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Morphological and phylogeographical analyse in Brazilian tortoises (Testudinidae)

Grant number: 10/19785-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2011
Effective date (End): June 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Claudia Regina Bonini Domingos
Grantee:Tiago Lucena da Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


The turtles are one of the most threatened groups of vertebrates, with a serious concern about the conservation status. This group is important in genetic and taxonomic studies because have a single phylogenetic history, which make them a potential candidates for conservation efforts. The specie C. denticulata occurs in tropical forests, while C. carbonaria occurs in a wider range of environments, including dry forests and areas of forest vegetation in savannas. Some studies described animals classified as C. carbonaria which distinct characteristics, but no one makes the description of new species. There is no information in the literature about genetic variability, geographic distribution and evolutionary history of this morphologically distinct group. The Amazon forest has allowed the continuous gene flow between populations of C. denticulata, leading to genetically homogeneous populations. Since the specie C. carbonaria, to prefer open areas like the cerrado, evolved by vicariance, resulting in populations with different genetic structure. Methods of molecular analysis, especially with DNA, are effective for phylogenetic reconstruction and have been employed in evolutionary approaches. Comparative phylogeography studies have been valuable for developing and testing hypotheses about evolutionary processes that impact on the historic composition of the present biodiversity, linking it to geographical distribution, mainly through the differences between sequences of mtDNA. Considering the application of mtDNA, and the availability of sequences in databases related to the studied species was selected cyt b mitochondrial gene as a molecular marker to associate morphological and molecular data in Brazilian turtles in a large territory. The results could confirm the existence of a new specie. The use of molecular techniques, associated with morphological measurements in a wide extension, can provide significant information on evolutionary and taxonomic aspects in turtles, representing an auxiliary tool in investigations over the limits of species, natural history and biology of this poorly studied group of vertebrates. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Tiago Lucena da. Análise morfológica e filogeográfica em jabutis brasileiros (Testudines). 2015. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Instituto de Biociências Letras e Ciências Exatas. São José do Rio Preto São José do Rio Preto.

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