Projects in progress
Assessment of quality of Brazilian cave environments using biomarkers.
The increasing population growth and development of agriculture and industry have been compromising the quality of the different ecosystems on the planet, including the cave environments. To evaluate the level of pollutant risk to the subterranean environment through macroecological studies, however, is not feasible since the observable effects tend to develop after prolonged exposure periods. The need to assess the quality of the cave environment, and the effect of pollutants on biota has led to the search for mechanisms to elucidate the initial stages of toxicity at the cellular level and ensure quick understanding of the situation of the environment, in time to avoid further damage. Thus, the aim of this study is to evaluate the quality of Brazilian subterranean environments through the analysis of different biochemical responses using trogloxene, troglophilic and troglodyte invertebrates as models. To do so, the concentration of heavy metals in the body, and potential biomarkers metallothionein, acid phosphatase, acetylcholinesterase, glutathione-s-transferase and antioxidant defenses will be evaluated in cave invertebrates that will be collected in different regions of the country.