Christmas is over, but comparisons to the brightly colored balls that adorn the traditional Christmas tree are inevitable. Although less poetic, the images above may be just as beautiful and definitely more practical. What you see are plates of endophytic fungi – that are developing inside plant tissues without causing any damage to the host – taken from the leaves and roots of mangroves being studied for their biotechnological potential in fighting a variety of disease-causing microorganisms. Fernanda Luiza de Souza Sebastianes began the work in 2007 as part of her doctoral studies. The research involving the biotechnological potential of these fungi is currently being conducted in the laboratory of professor Paulo Teixeira Lacava at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) along with researchers from the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Environmental Division in Jaguariúna, and from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture at the University of São Paulo (Esalq-USP).
Images submitted by Paulo Teixeira Lacava from the Center for Biological and Health Sciences at UFSCar, and Fernanda Luiza de Souza Sebastianes, from Esalq-USP.
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