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Genetic diversity and interaction structure of insects and plants

Grant number: 16/24821-1
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2017 - October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Theoretical Ecology
Principal researcher:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Grantee:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Gilberto Corso ; Karina Lucas da Silva-Brandão ; Leonardo Ré Jorge


This proposal comprises two subprojects. Subproject 1, "Trophic specialization and genetic diversity of phytophagous insects", aims at evaluating how the genetic diversity of herbivorous insects is influenced by their trophic specialization and geographic extent. Microsatellite markers will be used to amplify specific regions of the herbivores' DNA, which will be used to compute measures of genetic diversity and gene flow for the studied populations. We intend to estimate the relative contribution of host plant breadth and geographical distribution in determining the genetic structure of specialist and generalist herbivorous insects. We will also investigate local genetic differentiation of conspecific herbivores that use different host plants. In subproject 2, "Trophic specialization, interaction diversity and community organization", we will construct a general theoretical framework for interaction diversity, formalized as a model of generalized entropy. The unifying concept for this framework is specialization, taken to encompass biotic interactions as well as their spatial differentiation. We will develop specific models to investigate potential determinants of trophic specialization, especially phylogenetic range of host species on their consumers. A further model will serve to evaluate the congruence of geographic turnover (beta diversity) among functionally coupled species assemblages, and the phylogenetic or spatial determinants of this congruence. The effectiveness of a generalized entropy model for interaction diversity and its practical applicability will be assessed with large data sets on plant-herbivore interactions, starting with the data base on phytophagous insects associated with Astraea flower heads, amassed by our research group in preceding studies over several decades. (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)
OLIVEIRA LEAL, CAMILA RABELO; DE SOUZA, ANETE PEREIRA; SILVA-BRANDAO, KARINA LUCAS; LEWINSOHN, THOMAS MICHAEL. Host specialization, genetic variability, and differentiation in three species of Tomoplagia from Brazilian rupestrian grasslands. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, NOV 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
LEAL, CAMILA RABELO OLIVEIRA; JORGE, LEONARDO RE; DE SOUZA, ANETE PEREIRA; LEWINSOHN, THOMAS MICHAEL; SILVA-BRANDAO, KARINA LUCAS. Characterization of microsatellite loci for three species of Tomoplagia (Diptera: Tephritidae) and absence of cross-species amplification. APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY AND ZOOLOGY, v. 56, n. 1, p. 125-132, FEB 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CORSO, GILBERTO; FERREIRA, GABRIEL M. F.; LEWINSOHN, THOMAS M. Mutual Information as a General Measure of Structure in Interaction Networks. Entropy, v. 22, n. 5 MAY 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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