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Bioluminescence in marine worms (Annelida): molecular pathways and evolution

Grant number: 18/22304-5
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2019 - August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biophysics - Radiology and Photobiology
Cooperation agreement: Texas A&M University
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Anderson Garbuglio de Oliveira
Grantee:Anderson Garbuglio de Oliveira
Principal investigator abroad: Anja Schulze
Institution abroad: Texas A&M University, United States
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/26279-2 - Studies of Chaetopterus variopedatus bioluminescence and new marine luminous systems, AP.R


Bioluminescence is a widespread phenomenon among many organisms, including bacteria, animals and fungi and constitutes an elegant model for the most diverse multidisciplinary investigations and technological applications. However, for most organisms the underlying biochemical reactions of bioluminescence, their genetic basies and their ecological significance remain largely unknown. In this collaborative project, we will explore the genetic basis and evolution of bioluminescence in the invertebrate phylum Annelida, specifically in the marine representatives commonly known as polychaetes. This project will enhance the currently funded FAPESP project (#2017/26279-2 "Studies of Chaetopterus variopedatus bioluminescence and new marine luminous systems") of the Brazilian PI, Dr. Anderson Garbuglio de Oliveira. Specific aims are to 1. Characterize genes involved in bioluminescence from publicly available transcriptome datasets of marine annelids; 2. Perform bioluminescence assays on tissues of selected annelid species; 3. Produce at least one co-authored publication in a peer-reviewed journal based on our findings; 4. Build a sustained collaboration between the two labs at Texas A&M University Galveston Campus and University of Sao Paulo to pursue future grant opportunities. The exchange program will consist of 10 to 12-day reciprocal visits by the PIs and a graduate student to the respective partner institution. During the visit, the PIs will present seminars and workshops to enhance interdisciplinary interaction. (AU)