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Molecular and phenotypic characterization of genera from the families Synechococcaceae and Chroococcaceae (cyanobacteria) of terrestrial habitats from Mata Atlântica, SP, Brazil

Grant number: 12/16430-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): February 28, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Taxonomy
Principal researcher:Célia Leite SantAnna
Grantee:Watson Arantes Gama Júnior
Home Institution: Instituto de Botânica. Secretaria do Meio Ambiente (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):16/09106-4 - Searching for ultraviolet protectors in terrestrial coccoid cyanobacteria from the Atlantic Rain Forest, SP, Brazil, BE.EP.DR


Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that have lived on terrestrial surface for approximately 3.5 billion years. They are found on distinct environments, from continental and marine waters to glaciers and thermal springs. Besides, they are widely distributed in terrestrial habitats, on surface of rocks, woods, soils and other substrates. Due to their wide distribution and photosynthetic capacity, cyanobacteria are important primary producers and also contribute circumstantially in the carbon, oxygen and nitrogen cycles. Furthermore, it is known that cyanobacteria, mainly those which live in adverse environments, as the terrestrial ones, are able to produce bioactive substances. In relation to taxonomy and systematic, for a long time these organisms were treated and identified as algae, being classified based on their morphological features. However, the confirmation of their bacteriological nature and the advance of scientific knowledge led us to modern cyanobacterial taxonomy, which is called polyphasic taxonomy. According to this new approach, morphology is just one of the criteria used, together with the ecological, physiological, ultrastructural, and mainly genetics features. Nevertheless, it is fundamental to combine the new information with all the previous knowledge, what is hard and time consuming. Trying to adopt this polyphasic approach, new systems of classification have emerged, but they are still incomplete due to the lack of information for most taxa already described, mainly those from terrestrial habitats of tropical/subtropical zones. The Atlantic Rainforest (Mata Atlântica - MA), more than a Biome which encompasses tropical and subtropical zones, it is home to a rich and large biodiversity of terrestrial cyanobacteria, including unicellular and colonial ones. Thus, this project aims to study and to characterize lineages of cyanobacteria of the families Chroococcaceae and Synechococcaceae from terrestrial habitats of the Atlantic Rainforest according to phenotypic and molecular criteria. The lineages will be analyzed morphologically by optical and transmission microscopes, the latter being used to observe the thylakoids arrangement. The strains will be also analyzed and compared based on 16S rRNA gene and ITS 16S-23S. The capacity of some lineages to produce bioactive compounds with diverse activity will be also investigated. Moreover, the composition of phycobiliproteins and the capacity of chromatic adaptation of some Aphanothece lineages will be studied aiming to investigate the relevance of these features to the taxonomy of this genus. (AU)

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Scientific publications (5)
(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)
GAMA, WATSON ARANTES; RIGONATO, JANAINA; FIORE, MARLI FATIMA; SANT'ANNA, CELIA LEITE. New insights into Chroococcus (Cyanobacteria) and two related genera: Cryptococcum gen. nov. and Inacoccus gen. nov.. European Journal of Phycology, v. 54, n. 3 APR 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.
SANT'ANNA, CELIA L.; GAMA, WATSON A.; RIGONATO, JANAINA; CORREA, GILSINEIA; MESQUITA, MARCELLA C. B.; MARINHO, MARCELO MANZI. Phylogenetic connection among close genera of Aphanizomenonaceae (Cyanobacteria): Amphiheterocytum gen. nov., Cylindrospermopsis and Sphaerospermopsis. ALGAL RESEARCH-BIOMASS BIOFUELS AND BIOPRODUCTS, v. 37, p. 205-214, JAN 2019. Web of Science Citations: 1.
CÉLIA L. SANT'ANNA; WATSON A. GAMA; THAIS G. SILVA; ARMANDO A.H. VIEIRA. A new species of Trichodesmium (Cyanobacteria) from freshwaters, Brazil. Rodriguésia, v. 69, n. 4, p. -, Dez. 2018.
RIGONATO, JANAINA; GAMA, WATSON ARANTES; ALVARENGA, DANILLO OLIVEIRA; ZANINI BRANCO, LUIS HENRIQUE; BRANDINI, FREDERICO PEREIRA; GENUARIO, DIEGO BONALDO; FIORE, MARLI FATIMA. Aliterella atlantica gen. nov., sp nov., and Aliterella antarctica sp nov., novel members of coccoid Cyanobacteria. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROBIOLOGY, v. 66, n. 8, p. 2853-2861, AUG 2016. Web of Science Citations: 12.
GAMA, JR., WATSON ARANTES; LAUGHINGHOUSE, HAYWOOD DAIL; ST ANNA, CELIA LEITE. How diverse are coccoid cyanobacteria? A case study of terrestrial habitats from the Atlantic Rainforest (Sao Paulo, Brazil). PHYTOTAXA, v. 178, n. 2, p. 61-97, SEP 12 2014. Web of Science Citations: 13.

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