Glaucia Mendes Souza

Associate Professor

Instituto de Química

Universidade de São Paulo


Dr. Glaucia Souza is the coordinator of several initiatives in sugarcane genomics in Brazil and the Coordinator of the BIOMASS Division of FAPESP Bioenergy Program (BIOEN). The BIOEN Program is an ongoing initiative that joins research on plants with a potential use in biofuel production, biomass generation and processing for ethanol production. Research is being conducted in over twenty Institutions from Brazil associated to 17 Institutions from USA, France, United Kingdom, Australia and Mexico.

In 2000 Dr. Souza joined the SUCEST Project to sequence sugarcane ESTs. Within a network of over 200 researchers, the largest sugarcane EST collection was developed and annotated. In 2003 she became the SUCEST Project coordinator and started the SUCEST-FUN Project, a functional genomics initiative to identify genes associated to agronomic traits of interest. Among the SUCEST-FUN activities her group focused on the Transcriptome analysis and the generation of sugarcane transgenic plants. Genes were identified that are associated to sucrose content, biomass, drought tolerance, phosphate deficiency, herbivory, endophytic bacteria interaction, high CO2, sugars and hormones. In 2007 the SUCEST-FUN initiative progressed to the creation of a network of researchers working with the main sugarcane breeding programs in Brazil. The group aims to use biotechnological tools to increase sucrose content, alter fiber quality and quantity, develop drought and herbivory resistant cultivars, sequence the sugarcane genome and implement map-assisted breeding tools. Her interest in signaling and gene expression extends to comparative studies of regulatory networks in several grasses. Dr. Souza is developing the SUCEST-FUN database and collaborates with the GRASSIUS Initiative to study regulatory networks in maize, sugarcane, sorghum and rice in cooperation with Ohio-State University. Since 2003 she develops work with the private sector to develop innovative research on sugarcane carbohydrate metabolism and stress responses. She is a Eisenhower Fellow, a member of the International Society of Cane Technologists Committee and serves the broader scientific community by contributing as ad hoc reviewer for FAPESP, CNPq and Embrapa and serving as Associate Editor for International Journal of Plant Genomics and Global Change Biology - Bioenergy. She has consistently participated in undergraduate and graduate research training in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics. She also supervises students in the recently created University of São Paulo Tripartite International Graduate Program on Plant Biology in collaboration with Ohio-State and Rutgers University.