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Sabbatical period in hydraulic architecture and ultrastructure of vascular plants with emphasis in the host-parasite relationship

Grant number: 15/06750-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Plant Morphology
Principal Investigator:Gregório Cardoso Tápias Ceccantini
Grantee:Gregório Cardoso Tápias Ceccantini
Host Investigator: Noel Michele Holbrook
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, Cambridge, United States  


The following project is a scholarship application for a sabbatical year abroad, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America. The work will be supervised by Dr. Noel Michele Holbrook at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, specifically at the Holbrook Laboratory. In addition, I intent to visit the Forest Products Laboratory, in Madison, Wisconsin, in order to analyze the world's bigger wood collection (MADw). At MADw I plan to investigate the anatomical slides of Santalales, especially those regarding species of the Old World, which are underrepresented in Brazilian collections. The visits should take place in multiple steps and will be supervised by Dr. Alex Wiedenhoeft. This part of the work articulates with the research project entitled "Functional Wood Anatomy and Hydraulic Architecture of the Relationship between Hemiarasitic Plants and their Hosts" (FAPESP funding nº 2012/22.833-1), aiming on improving and enlarging the scope of the project. As a means to exhibit a panorama of the abovementioned project, the introduction of this project is also compiled here. Conducting a sabbatical year will enrich the current project funded by FAPESP in various ways: improvement on measuring conditions of hydraulic variables and parameters, given that the Holbrook Laboratory has a history of precise measurements; conceptual deepening, once Dr. Holbrook is the author of important ideas on the water flux inside the xylem and phloem (173 publications); and the expansion of the scope, as I aim to obtain the necessary knowledge in order to include aspects of ionic measurements on the current work, as well as direct observations of embolism formations on xylem vessels using technics of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Microtomography. Beyond that, I intent to learn technics of scanning electron microscopy using cryofixation (Cryo-SEM), which allows images of the cell's ultrastructure with a superior resolution compared to the imagines generated when using chemical fixation methods. Besides this research proposal, this project will also provide me the opportunity of experiencing the research and teaching conditions at Harvard University, claimed as one most important universities in the world. I also intent to use this interruption of my activities at the University of São Paulo to conclude half-written works, as will be concentrated and absent from teaching and administrative matters of everyday life. Finally, my absence for this sabbatical year was also agreed among the professors of Plant Anatomy disciplines. During the period from July 2014 to July 2015, I took the teaching load of Dr. Gladys Flavia Melo Pinna, who was doing an internship in Paris, at the National Museum of Natural History. Therefore, there is the opportunity for me to be absent from the Department of Botany of USP, since Dr. Gladys will replace me next year. (AU)

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