On the coast of southeastern Brazil, some islands are found that were connected to the mainland during the last glacial period. Among such islands, there is the Island of Alcatrazes, being one of the most isolated coastal islands in southeastern Brazil. Several marine transgressions and regressions may have played an important role in the origin and evolution of organisms in this region, including the evolution of island endemic species. As much of the island's flora is shared with the adjacent continent, it is possible to investigate the genetic structure of island and continental populations, evaluating species that follow different evolutionary trajectories or that are linked by gene flow. In this study, we intend to test the role of dispersal syndrome in genetic structure in island and continental populations, using two species that disperse biotically, i.e. Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi (Anacardiaceae) and Eugenia sulcata Spring ex Mart. (Myrtaceae), and two abiotically, Machaerium nyctitans (Vell.) Benth. (Fabaceae) and Stifftia parviflora (Leandro) D.Don (Asteraceae). For this, genomic data generated from RAD sequencing of populations from Alcatrazes Island and the mainland will be used for further analysis of diversity and population differentiation and estimates of gene flow and demography. The results of this study will elucidate aspects of the origin and evolution of the flora on the Island of Alcatrazes, generating genomic data on these species that will be fundamental for understanding the evolution of organisms in island environments.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: