In the recent years there has been evidences that the morphological characteristics traditionally used in the classical taxonomy are not enough to support the monophyly of zoosporic fungi clades. Several morphological structures such as turbinate cells and operculum are no longer considered synapomorphic and it could have emerged in different moments during the evolutionary process. The analyses of the zoospore ultrastructure and phylogenetic reconstructions have demonstrated their value to identify the phylogenetic position of zoosporic fungi and consequently it is affecting the classification within this phylum. Although these approaches are very important to the development of studies with zoosporic fungi, currently there are only few researchers in the world able to elucidate the zoospore ultrastructure of Chytridiomycota species. Considering the initial objectives of my PhD project, important steps were already concluded such as the collection of all samples, obtainment of the abiotic factors, isolation and identification of the zoosporic fungi taxa, extraction of DNA and amplification of SSU, ITS and LSU regions of many isolates. However, two important steps that I would like to develop at University of Michigan under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Y. James are the zoospore ultrastructural analysis of three taxa, amplification of two additional regions of coding proteins (rpb1 and rpb2) and construction of multi-loci tree considering five DNA regions. Therefore, the possibility of spending a period abroad would significantly contribute to the development of my PhD project as well as would make possible to establish future project and institutional collaborations, contributing thus to the development of science in Brazil.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: