Dr. Maria I Arnone
The Arnone group aims at studying evolution of organs and body parts by comparison of the Gene Regulatory Networks (GRN) that control the formation and development of such parts in different animals using the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus as main model system. An important aspect of this model is the phylogenetic position of this group in the animal kingdom. Sea urchins are echinoderms. Echinoderms, together with the sister group hemichordates, are ancient lineages of living non-chordates deuterostomes. Therefore, they provide an invaluable outgroup for assessment of what is ancient in chordates, what is chordate-specific, what is protostome-specific and represent a key group for studying the origin of deuterostomes. Two other deuterostome models were recently included in our studies: an other echinoderm, the sea star Patiria miniata and a hemichordate, the acorn worm Ptychodera flava, thus enabling for comparative analyses (EvoDevo) and evolution of GRNs studies.
Web Page: http://www.szn.it/index.php/it/personale/staff/31-arnone-maria-i/694-arnone-maria-i
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Phone: 39 081 5833203