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Clonal strategies in subantartic and subtropical colonial ascidians

Grant number: 18/50017-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2019 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Cooperation agreement: Universidad de Magallanes
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Federico David Brown Almeida
Grantee:Federico David Brown Almeida
Principal investigator abroad: Juan Cañete
Institution abroad: Universidad de Magallanes, Punta Arenas (UMAG), Chile
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/50164-5 - Stem cells, regeneration, and the evolution of coloniality in ascidians, AP.JP


Ascidians possess closely related solitary and colonial species, providing an opportunity to employ a comparative approach to shed light on the evolutionary origins of budding and colonial life histories. It has been documented that colonial ascidians dominate in the tropics and subtropics, whereas in temperate systems, solitaries comprise the majority of the ascidian species. Recent studies carried by J. Canete and collaborators have recently shown that this biogeographic pattern does not hold for the subantarctic Magellanic region where colonials also dominate raising questions about the ecological and biological factors affecting the dominance/diversity of colonial forms in these two regions We are requesting support for two short visits of three researchers of the proposed Chilean- Brazilian consortium to carry pilot studies to (1) briefly document ascidian community assemblages in these two regions, (2) collect RNA for phylogenomic approaches to reconstruct evolutionary transitions between solitary and colonial groups with a focus in the Styelidae (a group currently studied by F. Brown in São Paulo), (3) briefly describe developmental processes of budding in live ascidians in the laboratory to document tissues and cells involved in asexual reproduction. The mission also contemplates participation of the partners in Congresses, and meetings other researchers at host institutions. The partners will organize courses/workshops as a form of recruitment of young and talented students for future collaborations. (AU)

Articles published in other media outlets (1 total):
Buscan profundizar el estudio de la biología evolutiva del desarrollo en ascidias