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Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences

AABC - Volume 88 (1 Suppl.) - May 2016


Since last year, the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências - AABC) is publishing supplement volumes. The first one was a specific issue on Hot topics in Biomedical Sciences and consisted of 17 papers with original studies and review articles.

Here, I am happy to present the second supplement volume of the AABC, which includes 25 articles on a variety of topics in Biological Sciences. As has been the rule over the last years, papers concerning Biology, a large field which has become increasingly more interdisciplinary, are leading the submission rate to our journal.

Among the contributions published here, one deals with the ultrastructure of pollen from the Bromiliaceae, a group of plants very common in the Atlantic Rainforest. Although the vegetation of this biome is known to some extent, amazingly, the same is not true when it comes to palynology. Other contributions considering vegetation deal with variation of leaf pigments and nutrients of some plants from a subtropical forest, annual growth rings in a mangrove species, and a study dealing with the responses of tropical plants in drought events.


Another interesting study deals with the biology of mycoplasmas. These tiny microorganisms, which are responsible for a variety of diseases that affects animals and plants (besides humans) and, therefore, have a considerable economic and environmental impact, are reviewed here.

Talking about diseases, this supplementary volume also presents a study on a specific pathogen that affects cattle, an evaluation of the effects of a scorpion venom in rat kidneys, and an analysis of how antibiotics can influence free-living and biofilm bacteria in plankton culture.

Lastly, the present issue of the AABC also shows some ecological studies, including an analysis of a lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat, an assessment of the diversity considering drosophilids (a cosmopolitan group of flies), and the influences of the flood regime in the Brazilian Pantanal.

Please keep in mind that since 2000 all papers published by the AABC can be downloaded free of charge at SciELO and previous edition of the Newsletter are available at: http://www.abc.org.br/article.php3?id_article=3134&recalcul=oui.

We are now inviting you to scroll through the text and click on the title of the article that interests you!

Alexander W. A. Kellner


1-Geographic variation in skull shape of the water rat Scapteromys tumidus (Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae): isolation-by-distance plus environmental and geographic barrier effects?

Authors: Fernando M. Quintela, Rodrigo Fornel and Thales R.O. Freitas

Geometric morphometric analysis of the skull shape of the pampean water rat Scapteromys tumidus revealed an internal pattern of differentiation. Specimens from the central portion of Rio Grande do Sul state coastal plain differed from all other sampled localities, contrasting mainly in the shape of the zygomatic arch and the lateral braincase.  The results also indicated a moderate correlation between morphological and geographic distances, which corroborate with the isolation-by-distance model. It is also expected that ecological factors and the role of Patos-Mirim lagunar system as a possible geographic barrier have acted on such differentiation.      

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2-Ultrastructure and pollen morphology of Bromeliaceae species from the Atlantic Rainforest in Southeastern Brazil

Authors: Vanessa J.D. Silva, Ester M. Ribeiro, Andrea P. Luizi-Ponzo and Ana Paula G. Faria

Pollen morphology has provided important information for the systematic of bromeliads. However, knowledge regarding the palynology of Bromeliaceae is still scarce, especially when considering the species’ richness within the family. The present work describes the pollen morphology of bromeliad species from the Atlantic Rainforest in southeastern Brazil. The species can be distinguished especially by aperture features and exine ornamentation. This study revealed useful taxonomical data that can be used to identify species, to delimit groups of species, and for future phylogenetic studies of Bromeliaceae.

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3-Interspecific variation in leaf pigments and nutrients of five tree species from a subtropical forest in southern Brazil

Authors: Márcia Bündchen, Maria Regina T. Boeger, Carlos B. Reissmann and Kelly M. Geronazzo

In our article, we show that trees of the subtropical forest in southern Brazil growing under similar conditions have interspecific differences in the use of resources. Our results also show that the variation of leaf photosynthetic pigment content and nutrients in studied tree species is more conspicuous for photosynthetic pigments than leaf nutrients. Of the twelve variables evaluated, photosynthetic pigments were particularly important in all species, correlating with the first PCA axis. These data suggest that the interspecific variation in leaf pigments and nutrients is an important strategy for coexistence in the forest environment.

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4-Production, purification and characterization of an exo-polygalacturonase from Penicillium janthinellum sw09

Authors: Yuping Ma, Siwen Sun, Hui Hao and Chunping Xu

The fungal strain Penicillium janthinellum sw09 produced an exo-polygalacturonase (exo-PG). The crude exo-PG was purified by gel filtration chromatography and two exo-PG activity peaks (designated as PGI and PGII) were revealed. The purified PGII exhibited maximal activity at the temperature of 45 oC and pH 5.0. The stability profiles show that PGII kept the stability in a pH range of 4.0-8.0 and at a temperature range of 30-60 oC. This exo-PG is an attractive candidate for applications in degradation of pectin.

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5-Objective measurement of Akodon budini dorsal coloration: methodological concerns

Authors: María L. Sandoval Salinas, José D. Sandoval and Elisa M. Colombo

We provided objective color measurements of museum specimens of Akodon budini and tested and quantitatively analyzed the influence of the lighting source and the measuring point in the determination of color. We also included the potential effects of some main sources of intraspecific variation. Determinations of pelage color strongly depend on the lighting source and the measuring point, even on the same body area, and therefore it is essential that lighting conditions are controlled during color measurements, and then made explicit when communicating color characterizations, and it is critical that this characterization includes the variation between different body parts. 

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6-Effect of osmopriming on germination and initial growth of Physalis angulata L. under salt stress and on expression of associated genes

Authors: Manuela O. de Souza, Claudinéia R. Pelacani, Leo A.J. Willems, Renato D. de Castro, Henk W.M. Hilhorst and Wilco Ligterink

Seed priming is a technique usually applied to domesticated/cultivated seed species in order to enhance seed germinability and seedling vigor against abiotic stresses. Physalis angulata is not yet a fully domesticated species, in spite of the increasing demand for its agronomic cultivation in face of its medicinal properties. The results obtained in the present study show that osmopriming was effective in enhancing seed germinability and seedling vigor of P. angulata against salt stress, a condition typically found in the soils from the semiarid region of the Northeastern Brazil. Furthermore, it is discussed about genes that are possibly involed in such positive response.

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7-Occurrence of annual growth rings in Rhizophora mangle in a region with low climate seasonality

Authors: Brunna T. Souza, Gustavo C.D. Estrada, Mário L.G. Soares and Cátia H. Callado

The occurrence of annual growth rings in the mangrove Rhizophora mangle L., in a region with low hydric seasonality, has not been tested so far. Based on crossdating of trees with known age, the dendrochronological potential of this species was confirmed. The widths of growth rings from different trees were correlated and presented similar tendencies of temporal variation. However, growth rings were not correlated with climatic parameters, suggesting the importance of biological factors (e.g. phenological behavior) as complementary inductors for the formation of growth rings in this species.

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8- Transfer cells in trichomatous nectary in Adenocalymma magnificum (Bignoniaceae)

Authors: Thália S.S. Gama, Ana Cristina A. de Aguiar-Dias and Diego Demarco

This work reveals that glandular trichomes in Adenocalymma magnificum Mart. ex DC. are nectaries that secrete not only glycoses but also lipophilic compounds, generated from a high energy outflow of the plant. The nectary in this species is formed by a layer in palisade and a layer of stalk cells with thickened anticlinal walls, indicating the presence of transfer cells. The results suggest a high specialization as the wall ingrowths increases the surface area of the plasma membrane, thus improving the transport capacity of nectar and compensating for the high energy expenditure required for its production and release.  

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9-Arsenic toxicity to cladocerans isolated and associated with iron: implications for aquatic environments

Authors: Suellen C.M. Sales, Arnola C. Rietzler and Marcela M. Ribeiro

Arsenic is an ametal ubiquitous in nature and known by its high toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity of arsenic, isolated and associated with iron, to Daphnia similis and Ceriodaphnia silvestrii. We found differences in toxicity of As III and As V to both species and a synergistic effect between dissolved iron and As V. Our results indicate that the cladocerans exposed to arsenic have mechanisms to eliminate this ametal possibly by maternal transference, although, these effects on neonates are not elucidated.

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10-Chlorophyll fluorescence varies more across seasons than leaf water potential in drought-prone plants

Authors: Bruno H.P. Rosado and Eduardo A. de Mattos

In a scenario of intensification of drought events it is not clear how tropical plants in drought-prone habitats will respond to this change. We evaluated the response of six plant restinga species to water deficits across seasons, the relationship between their morpho-physiological traits, and which traits would be the best descriptors of plants’ response to drought. We have demonstrated that a better comprehension of how tropical species cope with changes in water availability can be based on chlorophyll fluorescence, which appeared to be a more sensitive descriptor of their seasonal responses.  

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11-Pertuzumab and trastuzumab: the rationale way to synergy

Authors: Sandrine Richard, Frédéric Selle, Jean-Pierre Lotz, Ahmed Khalil, Joseph Gligorov and Daniele G. Soares

Pertuzumab combined with trastuzumab plus docetaxel is currently used as a standard therapy for first-line treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Pertuzumab is a novel recombinant humanized antibody directed against the extracellular domain II of HER2 that is necessary for its heterodimerization with other HER receptors and the activation of downstream signaling pathways. The potential of pertuzumab relies on the complete blockade of the HER2/3 axis when administered with trastuzumab. This paper synthesizes preclinical and clinical data on pertuzumab and highlights the mechanisms underlying the synergistic activity of the combination pertuzumab-trastuzumab.  

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12-Life cycle traits of Philodina roseola Ehrenberg, 1830 (Rotifera, Bdelloidea), a model organism for bioassays

Authors: Raquel A. Moreira, Adrislaine S. Mansano and Odete Rocha

Experimental results on the life cycle of the rotifer Philodina roseola cultured in the laboratory are presented. Average duration of embryonic development was 23.88 h, primipara age at maturity 3.5 days and maximum lifespan 23 days. Average size of neonate was 198.77 μm, mean size of primipara 395.56 μm and 429.96 μm for adults. Mean fecundity was 1.22 eggs per female day-1 and the mean number of eggs produced per female during the entire life was 22.33. The life history of P. roseola follows the strategy of other bdelloid species of rapid pre-reproductive development and canalizing most assimilated energy to reproduction after reaching maturity.

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13-The effect of exotic grass Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R.D.Webster (Poaceae) in the reduction of species richness and change of floristic composition of natural regeneration in the Floresta Nacional de Carajás, Brazil

Authors: Leandro V. Ferreira, Pia Parolin, Darley C.L. Matos, Denise A. Cunha, Priscilla P. Chaves and Selvino O. Necke

The introduction of exotic species is considered as one of the major causes of biodiversity loss. The National Forest of Carajás is one of the largest mineral provinces in the world. Mining activities caused changes of the natural habitats, leaving degraded areas after the mineral exploitation. One of the mining areas within FLONA Carajás was used for the extraction of gold. In the process of exploitation, a huge depression was formed by the removal of soil which was mounded up nearby. To prevent soil erosion of these mounds, an exotic grass, Urochloa decumbens (Stapf)  R.D.Webster (Poaceae) was planted. The objective of this study was to compare the impact of this non-native grass on species richness and species composition of the natural regeneration in the degraded areas. Four areas were compared, two with and two without presence of U. decumbens. In each area, twenty four 1m²/plots were established. Species richness of the regeneration areas and population sizes were significantly lower in the plots where the exotic grass was present. Our study shows that U. decumbens had a negative effect on species richness and population density, and its presence changed the species composition and distribution of life forms of the natural regeneration.

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14-Molecular biology of mycoplasmas: from the minimum cell concept to the artificial cell

Authors: Caio M.M. Cordova, Daniela L. Hoeltgebaum, Laís D.P.N. Machado and Larissa dos Santos

Mycoplasmas are the smallest known microorganisms capable of self-replication, responsible for various diseases in humans, animals, plants and insects, with big economic and environmental impact. They are considered cellular and molecular biology study models. We present a review of the molecular biology of these microorganisms and studies of valuable genetic tools for its understanding. Derived synthetic biology works won the attention of the mainstream media. An artificial genome was synthesized and a functional cell was artificially constructed from such knowledge. This article is useful for those who want to understand the area or seek to fill gaps in existing models.

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15-Differential effects in CGRPergic, nitrergic, and VIPergic myenteric innervation in diabetic rats supplemented with 2% L-glutamine

Authors: Renata V.F. Pereira, David R. Linden, Marcílio H. Miranda-Neto and Jacqueline N. Zanoni

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that causes abnormal motility in the gastrointestinal tract, mainly by modifications in neuronal function and enteric neurotransmitters. Diabetic complications are primarily attributable to oxidative stress. In this study were investigated the effects of 2% L-glutamine, a precursor of the major endogenous antioxidant - the glutathione, on myenteric innervation of diabetic rats. L-glutamine supplementation exerted a differential neuroprotective effect in diabetic neuropathy that depends on the type of neurotransmitter analyzed. Newly observed in this study are the results obtained in normoglycemic animals, which suggest that there are additional actions of this amino acid beyond its antioxidant capacity.

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16-Detection and quantification of human adenovirus genomes in Acanthamoeba isolated from swimming pools

Authors: Rodrigo Staggemeier, Thalita Arantes, Karin S. Caumo, Marilise B. Rott and Fernando R. Spilki

Free-living amoebae of the genus Acanthamoeba were isolated from water samples collected from swimming pools in the Southern Brazil, and isolates (n=16) were used to investigate the occurrence of HAdVs by qPCR.  HAdVs were detected in 62.5% (10/16) of Acanthamoeba isolates, ranging from 3.24x103 to 5.14x105 DNA copies per milliliter of isolate. HAdV viral loads found in this study are not negligible, especially because HAdV infections are associated with several human diseases, including gastroenteritis, respiratory distress, and ocular diseases. These findings reinforce the concept that Acanthamoeba may act as a reservoir and promote HAdV transmission through water.

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17-Molecular and cytogenetic assessment of Dipterygium glaucum genotoxicity

Authors: Nada H. Altwaty, Osama E. El-Sayed, Nariman A.H. Aly, Mohamed N. Baeshen and Nabih A. Baeshen

Dipterygium glaucum is common along the Arabian Gulf coast growing in the sandy plain habitats. The plant species is used as soil erosion control, shelters against windblown sand, construction material for fences and simple houses. Cytogenetic effects of three D. glaucum extracts showed reduction in mitotic activity and several chromosomal abnormalities on mitotic in roots of Vicia faba. SDS-PAGE of protein bands and PCR-RAPD analyses of V. faba treated with the three extracts revealed some newly induced proteins and DNA fragments, while other disappeared. This work is the first report so far due to lack of the evaluated reports.

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18-Intra-uterine experimental infection by Ureaplasma diversum induces TNF-α mediated womb inflammation in mice

Authors: Jamile R. Silva, Lício F.A.A. Ferreira, Percíllia V.S. Oliveira, Ivanéia V. Nunes, Ítalo S. Pereira, Jorge Timenetsky, Lucas M. Marques, Tiana B. Figueiredo and Robson A.A. Silva

Ureaplasma diversum is an opportunistic pathogen in cattle. It has been suggested that the intra-uterine infection by Ureaplasma diversum can cause vascular changes that hinder the success of pregnancy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the intrauterine infection by Ureaplasma diversum. In our study, the infected mice showed local inflammation through the production of IFN-γ and TNF-α. The levels of TNF-α of infected mice were dependent on the bacterial load of inoculated Ureaplasma. Uterine experimental infections by Ureaplasma diversum have not been mentioned yet and herein we presented the first report of an intrauterine infection model in mice.    

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19-Hippocampal distribution of IL-1β and IL-1RI following lithium-pilocarpine- induced status epilepticus in the developing rat

Authors: Dulce-Mariely Álvarez-Croda, Juan Santiago-García, Jesús S. Medel-Matus, Joel Martínez-Quiroz, Angel A. Puig-Lagunes, Luis Beltrán-Parrazal and María-Leonor López-Meraz

Hippocampal expression of IL-1β and its type 1 receptor (IL-1RI) was determined following status epilepticus (SE) induced by lithium-pilocarpine in fourteen-days-old rats. IL-1β mRNA was increased 6 h following SE, but not at 24 h; IL-1RI mRNA was unaffected when comparing with the control group. IL-1β and IL-1RI immunoreactivity was not detected in control animals. IL-1β and IL-1RI were expressed in the CA1 pyramidal layer, the dentate gyrus granular layer and the hilus 6 h after SE, whereas injured cells where detected 24 h following seizures. Expression of IL-1β and IL-1RI could be associated with SE-induced neuronal cell death mechanisms.

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20-Effects of Tityus stigmurus (Thorell 1876) (Scorpiones: Buthidae) venom in isolated perfused rat kidneys

Authors: Nathalia A. Silva, Cleide M.R. Albuquerque, Aline D. Marinho, Roberta J.B. Jorge, Antonio G. Silva Neto, Helena S.A. Monteiro, Túlio D. Silva, Márcia V. Silva, Maria Tereza S. Correia, Ticiana P. Pereira, Alice M.C. Martins, Dalgimar B. Menezes, Rafael M. Ximenes and René D. Martins

The most medically important scorpion in Brazil belongs to the Tityus genus. Among them, Tityus stigmurus is the main scorpion responsible for stings in the Northeast region, where they known as yellow scorpion. After a sting, the scorpion venom distributes rapidly to the organs, reaching the kidneys quickly. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of T. stigmurus venom in isolated rat kidneys to understand better the renal pathophysiology of scorpion stings. Here, T. stigmurus venom induced a transient increase in PP with tubular injury, both of which lead to an augmented electrolyte excretion.   

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21-Lizard assemblage from a sand dune habitat from southeastern Brazil: a niche overlap analysis

Authors: Gisele R. Winck, Fabio Hatano, Davor Vrcibradic, Monique Van Sluys and Carlos F.D. Rocha

The sand dune habitats are of the main regions affected by human pressure worldwide. Considering its recent historical conformation, we lost many sites before knowledge of  how these communities are structured and/or how their components interact. Our study on a lizard assemblage in one of the most preserved sand dune habitats in southeastern Brazil comprises an effort to reverse this shortfall of knowledge. We analyzed three niche dimensions, and showed that the trophic axis may be important on lizard species relations. Therefore, the species’ coexistence in this assemblage was facilitated by differences in spatial use and time of activity.     

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22-A phytosociological analysis and synopsis of the dry woodlands and succulent vegetation of the Peruvian Andes

Authors: Antonio Galán-de-Mera, Isidoro Sánchez-Veja, Eliana Linares-Perea, Jose Campos, Juan Montoya and José A. Vicente Orellana

A phytosociological approach to dry forest and cactus communities on the occidental slopes of the Peruvian Andes is presented in base of 164 plots carried out following the Braun-Blanquet method. From them, 52 have been made recently, and the other 112 were taken from the literature. After a multivariate analysis, using a hierarchical clustering and a detendred correspondence analysis, the Acacio-Prosopidetea class (dry forest and cactus communities, developed on soils with some edaphic humidity or precipitations derived from El Niño Current), the Opuntietea sphaericae class (cactus communities of central and southern Peru, on few stabilized rocky or sandy soils) and the Carico-Caesalpinietea class (dry forests of the Peruvian coastal desert, influenced by the maritime humidity of the cold Humboldt Current), are differentiated. Within the Acacio-Prosopidetea class, two alliances are commented: the Bursero-Prosopidion pallidae (with two new associations Loxopterygio huasanginis-Neoraimondietum arequipensis and Crotono ruiziani-Acacietum macracanthae), and the new alliance Baccharido-Jacarandion acutifoliae (with the new associations Armatocereo balsasensis-Cercidietum praecocis and Diplopterydo leiocarpae-Acacietum macracanthae). For the Opuntietea sphaericae class, the association Haageocereo versicoloris-Armatocereetum proceri (Espostoo-Neoraimondion) is described on the basis of plots from hyperarid localities of central Peru. Finally, a typological classification of the studied plant communities is given.  

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23-Diversity and associations between Drosophilidae (Diptera) species and Basidiomycetes in a Neotropical forest

Authors: Felipe B. Valer, Eduardo Bernardi, Mayara F. Mendes, Monica L. Blauth and Marco S. Gottschalk

The present study describes the diversity of mycophagous Drosophilidae in a forest of Neotropical region, from where 31 species were sampled from fungus fruiting bodies. Most species of drosophilids use only one or two fungal host species and Hirtodrosophila and Leucophenga were restricted to frequent hosts, suggesting a specialization for these resources. Besides, Auricularia is the most frequent fungal genus in our collections and host of a specialized flies species. Our results corroborate the assumption that the specialization depends on the availability of the resource over time.

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24-Flood regime and water table determines tree distribution in a forest-savanna gradient in the Brazilian Pantanal

Authors: Walnir G. Ferreira-Júnior, Carlos E.G.R. Schaefer, Cátia N. Cunha, Temilze G. Duarte, Luiz C. Chieregatto and Flávia M.S. Carmo

This study aimed to recognized the preferential location of tree species in response to a moisture gradient in Pantanal Matogrossense, Brazil. Detrended Correspondence Analysis, Gradient Direct Analysis, Multi-response Permutation Procedures and Indicator Species Analysis were performed to evaluate the effect of moisture gradient on tree distribution. The annual variation of water table is shallower and similar in Seasonally Flooded Forest and Termite Savanna, with increasing depths in Open Savanna, Savanna Forestand Dry Forest. The tree distribution across different formations in the Pantanal shows a direct relationship with soil moisture gradient.

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25-Evaluation of antibiotics as a methodological procedure to inhibit free-living and biofilm bacteria in marine zooplankton culture

Authors: Vanessa O. Agostini, Alexandre J. Macedo and Erik Muxagata

Antibiotics can be an alternative solution to keep plankton culture free from bacteria; however such substances should not harm non-target organisms. Thus, the application of 0.025 g L-1 penicillin + 0.08 g L-1 streptomycin + 0.04 g L-1 neomycin showed great potential for use in marine zooplankton cultures without lethal effects to copepod Acartia tonsa. The effect starts within the first 6h of exposure and reduces up to 93% the bacterial density. This treatment could be considered an effective procedure for benefit marine cultures and for scientific experiments with the aim of measuring the role of bacteria in the community.

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Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences

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