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Recovering, modernizing and expanding the collection of herpetology at Butantan Institute through integrative studies on systematics and evolution of neotropical snakes

Grant number: 22/12660-4
Support Opportunities:BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Young Investigators Grants
Duration: April 01, 2023 - March 31, 2028
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Felipe Gobbi Grazziotin
Grantee:Felipe Gobbi Grazziotin
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Adrian Antonio Garda ; Ana Lúcia da Costa Prudente ; Ana Maria Moura da Silva ; Andrew James Mason ; Carlos Alberto Gonçalves Silva Jared ; Christian David Salazar Valenzuela ; Christopher Laird Parkinson ; Darin Rokyta ; Harold Lisle Gibbs ; Inácio de Loiola Meirelles Junqueira de Azevedo ; Márcio Borges Martins ; Marta Maria Antoniazzi ; Miguel Trefaut Urbano Rodrigues ; Pablo Javier Venegas Ibañez ; Paola Andrea Carrasco ; Paulo Gustavo Homem Passos ; Pedro Gabriel Nachtigall ; Ricardo Jannini Sawaya ; Taran Grant ; Wilmar Bolivar Garcia
Associated scholarship(s):23/12640-6 - Fieldwork assistance for specimen, venom, and gland collection, curation of the specimen collection, tissues, venoms, and glands (first phase)., BP.TT
23/07927-4 - Fieldwork assistance for specimen, venom, and gland collection, curation of the specimen collection, tissues, venoms, and glands (first phase)., BP.TT


The scientific collections represent the institutions responsible for documenting, preserve and improve the knowledge about the world's biodiversity. Such knowledge is decisive for the development of science and societies, especially in times of environmental or health crises. The state of São Paulo, through the Butantan Institute, has one of the main collections of snakes in the world. In 2010, a major fire destroyed more than 80% of the Institute's Herpetological Collection. This proposal contemplates two distinct aspects: 1) recover, increase, and promote the use of biological collections; and 2) characterize patterns and processes that shape the biodiversity. Considering the first aspect, this proposal has three main objectives: 1) to restore, modernize and expand the Herpetological Collection of Instituto Butantan; 2) develop my research group at the Butantan Institute; and 3) make available and facilitate the access to information contained in the Herpetological Collection. For this, we will recover and modernize the access to the material of the collection through the sequencing of the type specimens (museomics) for all species of the genera Bothrops and Bothrocophias. We will also perform high-quality, high-contrast 3D imaging (micro-CT) of the same material. In parallel, we will expand the zoological collections through the field work expeditions targeting all type localities throughout South America, using a network of collaborators. Considering the second aspect, this proposal seeks to achieve two distinct and complementary goals: 1) perform integrative studies on systematics, biogeography and complex phenotypes (morphology and venom) of neotropical snakes, with emphasis on the genera Bothrops and Bothrocophias; and 2) to evaluate the processes of speciation and phenotypic evolution of species of Squamata present in the islands and on the coast of the state of São Paulo. For this, we will evaluate genomes, transcriptomics of venom gland and the morphological variation among insular species of the Bothrops, aiming the estimation of the effects of demography and natural selection in the generation of the genetic variability. We will also compare the evolutionary patterns and processes of these snakes with those present in other island squamata in the state of São Paulo. We will also evaluate the co-evolution between predators and prey through the study of venom and venom resistance in centipedes and insular snakes. Finally, we will describe the variability of Bothrops jararaca venom throughout its distribution through the evaluation of the transcriptome of venom glands and we will compare, through enzymatic assays, the biological activity of the venoms of all species of the Bothrops jararaca complex. (AU)

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