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Tomato shoot colonization by endophytic bacteria and its utilization as Tuta absoluta gene-specific dsRNA delivery

Grant number: 16/07891-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Antonio Vargas de Oliveira Figueira
Grantee:Sean Valter Valente
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) is a major tomato pest. One promising control strategy is the use of target-insect gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi). Genetically modified endophytic microorganisms could be used to colonize hosts as an agent to control pests. Thus, the present project will evaluate tomato tissues and T. absoluta larvae colonization by endophytic bacteria (Pantoea agglomerans - 33.1 and Burkholderia - SC), and evaluate their potential role as a dsRNA delivery method from the target gene gluthatione S transferase (gst). Plants of the tomato cultivar 'Micro-Tom' will be evaluated for bacterial colonization. The most effective endophytic bacteria to colonize tomato will be used to receive a plasmid vector expressing dsRNA from gst of T. absoluta, based on the L4440 plasmid. Transformed bacteria will be used in tests with T. absoluta larvae in 'Micro-Tom' plants to evaluate the effects of providing dsRNA from gst in their development. With the results, it is expected to evaluate the potential application of genetically modified endophytic bacteria to silence T. absoluta genes. (AU)

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