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Development of next generation molecular techniques for identification and monitoring of fish species from egg and larval DNA

Grant number: 19/09089-0
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: May 01, 2020 - June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal researcher:Lara Endres da Silva
Grantee:Lara Endres da Silva
Company:Ecomol Consultoria e Projetos Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: Amparo
Assoc. researchers:Alexandre Wagner Silva Hilsdorf ; Renata Alonso Miotto
Associated scholarship(s):20/07031-2 - Development of next generation molecular techniques for identification and monitoring of fish species from egg and larval DNA, BP.PIPE

Abstract

The construction and operation of hydroelectric dams drastically alters the physiological and biological characteristics of river flows, influencing permanently the composition of fish communities and its reproductive cycles, since it affects the spawning, migratory flow, biotopes connection and micro basins upstream the dam, and the ichthyoplankton formation itself in their influenced areas. The identification and monitoring of fish eggs and larvae in these areas is, therefore, primordial for negative impacts mitigation, allowing the recognition of key regions for management and development of certain species and favoring the conscious exploitation of hydric resources of a basin. However, the identification of eggs and larval stages is extremely challenger, which makes the molecular analyze of barcode sequences obtained directly from ichthyoplankton collection an advantageous alternative for its identification. In this proposal, EcoMol Consultoria e Projetos, a micro company specialized in services based on next generation molecular tools, intends to optimize and validate the DNA metabarcoding technique for fish eggs and larvae identification, enabling its commercial application on recognition and monitoring of ichthyofauna in the areas of influence of hydroelectric dams of the country. Based on results from a previous study realized by the company, here we intend to overcome four great technical challenges related to DNA extraction, Next-Generation sequencing platform and results analysis, improving the quality of generated data and reducing associated costs. Brazil's environmental legislation related to implantation and execution of projects of hydroelectric sector demands studies of recognition and monitoring of ichthyofauna present in its influence areas. Such studies must be realized before, during and after the implantation of the dams, acting many times as conditioner of licensing stages for obtainment of Previous License, Installation License and Operation License. Considering the high number of hydroelectric power plants in operation in Amazon basin (191) and those which still will be built until the year of 2030 (246), we hope a great demand of studies for ichthyoplankton identification in the regions affected by these dams. However, it is not of our knowledge the existence of scientific publications related to this theme or to the technique itself in Brazil, as well as the existence of competitor companies which provide similar services, which makes it obvious an area with potential still unexplored and which turns our product/service extremely innovator, in a context of great necessity of robust and comparable data, and lack of technological development in the sector. (AU)

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