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Intraspecific phylogenetic relationships of Cereus calcirupicola: a polytypic species associated with limestone outcrops in eastern Brazil

Grant number: 23/07832-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2023
Effective date (End): August 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Fernando de Faria Franco
Grantee:Juliana Palmeira Garcia
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Humanas e Biológicas (CCHB). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). Sorocaba , SP, Brazil


The Neotropical region presents a remarkable diversity which is commonly attributed to geomorphological events during the Miocene and Pliocene and/or climatic oscillations along Quaternary. Within the open vegetation areas along the "diagonal of open formations" of South America, two prominent ecosystems are the Caatinga, a seasonally dry tropical forest, and the Cerrado, a heterogeneous domain characterized bysavanna vegetation, stand out. The ecotone between these biomes presents chains of limestone outcrops, characterized by encompassing many endemic species. As a model of continental islands, it is possible that diversification in this environment is favored by fragmentation. The polytypic species Cereus calcirupicola Ritter (Cactacae; Cereeae) has varieties across its distribution, which have previously been described as obsolete names.. However, phylogenetic studies with broad sampling of this species have not yet been performed. The objective of this project is to obtain genetic data for several populations of C. calcirupicola using sequence capture data from Cactaceae591 ortholog panel. Based on the collected data, phylogenetic reconstructions will be performed to assess the presence of intraspecific lineages in C. calcirupicola as well as to investigate the reciprocal monophyly of lineages related to obsolete synonyms. Genomic library preparation and sequencing will be outsourced. After processing the raw data, filtering for quality, assembly of target regions, investigation of paralogy traditional (maximum likelihood) and coalescent (quartet) phylogenetic reconstruction will be performed. This project should contribute to the understanding of cactus species diversity, specifically within the subgenus Cereus. In addition, it will be possible to test the use of the Cactaceae591 panel at the intraspecific level.

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