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Phylogenomics of the order Scleractinia (Cnidaria, Anthozoa): relationships between evolution and climate change

Grant number: 17/11615-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2017
Effective date (End): January 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Visentini Kitahara
Grantee:Isabela Galvão de Lossio e Seiblitz
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/01332-0 - Phylogenomics of the order Scleractinia (Cnidaria, Anthozoa): relationships between evolution and climate change, AP.PFPMCG.JP
Associated scholarship(s):18/19661-0 - Mitogenomes of scleractinian corals in Singapore, BE.EP.MS


Scleractinian corals are basal Metazoa pertaining to the phylum Cnidaria, which are currently threatened by increasing global temperature and ocean acidification. These climate changes are associated with the loss of coral symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae), as well as to the dissolution of coral carbonatic skeleton. The evolutionary history of the order Scleractinia has not been completely resolved yet, especially in regards of its monophyly and the composition/relatedness of its suborders. Main reasons for this uncertainty are the small number of taxa included in phylogenetic analyses, especially those representing azooxanthellate corals, as well as the use of only a few molecular markers, possibly leading to variations among topologies of different phylogenies. Therefore, the aim of the present project is to recover the evolutionary history of Scleractinia based on complete mitochondrial genome sequences. For this purpose, the mtgenome from 50 zooxanthellate and 50 azooxanthellate corals will be deciphered using next generation sequencing (NGS) platform HiSeq2500 (Illumina). Paleo-environmental data will be mapped into the resulting phylogeny via molecular clock calibration using fossils. This technique will enable the determination of emergence or disappearance of different features within the scleractinians, and will also assist in putting forward hypotheses regarding the future of these organisms in face of ever increasing anthropogenic challenges. (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)
SEIBLITZ, ISABELA G. L.; CAPEL, KATIA C. C.; STOLARSKI, JAROSLAW; QUEK, ZHENG BIN RANDOLPH; HUANG, DANWEI; KITAHARA, MARCELO V.. The earliest diverging extant scleractinian corals recovered by mitochondrial genomes. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 10, n. 1, . (17/11615-7, 18/19661-0, 14/01332-0)
SEIBLITZ, I. G. L.; VAGA, C. F.; CAPEL, K. C. C.; CAIRNS, S. D.; STOLARSKI, J.; QUATTRINI, A. M.; KITAHARA, M., V. Caryophylliids (Anthozoa, Scleractinia) and mitochondrial gene order: Insights from mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenomics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, v. 175, p. 13-pg., . (17/11615-7, 14/01332-0, 18/19661-0, 17/50229-5)

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