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Bioluminescent beetles from the Atlantic Rain Forest, Cerrado and transition to Amazon Forest: biodiversity, molecular evolution and phylogeny, and use as bioindicators

Grant number: 11/19427-9
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2012 - December 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biology
Principal researcher:Vadim Viviani
Grantee:Vadim Viviani
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias para a Sustentabilidade (CCTS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Simone Policena Rosa

Abstract

Brazil retains the largest diversity of bioluminescent beetles in the globe, with about 25% of the described species and likely a much larger number of still non-described ones. Besides being important models for scientific studies and biotechnological applications, providing bioanalytical reagents and reporter genes, this biodiversity has large potential of being used as bioindicators, especially as indicators of light pollution in nocturnal environments and as indicators of natural water courses environment quality, as in the case of Japanese species of fireflies. Previously, we investigated the diversity of fireflies in the Atlantic rain forest in São Paulo state. These studies revealed more than 50 species of the families Lampyridae, Elateridae, Phengodidae and Staphylinidae, and that the Atlantic Rain forest fauna of the sea shore is differentiated from that found in inner São Paulo state. We also compared the diversity in and near urban areas with more preserved areas, showing that most species are negatively affected near urban areas, and revealing some species that could be used as potential indicators, especially of light pollution. However, other ecosystems remain mostly uninvestigated, among them the Amazon forest, which constitutes the richest and less studied ecosystem, lacking more detailed studies about bioluminescent beetles. The transition between Cerrado (savannas) and Amazon forest along the Araguaia's river basin near Bananal Island in the states of Tocantins, Mato Grosso and Southern Pará constitute especially rich areas, but severely threatened by agricultural expansion (mainly soy monoculture) and cattle. Therefore, in this project, besides continuing the studies of the Atlantic rain forest, we aim to investigate the diversity of bioluminescent beetles in the ecosystem of transition between Cerrado and Southern Amazon forest, to investigate their bioluminescence under the ecological, molecular evolution and anatomic aspects, and to investigate the potential use of luminescent beetles as bioindicators, especially for light pollution. Besides the scientific purposes, we also plan to help to set new research groups working on bioluminescence in these areas. (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)
AMARAL, DANILO T.; MITANI, YASUO; OLIVEIRA, GABRIELA; OHMIYA, YOSHIHIRO; VIVIANI, VADIM R.. Revisiting Coleoptera a plus T-rich region: structural conservation, phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches in mitochondrial control region of bioluminescent Elateridae species (Coleoptera). MITOCHONDRIAL DNA PART A, v. 28, n. 4-5, p. 671-680, . (13/00574-7, 14/20176-9, 11/19427-9, 13/09594-0, 10/02868-0)
AMARAL, DANILO T.; MITANI, YASUO; OHMIYA, YOSHIHIRO; VIVIANI, VADIM R.. Organization and comparative analysis of the mitochondrial genomes of bioluminescent Elateroidea (Coleoptera: Polyphaga). Gene, v. 586, n. 2, p. 254-262, . (11/19427-9, 13/09594-0, 13/00574-7)

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