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Variation in sequestered chemical defenses in red belly toads (Melanophryniscus, Bufonidae)

Grant number: 14/15730-7
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: September 15, 2014 - October 05, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Taran Grant
Grantee:Taran Grant
Visiting researcher: Ralph Saporito
Visiting researcher institution: John Carroll University (JCU), United States
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:12/10000-5 - A multi-disciplinary approach to the study of amphibian diversification, AP.JP


Chemical defenses are widespread among animals and represent complex adaptations for avoiding predation, microbes, and/or parasites. Animals generally synthesize chemical defenses, although some species acquire defenses from external sources such as symbionts or dietary sources. Sequestration from diet involves the uptake, accumulation, and storage of defensive chemicals (or chemical precursors) that were originally present in other organisms. Animals that sequester defensive chemicals are typically dependent on specific dietary sources, which can result in complex ecological interactions and unique evolutionary relationships. The chemical properties and biological occurrence of defensive chemicals that mediate these trophic interactions among organisms are fundamental to understanding these complex defensive adaptations. Among amphibians, poison frogs of the families Bufonidae, Dendrobatidae, Eleutherodactylidae, Mantellidae, and Myobatrachidae sequester lipophilic alkaloids from dietary arthropods. Dr. Ralph Saporito has been studying the chemical ecology of poison frogs for over a decade, having published numerous research papers on the chemistry of frog and arthropod alkaloids, diet of frogs, the use of alkaloids as a defense against predators. Through our collaborative research over the past several years, we have accumulated a large amount of data on sequestered chemical defenses in several species of red belly toads (Melanophryniscus, Bufonidae). During Dr. Saporito's visit, we will complete the chemical and statistical analyses of these data and prepare manuscripts reporting our results for publication. (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)
JECKEL, ADRIANA M.; GRANT, TARAN; SAPORITO, RALPH A.. Sequestered and Synthesized Chemical Defenses in the Poison Frog Melanophryniscus moreirae. Journal of Chemical Ecology, v. 41, n. 5, p. 505-512, . (13/23715-5, 12/10000-5, 13/14061-1, 14/15730-7)
JECKEL, ADRIANA M.; SAPORITO, RALPH A.; GRANT, TARAN. The relationship between poison frog chemical defenses and age, body size, and sex. Frontiers in Zoology, v. 12, . (13/23715-5, 12/10000-5, 13/14061-1, 14/15730-7)

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