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Mitogenomes of scleractinian corals in Singapore

Grant number: 18/19661-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): January 15, 2019
Effective date (End): July 14, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Visentini Kitahara
Grantee:Isabela Galvão de Lossio e Seiblitz
Supervisor: Danwei Huang
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil
Research place: National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore  
Associated to the scholarship:17/11615-7 - Phylogenomics of the order Scleractinia (Cnidaria, Anthozoa): relationships between evolution and climate change, BP.MS


Scleractinian corals are basal metazoans 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 to its monophyly and the composition/relatedness of its suborders. One of the main reasons for this uncertainty is the small number of taxa included in phylogenetic analyses. In this sense, the Reef Ecology Laboratory (National University of Singapore) benefits from the proximity to the most diverse region in the world regarding zooxanthellate corals. Moreover, these coral species have been under taxonomic rearrangement during the last decade, mostly based on morphology and nuclear or mitochondrial markers, possibly leading to variations among topologies of different phylogenies. Thus, whole mitogenome data may generate more complete information on coral evolution. Another relevant factor is that Prof Danwei Huang has been studying zooxanthellate coral systematics for at least a decade, so the proponent's main Masters project will benefit from both the laboratory's collection and the knowledge and expertise that Prof Huang group has. For the aforementioned purposes, the proponent's five-month internship may comprise library preparation from the laboratory's DNA collection and next generation sequencing (NGS), followed by assembly and annotation of mitogenomes skimmed from these datasets. By the time mitogenomes are described, phylogenomic trees will be built and divergence times of different lineages will be estimated using molecular clock. Palaeoclimate data will be mapped on the trees for relating previous and future climate conditions. (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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