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Numts in Meliponini (Hymenoptera: Apidae): genomic prospection, origin and evolution

Grant number: 14/25023-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Arias
Grantee:Elaine Aparecida Françoso
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Numts are mitochondrial copies transferred to nucleus, and are recognized by the presence of indels and stop codons. In Meliponini, numts were described in three species, and our preliminary results confirmed the presence of these pseudogenes in other three. The main goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that the origin of the numts found until now in Meliponini are exclusive of the tribe or, alternatively, if their origin is more basal. This way, species of Meliponini representing the entire tribe and species of corbiculate bees will be investigated for the presence of numts. Isolating the mitochondria from nucleus and using probes from mitochondrial genes in the nuclear DNA, it will be possible to isolate the mitochondrial copies located in the nucleus, to characterize the mitochondrial gene and its respective numt, and understand where and when, in a evolutionary context, these events occurred. Numts can be, at the same time, an obstacle and a new tool for evolutionary analysis. To understand the origin and the evolution of these pseudogenes will be important not just for the economic and ecologically important corbiculate bees, but also for several studies that use mitochondrial markers as main molecular marker, as phylogenetic and phylogeographics analysis, population genetics, and molecular identification of species by DNA barcode. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(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)
FRANCOSO, ELAINE; ZUNTINI, ALEXANDRE RIZZO; RICARDO, PAULO CSERI; SANTOS, PRISCILA KARLA FERREIRA; ARAUJO, NATALIA DE SOUZA; SILVA, JOAO PAULO NALDI; GONCALVES, LEONARDO TRESOLDI; BRITO, RUTE; GLOAG, ROSALYN; TAYLOR, BENJAMIN A.; et al. Rapid evolution, rearrangements and whole mitogenome duplication in the Australian stingless bees Tetragonula (Hymenoptera: Apidae): A steppingstone towards understanding mitochondrial function and evolution. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, v. 242, p. 9-pg., . (14/25023-6, 16/24669-5)
FRANCOSO, ELAINE; ZUNTINI, ALEXANDRE RIZZO; RICARDO, PAULO CSERI; ARAUJO, NATALIA DE SOUZA; SILVA, JOAO PAULO NALDI; BROWN, MARK J. F.; ARIAS, MARIA CRISTINA. The complete mitochondrial genome of Trigonisca nataliae (Hymenoptera, Apidae) assemblage reveals heteroplasmy in the control region. Gene, v. 881, p. 7-pg., . (14/25023-6, 16/24669-5)
FRANCOSO, ELAINE; ZUNTINI, ALEXANDRE RIZZO; RICARDO, PAULO CSERI; NALDI SILVA, JOAO PAULO; BRITO, RUTE; OLDROYD, BENJAMIN P.; ARIAS, MARIA CRISTINA. Conserved numts mask a highly divergent mitochondrial-COI gene in a species complex of Australian stingless bees Tetragonula (Hymenoptera: Apidae). MITOCHONDRIAL DNA PART A, v. 30, n. 7, p. 806-817, . (16/24669-5, 14/25023-6)
RICARDO, PAULO CSERI; FRANCOSO, ELAINE; ARIAS, MARIA CRISTINA. Mitochondrial DNA intra-individual variation in a bumblebee species: A challenge for evolutionary studies and molecular identification. MITOCHONDRION, v. 53, p. 243-254, . (16/24669-5, 14/25023-6, 13/12530-4)

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