Maria Imaculada Zucchi

Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (154)191.72 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pioneer tree species exhibit life-cycle characteristics and population structures that are mainly affected by natural or human disturbances. In primary forests, demographic dynamics of pioneer species may resemble those defined for a metapopulation. In early successional forests, the patterns of establishment, survival and reproduction are mainly determined by microclimate and biota modifications of the site after the human disturbance. The aim of this study was to investigate how the ecological processes and the population genetic factors associated with disturbances can affect the genetic diversity and structure of populations of a pioneer tree species: Croton floribundus Spreng. (Euphorbiaceae). Nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite markers were examined in plants of two size classes sampled in four gaps of primary forest and four sub-areas of early successional forest. Despite presenting similar genetic diversity levels, the genetic diversity was distributed differently between forests. The combined effects of seed dispersal and colonizations (and extinctions) were determinants of the fine-scale genetic structure of C. floribundus. The main finding was that human disturbances seem to boost the influence of founder effects in populations of a species with limited seed dispersal. Results suggested that gene flow by pollen was responsible for maintaining the genetic diversity within populations of C. floribundus in both forests, but in the early successional forest, gene flow by seeds was equally important. We conclude that gap dynamics, colonization, and pollen and seed dispersal affect the genetic diversity and structure of the pioneer species depending mainly on the number of colonizers, the number of source populations, the gene flow rates, and the level of human disturbance.
    Forest Ecology and Management 05/2015; 344:38-52. DOI:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.01.026 · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Mangrove plants grow in the intertidal zone in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. The global latitudinal distribution of the mangrove is mainly influenced by climatic and oceanographic features. Because of current climate changes, poleward range expansions have been reported for the major biogeographic regions of mangrove forests in the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. There is evidence that mangrove forests also responded similarly after the last glaciation by expanding their ranges. In this context, the use of genetic tools is an informative approach for understanding how historical processes and factors impact the distribution of mangrove species. We investigated the phylogeographic patterns of two Avicennia species, A. germinans and A. schaueriana, from the Western Hemisphere using nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers. Results Our results indicate that, although Avicennia bicolor, A. germinans and A. schaueriana are independent lineages, hybridization between A. schaueriana and A. germinans is a relevant evolutionary process. Our findings also reinforce the role of long-distance dispersal in widespread mangrove species such as A. germinans, for which we observed signs of transatlantic dispersal, a process that has, most likely, contributed to the breadth of the distribution of A. germinans. However, along the southern coast of South America, A. schaueriana is the only representative of the genus. The distribution patterns of A. germinans and A. schaueriana are explained by their different responses to past climate changes and by the unequal historical effectiveness of relative gene flow by propagules and pollen. Conclusions We observed that A. bicolor, A. germinans and A. schaueriana are three evolutionary lineages that present historical and ongoing hybridization on the American continent. We also inferred a new evidence of transatlantic dispersal for A. germinans, which may have contributed to its widespread distribution. Despite the generally wider distribution of A. germinans, only A. schaueriana is found in southern South America, which may be explained by the different demographic histories of these two species and the larger proportion of gene flow produced by propagules rather than pollen in A. schaueriana. These results highlight that these species responded in different ways to past events, indicating that such differences may also occur in the currently changing world. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0343-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 04/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12862-015-0343-z · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    Gustavo M Mori, Maria I Zucchi, Anete P Souza
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    ABSTRACT: Mangrove plants comprise a unique group of organisms that grow within the intertidal zones of tropical and subtropical regions and whose distributions are influenced by both biotic and abiotic factors. To understand how these extrinsic and intrinsic processes influence a more fundamental level of the biological hierarchy of mangroves, we studied the genetic diversity of two Neotropical mangrove trees, Avicenniagerminans and A. schaueriana, using microsatellites markers. As reported for other sea-dispersed species, there was a strong differentiation between A. germinans and A. schaueriana populations sampled north and south of the northeastern extremity of South America, likely due to the influence of marine superficial currents. Moreover, we observed fine-scale genetic structures even when no obvious physical barriers were present, indicating pollen and propagule dispersal limitation, which could be explained by isolation-by-distance coupled with mating system differences. We report the first evidence of ongoing hybridization between Avicennia species and that these hybrids are fertile, although this interspecific crossing has not contributed to an increase in the genetic diversity the populations where A. germinans and A. schaueriana hybridize. These findings highlight the complex interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic factors that shape the distribution of the genetic diversity in these sea-dispersed colonizer species.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0118710. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118710 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: • We developed and validated microsatellite primers for Vellozia squamata (Velloziaceae), an endemic species of the cerrado (Brazilian savannas), to investigate the influence of different fire regimes on its genetic diversity and population structure. • Using a selective hybridization method, we tested 51 SSR loci using a natural population of V. squamata and obtained 47 amplifiable loci. Among these, 26 loci were polymorphic and the average values of genetic diversity were: average number of alleles per locus ([Formula: see text]) = 6.54, average number of alleles per polymorphic locus ([Formula: see text]) = 7.13, average observed heterozygosity [Formula: see text] = 0.22, average expected heterozygosity [Formula: see text] = 0.49, and average fixation index [Formula: see text] = 0.55. • These 26 loci allowed us to assess the effects of distinct fire regimes on the genetic structure of V. squamata populations with the aim of establishing strategies for the conservation of this endemic species. The markers can also be useful for future pharmaceutical studies, as the species has great potential for medicinal and cosmetic applications.
    02/2015; 3(2). DOI:10.3732/apps.1400087
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    ABSTRACT: • Microsatellite primers were designed for Piptadenia gonoacantha (Fabaceae) and characterized to estimate genetic diversity parameters. The species is a native tree from the Atlantic Forest biome commonly used in forest restoration; it has medicinal potential and the wood is economically useful. • Twenty-eight microsatellite loci were identified from an enriched genomic library. Fifteen loci resulted in successful amplifications and were characterized in a natural population of 94 individuals. Twelve loci were polymorphic, with allele numbers ranging from three to 15 per locus, and expected and observed heterozygosities ranging from 0.2142 to 0.8325 and 0.190 to 0.769, respectively. • The developed markers will be used in further studies of population genetics of P. gonoacantha, aimed at conservation and management of the species in natural populations and in forest restoration projects.
    02/2015; 3(2). DOI:10.3732/apps.1400107
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    ABSTRACT: Because of the continuous introduction of germplasm from abroad, some collections have a high number of accessions, making it difficult to explore the genetic variability present in a germplasm bank for conservation and breeding purposes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify and analyze the structure of genetic variability among 500 common bean accessions to construct a core collection. A total of 58 SSRs were used for this purpose. The polymorphism information content (PIC) in the 180 common bean accessions selected to compose the core collection ranged from 0.17 to 0.86, and the discriminatory power (DP) ranged from 0.21 to 0.90. The 500 accessions were clustered into 15 distinct groups and the 180 accessions into four distinct groups in the Structure analysis. According to analysis of molecular variance, the most divergent accessions comprised 97.2% of the observed genetic variability present within the base collection, confirming the efficiency of the selection criterion. The 180 selected accessions will be used for association mapping in future studies and could be potentially used by breeders to direct new crosses and generate elite cultivars that meet current and future global market needs.
    Genetics and Molecular Biology 01/2015; 38(1):67-78. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Because of the continuous introduction of germplasm from abroad, some collections have a high number of accessions, making it difficult to explore the genetic variability present in a germplasm bank for conservation and breeding purposes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify and analyze the structure of genetic variability among 500 common bean accessions to construct a core collection. A total of 58 SSRs were used for this purpose. The polymorphism information content (PIC) in the 180 common bean accessions selected to compose the core collection ranged from 0.17 to 0.86, and the discriminatory power (DP) ranged from 0.21 to 0.90. The 500 accessions were clustered into 15 distinct groups and the 180 accessions into four distinct groups in the Structure analysis. According to analysis of molecular variance, the most divergent accessions comprised 97.2% of the observed genetic variability present within the base collection, confirming the efficiency of the selection criterion. The 180 selected accessions will be used for association mapping in future studies and could be potentially used by breeders to direct new crosses and generate elite cultivars that meet current and future global market needs.
    Genetics and Molecular Biology 01/2015; 38(1):67-78. DOI:10.1590/S1415-475738120140126 · 0.88 Impact Factor
  • 01/2015; 44(4):155-160. DOI:10.1590/S1806-92902015000400004
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    ABSTRACT: Microsatellite primers were developed and optimized for Lippia alba to characterize the L. alba germplasm bank of Universidade de São Paulo. A genomic library enabled the design of 9 microsatellite primers. Six of the 9 primers yielded polymorphic products, which defined 2 groups in the bank. The data provide support to characterize germplasm banks, genetic breeding programs for L. alba, and other genetic diversity studies and classifications of species in the genus Lippia.
    Genetics and molecular research: GMR 01/2015; 14(1):971-974. DOI:10.4238/2015.February.3.4 · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We isolated and characterised eight pairs of primers to amplify microsatellite regions for Centrolobium tomentosum, a neotropical tree species widely used for forest restoration, with important pharmacological potential. For the primer characterisation, we genotyped 48 individuals from two populations of C. tomentosum from natural remnants of Atlantic Rainforests. We detected 2-9 alleles per locus, observed and expected heterozygosities ranged from 0.08 to 0.72, and 0.08 to 0.83, respectively and we observed private alleles in six of the loci. No linkage disequilibrium was observed and all loci are in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium in at least one of the populations. This study presents a powerful tool for population genetic studies of this species.
    Conservation Genetics Resources 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s12686-015-0448-0 · 1.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Giardia duodenalis is a flagellate protozoan that parasitizes humans and several other mammals. Protozoan contamination has been regularly documented at important environmental sites, although most of these studies were performed at the species level. There is a lack of studies that correlate environmental contamination and clinical infections in the same region. The aim of this study is to evaluate the genetic diversity of a set of clinical and environmental samples and to use the obtained data to characterize the genetic profile of the distribution of G. duodenalis and the potential for zoonotic transmission in a metropolitan region of Brazil. The genetic assemblages and subtypes of G. duodenalis isolates obtained from hospitals, a veterinary clinic, a day-care center and important environmental sites were determined via multilocus sequence-based genotyping using three unlinked gene loci. Cysts of Giardia were detected at all of the environmental sites. Mixed assemblages were detected in 25% of the total samples, and an elevated number of haplotypes was identified. The main haplotypes were shared among the groups, and new subtypes were identified at all loci. Ten multilocus genotypes were identified: 7 for assemblage A and 3 for assemblage B. There is persistent G. duodenalis contamination at important environmental sites in the city. The identified mixed assemblages likely represent mixed infections, suggesting high endemicity of Giardia in these hosts. Most Giardia isolates obtained in this study displayed zoonotic potential. The high degree of genetic diversity in the isolates obtained from both clinical and environmental samples suggests that multiple sources of infection are likely responsible for the detected contamination events. The finding that many multilocus genotypes (MLGs) and haplotypes are shared by different groups suggests that these sources of infection may be related and indicates that there is a notable risk of human infection caused by Giardia in this region.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115489. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115489 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Helicoverpa armigera is one of the primary agricultural pests in the Old World, whereas H. zea is predominant in the New World. However, H. armigera was first documented in Brazil in 2013. Therefore, the geographical distribution, range of hosts, invasion source, and dispersal routes for H. armigera are poorly understood or unknown in Brazil. In this study, we used a phylogeographic analysis of natural H. armigera and H. zea populations to (1) assess the occurrence of both species on different hosts; (2) infer the demographic parameters and genetic structure; (3) determine the potential invasion and dispersal routes for H. armigera within the Brazilian territory; and (4) infer the geographical origin of H. armigera . We analyzed partial sequence data from the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. We determined that H. armigera individuals were m
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11-11):e113286. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0113286 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Species of the genus Smilax, popularly known as sarsaparilla, are used in folk medicine as a tonic, an anti-rheumatic, and an anti-syphilis treatment, and are sold in Brazilian drugstores without any quality control regarding their origin and efficacy. The origin of the material is mainly based on wild extraction. Quality control of herbal drugs should include a more reliable identification of the source involving characterization and definition of their anatomical and chemical characteristics. The current study aimed to verify whether the combined use of anatomical, chemical, and molecular genetic characteristics might be useful in the quality control of medicinal plants, specifically the sarsaparilla sold in compounding drugstores in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Root samples were subjected to conventional light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. To determine the chemical profile, thin-layer chromatography (TLC) was applied to ethanol extracts of the roots. The chemical profile of the chemical material sold in stores was compared with the previously determined profiles of medicinal Smilax species (S. goyazana, S. rufescens, S. brasiliensis, S. campestris, S. cissoides, S. fluminensis, S. oblongifolia, and S. polyantha). Although there was considerable similarity between the anatomical structure of the commercial sarsaparilla and the structure reported in the literature for the Smilax species, there were differences in the phloem organization and in the presence of a series of idioblasts containing raphides, phenolic idioblasts, and metaxylem in the center of the plant structure. TLC analysis of the commercial ethanol extracts revealed spots with colors ranging from yellow to green. In addition, the same spots showed components with the same retention factor (Rf), indicating chemical similarity between the different samples. However, the distribution pattern of the spots,
    Economic Botany 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12231-014-9287-2 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Garlic is a spice and a medicinal plant; hence, there is an increasing interest in 'developing' new varieties with different culinary properties or with high content of nutraceutical compounds. Phenotypic traits and dominant molecular markers are predominantly used to evaluate the genetic diversity of garlic clones. However, 24 SSR markers (codominant) specific for garlic are available in the literature, fostering germplasm researches. In this study, we genotyped 130 garlic accessions from Brazil and abroad using 17 polymorphic SSR markers to assess the genetic diversity and structure. This is the first attempt to evaluate a large set of accessions maintained by Brazilian institutions. A high level of redundancy was detected in the collection (50 % of the accessions represented eight haplotypes). However, non-redundant accessions presented high genetic diversity. We detected on average five alleles per locus, Shannon index of 1.2, HO of 0.5, and HE of 0.6. A core collection was set with 17 accessions, covering 100 % of the alleles with minimum redundancy. Overall FST and D values indicate a strong genetic structure within accessions. Two major groups identified by both model-based (Bayesian approach) and hierarchical clustering (UPGMA dendrogram) techniques were coherent with the classification of accessions according to maturity time (growth cycle): early-late and midseason accessions. Assessing genetic diversity and structure of garlic collections is the first step towards an efficient management and conservation of accessions in genebanks, as well as to advance future genetic studies and improvement of garlic worldwide.
    Genetica 09/2014; 142(5). DOI:10.1007/s10709-014-9786-1 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundProsopis rubriflora and Prosopis ruscifolia are important species in the Chaquenian regions of Brazil. Because of the restriction and frequency of their physiognomy, they are excellent models for conservation genetics studies. The use of microsatellite markers (Simple Sequence Repeats, SSRs) has become increasingly important in recent years and has proven to be a powerful tool for both ecological and molecular studies.FindingsIn this study, we present the development and characterization of 10 new markers for P. rubriflora and 13 new markers for P. ruscifolia. The genotyping was performed using 40 P. rubriflora samples and 48 P. ruscifolia samples from the Chaquenian remnants in Brazil. The polymorphism information content (PIC) of the P. rubriflora markers ranged from 0.073 to 0.791, and no null alleles or deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HW) were detected. The PIC values for the P. ruscifolia markers ranged from 0.289 to 0.883, but a departure from HW and null alleles were detected for certain loci; however, this departure may have resulted from anthropic activities, such as the presence of livestock, which is very common in the remnant areas.ConclusionsIn this study, we describe novel SSR polymorphic markers that may be helpful in future genetic studies of P. rubriflora and P. ruscifolia.
    BMC Research Notes 06/2014; 7(1):375. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-7-375
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    ABSTRACT: Sugarcane brown rust, caused by Puccinia melanocephala, is one of the major sugarcane diseases. The detection of molecular markers associated to brown rust resistance and also of its epistatic interactions were investigated in a mapping population obtained by crossing the brown rust susceptible clone IACSP953018 and the resistant cultivar IACSP933046. Resistance was evaluated in a field trial in plant cane and first ratoon under natural infection and scored using a diagrammatic scale from 1 (most resistance) to 9 (most susceptible). A total of 488 single dose markers (amplified fragment length polymorphism AFLP, genomic microsatellite gSSR and expressed sequence tag derived microsatellites EST-SSRs) were evaluated through a single marker trait association approach for brown rust resistance. Sixty one putative quantitative trait alleles (QTA) for brown rust (30 in plant cane, 31 in ratoon cane; 10 of them was common for both crop years) were detected of which several were related to resistance. Twenty one (34 %) of the markers associated to QTA derived from ESTs. Some of them have similarity to genes/proteins related to disease response pathways. The estimates of the proportion of the total phenotypic variation ( \(\hat{R}^{2}\) ) explained by each significant main QTA effect ranged from 1.84 to 7.22 %, while the total explained variance estimates were 37.25 % (plant cane) and 43.26 % (ratoon cane) considering all main significant QTA effects. Fifty significant digenic epistatic interactions were suggested with the majority (68 %) contributing to increase brown rust resistance. Together, these probable epistatic effects explain 16.26 % (plant cane) and 17.22 % (ratoon cane) of the total phenotypic variance. Although evidence of epistasis was observed, linkage cannot be ruled out as the majority of the markers involved in the digenic interaction could not be addressed to any linkage group. The results suggest that epistasis may have an important contribution on sugarcane resistance to brown rust.
    Euphytica 06/2014; 203(3):533-547. DOI:10.1007/s10681-014-1257-3 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Premise of the study: Microsatellite primers were identified and characterized in Acca sellowiana in order to expand the limited number of pre-existing polymorphic markers for use in population genetic studies for conservation, phylogeography, breeding, and domestication. Methods and Results: A total of 10 polymorphic microsatellite primers were designed from clones obtained from a simple sequence repeat (SSR)-enriched genomic library. The primers amplified di- and trinucleotide repeats with four to 27 alleles per locus. In all tested populations, the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.269 to 1.0. Conclusions: These new polymorphic SSR markers will allow future genetic studies to be denser, either for genetic structure characterization of natural populations or for studies involving genetic breeding and domestication process in A. sellowiana
    06/2014; 2(6). DOI:10.3732/apps.1400020
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    ABSTRACT: The Cabreúva tree, Myroxylon peruiferum, is an endangered tropical species from Brazil used in forest restoration projects. It is known for its medicinal properties. Eleven microsatellite markers were developed for this species, from a microsatellite-enriched library. Nine of these markers, characterized in 30 individuals from a semideciduous forest remnant population in southeast Brazil, were polymorphic, with allele numbers ranging from 2 to 8 per locus; expected and observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.103 to 0.757 and 0.107 to 0.704, respectively. One locus (Mpe-C04) showed significant deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, probably due to null alleles. Two other loci (Mpe-E09 and Mpe-H07) were monomorphic in this population. These microsatellite loci should be useful for future population genetics studies of this species.
    Genetics and molecular research: GMR 03/2014; 13(AOP). DOI:10.4238/2014.March.26.1 · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The barker frog Physalaemus cuvieri is widely distributed in South America and is found in all regions of Brazil. Significant intraspecific morphological variation in this species has been reported. To determine the genetic structure of the natural Brazilian populations of P. cuvieri, 10 different populations geographically separated by 99.41 to 2936.75 km were evaluated using 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci. In addition, mitochondrial DNA data was analyzed to determine genetic distance between the populations. The genetic variation was found to be significant in most of the populations (HE ranged from 0.40 to 0.59, and allelic richness ranged from 2.07 to 3.54). An FST value of 0.27 indicated that high genetic structure was present among the P. cuvieri populations. STRUCTURE analyses grouped the 10 populations into nine clusters and indicated that only two of the populations were not genetically differentiated. The genetic distance calculated from the mitochondrial DNA data showed values <0.03 for seven of the populations and >0.03 for three of the populations and indicated the TO3 population as a candidate species.
    Genetics and molecular research: GMR 02/2014; 13(AOP). DOI:10.4238/2014.February.21.4 · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Premise of research. Aulonemia aristulata (Do¨ ll) McClure—an endemic Brazilian species—flowers, sets seed, and subsequently dies after many years of vegetative growth. After it has died, plants regenerate by seed germination on the forest floor. Because of the sporadic and unusual records of the flowering cycle and the difficulty of identifying individuals, few studies of the genetic structure of bamboo populations have been published. In this study, we investigated how the flowering event affects the genetic diversity among different populations and evaluated the genetic variability between two ontogenic stages. Methodology. We collected seedlings in July 2009 and saplings in February 2010 in two study areas. We investigated the genetic diversity using markers with different modes of inheritance: nuclear simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and chloroplast SSRs. Pivotal results. The nuclear genetic diversity of the study populations was higher than in other bamboo species. All populations had high and significant inbreeding values, indicating a deficiency of heterozygotes. In general, saplings exhibited less inbreeding than seedlings. Moreover, chloroplast genetic diversity was low, which may indicate that individuals share maternal ancestors. Conclusions. This study demonstrates that sexual reproduction, demographic history, and colonization patterns may contribute to population diversity. The decrease in plant density between ontogenetic stages (i.e., from seedling to sapling) was associated with a higher frequency of homozygotes in seedlings compared with saplings and could indicate intraspecific competition coupled with inbreeding depression as the main factor reducing plant density in bamboos.
    International Journal of Plant Sciences 02/2014; 175(3):319. DOI:10.1086/674448 · 1.69 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

540 Citations
191.72 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2015
    • Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    • Instituto do Câncer do Estado de São Paulo
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2005–2015
    • Instituto Agronômico de Campinas
      Conceição de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2011
    • Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology
      Bhaganagar, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • 2004–2008
    • Escola Superior de Agricultura "Luiz de Queiroz"
      Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2005–2007
    • University of São Paulo
      • Departamento de Genética (LGN) (ESALQ)
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil