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Integrative taxonomy of Ophiocoma taxon (Ophiuroidea, Echinodermata) of South-Western Atlantic

Grant number: 19/05997-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Michela Borges
Grantee:Cecilia de Jesus Santos Damiano
Home 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 conduct a taxonomic study to secure recognition of species of the genus Ophiocoma, Ophiocomidae family with occurrence in Brazil. This taxon was chosen because of its morphological characters considered inconsistent, making thus the delimitation of their species. The study in question will be held from morphological analysis of diagnostic structures, with the aid of morphometry, and molecular specimens collected in two ecoregions: I) Northeast-Salvador (BA) and II) Island Trindade and Martin Vaz. The morphological aspects will be reviewed and described the structures of the disk and arms, including the microstructure. The morphometry will be used to supplement the morphological studies, aiming to describe and measure intra and inter-specific variations. For the study of molecular characters, will be performed genetic analysis of mitochondrial fragments of the genes CO1 and 16S. At the end of this work, the species of the genus Ophiocoma should be delimited with accuracy in order to contribute to the taxonomic and molecular research of Ophiuroidea from the South Atlantic-West.

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