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1.  Melatonin as a Signaling Molecule for Metabolism Regulation in Response to Hypoxia in the Crab Neohelice granulata 
Melatonin has been identified in a variety of crustacean species, but its function is not as well understood as in vertebrates. The present study investigates whether melatonin has an effect on crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) gene expression, oxygen consumption (VO2) and circulating glucose and lactate levels, in response to different dissolved-oxygen concentrations, in the crab Neohelice granulata, as well as whether these possible effects are eyestalk- or receptor-dependent. Melatonin decreased CHH expression in crabs exposed for 45 min to 6 (2, 200 or 20,000 pmol·crab−1) or 2 mgO2·L−1 (200 pmol·crab−1). Since luzindole (200 nmol·crab−1) did not significantly (p > 0.05) alter the melatonin effect, its action does not seem to be mediated by vertebrate-typical MT1 and MT2 receptors. Melatonin (200 pmol·crab−1) increased the levels of glucose and lactate in crabs exposed to 6 mgO2·L−1, and luzindole (200 nmol·crab−1) decreased this effect, indicating that melatonin receptors are involved in hyperglycemia and lactemia. Melatonin showed no effect on VO2. Interestingly, in vitro incubation of eyestalk ganglia for 45 min at 0.7 mgO2·L−1 significantly (p < 0.05) increased melatonin production in this organ. In addition, injections of melatonin significantly increased the levels of circulating melatonin in crabs exposed for 45 min to 6 (200 or 20,000 pmol·crab−1), 2 (200 and 20,000 pmol·crab−1) and 0.7 (200 or 20,000 pmol·crab−1) mgO2·L−1. Therefore, melatonin seems to have an effect on the metabolism of N. granulata. This molecule inhibited the gene expression of CHH and caused an eyestalk- and receptor-dependent hyperglycemia, which suggests that melatonin may have a signaling role in metabolic regulation in this crab.
PMCID: PMC4284716  PMID: 25486055
melatonin; Decapoda; hypoxia; metabolism; glucose; lactate; crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH)
3.  Genetic Structure and Natal Origins of Immature Hawksbill Turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in Brazilian Waters 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e88746.
Understanding the connections between sea turtle populations is fundamental for their effective conservation. Brazil hosts important hawksbill feeding areas, but few studies have focused on how they connect with nesting populations in the Atlantic. Here, we (1) characterized mitochondrial DNA control region haplotypes of immature hawksbills feeding along the coast of Brazil (five areas ranging from equatorial to temperate latitudes, 157 skin samples), (2) analyzed genetic structure among Atlantic hawksbill feeding populations, and (3) inferred natal origins of hawksbills in Brazilian waters using genetic, oceanographic, and population size information. We report ten haplotypes for the sampled Brazilian sites, most of which were previously observed at other Atlantic feeding grounds and rookeries. Genetic profiles of Brazilian feeding areas were significantly different from those in other regions (Caribbean and Africa), and a significant structure was observed between Brazilian feeding grounds grouped into areas influenced by the South Equatorial/North Brazil Current and those influenced by the Brazil Current. Our genetic analysis estimates that the studied Brazilian feeding aggregations are mostly composed of animals originating from the domestic rookeries Bahia and Pipa, but some contributions from African and Caribbean rookeries were also observed. Oceanographic data corroborated the local origins, but showed higher connection with West Africa and none with the Caribbean. High correlation was observed between origins estimated through genetics/rookery size and oceanographic/rookery size data, demonstrating that ocean currents and population sizes influence haplotype distribution of Brazil's hawksbill populations. The information presented here highlights the importance of national conservation strategies and international cooperation for the recovery of endangered hawksbill turtle populations.
PMCID: PMC3928279  PMID: 24558419
4.  First report of White spot syndrome virus in farmed and wild penaeid shrimp from lagoa dos patos estuary, southern brazil 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2011;42(3):1176-1179.
In this study, we detected White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in wild Farfantepenaeus paulensis collected in the Lagoa dos Patos estuary and cultivated Litopenaeus vannamei. This is the first report of WSSV in F. paulensis from Lagoa dos Patos and farmed L. vannamei shrimps in Rio Grande do Sul.
PMCID: PMC3768776  PMID: 24031739
WSSV; viral diseases; Farfantepenaeus paulensis; Litopenaeus vannamei; epizootiology
5.  Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) foraging at Arvoredo Island in Southern Brazil: Genetic characterization and mixed stock analysis through mtDNA control region haplotypes 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2009;32(3):613-618.
We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies (< 5%). Haplotype (h) and nucleotide (π) diversities were 0.5570 ± 0.0697 and 0.0021 ± 0.0016, respectively. Exact tests of differentiation and AMOVA ΦST pairwise values between the study area and eight other Atlantic foraging grounds revealed significant differences in most areas, except Ubatuba and Rocas/Noronha, in Brazil (p > 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species.
PMCID: PMC3036036  PMID: 21637527
foraging grounds; genetic diversity; green turtle; mtDNA haplotypes; natal origins

Results 1-5 (5)