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The global warming effect on the inate immune system of sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus (Lamarck, 1816)

Grant number: 08/00537-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2008
Effective date (End): December 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:José Roberto Machado Cunha da Silva
Grantee:Paola Cristina Branco
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Diseases and mass mortality of sea urchins have been reported in many parts of the world and they have been correlated with environmental stress such as: pollution and thermal oscillation. Recently, diseases and mass mortality in tropical sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus (Brazil) were evidenced in São Sebastião city (north coast of São Paulo) and documented by our team of researchers. In this project, we established an experimental protocol to evaluate the acute and chronic effect of temperature on natural resistance mechanisms to infection of sea urchins Lytechinus variegatus maintained at different temperatures. This experimental model contributes to extend the knowledge about environmental stress decurrent from thermal variation and the influence of temperature as a limiting factor on the animals' live, as well as the impact of global warming on these animals' survival. (AU)