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Phenotypic plasticity in Ceriantharia (Cnidaria): a case study on the Singapore coast

Grant number: 17/15376-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): November 26, 2017
Effective date (End): February 25, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Sérgio Nascimento Stampar
Grantee:Celine Lopes da Silva Santos
Supervisor abroad: Danwei Huang
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore  
Associated to the scholarship:16/04962-0 - Taxonomic review and potential distribution of the genus Ceriantheomorphe (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Ceriantharia) in the Atlantic Ocean, BP.MS

Abstract

Taxonomic studies involving marine species have several problems due to overvaluation of the morphological characters. These characters often exhibit phenotypic plasticity and that must not be useful for species delimitation, but these characters are used and results in inconsistent taxonomic studies. Problems like these are observed in some species in Ceriantharia, as Cerianthemorphe brasiliensis and Pachycerianthus cf. maua. The first, specimens described for two regions with no apparent gene flux, North Atlantic and South Atlantic, but just few morphological differences can be observed between specimens from these two areas. The second species occurs in areas of the Indian and Pacific Ocean and the specimens presenting representative morphological variations. In this sense, the present project intends to study morphological and molecular characters of the species (or complex of species) currently identified as Pachycerianthus cf. maua that occurs in Singapore shoreline. In this way, it will be possible to discuss morphological variations with a counterpoint in molecular data. For this, we will be performed morphometric and anatomic study of the, at least, thirty specimens identified as P. cf. maua. Based on this approach on P. cf. maua, we will be able to have a comprehensive scenario about morphological variations and how it occurs in Ceriantharia. Therefore, these data will be extremely important as model for understand more clearly the variations in the specimens of Ceriantharia.