AREA OF GENETIC RESOURCES OF MICROORGANISMS AND ASSOCIATED DIVERSITY

OBJECTIVE

To carry out the isolation, identification, characterization and conservation of the microbial community and associated diversity that play an important role in food security, sustainable agriculture and the environment of Peru.

FUNCTIONS

They are functions of the Area of Genetic Resources of Microorganisms and Associated Diversity:

  • To identify taxonomically and functionally the Genetic Resources of Microorganisms and Associated Diversity that play an important role in food security, agriculture and the environment of Peru..
  • To determine the potential use of Genetic Resources of Microorganisms and Associated Diversity for the benefit of food security, sustainable agriculture and the environment of Peru.
  • To preserve and maintain under ex situ conditions the Genetic Resources of Microorganisms and Associated Diversity that play an important role in Peru’s food security, sustainable agriculture and the environment, ensuring its viability and usefulness over time.
  • To provide identified material of the Genetic Resources of Microorganisms and Associated Diversity for research, industrial purposes for the benefit of Peru.

RESEARCH TOPICS

Las líneas de investigación del área son:

LINE OF RESEARCH 1

  • Diversity of microorganisms of importance for traditional food processing on the basis of crops and native breeds and their wild relatives.

LINE OF RESEARCH 2

  • Diversity of pathogenic microorganisms and biocontrollers of native and crop pathogens and their wild relatives.

LINE OF RESEARCH 3

  • Diversity of microorganisms present in the agricultural environment (water, soil and air) where native crops, breeds and their wild relatives grow.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Soils have the highest microbial diversity (eg bacteria, fungi, etc.) and represent a reservoir rich in these genetic resources but are still little explored. These microorganisms provide a series of services essential for the sustainability of all ecosystems, which are indispensable for the sustainable management of agricultural systems, acting as primary agents for conducting the nutrient cycle, regulation of soil matter dynamics, the sequestration of carbon in the soil and greenhouse gas emissions, which modify the physical structure of the soil and the storage of water. This project consists in the identification of microorganisms present in the soil of the native potato crop of the Region of Huancavelica through molecular tools such as Metagenomics for a better taxonomic and functional understanding of the organisms present in the soil of the native potato crop, thus contributing to the knowledge generation of the microbial biodiversity of Peru.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a basic food in the diet of 17.8 million people in the world. In Latin America there are viral diseases that affect the cultivation of cassava, seriously affecting its yield and quality. The vegetative propagation of this crop by cuttings and the indiscriminate exchange of germplasm material constitute a risk because it is possible to spread the virus; having as negative consequences the transmission of virus from an infected plant to a healthy one and the accumulation of different viruses in a plant from one generation to the next, which can lead to the degeneration of the plant. In Peru, there is no history of virus studies in this cultivar, despite the fact that cassava is an important food in the country’s diet and is a significant source of income for farmers in several regions such as Amazonas, Ucayali, Huánuco, Madre de Dios, Junín, Lima, Ancash, San Martin, Pasco and La Libertad. Therefore, the present project aims to identify the viruses that affect cassava cultivation in the INIA germplasm bank and in farmers’ fields in the Loreto, Ucayali and Lima regions, and thus have a knowledge of the diversity of viruses that are affecting this cultivar to help establish an adequate management of its control both in the Germplasm Bank (in vitro) and in the field (in situ).

Contributors: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture

The Peruvian Andes are rich in plant biodiversity of the genus Solanum. The current list contains 276 species, 253 native and 23 introduced and / or cultivated. Some of these species are hosts of Phytopththora infestans and Ralstonia solanacearum constituting primary sources of inoculum in the epidemiological cycle of the diseases they cause. The study of the genetic structure of the populations of these pathogens, would help to explain the changes in the severity of the observed disease, the development of strategies for the management of the disease and the detection of resistance to fungicides. Rapid identification of genotypes during cultivation will provide recommendations to farmers for the proper management of diseases. To this end, it is of vital importance to strengthen INIA’s capacities to carry out a continuous monitoring of the pathogens present in farmers’ fields.

Contributors: International Potato Center CIP.

Viruses are a limiting factor in vegetative propagation crops. Control of viruses is achieved by eradicating them in the material that will be used for their propagation or by using resistant varieties. Very little is known about the viruses that affect the Andean roots like oca, mashua, ulluco and yacon. The present project seeks to find a reliable diagnostic method based on molecular biology techniques to determine the presence of phytopathogenic viruses in the in vitro collections preserved by the International Potato Center (IPC) and the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) ), in order to be able to distribute and repatriate virus-free germplasm.

Contributors: International Potato Center CIP

RESEARCHERS IN THE AREA

Biol. Liz García Serquén

Specialist in Conservation in the In Vitro Bank

INIA Headquarters

Dra. Cinthya Zorrilla

Coordinator

INIA Headquarters

PUBLICATIONS

UNDER CONSTRUCTION