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Scientific categories: Comparative Biology and Cytology (BIO/06), Genetics (BIO/18), Microbiology (BIO/19)

Our research activities aim to investigate the molecular, cellular and developmental diversity of organisms at different levels of evolutionary complexity: microorganisms, plants, animals and humans. The relationships among individuals and/or populations, and among them and the environment, are described by means of modern genomic techniques and cellular/morphometric tools. This multidisciplinary approach allows for a much needed and exhaustive description of natural biodiversity, potentially placing the Bio-Molecular Diversity & Evolutionary Biology group in the forefront of both basic and applied research.

Specific Research Objectives

Microbial ecology and applied microbiology (G. Cenci, E. Federici, S. Covino)
Implementation of bio-molecular approaches to investigate the structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in the environment (e.g., soil, water, host organisms), in biotechnological processes (e.g., bioremediation, waste treatment and valorization) and in human health (e.g., interactions with xenobiotics, probiotic antigenotoxicity).

Conservation genetics and molecular ecology (L. Lucentini)
Mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic, phylogeography and DNA variations patterns evaluations to clarify evolution, dispersal patterns and taxonomic relationships of wild populations and domesticated stocks with theoretical and applied scopes, as pursue forensic and conservation genetics purposes. Application of integrative taxonomy to wild and domesticated stocks.

Development and cell biology vs environment (I. Di Rosa, A. Fagotti)
Biological responses of sentinel organisms to environmental stressors, at different level of biological organization (sub-organismal, individual and population); measurement of biomarkers under natural and controlled conditions. Biological response of developing model organisms to physical and chemical stress: potential applications in pharmacological and bio-medical fields.

Unit: Population genetics and molecular evolution (H. Lancioni)
Genetic analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence variation with the aim of better defining origins, evolution and dispersal patterns of human and livestock populations. Definition of the role played by the human and animal genome variation in association studies and in forensic surveys.

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