South America has great biodiversity, sheltering two important biomes, Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest. Currently these biomes are separated by an area of open vegetation, but studies suggest that they were united in the past. Spiders are great biological models for studies of phylogeography, however, in the Neotropical region have not been well studied. Argiope argentata (Araneae: Araneidae) has a wide geographical distribution, being found in the Amazon, Atlantic Forest and biomes intermediaries to them, serving as an object of study appropriate for analysis of the neotropical diversity. This study aims to analyze the population structure and phylogeographic patterns of A. argentata through the sequencing of mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Will be estimated haplotype and nucleotide diversity, genetic distance between populations and patterns of mismatch distribution. To assess the population structure, will be calculated values of FST, RST, estimates of migration/gene flow and effective population size. Lastly, we will perform a phylogenetic analysis and estimation of divergence times between lineages. From these analyzes we intend to discuss the possible demographic events that were responsible for the current distribution of A. argentata and associate them with hypotheses about diversification of neotropical forests.
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