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Molecular and morphological analysis of Sarasinula s.l. (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Veronicellidae) cryptic species complex

Grant number: 07/04237-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2007
Effective date (End): September 30, 2010
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Eliana Nakano
Grantee:Suzete Rodrigues Gomes
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


In this project we intend to realize a molecular and morphological analysis of the Sarasinula complex s.l. (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Veronicellidae), identifying the monophyletic groups and valid taxa. Species from this complex have been each time more mentioned for being intermediate hosts of nematodes, which causes the angiostrongylosis, severe abdominal disease (recorded in South and Central America, and more recently Hawaii and other Pacific islands), and for being invasive pests that cause dramatic agricultural damages in many tropical countries (as Brazil) from Central and South America, Africa, and Asia, as well as many Pacific and Caribbean islands. For the molecular analysis, we will use techniques of extraction of DNA and amplification of several molecular markers, mitochondrial (16S rDNA, cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase subunit I) and nuclear (internal spacer transcribed nuclear I and II). For the morphological analysis, the specimens will be dissected and comparatively analyzed under a stereomicroscope. The genetic and morphological variability among and within the species and populations will be analyzed and phylogenies will be built. Inferences will be made about the historical process responsible for the results found. The systematic review will be determined based on the results found. The diagnostic morphological characters will be recorded for each species considered and a DNA barcoding system based on cytochrome oxidase subunit I will be established.

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