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Bioprospecting of endophytic fungi associated to species of genus Hortia and Spiranthera (Rutaceae): chemical diversity and biological potential

Grant number: 16/11097-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): September 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Fátima das Graças Fernandes da Silva
Grantee:Rodrigo Sant'Ana Cabral
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Different strategies have been developed to enhance and optimize the production of bioactive secondary metabolites in plant lineages. Considering all the limitations associated with productivity and vulnerability of plant species as sources of new metabolites, microorganisms serve as the newest, renewable and reproducible inexhaustible source of new structures with pharmaceutical potential. In recent years, a greater importance is being given to microorganisms associated with plants, especially endophytes. Among the endophytic organisms, fungi have proved of great importance because it can produce a multitude of metabolites, which have different biotechnological applications, which represents a market of tens billions dollars worldwide. Several compounds of vegetable origin are produced by endophytes, suggesting there is a transposition of genes between plants and fungi into a true genetic engineering in vivo. Biodiversity in Brazil can be considered one of the richest sources of substrates used in the search for new molecular models that can, from bioprospecting studies, chemical and pharmacological, lead to the discovery of new medicines to cure or control of various diseases, but it remains little explored in relation to their potential. The species selected for this work are native and belong to the family Rutaceae, are Hortia oreadica, H. brasiliana, Spiranthera odoratissima and S. Atlantica. In bibliographic surveys it was observed the lack of studies related to the microbiota of endophytic fungi with the selected species. Based on the above, this project aims to increase knowledge of the chemical diversity and diversity of the microbiota of endophytic fungi associated with the roots and leaves of these species. This study may lead to discovery of new species of endophytic microorganisms, as well as new chemical entities, potentially active under the pharmacological and biological viewpoint.

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