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Morphological and molecular characteristics of soil mesostigmatic mites taken from different agricultural environments and in the natural vegetation of the Atlantic forest biome in the state of Sao Paulo

Grant number: 19/12175-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 10, 2019
Effective date (End): March 21, 2020
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Raphael de Campos Castilho
Grantee:Emiliano Brandão de Azevedo
Supervisor: Marie-Stephane Tixier Lopes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Research place: Centre de Biologie et de Gestion des Populations (CBGP), France  
Associated to the scholarship:18/14478-3 - Effect of agricultural crops on the diversity of Mesostigmata predator mites and prospecting for use in biological control, BP.DR


The edaphic acarofauna is little known in the world, even in Brazil. Mesostigma are the second most abundant group of mites in the soil and may play an important role in the regulation of pests as predators. The objective of this work is to characterize the species present in different agricultural environments and in an area of natural vegetation of the Atlantic Forest biome using morphological and molecular approaches. The collection will be carried out in four areas of corn and soybean, as well as in an area of natural vegetation. In each area, soil samples will be collected monthly from December 2017 to October 2019 and the mites will be extracted using a modified Berlese funnel (containing an absolute alcohol vial). The samples will be examined and the mesostigmas will be isolated in tubes containing absolute alcohol. Part of the mites will be mounted on slides and coverslips for morphological identification. The other part will be used for molecular analysis at the Center de Biologie pour l'Gestion des Populations (CBGP) / Montpellier SupAgro in Montpellier, France. The DNA of each mite will be individually extracted and several markers (mitochondrial and nuclear) will be used for molecular characterization (sequencing). Each new species identified will be described. The results will be published in scientific articles in international or national journals with high impact factor and will be presented at congresses.

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