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Metagenomic diversity of femto-, pico- and nanoplankton in coastal environments of the São Paulo State

Grant number: 13/21745-4
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2015 - July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Biological Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Bueno Gregoracci
Grantee:Gustavo Bueno Gregoracci
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Fabiano Lopes Thompson ; Rodolfo Pinheiro da Rocha Paranhos ; Thiago Michel de Brito Farias


Microbial microbiology is a growing field of studies in biological oceanography. Modern methodologies, encompassing culture-independent analysis, such as flow cytometry and high throughput sequencing, broaden study possibilities, allowing estimates of abundance and taxonomic and functional diversity of micro-organisms. If properly applied, they also allow the study of multiple fractions of the plankton (including viruses), thus generating diverse hypothesis and inferences about the functioning of natural environments and trophic relationships. We intend, through this project, to sample ecologically distinct locations (oceanic protected, low impact estuarine, highly impacted sewage and highly impacted chemicals) of the Sao Paulo state coastline. Through the abovementioned techniques, we aim to enlarge the microbiological knowledge in these locations, comprehending all trophic levels of the minute fractions of the plankton (femto, pico and nano) and integrating all information in an ecological framework. The contrast between distinct ecological regions will allow the observation of local adaptations to the environmental conditions. The paired sequencing between viral and bacterial/archaeal fractions will allow the observation of lateral gene transfer through transduction. Finally, such approach will generate a wealth of data and several hypothesis and inferences to be pursued in the future, involving from the enhancing of spatial temporal sampling to in situ manipulative experimentation. (AU)

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