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Diversity of crustose coralline algae (CCA) along the Brazilian Coast based on molecular markers and alpha taxonomy

Grant number: 14/13386-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Taxonomy
Principal Investigator:Mariana Cabral de Oliveira
Grantee:Talita Vieira Pinto
Supervisor: Suzanne Fredericq
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/05076-2 - Taxonomy and phylogeny of the Sporolithales from Brazil, BP.DR


Crustose (or nongeniculate) coralline algae (CCA) are characterized by a rigid stony thallus due to the calcium carbonate deposited in their cell walls. Their morphology can vary greatly and exhibit a high incidence of phenotypic plasticity, along with the occurrence of cryptic species. Considering the importance of CCA and its difficult taxonomy, and in order to gain a better understanding of biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, climate change and ecological modeling, taxonomic investigations on the CCA are essential and urgently needed to assess a variety of anthropogenic changes that we are facing nowadays. Therefore, this research project aim to use a molecular approach coupled with alpha taxonomy, to better understand distribution patterns and phylogenetic relationships between species of CCA. We propose to address specific targets to achieve this main aim, such as: sequencing the rbcL (suitable for both phylogenetic reconstruction and DNA barcoding), generate multi gene matrices to compare specimens from Brazil to the Gulf of Mexico specimens, and generate Scanning Electron Microcope (SEM) images to illuminate comparative cytological attributes. We also aim to compare our data to some type herbarium specimens in order to corroborate species identifications. Finally, based on these data we expect to elucidate the diversity of CCA species along the entire Brazilian coast. (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)
RICHARDS, JOSEPH L.; VIEIRA-PINTO, TALITA; SCHMIDT, WILLIAM E.; SAUVAGE, THOMAS; GABRIELSON, PAUL W.; OLIVEIRA, MARIANA C.; FREDERICQ, SUZANNE. Molecular and Morphological Diversity of Lithothamnion spp. (Hapalidiales, Rhodophyta) from Deepwater Rhodolith Beds in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico. PHYTOTAXA, v. 278, n. 2, p. 81-114, . (14/13386-7, 12/05076-2)

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