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Taxonomic revision of the land planarians of Geoplana (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida)

Grant number: 14/16585-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2014
Effective date (End): September 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Fernando Jesús Carbayo Baz
Grantee:Ana Laura Almeida dos Santos
Host Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Taxonomic revision of the land planarians of Geoplana (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida). Landplanarians (Platyhelminthes) are ideal organisms as a model for studies on conservation biology. This is because of their ecological requirements and poor vagility. Members of Geoplaninae Stimpson, 1957 include approximately 270 species of neotropical land planarians. Geoplana Stimpson, 1857, the type genus, is currently composed of three nominal species plus a minimum of another three undescribed species. The type species of the genus, Geoplana vaginuloides (Darwin, 1844) is putatively polyphyletic. Thus, circumscription of this species is necessary to stabilize the taxonomy of the subfamily. Darwin sampled this species in Rio de Janeiro (state of RJ); it is unknown where is the material he studied. This project will address a taxonomic review of the genus by using phenotypic and genotypic data. Analyses of the available type material of the species and that of other historically studied specimens by other authors will be conducted. Recently collected specimens of the known species and newly sampled specimens will also be studied. At least three undescribed species, already available in the collection will also be studied plus an equivalent number of species of other genera. Operational criteria for delimitation of the putative species will depend on evidence of monophyly supported by a cluster of diagnostic characters - preferrably from a morphological source. The analytical protocol consists of a cladistic analysis of haplotypes of the genus and search of genotypic and phenotypic features that enable diagnosis of the clades able to be correlated with the nominal and new species. Genotypic data will be extracted from the mitochondrial region of the gene of thecytochrome oxidase I and the nuclear gene of the elongation factor 1-alpha. Phenotypic data will beobtained from macroscopic (i.e., general morphological features and chromatic patterns) and microscopic (i.e., anatomical and histological aspects observed on histological serial sections under optic microscopy) study of the individuals. This work will provide the taxonomic foundation necessary to refine the systematics of the group and also will facilitate a better comprehension of this component of our biological diversity. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(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)
ALMEIDA, ANA LAURA; MARQUES, FERNANDO P. L.; CARBAYO, FERNANDO. Endless forms most beautiful: taxonomic revision of the planarian Geoplana vaginuloides (Darwin, 1844) and discovery of numerous congeners (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida). ZOOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY, v. 185, n. 1, p. 1-65, . (14/16585-0, 14/13661-8)

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