Sugarcane is used for biofuel and sugar production worldwide. Modern cultivars are originated from two different sub-genomes, the Saccharum officinarum and S. spontaneum, with different basic chromosome numbers. This process has enabled asymmetric chromosome transmission, resulting in varieties with different chromosome numbers in somatic cells, generally with 100 to 130 chromosomes. The aneuploid condition and high ploidy level makes sugarcane a cultivated species of higher genetic complexity.The use of molecular biology tools has increased our understanding of the relevance the sugarcane genome architecture. It is very essential to know the position and behavior of the genes controlling the traits with economic interest. A way to get this information is through whole genome sequencing. But in sugarcane the reconstruction of sequence present within a chromosome is a big challenging due large amount of repetitive elements scattered into genome. Thus, during the development of our Postdoc project (Fapesp 2014/11482-9) we proposed to use the high synteny between sorghum and sugarcane to choose a specific Brix QTL described for sorghum and to explore this region in sugarcane. Preliminary results of this research showed syntenic blocks formation. Now, our main intention will be to assess the genome architecture in a specific region and know the origin of the genes involved for this trait. For the analyses involving the genome evolution we proposed a collaboration with Dr Ray Ming group for exploring the major genes responsible with sucrose accumulation and the mechanism associated with this complex trait. So, this project aims to study the genes in a genomic region in order to know the origin comparing with transcripts from Saccharum species.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: