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Interdisciplinary studies on epiphytic cacti from Brazilian Atlantic Forest: floral morphology and the chemical profile


The Brazil is one of the countries with the largest biodiversity of the world, exhibiting about 20-22% of all species of known plants. Despite the Brazil own a huge biodiversity, its knowledge still is much limited. Thus, it is fundamental the interaction among the research groups to move toward new knowledges, to proceed to the sustainable use of the biodiversity, and to provide a base for the development of new products, as well. The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the most critical areas for conservation of the biodiversity on the world. The cactus family have about 1,430 species and 120 genera, divided into five subfamilies: Pereskioideae, Leuenbergioideae, Maihuenioideae, Opuntioideae, and Cactoideae. Although most of the cacti are adapted to terrestrial and dried environments, about 10% of its diversity include epiphytes and semi-epiphytes lineages that live at the canopy of trees in neotropical forests, that belong to Hylocereeae and Rhipsalideae tribes. The complexity and wide diversity of shapes and habits in the Cactaceae, and particularly in the Cactoideae subfamily, have complicated the establishment of a consensus on their classification. In which there still are several knowledge gaps about this group of plants. Thus, this proposal aims to investigate the floral morpho-anatomy of the floral structures, as well as the chemical profile of the epiphytic cacti from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in order to elucidate: 1) Does the structure of the floral whorls (perianth, androecium, and gynoecium) have unique characteristics at generic level? Does the functionality of the floral whorls, concerning to the reproductive biology, have patterns of taxonomic significance for the studied groups? 3) Does the chemical profile reflect the taxonomic identity of the species, or it is more associated to the environment patterns? In addition, we also intend to contribute to the development of new methods of quali- and quantitative analysis of the plant's extracts; to graduate human resources (undergrad and grad students), through projects involving the structural knowledge of the reproductive organs, and the chemical profile of this group of plants. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RECH, ANDRE RODRIGO; ACHKAR, MARINA TEIXEIRA; JORGE, LEONARDO RE; ARMBRUSTER, W. SCOTT; ALMEIDA, ODAIR J. G. The functional roles of 3D heterostyly and floral visitors in the reproductive biology of Turnera subulata (Turneroideae: Passifloraceae). FLORA, v. 264, MAR 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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