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Allelic variation in sugarcane: quantification of sequence polymorphism

Grant number: 10/02610-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2010
Effective date (End): August 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Michel Georges Albert Vincentz
Grantee:Mariane de Mendonça Vilela
Instituição-sede : Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética (CBMEG). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas, SP, Brazil


Sugarcane belongs to the genus Saccharum L., and had been originated in Southeast Asia, where since ancient times has been used for the production of sugar. Bioethanol, a byproduct of sugar cane, is an important source of renewable and is less polluting energy than petroleum derivatives. So far, the genetic improvement of sugarcane have been based essencially on breeding and selection of new varieties originated from crosses between hybrids of S. officinarum and S. spontaneum. New genomic resources have been developed to help genetic research in sugarcane: genetic maps, collections of ESTs and BACs are already available. However the high polyploidy, the heterozygosity and the irregular meiotic behavior has become a challenge to the application of molecular markers and genetic studies in general. As one of the most complex genomes that is known, the synteny observed with related genera has become another essential tool for understanding the genome of sugarcane. Given the growing economic importance and the intriguing complexity of the genome of sugarcane, we propose to sequence and annotate homo/homeólogas regions of tree single copy genes Leafy, TOR kinase and Phytochrome C in order to assess the allelic variation and the expression homeostasis of these genes in segregating populations. The knowledge gained should help reveal new aspects of the evolution of the genome of sugarcane as well as upgrade more accurately the improvement process of this plant. The project also fits within the context of an international effort to sequence the genome of sugarcane. (AU)

Articles published in Agência FAPESP about the scholarship:
Study clarifies process of sugarcane genome evolution