cameron Robert Currie
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:15/16415-0 - Metabolic potential of fungus-garden microbiomes of Attini ants, BP.MS


Fungus-growing ants in the tribe Attini maintain mutualistic association with fungi that are cultivated for food. Fungus gardens of these insects harbors a complex microbiome, including yeasts, filamentous fungi and bacteria. Several lines of evidence suggest that the bacterial community found in the fungus garden perform physiological functions for the colony, such as nitrogen fixation, plant biomass degradation, nutrient biosynthesis and antimicrobial defenses. Our main goal is to compare the metabolic potential of the bacterial microbiome from the fungiculture practiced by Atta sexdens rubropilosa (leaf-cutter fungiculture in which fresh leaves are used as substrate for fungus cultivation) and Mycocepurus goeldii (lower fungiculture in which dry parts of plants, seeds and others substrates are used for fungus cultivation). From a bacterial enrichment of fungus gardens of these ants, the total DNA of the bacterial community was extracted and sequenced. Here, we aim to perform the assembly and analysis of the metabolic potential of our dataset, using specific softwares. Such analyses are fundamental to support the data processing and will be carried out in Dr. Cameron Robert Currie's lab (Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, EUA). This lab present a wide experience in studies regarding ecology and evolution of the attine ants-microbial association. Along the past years, Dr. Curie and his team unraveled several aspects of the microbial diversity in this environment, revealing various functions performed by micro-organisms in this microbiome. Since this lab harbors the required specialists and tools to explore the two metagenomes generated, the analyses to be carried out in the Currie Lab are essential for the development of the master project in which this proposal is attached. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BARCOTO, MARIANA O.; CARLOS-SHANLEY, CAMILA; FAN, HUAN; FERRO, MILENE; NAGAMOTO, NILSON S.; BACCI, JR., MAURICIO; CURRIE, CAMERON R.; RODRIGUES, ANDRE. Fungus-growing insects host a distinctive microbiota apparently adapted to the fungiculture environment. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 10, n. 1, . (12/25299-6, 15/16415-0, 19/03746-0, 16/02767-5, 13/50954-0, 17/04824-9)

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