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Associated projects


Coordinators: (Brazil) Ana Tereza Vasconcelos, LNCC; (France) Marie-France Sagot
Main other participant: Maria Cristina Motta, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Duration: 2011-2013

Brief description
Protozoa of the Trypanosomatidae family comprise a large number of species, some of which are agents of important illnesses such as leishmaniasis, Chagas’ disease and African trypanosomiasis. A small number of trypanosomatids have been described containing bacterium symbionts in the cytoplasm, known as endosymbionts. Angomonas deanei and Strigomonas culicis are examples of such species. The endosymbiont supplies the host trypanosomatid with essential nutrients which account for less stringent growth requirements. Both the protozoan and the bacterium maintain intensive metabolic exchanges resulting in an interesting model to study the co-evolution of metabolisms. This intricate dialog between the protozoan and the bacterium includes not only the metabolic point view, but also regulation and cell cycle, among others. This is thus also a special model to study cellular evolution. The aim of the project is to computationally and experimentally start studying this dialog.

CAPES-COFECUB Microbial Ecosystem of Swines

Coordinators: (Brazil) Ana Tereza Vasconcelos, LNCC; (France) Marie-France Sagot
Main other participant: Arnaldo Zaha, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Duration: 2013-2014, renewed for the period 2015-2016

Brief description
This project proposes to experimentally and mathematically explore the biodiversity of the bacterial organisms living in the respiratory tract of swines, many of which are pathogenic. Among these, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Actinobacillus suis, Streptococcus suis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Pasteurella multocida, Mycoplasma flocculare and Mycoplasma hyorhinis are the most studied. However, the microbiome of the swine respiratory tract remains largely unknown, and possibly many more unidentified species live in this part of the organism and may influence decisively the infection process of the bacteria that are pathogenic.

Important aspects to be analyzed are the potential relationship of the metabolic pathways and regulatory systems of the bacterial species living in the respiratory tract. Both metabolism and gene expression regulation can be integrated. Transcription and translation are indeed processes that require energy and precursors, such as nucleotides and amino acids, which are made available by the capacity of metabolic pathways to produce them. On the other hand, transcription and translation exert demands on some metabolic network functions and thus limit others. It is important to point out that mycoplasma is dependent on external sources for several precursors of its metabolism.

This project is highly pluridisciplinary and will involve equally important experimental (wet-lab / sequencing) and methodological parts, the latter requiring the de novo development of mathematical models and of algorithms to analyze the data.

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