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Bioprospecting of the rhizosphere microbiome of drought-tolerant beans for the mitigation of water stress in common bean ((Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

Grant number: 24/00552-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2024
Effective date (End): September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Lucas William Mendes
Grantee:Lara de Almeida Losovoi
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/16043-7 - Rhizosphere microbiome of the drought tolerant common bean, AP.PFPMCG.JP


One of the greatest challenges faced by global agricultural production lies in managing water stress. This is due to the negative impact of drought on the world's major agricultural regions, resulting in significant economic and social damages. Both in natural and agricultural environments, plants simultaneously interact with a range of microorganisms, some beneficial and others pathogenic, exerting direct and indirect influence on their physiology and development. The microbial community present in the rhizosphere comprises a wide variety of microorganisms that play crucial roles in these aspects. Studying these microorganisms contributes to understanding the cumulative effects of plant-microorganism interactions in overcoming abiotic stresses, such as drought. Despite this, there is a lack of information about the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) rhizosphere in this context. Considering that plants, under (a)biotic stresses, select a specific microbial community in their rhizosphere that helps mitigate the effects of these stresses, this project aims to identify bacteria with the potential to promote plant health and growth under drought. To achieve this, common bean cultivars with varying degrees of drought tolerance were subjected to water stress conditions, and rhizospheric soil samples were collected. The objective is to isolate and characterize beneficial microbial groups associated with drought tolerance found in the rhizospheric soil of drought-tolerant bean plants. Microbiological and molecular techniques will be employed, ranging from isolation to genomic sequencing of bacterial strains, aiming to investigate their functional profiles and biotechnological potential. This project is associated with the FAPESP Young Investigator Project 2019/16043-7 "Rhizosphere microbiome of the drought tolerant common bean" and will involve collaboration between different laboratories at CENA-USP, encompassing microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, and plant nutrition. It is expected that this project will identify bacterial strains that positively impact the growth and development of plants under water stress conditions, potentially serving as agricultural inoculants to promote growth and drought tolerance in various cultivars.

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