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 FAPESP Bioenergy Program (BIOEN). BIOEN aims at articulating public and private R&D, using academic and industrial laboratories to advance and apply knowledge in fields related to bioenergy in Brazil. Research ranges from biomass production and processing to biofuel technologies, biorefineries, sustainability and impacts. Since 2008, 136 grants to 400 brazilian researchers with collaborators in 15 countries have been awarded ( BIOEN engages in fundamental, applied and horizontal research efforts. As one of BIOEN activities Dr. Souza is the Chairperson of the SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability project, a global assessment of current status and latest developments on bioenergy production and use to produce solution-oriented policy recommendations for the sustainable expansion of bioenergy in the world. SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability envolves contributions from 134 authors of 81 institutions in 24 countries (

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 three main sugar cane breeding programs in Brazil (RIDESA, CTC and IAC). The group aims to develop 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. Recently her lab started the shot-gun sequencing of the sugarcane genome in collaboration with the Microsoft Research Institute. Dr. Souza is developing the SUCEST-FUN database and collaborates with the GRASSIUS Initiative to study regulatory networks in maize, sugarcane, sorghum and rice and is the vice-coordinator of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Bioethanol. Since 2003 she works with the private sector to develop innovative research on sugarcane carbohydrate metabolism and stress responses. She is an Einsenhower Fellow and a member of the International Society of Cane Technologists Committee. She has consistently participated in undergraduate and graduate research training in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics. She supervises students in the recently created University of São Paulo Tripartite International Graduate Program on Plant Biology and the PIPG PhD Program on Bioenergy.

Recently, in recognition of her contribution to Bioenergy and leadership at an early state in her career Dr. Souza was selected to participate in the Eisenhower London Women Leadership Conference and was appointed as the Premio Claudia finalist.



1988 B.Sc. (Biological Sciences) 

Universidade de São Paulo 

Instituto de Biociências 

1993  Ph.D. (Biochemistry)  

Instituto de Química 

Departamento de Bioquímica 

Universidade de São Paulo 

1994-95 Postdoctoral Fellow (Glicobiology)  

Burnham Institute 

La Jolla, USA  

1996-97 Postdoctoral Fellow (Molecular Genetics)  

Baylor College of Medicine 

Houston, USA 

2004 Livre-docência (Biochemistry) 

Instituto de Química 

Departamento de Bioquímica 

Universidade de São Paulo



Honors and Fellowships 

1990 CAPES fellowship to develop research as an undergraduate student at the Edward A. Doisy Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, USA  

1997 The V.C. Joshi Memorial Award – Baylor College of Medicine 

2009  Appointed Eisenhower Fellow in the “Fueling Growth” Common Interest Program of the Eisenhower Foundation 

2012 Prêmio Cláudia Finalist – Science category

2013 – Robert Antoine Award for Best Paper – International Society of Sugarcane Technologists



Professional experience 

1998-04 Professor at the Department of Biochemistry 

Instituto de Química, University of São Paulo 

2004- Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry 

Instituto de Química, University of São Paulo 

2003- General Coordinator of the SUCEST Sugarcane Genome Project 

2006- Member of the Advisory Council for the Cane Technology Center (CTC, Piracicaba, Brasil) 

2007- Member of the Biology committee of the International Society of Cane Technologists 

2008-09 - Coordinator of the BIOMASS Division of FAPESP Bioenergy Research Program (BIOEN) 

2008-09 - Member of the Biology Coordination Committee of FAPESP

2009 - Coordinator of FAPESP Bioenergy Research Program (BIOEN)

2013 – Chair of the SCOPE Bioenergy and Sustainability Rapid Assessment Process



Selected Publications 

  1. Souza, G. M., Simoes, A. C. Q. Oliveira, K. C., Garay, H. M.,  Fiorini, L. C., Gomes, F. S.,  Nishiyama-Junior, M. Y. and da Silva, A. M. (2001). The sugarcane signal transduction (SUCAST) catalogue: prospecting signal transduction in sugarcane. Genet. Mol. Biol. 24, 25-34. 
  2. Vettore, A. L., da Silva, F. R., Kemper, E. L., Souza, G. M. et al. (2003). Analysis and functional annotation of an expressed sequence tag collection for the tropical crop sugarcane. Genome Res. 13, 2725-2735.  
  3. Papini-Terzi, F. S., Rocha, F. R., Vêncio, R. Z. N., Oliveira, K. C., Felix, J. M., Vicentini, R., Rocha, C. S., Simões, A. C. Q., Ulian, E. C., di Mauro, S. M. Z., da Silva, A. M., Pereira, C. A. B., Menossi, M. and Souza, G. M. (2005). Transcription profiling of signal transduction-related genes in sugarcane tissues. DNA Research 12, 27-38. 
  4. Rocha, F. R., Papini-Terzi, F. S., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Vêncio, R. Z. N., Vicentini, R., Duarte, R. D. C., Rosa-Jr, V. E., Vinagre, F., Barsalobres, C., Medeiros, A. H., Rodrigues, F. A., Ulian, E. C., Zingaretti, S. M., Galbiatti, J. A., Almeida, R. S., Figueira, A. V. O., Hemerly, A. S., Silva-Filho, M. C., Menossi, M. and Souza, G. M. Signal transduction-related responses to phytohormones and environmental challenges in sugarcane. (2007). BMC Genomics 8, 71. 
  5. Hoarau, J. Y.; Souza, G. M.; D'Hont, A.; Menossi, M.; Pinto, L.R.; Souza, A. P.; Grivet, L.; Menck, C. F. M.; Ulian, E. C.; Vincentz, M. (2007). Sugarcane, a tropical crop with a highly complex genome. In: J. F. Morot-Gaudry, P. Lea and J. F. Briat. (Org.). Functional Plant Genomics. Science Publishers.   
  6. Papini-Terzi, F.S., Felix, J. M., Rocha, F. R., Waclawovsky, A. J., Ulian, E. C., Chabregas, S., Falco, M. C., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Vêncio, R. Z. N., Vicentini, R., Menossi, M. e Souza, G. M. (2007). The SUCEST-FUN Project: identifying genes that regulate sucrose content in sugarcane plants. Proc. Int. Soc. Sugar Cane Technol. 26. 
  7. D'Hont, A.; Souza, G.M.; Menossi, M.; Vincentz, M.; Van Sluys M-A ; Glaszmann JC ; Ulian, E. C. (2008). Sugarcane: a Major Source of Sweetness, Alcohol, and Bio-energy. In: Paul Moore; Ray Ming. (Org.). Genomics of Tropical Crop Plants.  
  8. Papini-Terzi, F.S., Felix, J. M., Rocha, F. R., Waclawovsky, A. J., Ulian, E. C., Chabregas, S., Falco, M. C., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Vêncio, R. Z. N., Vicentini, R., Menossi, M. e Souza, G. M. (2008). Genes that regulate sucrose content in sugarcane plants. Sugar Cane Int. 26, 25-29. 
  9. Menossi, M., Silva-Filho, M. C., Vincentz, M. Van-Sluys, M. A. e Souza, G. M.  (2008). Sugarcane Functional Genomics: gene discovery for agronomic trait development. Int. J. Plant Genomics (eprint 2008:458732). 
  10. Souza, A. P., Gaspar, A., Silva, E. A., Ulian, E., Waclawovsky, A. J., Nishiyama-JR., M. Y., Vicentini, R., Menossi, M., Souza, G. M., and Buckeridge, M. (2008). Elevated CO2 induces increases in photosynthesis, biomass, productivity and modifies gene expression in sugarcane. Plant Cell & Environment 31, 1116-27. 
  11. Yilmaz, A., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Garcia-Fuentes, B., Souza, G. M., Janies, D., Gray, J. and Grotewold, E. (2008). GRASSIUS: A Platform for Comparative Regulatory Genomics Across the Grasses. Plant Physiol. 149, 171–180. 
  12. Gray, J., Bevan, M., Brutnell, T., Buell, R., Cone, K., Hake, S., Jackson, D., Kellogg, E., Lawrence, C., McCouch, S., Mockler, T., Moose, S., Paterson, A., Peterson, T., Rokshar, D., Souza, G. M., Springer, N., Stein, N., Timmermans, M., Wang, G.-L., Grotewold, E. (2008). Naming Transcription Factors. Plant Physiol. 149, 4-6.
  13. Papini-Terzi, F. S., Rocha, F. R., Vêncio, R. Z. N., Felix, J. M., Branco, D., Waclawovsky, A. J., Del-Bem, L. E. V., Lembke, C. G., Costa, M. D-B. L., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Vicentini, R., Vincentz, M., Ulian, E. C., Menossi, M., Souza, G. M. (2009). Genes associated to sucrose content. BMC Genomics 10, 120.  
  14. Lam, E., Shine Jr., J., da Silva, J., Lawton, M., Bonos, S., Calvino, M., Carrer, H., Silva-Filho, M. C., Glynn, N., Helsel, Z., Ma, J., Richard-Jr., F., Souza, G. M., Ming, R. (2009). Improving Sugarcane for Biofuel: Engineering for an even better feedstock. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. doi: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2009.01016.x 
  15. Felix, J. M., Papini-Terzi, F. S., Rocha, F. R., Vêncio, R. Z. N., Vicentini, R., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Ulian, E. C., Souza, G. M. and Menossi, M. Expression profile of signal transduction components in a sugarcane population segregating for sugar content. Tropical Plant Biology. DOI 10.1007/s12042-009-9031-8
  16. Waclawovsky, A. J., Sato, P. M., Lembke, C. G., Moore, P. H and Souza, G. M. (2010). Sugarcane for Bioenergy Production: an assessment of yield and regulation of sucrose content. Plant Biotechnology Journal 8(3), 263.
  17. Souza, G. M., Berges, H., Bocs, S. S., Casu, R., D, Berg A., Ferreira, J. E., Henry, R., Ming, R., Potier, B., Van Sluys, M. A., Vincentz, M., Paterson, A. H. The Sugarcane Genome Challenge: Strategies for Sequencing a Highly Complex Genome. (2011). Tropical Plant Biology 4, 145.
  18. Dal-Bianco, Maximiller ; Carneiro, Monalisa Sampaio ; Hotta, Carlos Takeshi ; Chapola, Roberto Giacomini ; Hoffmann, Hermann Paulo ; Garcia, Antonio Augusto Franco ; SOUZA, GLAUCIA MENDES . Sugarcane improvement: how far can we go?. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, v. 23, p.256, 2011.
  19. Lembke, C. G., Nishiyama-Jr, M. Y., Sato, P. M., Andrade, R. F., Souza, G. M. Identification of sense and antisense transcripts regulated by drought in sugarcane. (2012). Plant Mol Biol. 79(4-5):461.
  20. Begcy, K., Mariano, E. D., Gentile, A., Lembke, C. G., Souza, G. M., Menossi, M. A novel stress-induced sugarcane gene confers tolerance to drought, salt and oxidative stress in transgenic tobacco plants (2012). PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044697
  21. Gentile, A., Ferreira, T. H., Mattos, R. S., Dias, L . I., Hoshino, A. A., Carneiro, M. S., Souza, G. M., Calsa Jr, T., Nogueira, R. M., Endres, L., Menossi, M. Effects of drought on the microtranscriptome of field-grown sugarcane plants (2013). Planta 237, 783-798
  22. Joly, C. A., Berlinck, R. G. S., Bolzani, V. S., Haddad, C. F. B., Oliveira, M. C., Van Sluys, M. A., Souza, G. M., Verdade, L. M., Victoria, R. L. (2012). Biota Neotropica 12, 19-21.
  23. DE SIQUEIRA FERREIRA, S.; NISHIYAMA, M.; PATERSON, A.H.; SOUZA, G. Biofuel and energy crops: high-yield Saccharinae take center stage in the post-genomics era. Genome Biology (London. Print), v. 14, p. 210, 2013.
  24. Garcia, A. A. F., Mollinari, M., Marconi, T. G., Serang, O. R., Silva, R. R., Vieira, M. L. C., Vicentini, R., Costa, E. A., Mancini, M. C., Garcia, M. O. S., Pastina, M. M., Gazaffi, R., Martins, E. F. R., Dahmer, N., Sforça, D. A., Silva, C. B. C., Bundock, P., Henry, R. J., Souza, G. M., van Sluys, M. A. (2013). SNP genotyping allows an in-depth characterisation of the genome of sugarcane and other complex autopolyploids. Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 3399 doi:10.1038/srep03399
  25. SETTA, N. MONTEIRO-VITORELLO, C. B. METCALFE, C. J. Cruz, Guilherme M. Q. Del Bem, Luiz EV Vicentini, Renato NOGUEIRA, F. T. CAMPOS, R. A. NUNES, S. L. TURRINI, P. C. VIEIRA, A. P. CRUZ, E. A. O. CORREA, T. C. Hotta, Carlos T. VARANI, A. M. VAUTRIN, S. TRINDADE, A. S. VILELA, M. M. Lembke, Carolina G Sato, Paloma M. ANDRADE, R. F. NISHIYAMA, MILTON SILVA, CLAUDIO B. C. SCORTECCI, K. C. GARCIA, ANTONIO A. F. , et al. ; Building the sugarcane genome for biotechnology and identifying evolutionary trends. BMC Genomics , v. 15, p. 540, 2014.
  26. Nishiyama, Milton Yutaka ; FERREIRA, SAVIO SIQUEIRA ; TANG, PEI-ZHONG ; BECKER, SCOTT ; PÖRTNER-TALIANA, ANTJE ; SOUZA, GLAUCIA MENDES . Full-Length Enriched cDNA Libraries and ORFeome Analysis of Sugarcane Hybrid and Ancestor Genotypes. Plos One , v. 9, p. e107351, 2014.
  27. DE SIQUEIRA FERREIRA, SAVIO ; NISHIYAMA, MILTON ; PATERSON, ANDREW H ; SOUZA, GLAUCIA . Biofuel and energy crops: high-yield Saccharinae take center stage in the post-genomics era. (London. Print) , v. 14, p. 210, 2013.