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Physiological, morphological and developmental responses of modern metazoans under the Neoproterozoic oceanic conditions

Grant number: 19/18051-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal researcher:André Carrara Morandini
Grantee:Flávia Ariany Belato Costa
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/06114-6 - The Neoproterozoic Earth System and the rise of biological complexity, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):21/14115-0 - Physiological and molecular responses of modern metazoans under the Neoproterozoic oceanic conditions, BE.EP.DR


The physiology of first metazoans has been subject of scientific discussions for decades. Such discussions have been fostered by the lack of consensus regarding the approximate dating of the emergence of these organisms. Recent evidence suggests that metazoans may have originated in the Neoproterozoic Era under low oxygen conditions, contrary to the canonical hypothesis that the origin and diversification of animals were induced by the increase of oxygen levels in the oceans during the Neoproterozoic. Theoretical estimates of oxygen levels sufficient to allow metazoans evolution are relatively low, and so far, experimental evidence for tolerance to extreme hypoxia has been reported for only one species of sponge. In addition to low oxygen levels, the ocean temperature may also have played an important role in the diversification of early animals, however until now is unclear whether they emerged in an environment of cold or hot waters. In order to investigate the tolerance of modern animals analogous to the first metazoans, to hypoxia and temperature variations, we suggest exposing these animals to the Neoproterozoic environmental conditions in a simulation chamber. Moreover, we propose to evaluate the conserved adaptive responses to such conditions by quantifying variations in the gene expression and proteomics of the individuals. These combined experiments will provide crucial information for a better understanding of the possible relationships between the Neoproterozoic environmental conditions and the evolutionary innovations that gave rise to the first animals. (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)
BEZERRA, BRUNO SANTOS; BELATO, FLAVIA ARIANY; MELLO, BEATRIZ; BROWN, FEDERICO; COATES, CHRISTOPHER J.; LEME, JULIANA DE MORAES; TRINDADE, RICARDO I. F.; COSTA-PAIVA, ELISA MARIA. volution of a key enzyme of aerobic metabolism reveals Proterozoic functional subunit duplication events and an ancient origin of animal. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 11, n. 1, . (18/20268-1, 19/18051-7, 16/06114-6)

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