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Biodiversity of Ophiodermatina (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) along South Atlantic: morphological and molecular studies

Grant number: 19/01620-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Michela Borges
Grantee:Helena Serrano
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/10313-0 - Build-up of scientific collections of marine invertebrates: strategies for biodiversity conservation, AP.BTA.TEM


This project aims to study the taxonomic status of species of the suborder Ophiodermatina (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea), which includes Ophiocomidae, Ophiodermatidae and Ophiomyxidae. These families present several taxonomic problems, belong to the same clade and have been highlighted in recent publications. The study will be carried out through the integrative taxonomy and will address analyzes made from DNA isolation, external morphology and microstructural characters of the brittle stars sampled in the Western South Atlantic. Molecular characters will be analyzed from mitochondrial DNA (CO1 and 16S) and nuclear (18S). For the analysis of the external morphology will be compared and described the disc characters, oral and arm plates. However, due the difficulty of recognition and delimitation of many species, microstructural characters will also be studied, particularly lateral arm plates, vertebra, and oral plates. Morphometry will be used to complement and refine morphological studies and will aim to measure intra and interspecific differences. At the end of this work, the target species should be accurately delimited by integrative taxonomy, fundamental for biodiversity analysis, in order to contribute to the taxonomic and molecular research of Ophiuroidea. (AU)

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