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Evaluation of the orchestrated pathways of miR156 in the interaction between Moniliophthora perniciosa and Solanum lycopersicum: consequences for pathogenesis and susceptibility

Grant number: 19/12188-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Lázaro Eustaquio Pereira Peres
Grantee:Rafael Monteiro Do Carmo
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/10498-4 - Investigation of strategies of adaptation to the pathogenic life style of fungi from the Moniliophthora genus at various levels of biological organizations: species, biotypes, and geographic lineages, AP.TEM


The witches broom disease, caused by the basidiomycete Moniliophthora perniciosa [syn. Crinipellis perniciosa (Stahel) Singer; Marasmiaceae s.l.], is the most significant disease of cacao (Theobroma cacao). M. perniciosa can infect a variety of hosts, not only being restricted to cacao, allowing classification in three biotypes, C, L. and S. The C-biotype infects cacao and related species; the L-biotype infects lianas (vines) without inducing symptoms. The S-biotype colonizes solanaceae, and through artificial inoculation it is able to colonize the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Previous work carried out by our group showed that the tomato cultivar "Micro-Tom" (MT) is an adequate model for the study of the interaction with M. perniciosa, since the tomato presents symptoms of hypertrophy, stem hyperplasia, loss of apical dominance and formation of green brooms, and also demonstrated that cytokines play an important role in the development and progression of symptoms. These symptoms are also characteristic of infected cacao plants (C-biotype). Small non-coding RNAs play an important role in the interaction between plants and pathogens. These endogenous regulatory RNAs of 20-25 nucleotides do not encode proteins and are generally grouped into two major classes: interference RNAs (siRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs). MicroRNA156 downregulates most members of the SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING-LIKE transcriptional factors (miR156 / SlSBP module). Such transcription factors are plant-specific and perform a variety of functions essential for plant development. Additionally, the miR156 expression pattern has been shown to be altered in response to infection by pathogens; however, to date, few studies have demonstrated the participation of such pathway in the interaction between plants and pathogens. Interestingly, overexpressing miR156 in MT tomato plants have some phenotypic characteristics that resemble M. perniciosa infected plants, such as loss of apical dominance and increase in the number of lobes in fruits. Therefore, the objective of this project is to evaluate the possible contribution of the miR156/SlSBP pathway and its correlation with cytokines in the interaction between S. lycopersicum and M. perniciosa (S-biotype), aiming to shed some light in the defense mechanisms or susceptibility to witches broom disease. The characterization of these pathways may contribute not only to a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with the interaction, but also to have potential future applications in the cacao improvement. (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)
COSTA, JULIANA L.; PASCHOAL, DANIELE; DA SILVA, EDER M.; SILVA, JAMILLE S.; DO CARMO, RAFAEL M.; CARRERA, ESTHER; LOPEZ-DIAZ, ISABEL; ROSSI, MONICA L.; FRESCHI, LUCIANO; MIECZKOWSKI, PIOTR; et al. Moniliophthora perniciosa, the causal agent of witches' broom disease of cacao, interferes with cytokinin metabolism during infection of Micro-Tom tomato and promotes symptom development. NEW PHYTOLOGIST, v. 231, n. 1, p. 365-381, . (16/10524-5, 13/04309-6, 19/12188-0, 16/10498-4, 15/00060-9, 17/17000-4)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
CARMO, Rafael Monteiro Do. Study of miR156-targeted SPL/SBP-box genes in the interaction between the atypical pathogen Moniliophthora perniciosa and Solanum lycopersicum cv. Micro-tom. 2021. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA/STB) Piracicaba.

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