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The history of the Caatinga: exploring phylogeographic patterns and evolutionary processes in three amphibians with next-generation sequencing data

Grant number: 13/09088-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): August 15, 2013
Effective date (End): December 14, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal researcher:Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad
Grantee:Maria Tereza Chiarioni Thomé
Supervisor abroad: Bryan Charles Carstens
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: Ohio State University, Columbus, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:11/51392-0 - History of Caatinga: comparative phylogeography of amphibians facing a xeric biome, BP.PD


The Caatinga is the least studied and protected biome in Brazil. Its most striking feature is the water deficit caused by long and intense dry seasons, for which the biota is highly adapted. Despite this general condition of dryness, abiotic factors vary regionally and associations between environmental conditions and distribution patterns of diversity suggest historic relationships and a role in diversification. Information on the history of the biome are scarce and local, but suggest interactions with adjacent biomes related to past climate changes. Paleoindicators indicate partial replacement of the Caatinga by rain forests in the Pleistocene, while niche palaeomodeling supports a fairly stable Caatinga for the same period. By gathering the available information, along with insights from a phylogeographic study we conducted with microsatellite markers and one endemic frog, we were able to better formulate alternative biogeographical scenarios, but we still lack a proper dataset to reliably evaluate the different diversification hypotheses. In this project we propose to collect and process a large number of markers for the three amphibian species targeted in the original project, using Restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) in the Carstens laboratory, Ohio State University, United States. We expect to obtain ~1000 loci per species based in previous experience with the use of this sequencing technology. To deal with this amount of data we'll explore a new model-based approach to fit population genetic models using a diffusion approximation to the joint frequency allele spectrum (dadi). This model-based approach will enable us to test or rank the designed biogeographic scenarios. (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)
THOME, MARIA TEREZA C.; CARSTENS, BRYAN C.. Phylogeographic model selection leads to insight into the evolutionary history of four-eyed frogs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 113, n. 29, p. 8010-8017, . (11/51392-0, 13/09088-8)
THOME, MARIA TEREZA C.; CARSTENS, BRYAN C.; RODRIGUES, MIGUEL T.; ALEXANDRINO, JOAO; HADDAD, CELIO F. B.. Genomic data from the Brazilian sibilator frog reveal contrasting pleistocene dynamics and regionalism in two South American dry biomes. Journal of Biogeography, v. 48, n. 5, . (13/09088-8, 11/50146-6, 11/51392-0, 18/03428-5, 13/50741-7)

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