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Biodegradation and metabolic studies of phytopathogenic fungi from cocoa

Grant number: 18/20930-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Taicia Pacheco Fill
Grantee:Allan Calmont de Andrade Almeida
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The enormous increase in the consumption of plastic materials in the last decades has led to ecological and economic concerns, which require an investigation related to the discovery of effective methods for the degradation of the polymers generated as waste in our daily life. In this context, biodegradation using microorganisms has been pointed out as a very promising alternative. The project, with a strong sustainable approach, contributes to the generation of a new polymeric material using as recycled polyolefins matrix and as cargo the residues of the cocoa industry in Brazil. The material has been already obtained in the laboratory and presented interesting properties, such as increased hardness and mechanical resistance, as well as a characteristic odor of chocolate. In previous studies in our laboratory, we verified the great potential of biodegradation of the polymeric compound with cocoa fibers through the use of phytopathogenic fungi isolated from the fruit itself. Studies dedicated to understand the enzymes involved in degradation are rare in the literature and there are no studies on the degradation products and fungal secondary metabolites produced in the process, these studies could provide the generation of a natural product with high value from this biodegradation. In this sense, this project aims to study the possible metabolites produced from the biodegradation of the fungus to the polymeric composite with cocoa fibers. Also, in this context, studies of all stages of biodegradation will be conducted, which will be important because it will enable the sustainable life cycle of the product from the use of polymers containing in its composition residues of the Brazilian cocoa industry, which will be biodegraded by fungi isolated from the fruit itself, which use these polymers as a source of nutrients until the production of secondary metabolites that may present high value. In view of the above, our main objective is to study the chemical and biochemical mechanisms involved in biodegradation and elucidate the secondary metabolism of fungi during the process. (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)
DE ANDRADE ALMEIDA, ALLAN CALMONT; DE MORAES PONTES, JOAO GUILHERME; ALVARENGA, GABRIEL RODRIGUES; FINOCCHIO, HENRIQUE; FILL, TAICIA PACHECO. The sustainable cycle of a new cacao-based bioplastic: from manufacturing to exploitable biodegradation products. RSC ADVANCES, v. 11, n. 48, p. 29976-29985, . (18/20930-6, 19/06359-7, 17/24462-4, 18/03670-0)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
ALMEIDA, Allan Calmont de Andrade. Biodegradation studies and evaluation of the metabolic potential of cocoa phytopathogenic fungi. 2021. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Química Campinas, SP.

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