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Evolution of meristic and morphometric diversity in the Autopodium of Squamata: patterns, processes and mechanisms


The evolutionary origin of the Autopodium (distal region of the paired appendices of tetrapods, which is composed by metatarsals/metacarpals and phalanges) consists in one of the main adaptations of vertebrate animals related to the transition from the aquatic habit to living on the land. Despite its single origin, the autopodium is morphologically very diversified among living tetrapod lineages, and is particularly variable in specific clades, as Squamata. The present research proposal aims to identify the morphological variation (meristic and morphometric) of the autopodium in four major clades of Squamata, relating the evolutionary patterns identified with ecological parameters (differential habitat and microhabitat usage) and functional traits (performance in different locomotor activities), as well as with possible underlying changes in molecular mechanisms of embryo development. Locomotor performance of species with different autopodial morphologies will be tested for running, jumping, climbing and burrowing. Regarding possible changes in underlying developmental mechanisms, fragments of regulatory and coding regions of genes expressed during autopodium formation in the embryo will be sequenced in specific lineages, and bioinformatic tools will be used to test for possible associations between variation observed in the nucleotide sequences and morphological patterns of the autopodium. The project proposed uses a very integrative approach that aims to establish possible connections between morphological patterns, evolutionary processes and underlying molecular mechanisms in the scenario of evolution of autopodial phenotypic diversity in squamate lineages. (AU)

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Scientific publications (5)
(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)
CAMACHO, AGUSTIN; RECODER, RENATO; TEIXEIRA, JR., MAURO; KOHLSDORF, TIANA; RODRIGUES, MIGUEL TREFAUT; LEE, MICHAEL S. Y. Overcoming phylogenetic and geographic uncertainties to test for correlates of range size evolution in gymnophthalmid lizards. ECOGRAPHY, v. 40, n. 6, p. 764-773, JUN 2017. Web of Science Citations: 1.
ROTHIER, PRISCILA S.; BRANDT, RENATA; KOHLSDORF, TIANA. Ecological Associations of Autopodial Osteology in Neotropical Geckos. Journal of Morphology, v. 278, n. 3, p. 290-299, MAR 2017. Web of Science Citations: 4.
BRANDT, RENATA; DE BARROS, FABIO CURY; NORONHA, CAROLINA; JOSE TULLI, MARIA; KOHLSDORF, TIANA. Sexual differences in locomotor performance in Tropidurus catalanensis lizards (Squamata: Tropiduridae) - body shape, size and limb musculature explain variation between males and females. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 118, n. 3, p. 598-609, JUL 2016. Web of Science Citations: 5.
ABDALA, VIRGINIA; GRIZANTE, MARIANA B.; DIOGO, RUI; MOLNAR, JULIA; KOHLSDORF, TIANA. Musculoskeletal anatomical changes that accompany limb reduction in lizards. Journal of Morphology, v. 276, n. 11, p. 1290-1310, NOV 2015. Web of Science Citations: 7.
SINGARETE, MARINA E.; GRIZANTE, MARIANA B.; MILOGRANA, SARAH R.; NERY, MARIANA F.; KIN, KORYU; WAGNER, GUENTER P.; KOHLSDORF, TIANA. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles. GENETICS AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, v. 38, n. 3, p. 255-262, 2015. Web of Science Citations: 2.

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