Advanced search
Start date

The contribution of museum specimens and modern vouchers to elucidate the systematics of brocket deer (Cervidae: Odocoileini)

Grant number: 23/07204-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): October 23, 2023
Effective date (End): October 22, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:José Maurício Barbanti Duarte
Grantee:Pedro Henrique de Faria Peres
Supervisor: Jesus Eduardo Maldonado
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Research place: Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:21/13187-8 - Use of DNA Sequences from museum specimens for the taxonomic review of Mazama, BP.PD


Neotropical deer are members of the tribe Odocoileini, one of the most diverse group in the family Cervidae whose systematics is not yet fully understood. Most of the evolutionary lineages of the group already existed by the time of the Isthmus of Panama land bridge formation, but the spatial patterns of diversification and dispersal routes through South America have never been empirically studied. Furthermore, the taxonomy of Odocoileini is controversial, and several discordant taxonomic arrangements have been recently proposed. Over the last two decades, genetic data have questioned the monophyly of the genus Mazama, Odocoileus, and Pudu, as currently defined, demonstrating the need for a broad taxonomic review at this level. Phylogenetic inferences and cytogenetic data have also questioned the delimitation and validity of species and suggested the presence of cryptic species complexes, notably for the red brocket deer Mazama americana. The karyotypic diversity found in brocket deer has proven essential for understanding the evolutionary history of this group, as chromosomal divergence would be linked to the isolation of populations by post-zygotic barriers. However, cytogenetic data are still scarce, and the lack of a dense sampling (species and specimens) in phylogenetic studies has prevented a comprehensive inference of the Odocoileini phylogeny and species-level taxonomy. In this sense, we intend to contribute to an integrative taxonomic review of Odocoileini and to investigate the spatiotemporal context of brocket deer diversification throughout South America. Thus, we aim to conduct a time-scaled phylogenetic analysis of all current valid species of Odocoileini employing a comprehensive dataset (mitogenome data), including a representative geographic sampling of most taxon and accessing informative vouchers (holotypes, neotypes, and modern topotypes). For this, we will sequence samples from two datasets: modern tissue samples from vouchers with cytogenetic and geographic information (n=88) and historic samples from museum specimens held in North American research collections (n=xx), including name-bearing holotypes. This new phylogenetic hypothesis will allow us to test the phylogenetic position and taxonomic identity of available names for brocket deer species and to make new insights into the evolutionary history of Odocoileini. Therefore, our goals additionally include: (1) to infer the time of the main diversification events in Odocoileini; (2) to evaluate the importance of different historical processes (e.g., vicariance and dispersal) and biogeographic events (e.g. emergence of the Isthmus of Panama) in the origin and current distribution patterns of the lineages; and (3) to investigate the evolution of antlers in Odocoileini as related to the convergence process hypothesized for simple spike-antlered Neotropical deer. (AU)

News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship:
Articles published in other media outlets (0 total):
More itemsLess items

Please report errors in scientific publications list using this form.