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Event Application of cytogenetics to discriminate ant cryptic species

by Cléa Dos Santos Ferreira Mariano from the Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, Bahia, Brésil.

The presentation will be given in French, in the small auditorium of the RBINS at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday 13 February.

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Period 13/02/2013
Event location Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences Rue Vautier 29, Bruxelles
Host Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Geographical coverage Belgium,
Keywords ants, cytogenetics,


Cytogenetics is the study the chromosomes taken isolated, or all together. Observations on the karyotype composition and on chromosome structure allow assessing the occurrence and localization of Robertsonian chromosomal rearrangements that can affect the number of chromosomes or their morphology and, therefore, the karyotype composition and structure. Some of these changes are the cause of reproductive isolation mechanisms. With over 13,000 described species, ants are between the dominant groups of terrestrial invertebrates. The diversity of these organisms, however, is often underestimated because of the occurrence of cryptic species. In ants, the number of chromosomes of about 750 morphospecies from different biogeographic regions (Australian, Oriental, Neartic and Neotropical) is known. Studies carried out in our research group use cytogenetics as a tool to investigateNeotropical ant diversity. During this talk we will address the discrimination of cryptic species among some Neotropical poneromorph ants. These data, when analyzed as a whole together with taxonomic, biogeographic, ecological and behavioral information, allow us to consider cytogenetics as an important additional element aiming the understanding of speciation processes or to infer on the true diversity of this important biological group that are the ants.


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