Work packages

Work Package 1
A metagenomics approach to sequence the genome of Candidatus glomeribacter gigasporarum.

WP1 will sequence the genome of the endobacterium Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum living inside the AMF. Since the bacterium is not cultivable, a Metagenomics approach will be used. A fosmid library has already been developed starting from the fungus. The fosmids will be sequenced and subjected to bioinformatic analysis using Sanger sequencing and 454 technology to reach a hybrid assembly.

Work Package 2
Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum genome annotation and selection of candidates genes of biotechnological interest.

WP2 annotates the endobacterium genome. The process will enlighten the interest on some pathways (e.g., vitamin B12, BTX detoxification). Computer science researchers will support the correct creation, setting up and integration of data bases/warehouses.

Work Package 3
In Silico Design and Analysis of Biological Systems.

In WP3, a model endowed with bio-mimetic primitives will be developed, with attention to membrane interactions and stochastic/probabilistic aspects. To model the complex behaviour at Plant/Fungal/Bacteria level, we shall consider the probabilities of reactions, possibly changing over time, to be associated with the evolution rules. We will design and implement prototypical software simulation tools. The next WPs derive from a study (Akyama et al, 2005) showing that plants release molecules (strigolactones) which are perceived by AMFs and cause the extensive branching essential for a successful colonization. Similar molecules have a large relevance in chemistry since they induce seed germination from parasite plants, like Striga, which infest the two-thirds of crop lands in Africa (Humphrey et al., 2006).

Work Package 4
Biological and structural study of a plant product: biosynthesis and activity elucidation and bioinformatics study, aiming at the discovery of synthetic compounds with desired properties.

WP4 investigates pathways that lead to the active molecule in planta (active sites in the putative receptor will be identified by using computational biology, a virtual set of ligands will be generated).

Work Package 5
Synthesis of heterocycle-derived structural analogues of sorgolact.

WP5 will synthesize the analogs to 5-deoxystrigol.

Work Package 6
Checking the green/white biotechnological potentialities of BIOBIts.

WP6 will be headed by the industrial partner and will develop green house experiments with different types of AM inocula to test the efficiency of AMs/bacterial and plant molecules with respect to plant pests.