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Divergence of population and phylogeography Cereus bicolor (Cactaceae Family; Cereeae Tribe)

Grant number: 14/08471-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal researcher:Fernando de Faria Franco
Grantee:Bianca Araci de Figueiredo
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Humanas e Biológicas (CCHB). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil


The association of gene genealogies and geographical information corresponds to phylogeography. This type of study is essential for understanding the recent demographic and biogeographic history of the biological model of interest. Phylogeographic data has contributed to the understanding of the role of paleoclimate Quaternary and Tertiary orogenic events in the diversification of neotropical groups. Cereus bicolor is a cactus species that has a fragmented distribuition and is associated with rocky outcrops at the Brazilian Midwest; special characteristics which enable the population diversity over time. Although the genus Cereus submit three subgenera occurring in Brazil (Ebneria, Mirabella and Cereus), little information exists about its diversity in the western region of the country. The areas of occurrence in sympatric and parapatria of closer species and morphological similarity cause taxonomic confusion within the genus. Considering the intraspecific level, further studies are scarce. The goal of this project is to conduce a phylogeographic study C. bicolor in order to contribute to the understanding of the evolutionary history of this species. Using three plastid DNA segments (intergenic spacer psbJ-petA trnQ 5'rps16 and rpl16 intron) and two nuclear loci (gene Phyc and nhx1) based on recent studies that were successful in the search for genetic variability in strains sisters of C. bicolor. To be associated with xeric vegetation, C. bicolor is a potentially informative model to contribute to the debate about the influence of dry periods of the Pleistocene demographic dynamics and diversification of neotropical groups.

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