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Shedding light on the molecular apparatus of the shell formation process in testate amoeba (Amoebozoa:Arcellinida)

Grant number: 19/22692-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 01, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology
Principal Investigator:Daniel José Galafasse Lahr
Grantee:Alfredo Leonardo Porfirio de Sousa
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):21/09529-0 - Development of a tool for GFP expression in live cells of the eukaryote Arcella intermedia, to determine the involvement of Rab-GTPases in the shell formation process, BE.EP.DR


The emergence of evolutionary novelties is a central question in evolutionary biology. A scarcity of molecular data and bioinformatic tools have historically impaired the study of the origin and evolution of novelties. Currently, with the advance of molecular biology and bioinformatics, several works have proposed the evolutionary processes that underlie origin and evolution of novelties. The shell (test) is an evolutionary novelty in Arcellinida (Amoebozoa), one of the testate amoebae groups of Eukaryotes. Currently, our understanding of Arcellinida shell as an evolutionary novelty is impaired, since the molecular apparatus involved in shell formation process (thecagenesis) is unknown. Here we propose a combined transcriptomics, phylogenetics, and immunocytochemistry framework to study the molecular apparatus involved in shell formation and its evolutionary story; we aim to fill the gap that exists between morpho-cytological description and molecular data of thecagenesis in Arcellinida. Ultimately, we aim to establish Arcellinida shell as a model to study evolutionary novelties and propose the approach applied in the present project for other eukaryotic testate amoebae lineages. (AU)

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