The neotropical freshwater fish fauna is the most diverse existing in the world, although this expressive diversity of fish is threatened by several human impacts. Among these, the impoundment of rivers is one of the most serious threats, especially to rheophilics species that require large free passages to carry out their reproductive cycle and use floodplains and lagoons as breeding sites and nursery areas. Studies involving the ichthyoplankton have been an important tool in identifying breeding sites, however, the traditional identification of eggs and larvae presents serious limitations, often not allowing to identification below the family level. The molecular identification of species using a short segment of the gene mitochondrial Cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI), called DNA barcoding proved extremely effective in the identification of eggs and larvae, both in marine environments such as freshwater environments. Thus, the aim of this project is to use this molecular tool to identify the ichthyoplankton, enabling the detection of reproductive and nursery areas sites in a lowland area of the Mogi-Guaçu.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: