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Reproduction in velocitermes: development of genetic markers and microsatellite analysis

Grant number: 12/00794-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): October 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria Costa-Leonardo
Grantee:Juliana Toledo Lima
Supervisor abroad: Edward L. Vargo
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : North Carolina State University (NC State), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/01708-1 - Sexual and asexual reproduction in Velocitermes heteropterus (Isoptera: Termitidae): morphological and genetic studies, BP.PD


Asexual reproduction by parthenogenesis has been reported in some species of Isoptera, but recent studies focus on species of the genus Reticulitermes (family Rhinotermitidae) and there are few publications for other species of "lower termites". The genus Velocitermes belongs to the family Termitidae, which includes the "higher termites". Species of the genus Velocitermes are found in the Brazilian Cerrado, a biome which is experiencing rapid land use charge and habitat loss resulting from the expansion of agricultural monocultures. During the development of post-doctoral project (process # 2011/01708-1) male and female alates of Velocitermes cf. heteropterus were paired (male x female and female x female) to originate incipient colonies. Offspring resulted from both pairings, which demonstrates the occurrence of parthenogenesis in the species concerned. Therefore, the aim of this project is to compare the parthenogenetic and sexual reproduction in Velocitermes cf. heteropterus through genetic analysis, using microsatellite markers. This part of the research will be developed in the laboratory of Dr. Edward L. Vargo (North Carolina State University, USA). Dr. Vargo is an internationally renowned researcher and an expert in parthenogenesis of Isoptera. (AU)

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