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Laboratories

  • Introduction
  • Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology
  • Laboratory of Structural Botany
  • Algae Growth Laboratory
  • Plant Health
  • Mycology Laboratory
  • Seed laboratory
  • Introduction

    The Laboratory Network, created in 2002, encompasses the Laboratories on Structural Botany, Seeds and Molecular Biology in the same physical space, allowing a closer integration and an optimization of the equipment use. Close to the building of the Laboratory Network, there is the Systematic Botany with the Laboratories on algae growth and mycology. The laboratories at DIPEQ, along with the herbarium, are the places where all the scientific activity takes place.

    • The Laboratory of Structural Botany (LBE – acronym in Portuguese) enables the study of the anatomy and of the ultra-structure of native species, by means of studies focused on taxonomy, ecology and economic potential.
    • The Seed Laboratory (LS – acronym in Portuguese) has technical capacity to develop research in seed conservation and ecophysiology, seeds and seedlings morphology, and plant growth analysis, being also responsible for routine harvesting of seeds from native and exotic species.
    • The Algae growth laboratory develops experiments with sea algae under controlled conditions. The activities in course relate to projects involving mainly phycocolloids producing species, secondary metabolites producing species with biological activity and species that form limestone reef structures. With the current infrastructure it is possible to hold small and medium sized experiments, including seawater experiments up to 400 liters.
    • The Laboratory on Plant Molecular Biology (LBMP – acronym in Portuguese) derives from the partnership between the Botanical Garden with the Medical Biochemistry Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and has instruments for studies on molecular biology in the areas of gene diversity, molecular taxonomy and phylogeny, population genetics and plant development.
    • The Mycology Laboratory has infrastructure to isolate, study and grow living fungi, especially the ones whose conservation is important. It keeps a collection of samples coming from natural or degraded areas by applying specific methods to mantain the original genetical properties for long periods of time. The collection is essential as a reference material in biological or taxonomical studies, and can provide samples to prospect metabolic compounds of chemical and pharmacological interest.
    • Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology

      During the last decades the biodiversity has been drastically reduced as a direct or indirect consequence of human activity. In that way, a huge part of the genetic variety, of economic and ecological importance for the humanity, has been lost. Although the exact number is unknown, it is a widespread knowledge that many species have already been extinct, while others have such a small populations that can be considered endangered on the long term.

      One of the main goals of the conservationist approach is to study the genetics and its interaction with the ecological aspects of the taxon, for the long-term viability of populations and communities to be secured, even in legally protected areas.

      Information on the variations and the genetic structure, while also important for the long-term survival of the endangered species, can help the reintroduction of the species in programs for the recovery of degraded regions, determine the size of the reserves and the preservation of genetic resources for future usage, thus avoiding to lose potentially good alleles. Since it is impossible to foresee which will be the genetic combination that will better adapt to the different habitats, it is important to maintain the more variety as possible, so that the species can evolve.

      Phylogeny can play an important role on the evolutionary potential of species. Phylogenetic trees can be used to find out regions of exceptional endemism and conservation priorities, to identify factors that promote biodiversity and much more.

      The phylogenetic trees based in DNA are being used because there are precise and trustworthy if compared to the ones only based in morphological aspects.

      Genetic structure
      In our laboratory, we use molecular markers to evaluate the genetic structure and variation in several species. The techniques used are based in PCR, such as AFLP, ISSR and nuclear and chloroplastic SSRs.

      Molecular Phylogeny
      Phylogenetic analyses and studies of the taxonomical complex have been conducted in our laboratory by means of molecular markers and DNA sequencing. Those studies not only help to analyze the inter-species variation, but also help to rebuild the evolutionary history of many species in the Brazilian flora, mainly from the Atlantic Forest.

      • Laboratory of Structural Botany

        The Laboratory of Structural Botany has directed its investigation towards the understanding of the anatomy and ultra-structures of the Brazilian plant species. In this line, the research team contributes with the production of new information on the parts of the plant - the roots, the stem (including the wood), the leaves, the flowers, the fruit and the seeds - on the plants’ survival strategies on different biomes and on the intraspecific and ultraspecific variations that allow the use of anatomic and ultra-structural data to separate and identify taxa, generating indexed articles published in national and international scientific journals.

        Furthermore, the Laboratory is responsible for the more than 50 thousand wood samples in the Botanical Garden’s xylotheque. The laboratory also develops studies in parternshps with researchers that are not experts in anatomy and ultra-structure.

        Another contribution of the Laboratory of Structural Botany is the training of highly qualified human resources on the research developments in the areas of plant anatomy and ultra-structure, teaching students from undergraduate research until the post-graduate education programs.

        • Algae Growth Laboratory

          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory
          • Algae Growth Laboratory

          The Algae Laboratory holds the essential structure for research on the ecology and physiology of sea algae and their taxonomy.

          In the growth room, the algae are acclimated and the environmental factors are controlled so to understand the interactions between the alga and the environment.

          The Laboratory also has a room to sort field material, a microscopy room with specialized book collection to help identify and quantify the algae, and many other equipment for the development of the research projects, (a remotely operated underwater vehicle – ROV, underwater diving equipment, underwater image acquiring systems, underwater radiance and temperature measuring devices, lab equipment).

          At this laboratory, many basic and applied investigations are conducted, subsidizing the knowledge on marine biodiversity and its functioning. Thus, they provide essential information for conservation units, marine ecosystems management plans, and generate new technologies (example: selections of new lineages and production techniques in algaeculture, the discovery and use of marine natural products).

          Researcher in charge:
          Renata Perpetuo Reis

          Researchers:
          Gilberto Menezes Amado Filho
          Leonardo Tavares Salgado
          Marcia Figueiredo Creed

           
          • Plant Health

            The Plant Health laboratory has technical and instrumental capabilities to develop research on the field of plant health in urban areas, focusing in urban forest entomology, invertebrate community ecology in urban areas and alternative disease and pests control, being responsible to monitor the health of the Garden's living collection, including diagnosis, management and plant health treatment activities.

             
            • Mycology Laboratory

              • Mycology Laboratory
              • Mycology Laboratory
              • Mycology Laboratory
              • Mycology Laboratory

              Most of the biotechnological processes used commercially or for the transformation of substrata in products of a higher aggregate value, use microbe lineages. The microorganisms are used to synthesize many substances of industrial interest, in the environmental bioremediation, and have an important role in the biogeochemical cycles. They also influence in species diversification, are important plant pathogens and man have therapeutic or nutritional properties. Thus, the study of the taxonomic and functional diversity of the microorganisms in natural or degraded areas is of prime importance, mainly in diverse countries such as Brazil.

              The biological collections are essential tools for the management and conservation of the biodiversity, aggregating in small spaces important information on the organisms.

              In this context, fungi collection in herbariums, laboratories designed for mycological research, and fungi culture are important, since they are aimed at keeping and maintain those organisms for basic and applied studies.

              Opened in 2009, the Mycology Laboratory of the Research Institute of the Botanical Garden is part of the Lab Network of the Research Direction (DIPEQ – acronym in Portuguese).

              Goals

              The main goal is to perform studies on fungi in plants of conservationist interst in natural or degrade area; to perform its processing through isolation, identification and storage techniques with three different methods while also preserving, whenever possible, herbarium samples.

              The preservation methods used in the laboratory are the Castellani (distilled water), periodic pricking out (subcultures) and freeze-drying.

              Other units involved

              • Herbarium of the Research Institute of the Botanical Garden;
              • National School of Tropical Botanic;
              • Laboratory of Plant Diversity, Taxonomy and Phylogeny of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro;
              • Universities

              Researcher in Charge: Anibal Alves de Carvalho Junior

              Support:
              CNPqFaperj

               

               

              • Seed laboratory

                • Seed laboratory
                • Seed laboratory
                • Seed laboratory
                • Seed laboratory
                • Seed laboratory
                • Seed laboratory
                • Seed laboratory

                The seed laboratory has the technical capacty to develop investigations in seed conservation and ecophysiology, seeds and seedlings morphology and analysis of plant growth, being also responsible for the daily activities of harvesting the seeds of native and exotic species.