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Collecting, maintaining and preserving specimens of miniature fishes and obtaining ontogenetic series of fishes: the importance of these steps for ensuring successful results in studies of the process of miniaturization

Grant number: 11/13735-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: October 23, 2011 - November 04, 2011
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Mônica de Toledo-Piza Ragazzo
Grantee:Mônica de Toledo-Piza Ragazzo
Visiting researcher: Ralf Gerhard Britz
Visiting researcher institution: Natural History Museum, London, England
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Miniature species possess several paedomorphic features that complicate the proposition of hypotheses of homology and consequently of phylogenetic relationships. In an attempt to solve this problem, some authors have proposed an approach in which the anatomy of the miniature species is compared with ontogenetic series of closely related non-miniature species, with the objective to determine events of heterochrony involved in its evolution. This approach is yet to be employed in systematic studies of Neotropical miniature fishes of the order Characiformes. An osteological study of the miniature fish Priocharax (Characiforems: Characidae) is currently being undertaken as an international collaboration by Mônica de Toledo-Piza Ragazzo, George Mendes Taliaferro Mattox (Instituto de Biociências - USP) and Dr. Ralf Britz (Natural History Museum, London), with the objective to study anatomical (osteological) features of Priocharax using an ontogenetic approach within the family Characidae. A scientific expedition to Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, AM, Brazil is being planned as part of an effort to collect additional specimens of Priocharax and related taxa to complete this study. In this context, the participation of Dr. Ralf Britz, with his vast experience in collecting and maintaining miniature fishes and his broad knowledge in systematics and ontogeny of fishes will be extremely important to the success of the expedition and all the activities proposed in this collaborative project. The present proposal aims to obtain funds to cover travel and living expenses for Dr. Ralf Britz during a visit to Brazil in the period of 23/10 to 04/11/2011 in order to strengthen the collaboration between our two institutions. During his visit Dr. Ralf Britz will also make a presentation of his current research projects for students and researchers, at IBUSP and will meet with the students currently developing projects at the Ichthyology Lab of Departamento de Zoologia at IBUSP. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(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)
MATTOX, GEORGE M. T.; BRITZ, RALF; TOLEDO-PIZA, MONICA. Osteology of Priocharax and Remarkable Developmental Truncation in a Miniature Amazonian Fish (Teleostei: Characiformes: Characidae). Journal of Morphology, v. 277, n. 1, p. 65-85, . (11/50282-7, 11/13735-3, 12/01075-1)
MATTOX, GEORGE M. T.; BRITZ, RALF; TOLEDO-PIZA, MONICA; MARINHO, MANOELA M. F.. Cyanogaster noctivaga, a remarkable new genus and species of miniature fish from the Rio Negro, Amazon basin (Ostariophysi: Characidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, v. 23, n. 4, p. 297-318, . (09/15075-0, 11/13735-3, 12/01075-1, 12/00063-0)

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