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Integrative taxonomy of taxon Ophiothela (Ophiotrichidae, Ophiuroidea): recognition of species occurring in two ecoregions of Brazil

Grant number: 17/09987-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2017
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Michela Borges
Grantee:Gabriela Granadier
Home Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This project aims the safe recognition of species from the genus Ophiothela on the Brazilian coast. This revision is necessary due to the many taxonomic problems of this taxon, with overlaps of morphological characters making recognition difficult through traditional taxonomy. The genus was first recorded in Brazil in 2000, and treated as an invasive, brought probably by ballast water or by oceanic currents, not yet knowing the impact of the animal in its natural habitat. In this context, the proposal is to use the integrative taxonomy to study this taxon, based on external and internal morphological characters, morphometry and molecular analysis, of specimens from two ecoregions I) Nordeste - Salvador (BA) and II) Sudeste: Baía do Araçá, São Sebastião (SP) and Complexo Estuarino de Paranaguá (PR). For morphological aspects, besides morphometry, diagnostic structures of the disc and arms will be analyzed and described, including arm plates and vertebrae, elements that have been very consistent in the study and delimitation of Ophiuroidea lineages. Molecular aspects will be studied based on mitochondrial DNA (CO1 and 16S). The specimens of each ecoregion will be compared to verify if the lineages are different, in order to clarify the delimitation of the species in the Brazilian coast. The results obtained of the analyzes will be evaluated in an integrative view. This will allow the delimitation of the taxon, which contributes to a greater knowledge of the Ophiuroidea biodiversity in Brazil and understanding the processes of speciation along the continental shelf. (AU)

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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)
ALITTO, RENATA A. S.; GRANADIER, GABRIELA; CHRISTENSEN, ANA B.; O'HARA, TIMOTHY; DI DOMENICO, MAIKON; BORGES, MICHELA. Unravelling the taxonomic identity of Ophiothela Verrill, 1867 (Ophiuroidea) along the Brazilian coast. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, v. 100, n. 3, p. 413-426, MAY 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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