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Effects altitudinal and geographic variability in the population genetics of orchid bees (Apidae, Euglossini) of the State of São Paulo

Grant number: 13/02158-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2013
Effective date (End): April 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Tiago Mauricio Francoy
Grantee:Claudinéia Pereira Costa
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/07857-9 - Populational characterization of orchid bees (Apidae, Euglossini) from São Paulo State using geometric morphometrics of wings, mitochondrial DNA variability and cuticular hydrocarbons, AP.BTA.JP
Associated scholarship(s):16/05904-3 - Altitudinal and geographic effects on the genetic variability of populations of Euglossa cordata (Apidae, Euglossini) in the Northeastern State of São Paulo, BE.EP.DR


One of the most serious global problems is the decline of pollinator populations, so that various efforts are being made to monitor the biodiversity of bees, their conservation and sustainable use. Among the pollinators, bees are primarily responsible for the service of pollination of crops and maintenance of native ecosystems. However, several factors have contributed to the decrease in their diversity, including habitat loss, caused, among other factors, by the intensification of agriculture. Given the current status of the taxonomic impediment, a key area is the development and application of tools that allow us to access the intra and inter-specific alternative ways to traditional taxonomy. Molecular biology has allowed the development of methods in this area, including mitochondrial DNA by sequencing of regions to check the variability of haplotypes and evolutionary history of groups, essential data for defining conservation strategies, and microsatellites, which are essential for assessment of gene flow between wild populations. Beyond molecular biology, the use of computational tools for recognition of bee species using standards venation of the wings and geometric morphometrics has been of great importance for population studies. Recent data show the effectiveness of the technique for discrimination of species, and the variability of groups and recognition of individuals collected in different regions, enabling the tracking of the geographic origin of the species. Thus, this project aims to implement the aforementioned techniques in bee populations tribe Euglossini collected in different localities of the state of São Paulo in order to evaluate the variability of the population groups studied, discerning understanding of their evolutionary history, historical patterns and geographical and ecological effects that led to the current distribution of the genetic variability of the groups studied.

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)
MACHADO, C. A. S.; COSTA, C. P.; FRANCOY, T. M. Different Physiognomies and the Structure of Euglossini Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Communities. Sociobiology, v. 65, n. 3, p. 471-481, SEP 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.
COSTA, C. P.; FRANCOY, T. M. The Impact of Different Phytophysiognomies on the Composition of Orchid Bee Communities (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Euglossini) in the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, v. 110, n. 3, p. 255-262, MAY 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.

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