Threatened and understudied: the lack of genetic data of endangered Brazilian plant species




Extinction, Genetic Diversity, Plant Red List


A literature review of genetic studies on 3134 endangered or data deficient Brazilian plant species was performed using the Periodical Capes database, using, for each species, a combination of the binomial (without authorship) and the radical genet*. The search was only for articles, without publication year limitation. The search included relevant synonyms, based on information obtained from the National Flora Conservation Center (CNC Flora) website. Phylogenetic studies focusing on taxonomy or studies focusing on gene expression were excluded. A total of 14 463 articles were retrieved with this search strategy, but only 312 fit within the scope of the search. Results show that genetic studies for plants of all threat categories are lacking, with a very low average (0,09%) of genetic studies retrieved per species. The four threatened species with a higher number of studies are species of commercial interest. For 1931 species no article was retrieved. Given the high levels of biodiversity loss in Brazil, it is urgent to invest in the knowledge of the biology of threatened plant species, especially those which are the most neglected in genetic studies.


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Author Biographies

Liliana Essi, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS

Docente da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria na área de Botânica, tem experiência nas áreas de Taxonomia e Filogenia Molecular, atuando principalmente em estudos taxonômicos, sistemáticos e evolutivos com gramíneas hibernais. Possui especial interesse em investigações envolvendo plantas ameaçadas de extinção e marcadores moleculares. Colabora em estudos envolvendo plantas invasoras, medicinais e estudos florísticos locais. Atualmente, é curadora do herbário SMDB do Jardim Botânico da UFSM. É docente permanente do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Agrobiologia da UFSM (mestrado).  

Maria de Fátima Ribeiro Chicatte Lima, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS

Maria de Fatima Ribeiro Chicatte Lima, natural de Palmeira das Missões, RS. Formou-se no curso de Magistério pelo Instituto Estadual de Educação Borges do Canto em palmeira das Missões. Formou-se em Licenciatura Plena em Ciências Biológicas pela Universidade Federal de Santa Maria-campus-Palmeira das Missões, participou como estagiária do laboratório GenEvo (laboratório genética e evolução), trabalhou com biologia molecular de platelmintos-UFSM-PM. Atualmente participa como voluntária do laboratório de Genética Vegetal do Departamento de Biologia da Universidade Federal de Santa Maria.

Leandro Gonçalves Leite, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS

Atualmente é mestrando em Agrobiologia pela UFSM. Graduado em Ciências Biológicas pela URCAMP. Foi bolsista de Iniciação Científica CNPq - Embrapa Pecuária Sul na área de Genética, com ênfase em Melhoramento Genético Vegetal e bolsista de extensão pela URCAMP na área de Educação Ambiental. Possui curso Técnico em Informática pelo IFSul.  

Mariana Marques Wolf, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Santa Maria, RS

Possui curso superior em Tecnólogo em Gestão Ambiental pela Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, e atualmente é mestranda do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Agrobiologia pela mesma universidade.  


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How to Cite

Essi, L., Lima, M. de F. R. C., Leite, L. G., & Wolf, M. M. (2020). Threatened and understudied: the lack of genetic data of endangered Brazilian plant species. Ciência E Natura, 42, e28.



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