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Diversification history of bamboo's rats in Amazon rainforest (Dactylomys, Echimyidae, Rodentia): a phylogenomical and ecomorphological approach

Grant number: 21/00159-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Reis Percequillo
Grantee:Heitor Bissoli Silva
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:20/11444-0 - Diversity of neotropical rodents (Rodentia: Sciuridae, Cricetidae, Echimyidae): origin, evolution and biogeography, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):22/03267-7 - Museomics of bamboo rats of genus Dactylomys (Rodentia: Echimyidae), BE.EP.MS


The great biodiversity of the Amazon region has attracted the attention of naturalists since the 18th century. However, it is also a place of important economic activities in Brazil and has become the target of human impacts that put all this biodiversity at risk, as well as the forest resilience and indigenous culture. For this reason, recognizing and describing Amazonian biodiversity as fast as possible becomes essential. Bamboo rats of the genus Dactylomys are arboreal equimids that live in the Amazon region and surroundings, commonly found close to watercourses, associated with lowland vegetation. Currently, 3 species of the genus are recognized: D. peruanus, D. boliviensis and D. dactylinus, which were identified using mainly morphology. Morphological variation has already been indicated among the species, which may be associated with the micro-habitat of these rodents, which in turn is fragmented. Despite this, few studies have been carried out within this genus, mainly due to the difficulty in collecting specimens. In this context, specimens in museums and biological collections become essential material to access knowledge about the diversification of this group. Thus, this project aims to access the variation between and within the species of Dactylomys (Rodentia: Echimyidae) using an interdisciplinary genomic and ecomorphological approach. For this, tissue samples will be submitted to New Generation Sequencing (NGS) through Sequence Capture for 500 nuclear genes and the reconstruction of the mitogenome as a subproduct. These data will be used in phylogenetic analyzes and representatives of the lineages found will be evaluated in an integrated approach way with morphological and ecological data, to generate an ecomorphological understanding of the group and discuss the evolutionary implications in Dactylomys. Thus, genomic and ecomorfological patterns are expected to be revealed in response to habitat and geographic variations, as well as a higher number of species within the genus. (AU)

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