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Trophic specialization and genetic structure in phytophagous insects

Grant number: 15/10236-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2015
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Thomas Michael Lewinsohn
Grantee:Camila Rabelo Oliveira Leal
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Ecological specialization is a key promoter of speciation. Specialization influences genetic diversity, and hence contributes to the organization and differentiation of terrestrial communities. The investigation of how the ecological specialization of phytophagous insects shape their genetic diversity within and among host plants along their geographic range contributes to elucidate one of the mechanisms that originated more than half of global diversity. The aim of this project is to investigate the structure of the genetic diversity of endophagous herbivores of the pan-American genus Tomoplagia (Diptera: Tephritidae), that vary in degree of specialization in its Asteraceae host plants and in geographic range. We expect to observe higher genetic diversity in herbivores feeding on higher taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of plants, and with larger geographic range. Furthermore, relative partition of genetic diversity among hosts and among locations may indicate changes in the source of genetic diversity for herbivores that vary in degree of specialization. Ultimately, we expect to observe genetic differences in generalist herbivores feeding on different hosts in the same location evidencing the formation of host races.

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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)
OLIVEIRA LEAL, CAMILA RABELO; DE SOUZA, ANETE PEREIRA; SILVA-BRANDAO, KARINA LUCAS; LEWINSOHN, THOMAS MICHAEL. Host specialization, genetic variability, and differentiation in three species of Tomoplagia from Brazilian rupestrian grasslands. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, NOV 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.
LEAL, CAMILA RABELO OLIVEIRA; JORGE, LEONARDO RE; DE SOUZA, ANETE PEREIRA; LEWINSOHN, THOMAS MICHAEL; SILVA-BRANDAO, KARINA LUCAS. Characterization of microsatellite loci for three species of Tomoplagia (Diptera: Tephritidae) and absence of cross-species amplification. APPLIED ENTOMOLOGY AND ZOOLOGY, v. 56, n. 1, p. 125-132, FEB 2021. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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