VanillaGenomica: A Genomic Catalog for the Improvement and Conservation of Vanilla and its Microbiome
Dr. Angelica Cibrian Jaramillo
We propose to develop a catalog of diagnostic and functional genomics to address the lack of detailed information on the genomic composition of Mexican vanilla. Genomics allows the integral study of the evolution of genomes and their functions, both of the plant and the microorganisms associated with it. The agrobiotechnological tools that derive from this knowledge are applicable to the improvement of a crop with the aim of increasing and improving production. The catalog of diagnostic genomics will serve to generate taxonomic markers to identify varieties and populations; identify unique native genotypes of productive value, and plan the long-term conservation of vanilla germplasm. The catalog of functional genomics will serve to identify genomic regions useful for targeted breeding, and to understand the interaction between the plant and the causative agents of disease in the medium and long term. We will include the microbiome, defined by microorganisms and their plant endophyte genomes including Fusarium, as part of the vanilla genotype. In addition to producing novel biological information, we hope to contribute to generate genomic tools for vanilla improvement. In order to implement this project, we will use technologies such as (meta) genomic and transcriptomics in the plant and its microbiome, integrated with field experiments using accessions, and specific production needs expressed by collaborators, producers, and users. The information generated here will be available in two electronic platforms with different levels of users and access in order to facilitate the sustainable use and protection of the genetic resources of vanilla worldwide. We are currently seeking funding and partners in this initiative, and kindly invite the vanilla2017 community to be part of this effort.
Dr. Angelica Cibrian is an expert in evolutionary biology and plant genomics. She graduated with honors in biology at UNAM. As a Fulbright scholar, she did a Masters and PhD in Ecology, Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, and certificate in Environmental Policy at Columbia University, New York. She spent some time working for UN organizations focused on issues in policy on plant genetic resources. After her PhD she was a postdoc and research assistant between 2007 and 2011 at The New York Botanical Garden, the American Museum of Natural History, at Harvard University, and at New York University on plant genetics. Since 2012 she is the head of the Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics lab at Langebio, CINVESTAV,a leading institution in LatinAmerica and worldwide, on the use of genomic tools to understand plant biodiversity. Her lab aims to explore the genomic basis of plant diversity, in particular of the wild relatives of Mesoamerican crops. Her scientific contributions lie in fields such as: genomics of plants of economic importance; functional phylogenomics and plant evolution; and comparative metagenomic and genomic analysis of plant-associated microbiomes. Her work has been published in prestigious international journals including PNAS, Plos Genetics, Plant Cell, BMC Genetics, Molecular Ecology and Genome Biology and Evolution. Angelica is an active member of several international organizations working on the genetic resources in plants, and is motivated to advance scientific knowledge that is also useful for the sustainable use and conservation of plant genetic resources; she also recently founded WildGeneCode focused on providing genomic services in domesticated plants, as part of StrainBiotech.