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Molecular profile and taxonomic diversity of cyanobacterial assemblages in biological soil crusts from Brazilian Savanna areas


Biological crusts (BCs) are complex communities that can be composed by cyanobacteria, green algae, fungi, bacteria, lichens and mosses and are usually found on soils from distinct habitats, mainly in more arid regions. The BC's roles are widely recognized and considered important in aspects as soil stabilization, water infiltration and nutrient transfer (especially, carbon and nitrogen). Cyanobacteria stand out among the other components due to the high frequency of occurrence and their importance in ecological processes. In Brazil, savanna (cerrado) habitats favor the development of BCs, where they can be easily and abundantly found. However, there are practically no studies on these communities in Brazilian territory. The presented project has as main objective to initiate studies of BCs by the survey of one of their most relevant components, the cyanobacteria, in terms of molecular profile of assemblages (genomic library) and taxonomic studies of the species found. The expected results will allow the comparison of the biota from different environments studied and the characterization of environmental parameters of occurrence of species and assemblages. Field works will be conducted in the Serra da Canastra and Serra do Cipó National Parks, both located in Minas Gerais State, and an third area (a State Park) in São Paulo State, still to be defined after field visit. The cyanobacterial assemblages found will be characterized by the construction of genomic libraries, which will allow the recognition of the molecular profile of each group and the comparison among assemblages from different geographic regions and environmental conditions. The specimens studied for taxonomy will be obtained directly from nature and from artificial cultivation. In both cases, the organisms will be identified applying traditional taxonomic criteria (mainly morphology and metrics) and, in case of organisms of interest, also by using molecular methods (16S rRNA). The research team is qualified and includes experts in the different approaches of the project. The proposal is considered relevant considering it addresses a subject of interest of biodiversity knowledge, as well as it focuses a key component of the biota and of the ecology of biomes like savanna. In addition to the specific products expected (scientific articles, monographs, thesis and training of qualified personnel), the establishment of this research line is considered as one of the core strengths of the proposal, which can settle the basis for complementary and more advanced approaches. (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)
MARTINS, MARIELLEN DORNELLES; MACHADO-DE-LIMA, NATHALI MARIA; ZANINI BRANCO, LUIS HENRIQUE. Polyphasic approach using multilocus analyses supports the establishment of the new aerophytic cyanobacterial genus Pycnacronema (Coleofasciculaceae, Oscillatoriales). JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, v. 55, n. 1, p. 146-159, . (10/09686-4, 12/19468-0, 13/08207-3)
BUCH, BRUNA; MARTINS, MARIELLEN DORNELLES; BRANCO, LUIS HENRIQUE Z.. A widespread cyanobacterium supported by polyphasic approach: proposition of Koinonema pervagatum gen. & sp nov (Oscillatoriales). JOURNAL OF PHYCOLOGY, v. 53, n. 5, p. 1097-1105, . (10/09686-4, 12/19468-0, 14/08200-1, 13/08207-3)
MARTINS, MARIELLEN DORNELLES; ZANINI BRANCO, LUIS HENRIQUE. Potamolinea gen. nov (Oscillatoriales, Cyanobacteria): a phylogenetically and ecologically coherent cyanobacterial genus. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROBIOLOGY, v. 66, n. 9, p. 3632-3641, . (13/08207-3, 12/19468-0, 10/09686-4)
LEMES-DA-SILVA, NADIA M.; GAREY, MICHEL V.; BRANCO, LUIS H. Z.. Floristic diversity, richness and distribution of Trentepohliales (Chlorophyta) in Neotropical ecosystems. BRAZILIAN JOURNAL OF BOTANY, v. 40, n. 4, p. 883-896, . (09/03587-7, 08/10740-3, 12/19468-0)

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