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Survey of the genus Heterolepipoderma (Gastrotricha: Chaetonotida: Chaetonotidae) in the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo

Grant number: 15/24943-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2016
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:André Rinaldo Senna Garraffoni
Grantee:Marina Prado Melchior
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/23856-0 - Phylogenetic reconstruction of Gastrotricha based on molecular and morphological data, AP.BTA.JP


Gastrotricha are aquatic micro invertebrates (less than 1 mm) and an important component of the benthos of freshwater and marine habitats. Despite the large number of populations in different environments, this taxon is poor know, possibly because their small size and fragility of their bodies, which makes its difficult to study. The taxon comprises more than 750 species traditionally divided into two orders: Chaetonotida (mostly freshwater) and Macrodasyida (mostly marine). Regarding Chaetonotida, the most specious family is Chaetonotidae, which includes about half of the described species in the order, and contains 14 genera. The genus Heterolepidoderma Remane 1927 is characterized by having dorsa-lateral body covered by many rows of small scales with median keel. Although Heterolepidoderma species present a worldwide distribution it is still little known and the number of formally described species is lower when compared to other family genera. The present project aims to review and investigate the species belonging to the genus Heterolepidoderma found in Minas Gerais and São Paulo. The gastrochis presented in the sediment will be sorted alive at least for one week. This procedure is essential to obtain specimens under optimum conditions. Micropipettes will be used to transfer the sorted specimens to permanent slides after treatment in 10% solution of glycerine-formaldehyde and the cover slip, which will be sealed with nail polish. It will be also used to scanning electron microscopy technique to check detailed in the external morphological characteristics. (AU)

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