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Mauro MANDRIOLI

Professore Associato presso: Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita sede ex-Biologia


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Pubblicazioni

2020 - At the origin of animal dehumanization: exploring T.J. Kasperbauer’s points of view in "Subhuman: the moral psycology of human attitude to animals" [Recensione in Rivista]
MANDRIOLI, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2020 - Chimeric symbionts expressing a Wolbachia protein stimulate mosquito immunity and inhibit filarial parasite development [Articolo su rivista]
Sara, Epis; Varotto Boccazzi, I.; DAMIANI, C.; GIOVATI, L.; MANDRIOLI, M.; BIGIOGGERA, M.; GABRIELI, P.; GENCHI, M.; POLONELLI, L.; DAFFONCHIO, D.; FAVIA, G.; BANDI, C.
abstract

Wolbachia can reduce the capability of mosquitoes to transmit infectious diseases to humans and is currently exploited in campaigns for the control of arboviruses, like dengue and Zika. Under the assumption that Wolbachia-mediated activation of insect immunity plays a role in the reduction of mosquito vectorial capacity, we focused our attention on the Wolbachia surface protein (WSP), a potential inductor of innate immunity. We hypothesized that the heterologous expression of this protein in gut- and tissue-associated symbionts may reduce parasite transmission. We thus engineered the mosquito bacterial symbiont Asaia to express WSP (AsaiaWSP). AsaiaWSP induced activation of the host immune response in Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes, and inhibited the development of the heartworm parasite Dirofilaria immitis in Ae. aegypti. These results consolidate previous evidence on the immune-stimulating property of WSP and make AsaiaWSP worth of further investigations as a potential tool for the control of mosquito-borne diseases.


2020 - Draft genome sequence of plant growth-promoting Streptomyces sp. strain SA51, isolated from olive trees [Articolo su rivista]
Shiva Krishna Prasad Vurukonda, Sai; MANDRIOLI, Mauro; D'APICE, GRETA; STEFANI, Emilio
abstract

A streptomycete was isolated from the rhizosphere of olive trees in autumn 2004. Its molecular characterization showed the presence of metabolic pathways promoting plant growth and additional properties, thus indicating such strain as a prospective agent for future biocontrol applications in planta. We report here the whole genome sequence of Streptomyces avermitilis, strain SA51.


2020 - Evolutionary insights into the aphid genome: aphid genomics between quality problems and intriguing perspectives [Capitolo/Saggio]
MANDRIOLI, Mauro; MANICARDI, Gian Carlo
abstract

In the last decade the genomes of several aphid species have been sequenced allow- ing a better understanding of their biology and evolution. Unfortunately, as frequently occurs with the next generation sequencing technologies, several aphid genomes con- sist in fragmented assemblies that contain thousands of genomic scaffolds of reduced length. In order to improve the quality of the published genomic data, several research groups are currently resequencing aphid DNA making possible to take the full advan- tage of genomics to face complex biological problems, such as aphid diversification. This review is aimed to discuss the current state of art in aphid genomics focusing in particular on the aspects that could improve our knowledge of their evolution.


2020 - Holocentric chromosomes [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Holocentric chromosomes possess multiple kinetochores along their length rather than the single centromere typical of other chromosomes. They have been described for the first time in cytogenetic experiments dating from 1935 and, since this first observation, the term holocentric chromosome has referred to chromosomes that: i. lack the primary constriction corresponding to centromere observed in monocentric chromosomes; ii. possess multiple kinetochores dispersed along the chromosomal axis so that microtubules bind to chromosomes along their entire length and move broadside to the pole from the metaphase plate. These chromosomes are also termed holokinetic, because, during cell division, chromatids move apart in parallel and do not form the classical V-shaped figures typical of monocentric chromosomes. Holocentric chromosomes evolved several times during both animal and plant evolution and are currently reported in about eight hundred diverse species, including plants, insects, arachnids and nematodes. As a consequence of their diffuse kinetochores, holocentric chromosomes may stabilize chromosomal fragments favouring karyotype rearrangements. However, holocentric chromosome may also present limitations to crossing over causing a restriction of the number of chiasma in bivalents and may cause a restructuring of meiotic divisions resulting in an inverted meiosis.


2020 - Lamarck 2.0: rileggere Lamarck per capirne la vera eredità [Articolo su rivista]
MANDRIOLI, Mauro
abstract

Pikaia ha letto per voi due nuovi libri dedicati a Jean Baptiste Lamarck


2020 - Le produzioni alimentari del futuro tra innovazione e sostenibilità. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2020 - Soybean aphid biotype 1 genome: insights into the invasive biology and adaptive evolution of a major agricultural pest [Articolo su rivista]
Giordano, Rosanna; Kiran Donthu, Ravi; Zimin, Aleksey; Consuelo Julca Chavez, Irene; Gabaldon, Toni; Munster, Manuellavan; Hon, Lawrence; Hall, Richard; Badger, Jonathan; Flores, Alejandra; Potter, Bruce; Giray, Tugru; Soto-Adames, Felipe N.; Weber, Everett; Marcelino, Jose A. P.; Fields, Christopher J.; J Voegtlin, David; Hill, Curt B.; Hartman, Glen L.; Akraiko, Tatsiana; Aschwanden, Andrew; Avalos, Arian; Band, Mark; Bonning, Bryony; Breault, Julie; Brier, Hugh; Chiesa, Olga; Chirumamilla, Anitha; Coates, Brad S.; Cocuzza, Giuseppe; Cullen, Eileen; Desborough, Peter; Diers, Brian; Di Fonzo, Christina; Gagnier, Dana; Gavloski, John; MaryGebhardt, ; Hammond, Ronald B.; Heimpel, George; Herbert, Ames; Herman, Theresa; Hogg, David; Huanga, Yongping; Johnson, Doug; Knodel, Janet; Ko, Chiun-Cheng; Krupke, Christian H.; Labrie, Genevieve; Lagos-Kutz, Doris; Lang, Brian; Lee, Joon-Ho; Lee, Seunghwan; MANDRIOLI, Mauro; MANICARDI, Gian Carlo; Maw, Eric L.; Mazzoni, Emanuele; McCarville, Michael; Melchiori, Giulia; Michel, Andy; Micijevic, Ana; Miller, Nick; Mittenthal, Robin; Murai, Tamotsu; Nasruddin, Andy; Nault, Brian A.; O'Neal, Matthew E.; Panini, Michela; Pessino, Massimo; Prischmann-Voldseth, Deirdre; Quesnel, G.; Ragsdale, David W.; Robertson, Hugh H.; Schuster, Tiana; Sijun, Liu; Song, Hojun; Stimmel, James F.; Takahashi, Shigeru; Tilmon, Kelley; Tooker, John; Wilson, Sarah; Wu, Kongming; Zhan, Shuai; YingZhang,
abstract

The soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is a serious pest of the soybean plant, Glycine max, a major world-wide agricultural crop. We assembled a de novo genome sequence of Ap. glycines Biotype 1, from a culture established shortly after this species invaded North America. 20.4% of the Ap. glycines proteome is duplicated. These in-paralogs are enriched with Gene Ontology (GO) categories mostly related to apoptosis, a possible adaptation to plant chemistry and other environmental stressors. Approximately one-third of these genes show parallel duplication in other aphids. But Ap. gossypii, its closest related species, has the lowest number of these duplicated genes. An Illumina GoldenGate assay of 2,380 SNPs was used to determine the world-wide population structure of Ap. Glycines. China and South Korean aphids are the closest to those in North America. China is the likely origin of other Asian aphid populations. The most distantly related aphids to those in North America are from Australia. The diversity of Ap. glycines in North America has decreased over time since its arrival. The genetic diversity of Ap. glycines North American population sampled shortly after its first detection in 2001 up to 2012 does not appear to correlate with geography. However, aphids collected on soybean Rag experimental varieties in Minnesota (MN), Iowa (IA), and Wisconsin (WI), closer to high density Rhamnus cathartica stands, appear to have higher capacity to colonize resistant soybean plants than aphids sampled in Ohio (OH), North Dakota (ND), and South Dakota (SD). Samples from the former states have SNP alleles with high FST values and frequencies, that overlap with genes involved in iron metabolism, a crucial metabolic pathway that may be affected by the Rag-associated soybean plant response. The Ap. glycines Biotype 1 genome will provide needed information for future analyses of mechanisms of aphid virulence and pesticide resistance as well as facilitate comparative analyses between aphids with differing natural history and host plant range.


2020 - The biology of Lonp1: More than a mitochondrial protease [Capitolo/Saggio]
Gibellinia, Lara; DE GAETANO, ANNA; MANDRIOLI, Mauro; Van Tongeren, Elia; BORTOLOTTI, Carlo Augusto; COSSARIZZA, Andrea; PINTI, Marcello
abstract

Initially discovered as a protease responsible for degradation of misfolded or damaged proteins, the mitochondrial Lon protease (Lonp1) turned out to be a multifaceted enzyme, that displays at least three different functions (proteolysis, chaperone activity, binding of mtDNA) and that finely regulates several cellular processes, within and without mitochondria. Indeed, LONP1 in humans is ubiquitously expressed, and is involved in regulation of response to oxidative stress and, heat shock, in the maintenance of mtDNA, in the regulation of mitophagy. Furthermore, its proteolytic activity can regulate several biochemical pathways occurring totally or partially within mitochondria, such as TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, steroid and heme biosynthesis and glutamine production. Because of these multiple activities, Lon protease is highly conserved throughout evolution, and mutations occurring in its gene determines severe diseases in humans, including a rare syndrome characterized by Cerebral, Ocular, Dental, Auricular and Skeletal anomalies (CODAS). Finally, alterations of LONP1 regulation in humans can favor tumor progression and aggressiveness, further highlighting the crucial role of this enzyme in mitochondrial and cellular homeostasis.


2020 - Vulnerabilità ed epigenetica. Un punto di vista biologico [Articolo su rivista]
Portera, Mariagrazia; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Chiunque negli ultimi cinquant’anni abbia studiato, a tutti i livelli, la biologia molecolare si sarà imbattuto almeno una volta in quello che è stato definito il “dogma centrale” della disciplina: l’idea del passaggio esclusivamente monodirezionale di informazione da DNA a proteina, passando per l’RNA. In breve, secondo il “dogma centrale” la via che conduce dall’informazione genetica alla proteina, attraverso trascrizione e traduzione, è percorribile sono per un verso, non a ritroso. Ciò esclude, evidentemente, qualsiasi influenza del prodotto “finito” (anzitutto, appunto, proteine, ma anche – allargando la lente d’osservazione – tessuti, organi, corpo e perfino l’ambiente entro cui tale corpo agisce) sulla struttura e l’espressione del DNA. In questo senso, l’informazione genetica sarebbe invulnerabile alla retroazione dei prodotti (e delle relazioni complesse tra di essi) che essa stessa istruisce. Ma è davvero così? In che senso e in che misura, alla luce delle acquisizioni della biologia degli ultimi vent’anni, possiamo valutare, ripensare ed eventualmente aggiornare il “dogma centrale”? In particolare, qual è il ruolo, ai fini di tale ripensamento, della ricerca recente sui meccanismi epigenetici di modificazione dell’espressione genica? Il DNA è davvero invulnerabile alle influenze dell’ambiente a esso esterno (a vari livelli) e, se non lo è del tutto, sino a che punto? Parliamo di questi temi con Mauro Mandrioli, Professore Associato di Genetica presso il Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita dell’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia. Mauro Mandrioli insegna Genetica Generale, Molecolare e Microbica ed è autore di oltre 150 pubblicazioni scientifiche su riviste internazionali, di capitoli di libri presso editori nazionali e internazionali e di numerosi articoli per portali web di settore. Si occupa principalmente di tematiche riguardanti la genetica e l’epigenetica di insetti di interesse agrario, coordina il Digital Agriculture Laboratory (intersezione di genetica, informatica e agraria) presso l’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia e porta avanti da anni un fecondo lavoro di collaborazione inter- e trans-disciplinare a cavallo tra scienze biologiche e scienze umane.


2019 - Activation of immune related genes in leafhoppers by phytoplasmas and symbiotic bacteria [Articolo su rivista]
Elena, Gonella; Mandrioli, Mauro; Rosemarie, Tedeschi; Elena, Crotti; Marianna, Pontini; Alberto, Alma
abstract

Insect immunity is a crucial process in the interaction between host and microorganisms; presence of pathogenic, commensal, or beneficial bacteria may result in different immune responses. In Hemiptera vectors of phytoplasmas, infected insects are amenable to carrying high loads of phytopathogens, besides hosting other bacterial affiliates, which have evolved different strategies to be retained; adaptation to host response and immunomodulation are key aspects of insect-symbiont interactions. Most of the analyses published have investigated insect immune response to pathogens, whereas few studies have been focused on the role of host immunity in microbiota homeostasis and vectorial capacity. Here the expression of immune genes in the leafhopper vector of phytoplasmas Euscelidius variegatus Kirschbaum is investigated following exposure to Asaia symbiotic bacteria, previously demonstrated to affect phytoplasma acquisition by leafhoppers. The expression of four genes related to major components of immunity was tested, i.e. defensin, phenoloxidase, kazal type 1 serine protease inhibitor and Raf, a component of the Ras/Raf pathway. The response was separately tested in whole insects, midguts and cultured hemocytes. Healthy individuals were tested along with specimens undergoing early- and late-stage phytoplasma infection. Beside that, the adhesion grade of Asaia strains was examined to assess whether symbionts may establish a physical barrier against phytoplasma colonization. Our results revealed a specific activation of Raf in midguts after double infection by Asaia and flavescence dorée phytoplasma. Increased expression was observed already in early stages of phytoplasma colonization. Gut-specific localization and timing of Raf activation are consistent with the role played by Asaia in limiting phytoplasma acquisition by E. variegatus, supporting the involvement of this gene in the anti-pathogen activity. On the other hand, limited attachment capability was found for Asaia under in vitro experimental conditions, suggesting a minor contribution of physical phytoplasma exclusion from the vector gut wall. By providing evidence of immune modulation played by Asaia strains, these results contribute to elucidating the molecular mechanisms regulating its interference with phytoplasma infection in E. variegatus. The involvement of Raf is particularly interesting in hemipterans, where a reduced innate immune system was reported, suggesting that other genes of the immune systems compensate lost functions.


2019 - Alla scoperta delle leggi della vita [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pikaia ha letto per voi “Alla scoperta delle leggi della vita”, l’ultimo libro di Federico Focher, genetista pavese, già autore di “L’uomo che gettò nel panico Darwin. La vita e le scoperte di Alfred Russel Wallace”


2019 - Analysis of the extent of synteny and conservation in the gene order in aphids: a first glimpse from the Aphis glycines genome   [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Melchiori, Giulia; Panini, Michela; Chiesa, Olga; Giordano, Rosanna; Mazzoni, Emanuele; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

In the last decade several insect genomes have been sequenced, but for most the chromosomal mapping of the identified scaffolds/annotated genes is not available. The lack of this information makes it difficult to analyse various genetic aspects, including the presence of genome rearrangements and the extent of synteny within and across species. We mapped five multigenic DNA families (major and minor rDNAs, histone gene cluster, esterases and carotenoid desaturases) and seven scaffolds corresponding to 9 Mb of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, genome and identified loci spanning the four soybean aphid chromosomes. A comparative analysis of the localization of the annotated A. glycines genes with respect to the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae, and the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, evidenced a lower degree of synteny between the two aphid species than in the aphid-fly comparison. Only 1.4 genes per syntenic block were observed in aphids in contrast to 2.3 genes per block in flies. This higher chromosomal rearrangement rate in aphids could be explained considering that they possess holocentric chromosomes that can favour the stabilization and inheritance of chromosomal rearrangements. Lastly, our experiments did not detect the presence of chimeric assemblies in the newly available A. glycines biotype 1 genome, differently from what reported in assembled genome of other aphid species, suggesting that chromosomal mapping can be used to ascertain the quality of assembled genomes.


2019 - Comparative analysis of intra- and inter-specific genomic variability in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Deborah, Salvatore; Ferrari, Agnese; Patelli, Niccolò; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

The availability of genomic data in the last decade relating to different aphid species has allowed the analysis of the genomic variability occurring among such species, whereas intra-specific variability has hitherto very largely been neglected. In order to analyse the intra-genomic variability in the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae, comparative analyses were performed revealing several clone-specific gene duplications, together with numerous deletions/rearrangements. Our comparative approach also allowed us to evaluate the synteny existing between the two M. persicae clones tested and between the peach potato aphid and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Even if part of the observed rearrangements are related to a low quality of some assembled contigs and/or to the high number of contigs present in these aphid genomes, our evidence reveals that aphid clones are genetically more different than expected. These results suggest that the choice of performing genomes sequencing combining different biotypes/populations, as revealed in the case of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, is unlikely to be very informative in aphids. Interestingly, it is possible that the holocentric nature of aphid chromosomes favours genome rearrangements that can be successively inherited transgenerationally via the aphid’s apomictic (parthenogenetic) mode of reproduction. Lastly, we evaluated the structure of the cluster of genes coding for the five histones (H1, H2A, H2B, H3 and H4) in order to better understand the quality of the two M. persicae genomes and thereby to improve our knowledge of this functionally important gene family


2019 - Ibridazione e domesticazione: nuove idee racchiuse in un’arachide [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2019 - Le piccole cose che fanno funzionare il mondo: tutelare gli insetti per salvaguardare gli ecosistemi [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2019 - L’era delle macchine viventi [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2019 - Meteoriti in biblioteca [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2019 - Potential role of the heat shock protein 90 (hsp90) in buffering mutations to favour cyclical parthenogenesis in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae (Aphididae, Hemiptera) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Zanetti, Elisa; Nardelli, Andrea; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Heat-shock proteins 90 (hsp90s) are a class of molecules able to stabilize a network of “client” proteins that are involved in several processes. Furthermore, recent studies indicated that mutations in the hsp90-encoding gene induce a wide range of phenotypic abnormalities, which have been interpreted as an increased sensitivity of different developmental pathways to hidden/cryptic mutations. In order to verify the role of hsp90 in aphids, we amplified and sequenced the hsp90 gene in seventeen lineages of the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer, 1776) looking for the presence of mutations. In particular, we compared lineages with different reproductive modes (obligate versus cyclical parthenogenesis), propensity to develop winged females and karyotype stability. Differently from the cyclical parthenogenetic lineages that possessed functional hsp90 genes, the seven analysed asexual lineages showed severe mutations (including frameshift and nonsense mutations). In vivo functional assays with the hsp90-inhibitor geldanamycin showed that some lineages with cyclical parthenogenesis may lose their ability to induce sexuales in the absence of active hsp90 revealing the presence of cryptic mutations in their genomes. As a whole, our data suggest that hsp90 could play in aphids a role in buffering hidden/cryptic mutations that disrupt cyclical parthenogenesis.


2019 - The evolutionary history and functional divergence of trehalase (treh) genes in insects [Articolo su rivista]
Nardelli, Andrea; Vecchi, Matteo; Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Trehalases (treh) have been found in different organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, nematodes, insects, vertebrates and plants. Their biochemical properties are extremely variable and not yet fully understood. Gene expression patterns have shown differences among insect species suggesting a potential functional diversification of trehalase enzymes during their evolution. A second gene family encoding for enzymes with hypothetical trehalase activity has bene been repeatedly annotated in insect genome as acid trehalases/acid trehalase-like (ath), but its functional role is still not clear. The currently available large amount of genomic data from many insect species may enable deeper studies allowing a better understanding of the evolutionary history, the phylogenetic relationships and possible roles of trehalase encoding genes in this taxon. The aim of the present study is to infer the evolutionary history of trehalases and acid trehalase genes in insects and analyse the trehalase functional divergence during their evolution, combining nucleotides sequences phylogenyphylogenetic, protein conservation and genomic synteny/colinearity analyses.


2018 - A cena con Darwin [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2018 - Acquisition and inoculation of FD phytoplasmas by adults of Scaphoideus titanus Ball: less time is required [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Alma, Alberto; Lessio, Federico; Gonella, Elena; Picciau, Luca; Mandrioli, Mauro; Tota, Federico
abstract

Scaphoideus titanus Ball (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) is the main vector of grapevine’s “Flavescence dorée” (FDP) phytoplasmas (16SrV, subgroups C and D). According to the state-of-art, nymphs acquire phytoplasmas from infected plants within a few days (acquisition access period, AAP), and undergo a latency period (LP) lasting 3-5 weeks. Afterwards the insects, meanwhile having mutate to adults, are able of infecting new plants following and inoculation access period (IAP) of a few days. However, some aspects of FDP epidemics suggest that adults may also acquire directly phytoplasmas and become infective within their lifespan. Therefore, transmission experiments have been carried out under lab conditions, using broad bean plants (Vicia faba L.) artificially infected with 16SrV-C phytoplasmas as a source of inoculum. Uninfected S. titanus adults were allowed to feed for 7 days (AAP) on infected plants. Afterwards, three inoculations on healthy broad beans were performed at 7 days intervals each (IAPs). At the end of each IAP, insects were moved on a new plant. Therefore, IAP 1, IAP 2 and IAP 3 lasted 7, 14 and 21 days from the end of AAP, respectively. Phytoplasma were identified in plants and insects by DNA extraction and PCR. Some insects were also dissected and fluorescent in situ hybridization was made to detect the presence of phytoplasmas in midguts and salivary glands. Infection in insects and plants ranged 46-68% and 16-23%, respectively. Neither showed significant differences among IAPs, whereas phytoplasma load was significantly higher in IAP3 for both plants and insects. Phytoplasmas were identified in both midgut and salivary glands. The whole transmission process has been therefore successful within just 14 days (AAP=7 + IAP=7). These new insights are consistent with severe FDP outbreaks at the end of the summer in grapevine growing areas, and may call for new pest management strategies against S. titanus.


2018 - Asaia symbionts interfere with infection by Flavescence dorée phytoplasma in leafhoppers [Articolo su rivista]
Gonella, Elena; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto
abstract

A key process in the spread of phytoplasma-borne diseases is the interaction between pathogens and their insect vectors. Such interaction may be affected by microbial symbionts of the vector, which may alternatively or cumulatively compete for insect colonization and express antibiotic factors, activating host immune response. Acetic Acid Bacteria of the genus Asaia are symbionts of the vector of Flavescence dorée phytoplasma, Scaphoideus titanus, and are candidate control agents against the disease. In this work, the role of different strains of Asaia as inhibitors of phytoplasma transmission has been investigated by using the model leafhopper-plant hosts Euscelidius variegatus and Vicia faba. Asaia was shown to be associated to E. variegatus, and strains exhibiting different phenotypes successfully and stably colonized the leafhopper body after being orally supplied. Flavescence dorée phytoplasma transmission trials were carried out by using specimens fed with three Asaia strains or no Asaia. An isolate characterized by high production of air-liquid interface (ALI) biofilm was shown to significantly inhibit phytoplasma transmission, possibly by limiting pathogen capability to colonize the insect midgut. However, when the phytoplasma succeeded in establishing in the body of E. variegatus, the transmission process was regularly completed. Even though the mechanisms regulating this interference activity are still to be elucidated, as well as the effectiveness of Asaia in limiting phytoplasma transmission to grapevine by S. titanus, our results provide an important tool for designing sustainable control programs using Asaia as a biocontrol agent.


2018 - Cervelli animali e abilità cognitive: modi diversi di essere intelligenti [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pikaia ha letto per voi “Animali” scritto da Cinzia Chiandetti ed Eleonora Degano (Mondadori). Le autrici non si limitano ad illustrare i risultati degli ultimi anni nel campo dell’etologia e delle neuroscienze animali, ma ci invitano a rinunciare a ogni facile e spesso accondiscendente sentimentalismo nei riguardi degli animali, per poter capire e meravigliarci di come sono davvero le altre menti


2018 - Evolutionary compromises to metabolic toxins: ammonia and urea tolerance in Drosophila suzukii and Drosophila melanogaster. [Articolo su rivista]
Belloni, Virginia; Galeazzi, Alessia; Bernini, Giulia; Mandrioli, Mauro; Versace Albrecht Haase, Elisabetta
abstract

The invasive pest Drosophila suzukii has evolved morphological and behavioural adaptations to lay eggs under the skin of fresh fruits. This results in severe damage to a wide range of small fruits. Drosophila suzukii females typically lay few eggs per fruit, preferring healthy fruits. Hence, larvae are exposed to a reduced amount of nitrogenous waste. Differently, the innocuous Drosophila melanogaster lays eggs on fermented fruits already infested by conspecifics, with larvae developing in a crowded environment with the accumulation of nitrogenous waste such as ammonia and urea. These compounds derive from nitrogen metabolism, protein degradation, and amino acids catabolism and are relatively toxic at high concentrations in an organism. The observed differences in oviposition site and larval ecological niche suggest that these species might differ in behavioural and physiological mechanisms used to cope with nitrogenous waste. We investigated how different concentrations of ammonia and urea affect oviposition and larval development in both species. Females and larvae of D. suzukii showed greater susceptibility to high concentrations of both compounds, with a dramatic decrease in the number of eggs laid and egg viability. Moreover, we tested the chemotactic response of third instar larvae to high concentrations of the compounds. Interestingly, ammonia resulted in a repulsive behaviour in respect of the control and urea groups. To better understand the pathways underlying these differences, we evaluated the effect on ornithine aminotransferase and glutathione-S-transferase, two enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism and stress response that are expressed during larval development. Both ammonia and urea significantly reduced the expression of these enzymes in D. suzukii compared to D. melanogaster. This shows how the ecological shift of D. suzukii to fresh fruit is accompanied by less efficient detoxifying and excretory mechanisms, with important implications for evolutionary biology and applied research. Our data suggest that the ecological shift of D. suzukii to fresh fruit as oviposition substrate is accompanied by a reduced tolerance to metabolic toxins during larval development. 


2018 - Genomi in evoluzione: analizzare il genoma umano per capire la nostra origine e pensare la nostra futura evoluzione. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2018 - Gli animali non sono una versione pelosa di noi stessi [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, M.
abstract

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2018 - Immunohistochemical analysis of the distribution of molecules involved in ionic and pH regulation in the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae (Hubbs, 1922) [Articolo su rivista]
Cuoghi, Ivan; Lazzaretti, Clara; Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia; Pederzoli, Aurora
abstract

The aim of present work is to analyse the distribution of carbonic anhydrase II (CAII), cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (V-H+-ATPase), Na+/K+ ATPase, Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE) and SLC26A6 (solute carrier family 26, member 6), also known as pendrin protein, in the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae in order to go in depth in the evolution of osmoregulation and pH regulation in Chordates. In view of their phylogenetic position, lancelets may indeed provide a critical point of reference for studies on osmoregulation evolution in Chordates. The results of present work demonstrated that, except to Na+/K+ ATPase that is strongly expressed in nephridia only, all the other studied molecules are abundantly present in skin, coelomic epithelium, renal papillae and nephridia and hepatic coecum. Thus, it is possible to hypothesize that also in lancelet, as in fish, these organs are involved in pH control and ionic regulation.In the digestive tract of B. floridae, the intestine epithelium was weakly immune-reactive to all tested antibodies, while the hepatic coecum showed an intense immunoreactivity to all molecules. Since in amphioxus the hepatic coecum functions simultaneously as stomach, liver and pancreas, these immunohistochemical results proved the secretion of H+ and HCO3− ions, typical of digestive process. Colocalization studies indicated a co-expression of the studied proteins in all considered organs, excluding NHE and pendrin for renal papillae, since some renal papillae are NHE immunopositive only.


2018 - Lab girl: come si sono evolute le piante, come evolve la scienza [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pikaia ha letto per voi la biografia della geobiologa Hope Jahren, tra passione per le piante e amore per la scienza


2018 - Le molteplici forme dell’intelligenza degli uccelli [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pikaia ha letto per voi meraviglioso saggio “Il genio degli uccelli” scritto dalla naturalista Jennifer Ackerman (La nave di Teseo, 2018)


2018 - New insights in phytoplasma-vector interaction: acquisition and inoculation of Flavescence dorée phytoplasma by Scaphoideus titanus adults in a short window of time [Articolo su rivista]
Alma, A; Lessio, F.; Gonella, E.; Picciau, L.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Tota, F.
abstract

The leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus is able to transmit 16SrV phytoplasmas agents of grapevine’s Flavescence dorée (FD) within 30-45 days, following an Acquisition Access Period (AAP) of a few days feeding on infected plants as a nymph, a Latency Period (LP) of 3-5 weeks becoming meanwhile an adult, and an Inoculation Access Period (IAP) of a few days on healthy plants. However, several aspects of FD epidemiology suggest how the whole transmission process may take less time, and may be start directly with adults of the insect vector. Transmission experiments have been set up under lab condition. Phytoplasma-free S. titanus adults were placed on broad bean (BB) plants (Vicia faba) infected by FD-C (16SrV-C) phytoplasmas for an AAP=7 days. Afterwards, they were immediately moved onto healthy BB for IAP, which were changed every 7 days, obtaining three timings of inoculation: IAP 1, IAP 2 and IAP 3, lasting 7, 14 and 21 days from the end of AAP, respectively. DNA was extracted from plants and insects, and PCR were performed to identify FD phytoplasmas. Insects were dissected and fluorescent in situ hybridization was made to detect the presence of phytoplasmas in midguts and salivary glands. The rate of infection in insects ranged 46-68% without significant differences among IAPs. Inoculation in plants succeeded in all IAPs, at a rate of 16-23% (no significant differences). Phytoplasma load was significantly higher in IAP3 than IAP 1-2 for both plants and insects.


2018 - Primary cell cultures of immunocytes: a new tool for the in vitro study of insect-microbe interactions [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Tedeschi, Rosemarie; Monti, Monia; Gonella, Elena; Melchiori, Giulia; Alma, Alberto; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Several microorganisms inhabit insects’ body and exhibit a range of interactions with the host immune system depending on their pathogenic, mutualistic, commensal or saprophytic nature. In particular, when a strict coevolution with the host occurred and lead to a strong genome reduction, some microorganisms are able to escape insect defense responses. It is the case of some insect-borne plant pathogens for which the ability to elicitate or suppress the immune responses has been proved. Moreover immunocytes have been shown to interact with symbionts and play a role in the vectorial capacity of insects. In this scenario, primary cell cultures of phytoplasma vectors’ immunocytes have been proposed as a new tool for studying the interactions between the pathogen and the host as well as the interplay between symbionts and immunocytes, in order to better understand insect vector competence. Once the best culture medium has been identified, immunocytes of the psyllid vectors Cacopsylla melanoneura and C. pyri and of the leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus were kept alive for more than 2 months with mitosis activities observed 2 weeks post culture, while adhesion and phagocytosis activities were confirmed by functionality test. In situ hybridization revealed that the defensin gene is actively transcribed in cultured E. variegatus immunocytes, while cecropins were not recorded in this species. Bacterial challenges revealed the induction of defensine gene only after Staphilococcus aureus challenge, but not after Escherichia coli and Asaia spp. exposure. The possibility to culture insect vector immunocytes and to analyze their ability in synthetize some antimicrobial peptides, opens new opportunities for the study of insect-microbe interactions. In particular, the chance of plant pathogens to induce or modulate the immune responses of the host could provide potential targets for the management of insect vectors in the future.


2018 - Seguendo le orme di Homo sapiens: un viaggio lungo sei milioni di anni [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pikaia ha letto per voi “Il giro del mondo in sei milioni di anni” scritto da Guido Barbujani e Andrea Brunelli (Il Mulino). La tendenza a spostarci accompagna la nostra specie da sei milioni di anni ovvero sin dalla nostra origine siamo migrati verso altri luoghi e ci siamo incrociati con chi abbiamo incontrato per cui sebbene differenti… siamo tutti parenti


2018 - Seminal Cell-Free DNA Assessment as a Novel Prostate Cancer Biomarker [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, M.; Manfredini, M.; Micali, S.; Cotugno, M.; Ozben, T.; Pellacani, G.; Tomasi, A.; Ponti, G.; Maccaferri, M.; Bianchi, G.; Del Prete, C.
abstract

Background: Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) includes circulating DNA fragments which can be obtained from different human biological samples. It originates from apoptotic and/or necrotic cells or it is actively secreted by cancer cells. To our knowledge the quantification and size distribution assessment of seminal plasma cfDNA from prostate cancer patients was never assessed. Objective: The aim of our study was to the identify identifation of a novel sensitive non-invasive biomarker of prostate cancer, through the fluorimetric quantification and the electrophoretic analysis of seminal cfDNA in healthy individuals and prostate cancer patients. Results: The concentration of seminal plasma cfDNA in prostate cancer patient was 2243.67 ± 1758 ng/µl. In healthy individuals was 57.7 ± 6.79 ng/µl. Electrophoresis showed broad difference between healthy individuals and patients who showed presented a distinct characteristic DNA ladder fragmentationsmear ranging from 100bp to 2000 10.000 bp. Conclusion: Human seminal fluid can be a valuable source of cfDNA in the setting of liquid biopsy procedures for the identification of novel oncological biomarkers. Seminal plasma cfDNA from prostate cancer patients is significantly more concentrated than from age-matched healthy controls. Fluorimetric measurement and electrophoretic assessment allow a reliable quantification and characterization of seminal plasma cfDNA, which can be used routinely in prostate cancer screening programs.


2018 - Seminal cell-free DNA assessment as a novel prostate cancer biomarker [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
PONTI, Giovanni; Maccaferri, Monia; MANDRIOLI, Mauro; Ozbenc, Tomris; MANFREDINI, Marco; MICALI, Salvatore; COTUGNO, MICHELE; BIANCHI, Giampaolo; PELLACANI, Giovanni; TOMASI, Aldo
abstract

n.d.


2018 - Seminal cell-free DNA molecular profile as a novel diagnostic and prognostic prostate cancer biomarkers [Articolo su rivista]
Ponti, Giovanni; Maccaferri, Monia; Manfredini, Marco; Cotugno, Michele; Pellacani, Giovanni; Conti, Andrea; Micali, Salvatore; Mandrioli, Mauro; Tomasi, Aldo
abstract

n.d.


2018 - The value of fluorimetry (Qubit) and spectrophotometry (NanoDrop) in the quantification of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in malignant melanoma and prostate cancer patients [Articolo su rivista]
Ponti, Giovanni; Maccaferri, Monia; Manfredini, Marco; Kaleci, Shaniko; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pellacani, Giovanni; Ozben, Tomris; Depenni, Roberta; Bianchi, Giampaolo; Pirola, Giacomo Maria; Tomasi, Aldo
abstract

Background Circulating cell-free tumor DNA (cfDNA) is of crucial interest in oncology. cfDNA constitutes a potential prognostic and therapeutic marker for different solid tumors and can be used in the diagnostic and therapeutic management of cancer patients for which nowadays there are no valid laboratory markers. In the present study, the quality and quantity of the cfDNA were assessed by different quantification procedures, in order to identify the potential applications of these techniques in the preliminary cfDNA quantification. Methods Qubit with single (ss) and double strand (ds) DNA assay kits, NanoDrop and quantitative Real Time PCR (qPCR), were adopted to assess the cfDNA in the blood samples of 18 melanoma patients, 67 prostate cancer patients and 15 healthy controls. Results The quantification by NanoDrop (average value 8.48 ng/μl, 95% confidence limit (CL) = 7.23–9.73), Qubit ssDNA (average value 23.08 ng/μl, CL = 19.88–26.28), dsDNA (average value 4.32 ng/μl, CL = 3.52–5.12) assay kits and qPCR (average value 0.39 ng/μl, CL = 0.31–0.47) revealed differences among the four procedures. Qubit 2.0 ss-DNA kit gave higher cfDNA concentration values for all the samples analyzed. In detail, Qubit ssDNA assay revealed higher sensitivity in the quantification of small amounts of pure ss-DNA and ds-DNA, while NanoDrop allowed the assessment of the purity of cfDNA samples. Conclusions The NanoDrop and Qubit 2.0 measurements were analyzed in order to define their correlation with qPCR cfDNA assessment, showing good correlation values with the qPCR that should be considered the “gold standard”. In our proposal, the sequential combination of NanoDrop and Qubit ssDNA methods should be adopted for a cost-effective preliminary assessment of total circulating cfDNA in melanoma and prostate cancer patients, and only discordant values should undergo qPCR assessment.


2018 - Who's afraid of epigenetics? Habitual processes, epigenetic mechanisms and their role in heredity (from Charles Darwin to the contemporary debate) [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Portera, Mariagrazia; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Although, throughout the history of the discipline, philosophers have regularly turned to the concept of "habit" in order to understand a broad range of issues from ethics to psychology to the philosophy of mind, the last decades have witnessed a special growth of interdisciplinary interest in habits, which have become an object of research for neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, developmental psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists. It is known that Charles Darwin, first major proponent of biological evolution by means of natural selection, devoted much attention to habits (and to the strictly related notion of "instinct") in his juvenile Notebooks and, although from a slightly different theoretical perspective, also in his more mature works. Darwin develops an idea of experience as a process of habit formation, both at the individual and at the collective level; in his juvenile Notebooks, he pivots on the notion of "habit" in order to understand how an organism's morphology and behaviour can be changed and moulded through the interaction with its physical and social environment, and how these acquired changes can be transmitted to the offspring. He suggests that learnt behaviour that becomes habitual eventually becomes hereditary. Today's evolutionary theory is obviously a much more sophisticated research paradigm than the theory that first emerged from Darwin's own writings in the second half of the nineteenth century. However, some recent research, particularly in the field of biological inheritance mechanisms, seem to lead us right back to Darwin's key ideas on habits. As the geneticist and molecular biologist Eva Jablonka has written, today's theories of inheritance, and more specifically epigenetic theories (which investigate the way in which the functioning and expression of genes is modified by the environment, and how these modifications are transmitted over generations) can shed new light on Darwin's theory of habits and instincts. What is the relationship between habitual processes and epigenetics processes? What role do habitual or epigenetic processes play in heredity? What role have habits and instincts played in the first formulation and in the further developments of Darwin's theory of evolution? The aim of the present paper is twofold: first, we intend to outline and examine Charles Darwin's views on habits and instincts and his idea of human experience as a process of habit formation, by referring not only to his juvenile writings but also to his more mature works; second, we intend to provide an overview of the most recent results in the field of epigenetics and to briefly describe the state-of-the-art in the discipline with particular reference to the trans-generational transmission of epigenetic modifications. Although empirical studies on human epigenetics are still in their infancy and, at this stage, non-human animal studies are the most effective means of understanding genes regulation, we suggest that epigenetics can provide some intriguing conceptual tools to look at human behaviour from a new perspective, focusing on the notion of habit and overcoming the (largely detrimental) nature/culture dichotomy.


2017 - Aesthetic habits and aesthetic experience: an evolutionary view [Poster]
Portera, M; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Recent attempts, naturalistically inspired, to re-interpret the aesthetic and the arts beyond the ancient dichotomies (culture vs. nature, form vs. content, mind vs. world) have not been entirely successful so far. With some - although promising - exceptions, neither contemporary evolutionary aesthetics, the main aim of which is to investigate the evolutionary origin of the human aesthetic attitude, nor empirical aesthetics have been able to overcome once and for all the dualistic views according to which 1) the arts and the aesthetic are the most sophisticated fruits of cultural evolution in humans; 2) form, assumed as contextually impermeable, is the real source of the aesthetic/artistic experience; 3) the aesthetic experience is localized in the brain/mind of the individual, with almost no attention paid to the context/world in which it is embedded. Pragmatist theories, such as Dewey's and James', intended, as one of their major aims, to get rid of these dualistic views. As Dewey remarks in Art as Experience, the dichotomies between nature and culture, the mind and the world, constitute "a bias, and one, which, most unfortunately, is just the one most fatal to aesthetic understanding". The interest in the notion of habit and the understanding of experience as a process of habit formation inscribe themselves into this general aim of overcoming ancient, detrimental dichotomies. Now, it is known that Charles Darwin paid special attention to the notion of habit and developed an idea of experience (including aesthetic experience) as a process of habit formation, both at the individual and collective level. The influence of Darwin's views on pragmatist philosophers, particularly on Dewey, is undisputed. What is an aesthetic habit? What does it mean to understand aesthetic experience as a process of habit formation? How might these two notions, aesthetic habit and aesthetic experience, help us to overcome the nature/culture divide? The aim of the present paper is twofold: first, we intend to summarize and discuss Darwin's views on habit and his idea of the (aesthetic) experience as a process of habit formation; second, we intend to show how contemporary evolutionary biology, with particular reference to niche construction theory and evidences emerging from epigenetics (including its possible inheritance), can provide useful tools to look at human (and nonhuman?) habits from a new, fruitful perspective, beyond the nature/culture dichotomy and in line with the "core" of philosophical pragmatism. An inherent connection between pragmatism, evolution and aesthetics is expected to result from our paper.


2017 - Afit: a bioinformatic tool for measuring aphid fitness and invasiveness [Articolo su rivista]
Nardelli, Andrea; Peona, V; Toschi, A; Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

A careful measure of fitness represents a crucial target in crop pest management and becomes fundamental considering extremely prolific insects. In the present paper, we describe a standardized rearing protocol and a bioinformatics tool to calculate aphid fitness indices and invasiveness starting from life table data. We tested the protocol and the bioinformatic tool using six Myzus persicae (Sulzer) asexual lineages in order to investigate if karyotype rearrangements and ecotype could influence their reproductive performances. The tool showed that different karyotypes do not influence adaptive success and put in evidence a marked invasive potential of the M. persicae lineage 64. The presence of a similar fitness rate of 33H and 7GK asexual lineages (both possessing intra-individual karyotype variations) in respect to the asexual lineage 1 (with a standard karyotype) represents an important demonstration of the potentiality of holocentric chromosomes to reduce the effects of chromosome rearrangements.


2017 - Alla ricerca della natura incontaminata [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pubblicato in italiano da Iperborea “L’arte della fuga”, il terzo volume della trilogia di Fredrik Sjoberg, entomologo e giornalista svedese divenuto noto ai lettori italiani con il suo primo volume “L’arte di collezionare mosche”


2017 - Alla ricerca di genomi umani… senza resti umani [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2017 - Analysis of the extent of shared synteny and conserved gene order in aphids: a first glimpse from Aphis glycines (Hemiptera, Aphididae) karyotype [Poster]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Melchiori, Giulia; Panini, Michela; Chiesa, Olga; Mazzoni, Emanuele; Giordano, Rosanna; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Recently, several insect genomes have been published, but most of them lack any information regarding the mapping of identified scaffolds, making impossible to evaluate both the presence of chromosomal rearrangements and sinteny among different taxa. Data regarding the chromosomal localization of the annotated genes could be, for instance, extremely relevant for the understanding of the evolution of the sex chromosomes and the sex determining system, a topic of great interest for pest crop insects. Here we mapped 30 Mb of the Aphis glycines genome (whose genome sequencing has been recently completed) and compared the localization of the annotated genes to the genetic maps of the fly Drosophila melanogaster identifying orthologous loci spanning all the four A. glycines chromosomes. A. glycines is the first aphid species to have its genome, at least partially, mapped. The identification of several chromosome-specific markers will improve our possibility to explain the different physiological properties of A. glycines biotypes that currently represent a serious source of damages for soybean cultures in USA. Indeed, A. glycines, as usual in aphids, possesses holocentric chromosomes that lack the primary constriction and cannot be banded with the traditional cytogenetic techniques so that the identification of chromosomal markers is essential for the proper investigation of the effects of the chromosomal rearrangements on aphid phenotypes.


2017 - Bacterial diversity shift determined by different dietes in the gut of the spotter wing fly Drosophila suzukii is primarily reflected on acetic acid bacteria [Poster]
Crotti, E; Vacchini, V; Gonella, E; Prosdocimi, Em; Mazzetto, F; Chouaia, B; Callegari, F; Mapelli, F; Mandrioli, Mauro; Alma, A; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

AAB massively colonized the insect gut with infection rates of 90 and 92% in fruit-fed and artificial diet-fed individuals, respectively. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing showed a differentiation of the bacterial microbiota of guts from insects fed with the two diets. The exclusion of AAB-related OTUs from the analysis showed a lack of the clustering pattern, suggesting that the diet-based diversification of the community is primarily reflected on AAB components. AAB alpha-diversity was also influenced by diet. Data suggested an AAB role in the gut response of D. suzukii to diet modification.


2017 - Bacterial diversity shift determined by different diets in the gut of the spotted wing fly Drosophila suzukii is primarily reflected on acetic acid bacteria [Articolo su rivista]
Vacchini, V; Gonella, E; Crotti, E; Prosdocimi, Em; Mazzetto, F; Chouaia, B; Callegari, M; Mapelli, M; Mandrioli, Mauro; Alma, A; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

The pivotal role of diet in shaping gut microbiota has been evaluated in different animal models, including insects. Drosophila flies harbour an inconstant microbiota among which acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are important components. Here, we investigated the bacterial and AAB components of the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii microbiota, by studying the same insect population separately grown on fruit-based or non-fruit artificial diet. AAB were highly prevalent in the gut under both diets (90 and 92% infection rates with fruits and artificial diet respectively). Fluorescent in situ hybridization and recolonization experiments with green fluorescent protein (Gfp)-labelled strains showed AAB capability to massively colonize insect gut. High-throughput sequencing on 16S rRNA gene indicated that the bacterial microbiota of guts fed with the two diets clustered separately. By excluding AABrelated OTUs from the analysis, insect bacterial communities did not cluster separately according to the diet, suggesting that diet-based diversification of the community is primarily reflected on the AAB component of the community. Diet influenced also AAB alpha-diversity, with separate OTU distributions based on diets. High prevalence, localization and massive recolonization, together with AAB clustering behaviour in relation to diet, suggest an AAB role in the D. suzukii gut response to diet modification.


2017 - Bacterial diversity shift determined by different diets in the gut of the spotted wing fly Drosophila suzukii is primarily reflected on acetic acid bacteria [Poster]
Crotti, E; Vacchini, V; Gonella, E; Prosdocimi, Em; Mazzetto, F; Chouaia, B; Callegari, F; Mapelli, F; Mandrioli, Mauro; Alma, A; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

Scientific question and context  The  role  of  diet  in  shaping  the  gut  microbiota  has  been  evaluated  in  different  animal  models,  including  insects. Drosophila flies host an inconstant microbiota, among which acetic acid bacteria (AAB) are important  components, capable of modulating the immune response and insect development. Here, we characterized  the bacterial and AAB communities associated to the spotted wing fly Drosophila suzukii, an invasive pest, by  studying  the  same  insect  population  separately  grown  on  two  different  food  sources,  i.e.  on  fruit‐based  or  non‐fruit artificial diets.  Methods  By the use of a specific PCR the prevalence of AAB has been investigated in the two insect populations. AAB  capability to colonize the gut has been estimated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and recolonization  experiments  with  green  fluorescent  protein  (Gfp)‐labelled  strains.  The  bacterial  communities  of  individuals  reared on the two diets have been evaluated by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, analysing the V1‐V3 region  of the 16S rRNA gene.  Results  AAB  were  highly  prevalent  in  the  two  insect  populations  with  infection  rates  of  90  and  92%  in  fruit‐fed  and  artificial  diet‐fed  individuals,  respectively.  FISH  and  recolonization  experiments  with  Gfp‐labelled  strains  showed  AAB  capability  to  massively  colonize  the  insect  gut.  16S  rRNA  gene  pyrosequencing  showed  a  differentiation of the bacterial microbiota of guts from insects fed with the two diets. The exclusion of AAB‐ related  OTUs  from  the  analysis  showed  a  lack  of  the  clustering  pattern,  suggesting  that  the  diet‐based  diversification of  the  community  is  primarily  reflected  on  AAB  components.  Diet  influenced  also  AAB alpha‐ diversity.  Conclusion  High prevalence, localization and massive recolonization, together with AAB clustering behaviour in relation  to diet, suggest an AAB role in the gut microbiota response of D. suzukii to diet modification. 


2017 - Circulating phagocytes: The ancient and conserved interface between immune and neuroendocrine function [Articolo su rivista]
Malagoli, Davide; Mandrioli, Mauro; Tascedda, Fabio; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

Immune and neuroendocrine functions display significant overlap in highly divergent and evolutionarily distant models such as molluscs, crustaceans, insects and mammals. Fundamental players in this crosstalk are professional phagocytes: macrophages in vertebrates and immunocytes in invertebrates. Although they have different developmental origins, macrophages and immunocytes possess comparable functions and differentiate under the control of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors. Macrophages and immunocytes share their pools of receptors, signalling molecules and pathways with neural cells and the neuro-endocrine system. In crustaceans, adult transdifferentiation of circulating haemocytes into neural cells has been documented recently. In light of developmental, molecular and functional evidence, we propose that the immune-neuroendocrine role of circulating phagocytes pre-dates the split of protostomian and deuterostomian superphyla and has been conserved during the evolution of the main groups of metazoans.


2017 - Colture primarie di immunociti di insetti vettori: nuova opportunità per lo studio delle interazioni insetto-fitoplasma [Poster]
Tedeschi, Rosemarie; Monti, Monia; Gonella, Elena; Melchiori, G.; Alma, Alberto; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Nel corpo degli insetti coesistono numerosi microrganismi che si relazionano in modo diverso con il sistema immunitario dell’ospite a seconda che si tratti di organismi entomopatogeni, mutualisti, commensali o saprofiti. In particolare, dove vi è stata una stretta coevoluzione che ha portato a una forte riduzione del genoma, alcuni microrganismi sono in grado di sfuggire alle risposte difensive dell’ospite. È il caso per esempio di alcuni fitopatogeni veicolati dagli insetti, per i quali è già stata dimostrata la capacità di elicitarne o sopprimerne le risposte immunitarie. In questo contesto è stato messo a punto un protocollo di allestimento e mantenimento di colture primarie di immunociti a partire da due specie di psille vettrici di fitoplasmi, Cacopsylla pyri (L.) e C. melanoneura (Förster) e da Euscelidius variegatus (Kirshbaum), cicalina modello sia come ospite di simbionti primari che come vettore di fitoplasmi. Individuato il mezzo di coltura più idoneo è stato possibile mantenere le cellule vitali per più di 2 mesi ed osservare eventi di mitosi dopo circa 2 settimane dall’allestimento delle colture. Test di adesione e fagocitosi hanno dimostrato la capacità delle cellule di aderire su vetrino e di fagocitare microsfere fluorescenti confermando la loro piena funzionalità nonostante il mantenimento in vitro. L’osservazione al microscopio ottico ha evidenziato l’esistenza di due tipi cellulari ascrivibili a plasmatociti e granulociti nel caso di C. pyri e C. melanoneura e a proemociti e granulociti in E. variegatus. Appurata la presenza in E. variegatus di geni codificanti il peptide antimicrobico defensina, ma non cecropina, prove di ibridazione in situ hanno confermato la trascrizione del gene per defensina a livello degli immunociti coltivati, mentre prove di “challenge” sulle colture di immunociti hanno dimostrato un’induzione del gene per la defensina solo dopo incubazione con Staphylococcus aureus, ma non con Escherichia coli e Asaia sp. La possibilità di coltivare in vitro gli immunociti di insetti vettori e di analizzarne le proprietà, quali la capacità di sintetizzare alcuni peptidi antimicrobici piuttosto che altri apre nuove opportunità per lo studio delle interazioni insetto-fitoplasma ed in particolare per verificare la possibilità da parte dei fitoplasmi di indurre o modulare le risposte immunitarie dell’ospite. Queste complesse interazioni, che permettono la moltiplicazione e colonizzazione del corpo dell’insetto da parte del fitopatogeno sono alla base della capacità e dell’efficienza di alcuni insetti piuttosto che di altri di trasmettere i fitoplasmi e potrebbero essere sfruttate per lo sviluppo di nuove strategie di difesa delle colture.


2017 - Come si fa una specie? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Una ricerca recente indaga la “zona grigia” di divergenza genetica che accompagna i fenomeni di speciazione, scoprendo che, anche in gruppi animali diversissimi, la formazione di nuove specie potrebbe essere accompagnata da meccanismi genetici simili


2017 - Comparative gene mapping as a tool to understand the evolution of pest crop insect chromosomes [Poster]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Zambonini, Giada; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

The extent of conservation of synteny and gene order in aphids has been previously investigated only by comparing a small subset of linkage groups between the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and few other aphid species. Here we compared the localization of eight A. pisum scaffolds (covering 5,3 Mb and 83 genes) in respect to the fly Drosophila melanogaster Muller elements identifying orthologous loci spanning all the four A. pisum chromosomes (as evidenced by FISH experiments). Comparison of the genetic maps revealed that the gene order is not conserved, but a macroscale synteny is present across different loci suggesting that the study of the fly Muller elements could favour the identification of chromosomal markers useful for the study of chromosomal rearrangements in aphids. The presence of chromosomal portions with homology between aphids and Diptera is particularly relevant in view of the holocentric nature of the aphid chromosomes, suggesting that, although holocentrism could favour local rearrangement, the overall gene content of the chromosomes is not altered. A. pisum is the first aphid species to have its genome sequenced and it has been suggested a substantial synteny of gene order and orientation with other Aphidinae so that the finding of several chromosomal regions in synteny between Diptera and Hemiptera indicates that the genomic tools developed in A. pisum will be broadly useful also for the study of other aphid species of relevant agricultural interest.


2017 - Comparative gene mapping as a tool to understand the evolution of pest crop insect chromosomes [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Zambonini, Giada; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

The extent of the conservation of synteny and gene order in aphids has been previously investigated only by comparing a small subset of linkage groups between the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and a few other aphid species. Here we compared the localization of eight A. pisum scaffolds (covering more than 5 Mb and 83 genes) in respect to the Drosophila melanogaster Muller elements identifying orthologous loci spanning all the four A. pisum chromosomes. Comparison of the genetic maps revealed a conserved synteny across different loci suggesting that the study of the fruit fly Muller elements could favour the identification of chromosomal markers useful for the study of chromosomal rearrangements in aphids. A. pisum is the first aphid species to have its genome sequenced and the finding that there are several chromosomal regions in synteny between Diptera and Hemiptera indicates that the genomic tools developed in A. pisum will be broadly useful not only for the study of other aphids but also for other insect species.


2017 - Condividere con i viventi diversi da noi [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2017 - Estimating the magnitude of morphoscapes: how to measure the morphological component of biodiversity in relation to habitats using geometric morphometrics [Articolo su rivista]
Fontaneto, D; Panisi, M; Mandrioli, Mauro; Montardi, Dario; Pavesi, M; Cardini, Andrea Luigi
abstract

Ecological indicators are currently developed to account for the different facets of loss of biological diversity due to direct or indirect effects of human activities. Most ecological indicators include species richness as a metric. Others, such as functional traits and phylogenetic diversity, account for differences in species, even when species richness is the same. Here, we describe and apply a different indicator, called morphoscape dimension, accounting for morphological variability across habitats in a geographical region. We use the case of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in four different habitats in the Po Plain in Northern Italy to exemplify how to quantify the magnitude of the morphological space (i.e. the dimension of the morphoscape) occupied by the species in each habitat using geometric morphometrics. To this aim, we employed a variety of metrics of morphological disparity related to univariate size, and more complex multivariate shape and form. Our ‘proof of concept’ suggests that metrics assessing size and form might largely tend to simply mirror the information provided by species richness, whereas shape morphoscape disparity may be able to account for non-trivial differences in species traits amongst habitats. This is indicated by the woodland morphoscape being on average bigger than that of crops, the most species-rich habitat, despite having almost 20% less species. We conclude suggesting that the analysis of morphoscape dimension has the potential to become a new additional and complimentary tool in the hands of conservation biologists and ecologists to explore and quantify habitat complexity and inform decisions on management and conservation based on a wide set of ecological indicators.


2017 - Evolutionary compromises in ecological adaptation: urea and ammonia tolerance in Drosophila suzukii and Drosophila melanogaster [Poster]
Belloni, Virginia Belloni; Galeazzi, Alessia; Bernini, Giulia; Mandrioli, Mauro; Versace, Elisabetta; Haase, Albrecht
abstract

The invasive species Drosophila suzukii has evolved morphological and behavioral adaptations to lay eggs under the skin of fresh fruits. This results in severe damage of a wide range of small fruits, making this species a serious agricultural and economical threat. Drosophila suzukii females typically lay few eggs per fruit, preferring not infested fruits. Hence, larvae are exposed to a reduced amount of nitrogenous waste. Differently, the innocuous Drosophila melanogaster lays eggs on fermented fruits already infested by conspecifics, with larvae developing in a crowded environment with accumulation of nitrogenous waste such as ammonia and urea. The observed differences in oviposition site and larval ecological niche suggest that these species might differ in behavioral and physiological mechanisms used to cope with nitrogenous waste. We investigated how different concentrations of ammonia and urea affect fecundity and larval development in both species. Females and larvae of D. suzukii showed greater sensitivity to high concentration of both compounds, with a dramatic decrease in fecundity and egg viability. To better understand the pathways underlying these differences, we evaluated the effect on ornithine aminotransferase and glutathione-S-transferase, two enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism and stress response that are expressed during larval development. Both ammonia and urea significantly reduced the expression of these enzymes in D. suzukii compared to D. melanogaster. This manifests how the ecological shift of D. suzukii to fresh fruit resulted in less efficient detoxifying and excretory mechanisms, with important implications for evolutionary biology and applied research.


2017 - Evolutionary compromises to environmental toxins: urea and ammonia tolerance in Drosophila suzukii and Drosophila melanogaster [Poster]
Belloni, Virginia; Galeazzi, Alessia; Bernini, Giulia; Versace, Elisabetta; Haase, Albrecht; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Drosophila suzukii is an invasive species, and a serious agricultural threat. Unlike other Drosophila, females of D. suzukii lay eggs under the skin of fresh fruits, through morphological and behavioral adaptations. Therefore, larval development and exposure to pathogens result in damage of a wide range of small and stone fruits. The more innocuous Drosophila melanogaster lays eggs in fermented fruits and larvae develop in a crowded environment characterized by accumulation of nitrogenous waste such as ammonia and urea. Behavioral avoidance cannot prevent larval exposure to environmental toxins, so physiological mechanisms evolved to cope with these compounds. While it is known how D. melanogaster responds to high concentrations of urea and ammonia, little is known on the potential effects on D. suzukii. We investigated the impact of different concentrations of these compounds on fecundity and larval development in both species. Females and larvae of D. suzukii showed a greater sensitivity to high concentration of nitrogenous waste, with a drastic decrease in fecundity and egg viability. Adaptation to a different ecological niche has allowed larvae to develop in a safer and healthier environment. However, metabolic adaptations to different food and environment have probably resulted in less efficient detoxifying and excretory mechanisms.


2017 - Gene sequence and related structure of neuropeptides in invertebrates [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

Numerous neuropeptides were studied in different invertebrate species, but the presence of most of them was evaluated only by an immunocytochemical approach using antibodies against the vertebrate homologues. As a consequence, several authors referred to the presence of neuropeptide-like molecules. In view of the availability of numerous wholly sequenced invertebrate genomes, here we reviewed the data on the gene sequence and the related structure of four neuropeptides (corticotrophin-releasing hormone, tachykinins, bombesin and insulin) in invertebrates, analyzing their functions in comparison to what reported in vertebrates.


2017 - I libro del mare [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pubblicata da Iperborea la traduzione italiana del libro di Morten Strøksnes, una riflessione sullo stato di salute del mare, in corso di pubblicazione in oltre venti paesi


2017 - Il DNA ambientale: un nuovo strumento molecolare per il monitoraggio della biodiversità presente e passata [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, M.
abstract

The study of biodiversity can be extremely costing considering both time and financial support of traveling and sampling. Furthermore, it is possible to lack some species, whose monitoring can be relevant since they are specific biomarkers. Since some years, several laboratories assessed that it is possible to collect sample of environmental DNA that can be used for the identification of the species that live (or lived) in a specific location.


2017 - L’africa e le migrazioni: un nuovo studio fa luce sul popolamento dell’africa sub-sahariana [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

La rivista Science pubblica una revisione, su base molecolare, dei processi migratori delle popolazioni africane


2017 - L’elefante di Napoleone: un libro, molteplici chiavi di lettura [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2017 - Memorie di un moscerino [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2017 - Molecular and cellular analysis of immunity in the phytoplasma vector Euscelidius variegatus: exploiting immunity to improve biological control strategies [Articolo su rivista]
Tedeschi, R; Monti, M; Gonella, E; Melchiori, G; Alma, A; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Insects depend on innate immunity only to defend themselves against pathogens and to regulate interactions with many other microorganisms, such as different kinds of symbionts. Recently, it has been suggested that immunocytes could play a role in the vectorial capacity of insects leading to an increased interest towards primary immunocyte cultures. We analysed at molecular and cellular level the immune response of the leafhopper Euscelidius variegatus with the aim to provide an in vitro model for studying the insect-microbe interactions. We in vitro cultured and kept alive for more than 3 months E. variegatus immunocytes that showed a mitotic capacity as well as adhesion and phagocytic activities. In situ hybridization revealed that the defensin gene is actively transcribed in cultured immunocytes, while cecropins were not recorded in this species. These promising results obtained with E. variegaus, a leafhopper frequently used as a laboratory experimental model of insect vector of phytoplasmas, will help in developing in vitro tools for the study of the interactions between these pathogens and their vectors.


2017 - Quando la scienza… arriva in giardino [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pubblicato da Codice Editore, il secondo libro di Renato Bruni dedicato alla straordinarietà delle piante


2017 - Simbionti del genere Asaia produttori di biofilm che interferiscono con la trasmissione di fitoplasmi da parte di cicaline in laboratorio [Poster]
Gonella, Elena; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto
abstract

Un processo chiave nella diffusione di malattie associate alla presenza di fitoplasmi è l’interazione tra questi patogeni e i loro insetti vettori. Questa interazione può essere influenzata dalla presenza nel vettore di simbionti microbici capaci di interferire con la capacità dell’insetto di trasmettere il fitoplasma tramite diversi meccanismi che possono intervenire singolarmente o in combinazione, come la competizione per la colonizzazione del corpo dell’ospite, l’attivazione della sua risposta immunitaria, o l’espressione di fattori ad attività anti-patogeno. I batteri acetici del genere Asaia sono simbionti del vettore del fitoplasma agente della flavescenza dorata (FD) della vite, Scaphoideus titanus Ball. Questi batteri sono considerati candidati agenti di controllo in diversi modelli vettorepatogeno di interesse medico, e presentano i requisiti essenziali anche per un impiego contro FD. È stato valutato il ruolo di diversi ceppi di Asaia nel limitare la trasmissione dei fitoplasmi utilizzando il modello sperimentale vettore – pianta ospite costituito da Euscelidius variegatus (Kirschbaum) e Vicia faba L. Saggi di PCR Asaia-specifica condotti su singoli adulti di E. variegatus hanno evidenziato la presenza di un ceppo non coltivabile del batterio acetico; inoltre tre isolati provenienti da zanzare e caratterizzati da diversi profili fenotipici si sono rivelati in grado di colonizzare stabilmente il corpo della cicalina in seguito a somministrazione orale. Tali isolati, di cui due forti produttori di biofilm nell’interfaccia aria – liquido e uno non produttore di pellicole, sono stati forniti a ninfe di E. variegatus succesivamente impiegate per prove di trasmissione del fitoplasma FD (16SrV-C) in dieta artificiale e a fava, parallelamente a un testimone nutrito in assenza di Asaia. Le cicaline e i rispettivi substrati di inoculo sono stati infine sottoposti a diagnosi molecolare mediante real-time PCR quantitativa, o ibridazione in situ in fluorescenza, al fine di localizzare simbionte e patogeno nei tessuti dell’insetto. Uno dei due ceppi produttori di biofilm (Asaia SF15.14) è risultato ridurre significativamente la trasmissione del fitoplasma. Probabilmente, il meccanismo di inibizione operato da questo ceppo è legato alla capacità di limitare la colonizzazione dell’intestino della cicalina da parte del patogeno. D’altro canto, gli esemplari di E. variegatus in cui il fitoplasma è stato in grado di insediarsi con successo nel tratto intestinale hanno trasmesso efficientemente il patogeno al substrato di alimentazione, indicando che, superata la barriera intestinale, non sono presenti ulteriori ostacoli al processo di trasmissione. Sebbene il meccanismo alla base dell’attività di interferenza espressa da Asaia SF15.14 in E. variegatus rimanga da chiarire, come pure l’efficacia di una possibile riduzione della trasmissione del fitoplasma alla vite da parte di S. titanus, questo lavoro può fornire un importante strumento di base per la creazione di programmi di lotta sostenibile a FD basati sull’impiego di Asaia come agente di controllo.


2016 - A caccia di zanzare… inseguendo il loro DNA [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

La ricerca di tracce di DNA ambientale come nuovo strumento per evidenziare specie invasive


2016 - A rischio di invasione [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Una equipe internazionale ha mappato su scala planetaria il rischio di invasione da parte di specie aliene


2016 - Animali (con genomi) fantastici [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Pubblicato sulla rivista Nature il genoma del cavalluccio marino. Ha perso la pinna caudale e i denti e incuba le uova anche se maschio, il progetto genoma del cavalluccio cerca di fare luce su quei pesci così unici


2016 - BioSpot: quando l’entomologia urbana diventa citizen science [Articolo su rivista]
Bisanti, Matteo; Villani, G; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pederzoli, Aurora
abstract

BioSpot è un progetto di citizen science sviluppato dall’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia nel 2014 e finalizzato alla sensibilizzazione sul tema degli effetti dell’uomo sulla biodiversità mediante lo studio della distribuzione in ambienti urbani di coccinelle e in particolare della specie invasiva Harmonia axyridis. Il primo anno di attività (febbraio 2014 - giugno 2014) ha visto la partecipazione di 30 classi di scuola primaria e secondaria di primo grado della provincia di Ferrara e Modena. Contestualmente alla raccolta delle segnalazioni, è stata condotta una evaluation (con questionari e interviste) per valutare l'efficacia del progetto sia in termini di raggiungimento degli obiettivi che il progetto si proponeva, che in termini di possibili sviluppi. Questo articolo riporta la struttura del progetto e discute i dati relativi alla sua evaluation.


2016 - Colture primarie di immunociti: un nuovo strumento per lo studio in vitro di fitofagi di interesse agrario [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Monti, M; Mandrioli, Mauro; Alma, A; Tedeschi, R.
abstract

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2016 - Come saremo [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

La storia delle tecnologie umane influenza l’evoluzione dell’ambiente (nicchia) in cui viviamo e ne è parte integrante, tanto che nel corso della nostra evoluzione concetti come artificiale e naturale sono divenuti un tutt’uno, non più districabili l’uno dall’altro


2016 - Dagli insetti alle piante: il lungo viaggio di Penelope [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Una recente pubblicazione documenta un trasferimento di DNA, avvenuto oltre 300 milioni di anni fa, tra insetti e piante


2016 - Dai lombrichi alle perle di vetro: le mille curiosità di Gustaf Eisen [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Biografia di Gustaf Eisen


2016 - Genomic and cytogenetic localization of the carotenoid genes in the aphid genome [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Rivi, V; Nardelli, Andrea; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Data published in the scientific literature suggests a possible link between chromosomal rearrangements involving autosomes 1 and 3 and the presence of red morphs in the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer). In order to begin a study of this relationship, we analysed the genomic and chromosomal location of genes involved in carotenoid biosynthesis in M. persicae and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), since carotenoids are the basis of the colour in many aphid species. Genomic analysis identified a DNA sequence containing carotenoid genes in synteny between the 2 species. According to the results obtained using in situ PCR, carotenoid genes were located in a subterminal portion of autosome 1 in both species. The same localization has also been observed in the onion aphid Neotoxoptera formosana Takahashi that, as M. persicae and A. pisum, belongs to the tribe Macrosiphini, thereby suggesting a synteny of this chromosomal region in aphids. In situ PCR experiments performed on 2 M. persicae asexual lineages bearing heterozygous translocations involving autosomes 1 and 3 revealed that carotenoid genes were located within chromosomal portions involved in recurrent rearrangements. We also verified by bioinformatics analyses the presence of fragile sites that could explain these recurrent rearrangements in M. persicae.


2016 - I migratori pigri vivono più a lungo [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

I rischi connessi alle migrazioni (in particolare legati agli impatti con gli elettrodotti) hanno portato alla selezione di migratori “pigri” per cui nelle popolazioni della grande otarda sono sempre più numerosi gli individui sedentari rispetto ai migratori


2016 - La natura calpestata [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

L’impronta dell’uomo sull’ambiente è stata analizzata da diversi gruppi di ricerca con risultati poco incoraggianti


2016 - MUSEomica: quando la genomica entra in museo [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Museum collections have been studied at a molecular level since several years, but the availability of next generation sequencing methods is currently opening new and unexpected ways to study the specimens preserved in the museum collections. Complete nuclear and mitochondrial genomes can be nowadays obtained from historical collections, together with the chance to compare the genetic variability of present and past animal and plant populations. Today more than ever, the proper preservation of museum specimens is therefore an essential goal for life sciences.


2016 - Madri diverse: modi diversi per essere madri “naturali” nel mondo animale [Recensione in Volume]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2016 - Molecole coinvolte nella regolazione ionica in due specie di anfiosso provenienti da mari diversi [Articolo su rivista]
Cuoghi, Ivan; Pederzoli, Aurora; Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia
abstract

. Abstract Molecules involved in ionic regulation in two species of lancelets from different seas. The presence of two molecules involved in osmoregulation and pH control (NHE and NKA) was demonstrated by immunocytochemical studies in Branchiostoma lanceolatum and B. floridae, coming from the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, respectively. The different pattern of immunoreactivity to these molecules in the two species of lancelets was discussed and correlated to the variability of chemical-physical parameters of the two seas of origin.


2016 - Quantification of circulating cell-free DNA by fluorimetry (Qubit) and spectrophotometry (NanoDrop) in patients with malignant melanoma and prostate cancer [Abstract in Rivista]
Ponti, Giovanni; Maccaferri, M; Depenni, Roberta; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pellacani, Giovanni; Manfredini, M; Ozben, T; Ruini, C; Iattoni, Elena; Cerioli, Davide; Cascinu, Stefano; Tomasi, Aldo
abstract

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2016 - Role of ant-tending in modulating the presence of symbiotic bacteria against parasitoids in aphids [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Bisanti, Matteo; Grasso, Da; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Several species of parasitoid wasps have been used to control aphids in the field in order to improve the environmental sustainability of the current agricultural practices. Behavioural and physiological defences have been reported in aphids and the role of symbiotic bacteria, such as Hamiltonella defensa, Serratia symbiotica and Regiella insecticola, has been molecularly dissected to understand their protection against hymenopteran parasitoids. Interestingly, the relationship between the presence of defensive symbionts and the type of aphid-ant mutualism (obligate, facultative or absent) is still understudied, whereas ants could strongly influence the ecological costs of defensive symbionts. In the present paper, we performed a screening of 16 aphid species collected in Italy and compared the presence and abundance of defensive symbionts to the degree of myrmecophily of the sampled aphid populations revealing that Hamiltonella defensa is the most common defensive symbiont. Our data suggest a direct effect of ant-tending on the abundance of H. defensa such that if aphids are maintained in insectaries in the absence of ants, aphids increase the amount of this defensive symbiont making the composition of their microbiome context-dependent.


2016 - The Aesthetic Legacy: Epigenetics As a Bridge Between Culture And Genes [Poster]
Portera, Mariagrazia; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2016 - The mosaic leafhopper Orientus ishidae: host plants, spatial distribution, infectivity, and transmission of 16SrV phytoplasmas to vines [Articolo su rivista]
Lessio, F; Picciau, L; Gonella, E; Tota, F; Mandrioli, Mauro; Alma, A.
abstract

Orientus ishidae (Matsumura) is an Asian species introduced into Europe and recently associated with 16SrV phytoplasmas, related to grapevine “flavescence dorée”. Its life cycle, host plants, spatial distribution, infection and vector capability have been investigated in vine-growing areas of Piedmont, NW Italy. The spatial distribution of adults in vineyards was studied by applying interpolation methods to trap capture data. Insects were subject to molecular analyses to verify phytoplasma presence and identity. DNA extraction and PCR were made to detect 16SrV phytoplasmas. Transmission experiments were set up, using different sources for phytoplasma acquisition, and two plant species and an artificial diet for inoculation. Whole mount in situ hybridization was made to detect phytoplasmas in the salivary glands of adults. In the vineyard agro-ecosystem, 19 plant species (11 families), mainly broadleaf trees and shrubs, were recognized as host plants of the insect. Adults were more abundant on putative host plants than on grapevines, with a clear clustering at the edges of vineyards, and without a massive intrusion into the vineyard from outside. 16SrV phytoplasmas were detected only in adults captured with yellow sticky traps (20 out of 188 tested). The transmission of 16SrV phytoplasmas was successful after phytoplasma acquisition from infected broad bean and inoculation on grapevine.


2016 - Trasmissione orizzontale interspecifica del batterio Candidatus Cardinium bei cicadellidi [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E; Crotti, E; Mandrioli, Mauro; Daffonchio, D; Alma, A.
abstract

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2015 - A practical guide to insect cell cultures: establishment and maintenance of primary cell cultures [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Monti, Monia; Tedeschi, Rosemarie
abstract

In the last three decades several insect species have been studied in vitro using cell culture revealing fundamental information about their biology. However, numerous very important species have never been investigated at a cellular level so that insect cell culture is still a field in an early stage of its potential development. In the present review, we summarized the main steps involved in the establishment of primary cell cultures to serve as a practical guide for current and future entomologists to leverage the power of cell cultures. This approach has the potential to generate valuable results and suggestions about insect metabolism, vectorial capacity and adaptation to different stresses and challenges. Although most published papers discussed immortalized cell lines, we focussed our review on primary cell culture since they can give precise data in different research fields.


2015 - Cytosine methylation in insects: new routes for the comprehension of insect complexity [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Cytosine methylation is one of the most studied epigenetic modifications and its occurrence has been deeply studied in mammals and plants. DNA methylation (together with other epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones) plays an important role in different processes. Indeed, several morphological and/or behavioural traits may origin as a consequence of the epigenetic modulation of genes so that identical genes can results in different “morphs”. Despite considerable progress during recent years, many questions remain since it is largely unknown how the environment triggers alterations in the epigenome. In the present review we discuss the use of aphids and honey bees as epigenetic experimental model to understand how cytosine methylation is directly or indirectly linked to environmental factors. Indeed, the epigenetic changes of DNA could be at the basis of unexpected morphological differences explaining also complex traits.


2015 - Evoluti per diffidare: la percezione degli OGM al vaglio del senso comune [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Perché diffidiamo degli OGM? Un gruppo di biologi molecolari e filosofi cognitivi ha cercato di dare una risposta


2015 - Fast chromosomal evolution and karyotype instability: recurrent chromosomal rearrangements in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) [Articolo su rivista]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Nardelli, Andrea; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

The occurrence of karyotype variations with respect to both chromosome number and structure has been frequently reported in aphids. Here, we review recent data attesting to the presence of recurrent chromosomal changes in the karyotype of the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae, where clones presenting metaphases with different chromosome number (from 12 to 17) have been observed, also comparing plates obtained within the same embryo. According to the available data, M. persicae autosomes 3 and 1 are the chromosomes mostly involved in changes compared to other autosomes, suggesting that they could have sites more susceptible to fragmentation. Chromosomal fissions involving the X chromosomes have also been observed, suggesting that they may have fragile sites located at the termini opposite to the nucleolar organizer regions-bearing telomere. The presence of holocentric chromosomes and reproduction by apomictic parthenogenesis, together with a constitutive expression of telomerase, could explain the inheritance of the observed chromosomal instability in aphids. Considering that chromosomal changes may affect the host choice and could also favour speciation, it would be intriguing to confirm whether the observed karyotype variants have effects over short temporal and spatial scales.


2015 - Gli OGM fanno paura? [Recensione in Volume]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2015 - Honeybee symbionts protect their host from American Foulbrood disease [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Crotti, E.; Hamdi, C.; Sansonno, L.; Balloi, A.; Gonella, E.; Chouaia, B.; Callegari, M.; Tsiamis, G.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Fusi, M.; Prosdocimi, E.; Boudabous, A.; Bourtzis, K.; Alma, A.; Cherif, A.; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

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2015 - L’evoluzione del genoma eucariotico: studiare l’evoluzione con i “big data” [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Scavando tra i dati disponibili in banca dati possiamo capire come si è evoluto il genoma eucariotico: più conferme che sorprese, parola di Nature!


2015 - L’importanza di leggere l'ecosistema, a partire dalle mosche [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

L’arte di collezionare mosche di Fredrik Sjöberg, una storia di vita, di mosche, di isole, di passioni, di biodiversità, di evoluzione e di entomologi


2015 - Mutual exclusion of Asaia and Wolbachia in the reproductive organs of mosquito vectors [Articolo su rivista]
Rossi, P.; Ricci, I.; Cappelli, A.; Damiani, C.; Ulissi, U.; Mancini, M. V.; Valzano, M.; Capone, A.; Epis, S.; Crotti, E.; Chouaia, B.; Scuppa, P.; Joshi, D.; Xi, Z.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; O’Neill, S.; Favia, G.
abstract

Background Wolbachia is a group of intracellular maternally inherited bacteria infecting a high number of arthropod species. Their presence in different mosquito species has been largely described, but Aedes aegypti, the main vector of Dengue virus, has never been found naturally infected by Wolbachia. Similarly, malaria vectors and other anophelines are normally negative to Wolbachia, with the exception of an African population where these bacteria have recently been detected. Asaia is an acetic acid bacterium stably associated with several mosquito species, found as a dominant microorganism of the mosquito microbiota. Asaia has been described in gut, salivary glands and in reproductive organs of adult mosquitoes in Ae. aegypti and in anophelines. It has recently been shown that Asaia may impede vertical transmission of Wolbachia in Anopheles mosquitoes. Here we present an experimental study, aimed at determining whether there is a negative interference between Asaia and Wolbachia, for the gonad niche in mosquitoes. Methods Different methods (PCR and qPCR, monoclonal antibody staining and FISH) have been used to address the question of the co-localization and the relative presence/abundance of the two symbionts. PCR and qPCR were performed to qualitatively and quantitatively verify the distribution of Asaia and Wolbachia in different mosquito species/organs. Monoclonal antibody staining and FISH were performed to localize the symbionts in different mosquito species. Results Here we provide evidence that, in Anopheles and in other mosquitoes, there is a reciprocal negative interference between Asaia and Wolbachia symbionts, in terms of the colonization of the gonads. In particular, we have shown that in some mosquito species the presence of one of the symbionts prevented the establishment of the second, while in other systems the symbionts were co-localized, although at reduced densities. Conclusions A mutual exclusion or a competition between Asaia and Wolbachia may contribute to explain the inability of Wolbachia to colonize the female reproductive organs of anophelines, inhibiting its vertical transmission and explaining the absence of Wolbachia infection in Ae. aegypti and in the majority of natural populations of Anopheles mosquitoes.


2015 - Plant-mediated interspecific horizontal transmission of an intracellular symbiont in insects [Articolo su rivista]
Gonella, Elena; Pajoro, Massimo; Marzorati, Massimo; Crotti, Elena; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pontini, Marianna; Bulgari, Daniela; Negri, Ilaria; Sacchi, Luciano; Chouaia, Bessem; Daffonchio, Daniele; Alma, Alberto
abstract

Intracellular reproductive manipulators, such as Candidatus Cardinium and Wolbachia are vertically transmitted to progeny but rarely show co-speciation with the host. In sap-feeding insects, plant tissues have been proposed as alternative horizontal routes of interspecific transmission, but experimental evidence is limited. Here we report results from experiments that show that Cardinium is horizontally transmitted between different phloem sap-feeding insect species through plants. Quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization experiments indicated that the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus releases Cardinium from its salivary glands during feeding on both artificial media and grapevine leaves. Successional time-course feeding experiments with S. titanus initially fed sugar solutions or small areas of grapevine leaves followed by feeding by the phytoplasma vector Macrosteles quadripunctulatus or the grapevine feeder Empoasca vitis revealed that the symbionts were transmitted to both species. Explaining interspecific horizontal transmission through plants improves our understanding of how symbionts spread, their lifestyle and the symbiont-host intermixed evolutionary pattern.


2015 - Presence and conservation of the immunoglobulin superfamily in insects: current perspective and future challenges [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Monti, M.; Tedeschi, C.
abstract

Numerous proteins that contain a bona fide immunoglobulin domain have been identified in the last decade showing that immunoglobulin-like proteins are quite common in metazoans. In particular, recent surveys identified more than 140 immunoglobulin-like proteins in Drosophila melanogaster, Anopheles gambiae and Bombyx mori. A well-studied example of immunoglobulin-like protein is the Drosophila Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) that, accordingly to comparative molecular analyses, showed a high conservation in Diptera, Hymenoptera and Coleoptera, together with a conserved presence of alternative splicing that permitted insects to possess an unsuspected molecular complexity of their innate immune system. At a functional level, immunoglobulin-like proteins seem to be capable of reacting to pathogen challenges and may contribute to the defense against infection so that they are candidates as immune effector molecules in insects. Preliminary findings on insect-borne plant and animal diseases suggest a possible role of the immunoglobulin-like proteins in the vectorial capacity.


2015 - Quale ruolo per la biologia evoluzionistica nell’agricoltura moderna? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

E’ possibile una agricoltura sostenibile? Solo rinunciando a Darwin afferma Vandana Shiva, ma per fortuna… la scienza dice altro


2015 - Tastes of the Parents: epigenetics and its role in evolutionary aesthetics [Articolo su rivista]
Portera, M.; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Evolutionary Aesthetics is a bourgeoning and thriving sub-field of Aesthetics, the main aim of which is “the importation of aesthetics into natural sciences, and especially its integration into the heuristic of Darwin’s evolutionary theory.” Scholars working in the field attempt to determine through the adoption of an interdisciplinary research methodology whether and to what extent Darwinian evolution can shed light on our capacity to have aesthetic experiences, make aesthetic judgments (both of art and natural beauty), and produce literary, visual, musical artworks. Notwithstanding Evolutionary Aesthetics’ growing popularity in the past two decades, a look into the state of current research suggests a significant degree of haziness in the field from both epistemological-methodological and theoretical points of view. The main aim of the present paper is to make a first step towards a revision and extension of the discipline by assessing the role and potential of epigenetics in evolutionarily inspired aesthetic research. Epigenetics is among the youngest and most fascinating research fields in contemporary biology. But one of the most significant occurrences of the word “epigenesis” (the closest “ancestor” of contemporary “epigenetics”) is in Immanuel Kant’s third Critique, his aesthetic masterpiece. What might be the relationship between epigenetics and aesthetics? What is the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the development and functioning of aesthetic behavior in humans?


2015 - The cytogenetic architecture of the aphid genome [Articolo su rivista]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro; Blackman, Rl
abstract

In recent years aphids, with their well-defined polyphenism, have become favoured as model organisms for the study of epigenetic processes. The availability of the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) genome sequence has engendered much research aimed at elucidating the mechanisms by which the phenotypic plasticity of aphids is inherited and controlled. Yet so far this research effort has paid little attention to the cytogenetic processes that play a vital part in the organisation, expression and inheritance of the aphid genome. Aphids have holocentric chromosomes, which have very different properties from the chromosomes with localised centromeres that are found in most other organisms. Here we review the diverse forms of aphid chromosome behaviour that occur during sex determination and male and female meiosis, often in response to environmental changes and mediated by endocrine factors. Remarkable differences occur, even between related species, that could have significant effects on the inheritance of all or parts of the genome. In relation to this, we review the particular features of the distribution of heterochromatin, rDNA genes and other repetitive DNA in aphid chromosomes, and discuss the part that these may play in the epigenetic modification of chromatin structure and function.


2014 - Alcune esperienze lasciano il segno…nei nostri geni! [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Aumentano le evidenze dell’importanza dell’epigenetica nei processi evolutivi


2014 - Aphids (hemiptera) [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, M.; Manicardi, G. C.
abstract

Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) are ancient insects, whose fossils go back to the Triassic, about 220-210 million years (Grimaldi and Engel 2005). To date, they are present in most of the world’s biomes, including the tropics and subarctic regions, where they infest a huge range of plants (Loxdale 2009) causing several damages due not only to their direct parasitic action against crops, but also because they are active vectors of numerous crop viruses (Blackman and Eastop 2000, 2006, 2007; van Emden and Harrington 2007).


2014 - Ecology and interactions of microbial symbionts in the spotted-wing fly Drosophila suzukii [Poster]
Vacchini, V.; Gonella, E.; Mazzetto, F.; Prosdocimi, E. M.; Chouaia, B.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Crotti, E.; Alma, A.; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

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2014 - Expression of carbonic anhydrase, cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) and V-H+-ATPase in the lancelet Branchiostoma lanceolatum (Pallas, 1774) [Articolo su rivista]
Pederzoli, Aurora; Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia
abstract

Sequencing of the amphioxus genome revealed that it contains a basic set of chordate genes involved in development and cell signalling. Despite the availability of genomic data, up till now no studies have been addressed on the comprehension of the amphioxus osmoregulation. Using primers designed on Branchiostoma floridae carbonic anhydrase (CA) II, cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) and V-H+-ATPase, a 100bp long region, containing the protein region recognized by the respective antibodies, has been amplified and sequenced in B. lanceolatum indicating the presence of hortologous V-ATPase, CFTR and carbonic anhydrase II genes in Branchiostoma lanceolatum. Immunohistochemical results showed that all three transporting proteins are expressed in almost 90% of epithelial cells of skin in B. lanceolatum adults with a different degree of positivity in different regions of body wall and with a different localization into the cells. The comparison of results between young and adult lancelets showed that the distribution of these transporters is quite different. Indeed, in the young specimens the expression pattern of all tested molecules appears concentrated at the gut level, whereas in adult the gut loses its key role that is mostly supported by skin.


2014 - Genomi giganti alla riscossa [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Sequenziato il genoma più grande del mondo: è di una conifera


2014 - I microrganismi simbionti degli insetti. [Capitolo/Saggio]
A., Alma; D., Daffonchio; A., Balloi; C., Bandi; E., Crotti; C., Damiani; G., Favia; E., Gonella; Mandrioli, Mauro; M., Montagna; I., Ricci; L., Sacchi
abstract

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2014 - Il DNA svela i segreti… della nostra bocca! [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Nella placca fossile è possibile ricostruire il microbioma orale delle popolazioni umane del passato


2014 - Il mondo fino a ieri [Recensione in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

La prerogativa di Homo sapiens è la capacità di sopravvivere negli ambienti più diversi, di trasformarli ai propri fini, di riadattarsi molto rapidamente a nuove nicchie ecologiche, ben prima che i geni abbiano il tempo di adeguarsi al cambiamento. L’apprendimento individuale e sociale, la diversità fra popolazioni e la cultura fanno tutti parte di questa strategia evolutiva indubbiamente di successo.


2014 - Il “collasso” delle specie… o del loro concetto? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

L’ultimo numero di Nature presenta un interessante breve articolo scritto dai celeberrimi Peter R. Grant e Rosemary Grant dedicato al problema dell’ibridazione tra specie, in cui il titolo è già una dichiarazione precisa di intenti: “Evolutionary biology: speciation undone“


2014 - Insetti sociali… ma non sempre [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

I comportamenti complessi e coordinati esibiti dagli insetti sociali non sono programmati esplicitamente a livello individuale, ma sembrano essere piuttosto il risultato di molteplici interazioni tra individui e tra i singoli individui e il loro ambiente.


2014 - Karyotype rearrangements and telomere analysis in Myzus persicae (Hemiptera, Aphididae) strains collected on Lavandula sp. plants [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; F., Zanasi; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Karyotype analysis of nine strains of the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer, 1776), collected on Lavandula sp. plants, evidenced showed that five of them had a standard 2n = 12 karyotype, one possessed a fragmentation of the X chromosome occurring at the telomere opposite to the NOR-bearing one and three strains had a chromosome number 2n = 11 due to a non-reciprocal translocation of an autosome A3 onto an A1 chromosome. Interestingly, the terminal portion of the autosome A1 involved in the translocation was the same in all the three strains, as evidenced by FISH with the histone cluster as a probe. The study of telomeres in the M. persicae strain with the X fission evidenced that telomerase synthesised de novo telomeres at the breakpoints resulting in the stabilization of the chromosomal fragments. Lastly, despite the presence of a conserved telomerase, aphid genome is devoid of genes coding for shelterin, a complex of proteins involved in telomere functioning frequently reported as conserved in eukaryotes. The absence of this complex, also confirmed in the genome of other arthropods, suggests that the shift in the sequence of the telomeric repeats has been accompanied by other changes in the telomere components in arthropods in respect to other metazoans.


2014 - La lunga marcia delle specie invasive [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2014 - L’uomo come superorganismo [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Un organismo è quindi un complesso coordinato e individualizzato di attività che sono primariamente dirette ad ottenere ed assimilare sostanze dall’ambiente per produrre altri sistemi simili (la prole) e proteggere il sistema stesso da eventuali alterazioni dovute all’ambiente.


2014 - Maintenance of primary cell cultures of immunocytes from Cacopsylla spp. psyllids: a new in vitro tool for the study of crop pest insects [Articolo su rivista]
M., Monti; Mandrioli, Mauro; B., Bextine; W. B., Hunter; A., Alma; R., Tedeschi
abstract

Primary cell cultures of immunocytes have been developed from the three psyllid species Cacopsylla melanoneura, Cacopsylla pyri (vectors of ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma pyri’, respectively) and Cacopsylla crataegi. The medium most suitable of those evaluated was Hert-Hunter 70 (HH70) psyllid medium. In fact, good survival and proliferation of the Cacopsylla immunocytes for over 60 d were observed, with mitosis activities starting at 15-d post culture. Moreover, adhesion and phagocytosis activities were confirmed for all the psyllid cell cultures by functionality tests. Morphological examination of cultured immunocytes revealed the presence of different cell types in all the three psyllid species in accordance to published data about insect immunocytes. The in vitro maintenance of psyllid immunocytes represents a powerful tool for a wide range of applications, especially for psyllid cell biology. In particular, in-depth studies on the biology of psyllids as vector insects as well as analyses to understand the mechanisms behind the interactions with pathogens and symbionts are now possible. These cultures can be used as an in vitro model to study psyllid humoral immune responses, which also will allow in-depth investigations on the abilities of psyllids as vectors of phytoplasmas. All these applications provide new opportunities to develop more focused and specific pest control strategies.


2014 - Mapping the aphid genome: the cytogenetic dimension of a pest crop insect. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

n.d.


2014 - Occurrence of a Rabl-like telomere clustering in the holocentric chromosome of the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera; Aphididae). [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Bandinelli, S; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Several studies demonstrated that chromosome anchoring to nuclear structures is involved in the organization of the interphase nucleus. The Rabl configuration, a well-studied chromosome organization in the interphase nucleus, has been deeply studied in organisms with monocentric chromosomes but just slightly touched in species with holocentric chromosomes. In the present paper, by means of the isolation and chromosomal mapping of the C0t DNA fraction and chromatin immunoprecipitation with anti-LEM-2 antibodies, we evidenced the presence of few foci where telomeres and subtelomeric regions cluster in the aphid interphase nuclei, suggesting the occurrence of a Rabl-like chromosome configuration. The same experimental approaches also evidenced that most of the repetitive DNA of the 2 X chromosomes is located at the periphery of the nucleus, whereas the ribosomal genes, located at 1 telomere of each X chromosome, are present towards the inner portion of the nucleus, favoring their transcriptional activity.


2014 - Quando l’ape arrivò in Europa… [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Africane o Asiatiche? Le origini dell’ape Apis mellifera sono ancora poco chiare, ma lo studio del suo genoma aggiunge continuamente nuove tessere a questo intricato puzzle


2014 - Quando l’epigenetica diventa sexy [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

C. semilaevis è il primo esempio di vertebrato con determinazione del sesso su base epigenetica, ma potrebbe non essere l’unico!


2014 - Recent changes in the distribution of carboxylesterase genes and associated chromosomal rearrangements in Greek populations of the tobacco aphid Myzus persicae nicotianae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 113: 455-470. [Articolo su rivista]
Kati, A. N.; Mandrioli, Mauro; P. J., Skouras; G. L., Malloch; C., Voudouris; M., Venturelli; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; J. A., Tsitsipis; B., Fenton; J. T., Margaritopoulos
abstract

We present data on the frequency of amplified E4 and FE4 carboxylesterase genes in Myzus persicae s.l. clones collected during the years 2002–2007 and 2012 in Greece. Most clones were of the tobacco aphid, Myzus persicae nicotianae. Samples from 2012 were genotyped with microsatellite DNA markers and a number of them were karyotyped. Aphid clones with amplified FE4 genes predominated in all years, whereas E4 was present in only 3.5% of all samples and always occurred in clones with FE4. Most of the clones examined showed high carboxylesterase activity levels (R2 resistant category). The results showed marked changes in the frequencies of the two carboxylesterase genes in the tobacco aphid populations compared to published data that were collected in Greece in the mid 1990s, when E4 was recorded on its own in 20% of all samples and in 32% of samples from tobacco. A parallel change in karyotype was also observed because the A1,3 translocation, which had a worldwide association with amplified E4 genes in the 1990s, was not detected in the clones analyzed in 2012. Possible causes for these changes are discussed, although selection as a result of pest management practices appears to be the major one. Novel chromosomal rearrangements were also found in M. persicae nicotianae clones. These rearrangements could be a result of clastogenic effects of nicotine, which could persist because of the holocentric nature of aphid chromosomes. The results are discussed in relation to rapid evolution events that have taken place in the tobacco aphid in Greece during the last two decades


2014 - Studiare l’entomologia urbana per capire gli effetti del riscaldamento globale [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

nb


2014 - The main actors involved in extending the invertebrate life span [Articolo su rivista]
Ottaviani, Enzo; Franchini, Antonella; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Classical invertebrate models, i.e., Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, have provided the keys to understand the life span regulation. In the present paper we summarize the mechanisms involved in this process with particular emphasis on the role of the fly fat body. It is interesting to note that pathways which lead to an extension of life span are highly conserved in animals so that “longevity pathways” identified in invertebrates provide templates for the identification of genes and drugs that regulate longevity and diseases also in other animals, including mammals.


2014 - Trasmissione orizzontale del batterio simbionte Asaia sp. in Scaphoideus titanus Ball (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Crotti, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2014 - Tutela dell’ambiente e piante geneticamente manipolate. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2013 - A1-3 chromosomal translocations in Italian populations of the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) not linked to esterase-based insecticide resistance [Articolo su rivista]
Rivi, Marco; Monti, Valentina; E., Mazzoni; Cassanelli, Stefano; M., Panini; M., Anaclerio; M., Ciglini; B., Corradetti; D., Bizzaro; Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Esterase-based resistance in the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), is generally due to one of two alternative amplified carboxylesterase genes, E4 or FE4 (fast E4). The E4 amplified form is distributed worldwide and it is correlated with a particular translocation between autosomes 1 and 3, whereas the FE4 form, which has hitherto not been found to be associated with chromosomal rearrangements, is typical of the Mediterranean regions. In this study, we present for the first time cytogenetic and molecular data on some M. persicae parthenogenetic lineages, which clearly show a chromosomal A1-3 translocation associated with esterase FE4 genes and unrelated to high levels of esterase-based resistance.


2013 - Characterization of Non-LTR Retrotransposable TRAS Elements in the Aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum and Myzus persicae (Aphididae, Hemiptera) [Articolo su rivista]
V., Monti; C., Serafini; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

A non-LTR TRAS retrotransposon (identified as TRASAp1) has been amplified in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum and its presence has been assessed also in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae. This TRAS element possesses 2 overlapping ORFs (a gag-ORF1 and a pol-ORF2 containing the reverse transcriptase and the endonuclease domains) that show a similarity ranging from 40% to 48% to proteins coded by other TRAS elements identified in insects (including the beetle Tribolium castaneum and the moth Bombyx mori). The study of the TRAS chromosomal insertion sites, performed by standard fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and fiber FISH, showed that TRAS elements were located in a subtelomeric position, just before the telomeric (TTAGG)n repeats. In both the aphid species, TRAS elements were present at all termini of autosomes, but the 2 X chromosome telomeres show a clear-cut structural difference. Indeed, cromomycin A3 staining, together with FISH using a TRAS probe, revealed that TRAS signals only occur at the telomere opposite to the NOR-bearing one. Lastly, the analysis of the distribution of TRAS retrotransposons in a M. persicae strain possessing spontaneous fragmentations of the X chromosomes assessed that TRAS elements were not involved in the healing of de novo telomeres.


2013 - Chi sono io? Forme dell'individuo tra filosofia e biologia [Articolo su rivista]
M., Portera; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2013 - Chromosomal mapping reveals a dynamic organization of the histone genes in aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Despite their involvement in different processes, histone genes have been analysed in few insects. In order to improve the knowledge about this important gene family, genes coding for histones have been analysed in the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum showing that at the amino acid level, aphid histones are highly conserved. In particular, data from A. pisum confirm that H1 is the most variable of the five histones, whereas histones H3 and H4 are highly conserved with the H3 almost identical from insects to vertebrates. A. pisumhistone genes are organized in a quintet with the H1 gene followed by H2A and H2B genes that are adjacent and transcribed in same directions, in the opposite strand in respect to the H1 gene. At the 3’ end of the histone cluster, genes H3 and H4 constitute an oppositely transcribed pair. The span of the aphid histone genes (more than 7 kb) is greater than the average length of the histone cluster till now reported in insects (about 5 kb). Furthermore, spacers that separate the aphid histone genes vary in length. The histone genes have been mapped in A. pisum and successively in the aphids Myzus persicae and Rhopalosiphum padi showing that they are present in a single large cluster located in an interstitial position of autosomes 1, differently from what reported in the Russian wheat aphid Diuraphis noxia,where histone genes have been localized in a telomere of the two X chromosomes suggesting a dynamic organization of this multigene family in aphids.


2013 - Colonizzazione trasmissione del batterio acetico Asaia in Scaphoideus titanus Ball, vettore del citoplasma della Flavescenza Dorata della vite. [Abstract in Rivista]
Gonella, E.; Crotti, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2013 - Evolving aphids: one genome-one organism insects or holobionts? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Aphids have obligate mutualistic relationships with microorganisms that provide them with essential substances lacking in their diet, together with symbionts conferring them conditional adaptive advantages related, for instance, to the thermal tolerance and to the resistance to parasitoid wasps. The presence/absence of a secondary symbiont may have a relevant phenotypic effect so that aphid microbial symbionts constitute a sort of second genome with its own genetic inheritance. On the whole, genes important for aphid survival and reproduction are not uniquely present in the aphid nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, but also in the chromosomes of each symbiont. As a consequence, aphids should be viewed as holobionts with an extended genome (the hologenome) including the host and its symbiotic microbiome. In this connection, the true unit of selection in evolution must be considered the aphid holobiont, in place of the single host as individual separated from its symbionts


2013 - Interactions between Asaia, Plasmodium and Anopheles: new insights into mosquito symbiosis and implications in malaria symbiotic control [Articolo su rivista]
A., Capone; I., Ricci; C., Damiani; M., Mosca; P., Rossi; P., Scuppa; E., Crotti; S., Epis; M., Angeletti; M., Valzano; L., Sacchi; C., Bandi; D., Daffonchio; Mandrioli, Mauro; G., Favia
abstract

Background Malaria represents one of the most devastating infectious diseases. The lack of an effective vaccine and the emergence of drug resistance make necessary the development of new effective control methods. The recent identification of bacteria of the genus Asaia, associated with larvae and adults of malaria vectors, designates them as suitable candidates for malaria paratransgenic control. To better characterize the interactions between Asaia, Plasmodium and the mosquito immune system we performed an integrated experimental approach. Methods Quantitative PCR analysis of the amount of native Asaia was performed on individual Anopheles stephensi specimens. Mosquito infection was carried out with the strain PbGFPCON and the number of parasites in the midgut was counted by fluorescent microscopy. The colonisation of infected mosquitoes was achieved using GFP or DsRed tagged-Asaia strains. Reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis, growth and phagocytosis tests were performed using An. Stephensi and Drosophila melanogaster haemocyte cultures and DsRed tagged-Asaia and Escherichia coli strains. Results Using quantitative PCR we have quantified the relative amount of Asaia in infected and uninfected mosquitoes, showing that the parasite does not interfere with bacterial blooming. The correlation curves have confirmed the active replication of Asaia, while at the same time, the intense decrease of the parasite. The 'in vitro' immunological studies have shown that Asaia induces the expression of antimicrobial peptides, however, the growth curves in conditioned medium as well as a phagocytosis test, indicated that the bacterium is not an immune-target. Using fluorescent strains of Asaia and Plasmodium we defined their co-localisation in the mosquito midgut and salivary glands. Conclusions We have provided important information about the relationship of Asaia with both Plasmodium and Anopheles. First, physiological changes in the midgut following an infected or uninfected blood meal do not negatively affect the residing Asaia population that seems to benefit from this condition. Second, Asaia can act as an immune-modulator activating antimicrobial peptide expression and seems to be adapted to the host immune response. Last, the co-localization of Asaia and Plasmodium highlights the possibility of reducing vectorial competence using bacterial recombinant strains capable of releasing anti-parasite molecules.


2013 - La genesi delle forme biologiche: creatività nei vincoli [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro; M., Portera
abstract

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2013 - Localization of the bacterial symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii within the hard tick Ixodes ricinus by whole-mount FISH staining. [Articolo su rivista]
S., Epis; Mandrioli, Mauro; M., Genchi; M., Montagna; L., Sacchi; D., Pistone; D., Sassera
abstract

Here, we present an investigation on the spatial distribution of the bacterial symbiont Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii within Ixodes ricinus, by whole mount fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). M. mitochondrii is a peculiar, recently discovered bacterium that resides in the mitochondria of female ticks. We applied a rapid and specific FISH protocol with oligonucleotide probes targeted on the 16S rRNA of M. mitochondrii, 12S rRNA of tick mitochondria, and a probe revealing active mitochondria. In this report that represents the first application of whole mount FISH on ticks, we observed strong, specific fluorescence signals in all the examined life stages, as the optimized protocol allowed us to overcome the autofluorescence interference of the cuticle. Cellular localization and quantification of the symbionts were also assessed with electron microscopy and specific real-time PCR, respectively.


2013 - Not by Our Genes alone [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

n.d.


2013 - The self/non-self dualism is still so marked as it was considered for a long time? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

For several decades the immune system has been described mainly as a molecular machinery aimed to recognize and eliminate all the non-self molecules or organisms. Actually, recent evidences support the presence of a constant cross talk between the immune system and microorganisms that live within the host as symbionts resulting in the tolerance of non-self bacteria and yeasts. As a whole, the “defensive” role of immunity, described as highly prominent in several contexts of the modern biosciences, should be revised taking into account that the immune system defined during evolution which organisms have to be excluded and killed, and which have to be maintained. These new evidences support the idea that each animal is a dynamic and context-dependent entity with a mixed and tolerant self.


2012 - Acetic acid microbiome associated to the spotted wing fly Drosophila suzukii. [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Crotti, E.; Gonella, E.; Vacchini, V.; Prosdocimi, E. M.; Mazzetto, F.; Chouaia, B.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sansonno, L.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

n.d.


2012 - Continuous occurrence of intra-individual chromosome rearrangements in the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) [Articolo su rivista]
Monti, Valentina; G., Lombardo; H. D., Loxdale; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Analysis of the holocentric mitotic chromosomes of the peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), from clones labelled 50, 51 and 70 revealed different chromosome numbers, ranging from 12 to 14, even within each embryo, in contrast to the standard karyotype of this species (2n = 12). Chromosome length measurements, combined with fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments, showed that the observed chromosomal mosaicisms are due to recurrent fragmentations of chromosomes X, 1 and 3. Contrary to what has generally been reported in the literature, X chromosomes were frequently involved in recurrent fragmentations, in particular at their telomeric ends opposite to the nucleolar organizer region. Supernumerary B chromosomes have been also observed in clones 50 and 51. The three aphid clones showed recurrent fissions of the same chromosomes in the same regions, thereby suggesting that the M. persicae genome has fragile sites that are at the basis of the observed changes in chromosome number. Experiments to induce males also revealed that M. persicae clones 50, 51 and 70 are obligately parthenogenetic, arguing that the reproduction by apomictic parthenogenesis favoured the stabilization and inheritance of the observed chromosomal fragments.


2012 - Dal DNA alle proteine [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

dal DNA alle proteine


2012 - Drosophila Helical factor is an inducible protein acting as an immune-regulated cytokine in S2 cells. [Articolo su rivista]
Malagoli, Davide; Accorsi, Alice; Sacchi, Sandro; Basile, Valentina; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pinti, Marcello; D., Conklin; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

The innate immunity of Drosophila melanogaster is based on cellular and humoral components. Drosophila Helical factor (Hf), is a molecule previously discovered using an in silico approach and whose expression is controlled by the immune deficiency (Imd) pathway. Here we present evidence demonstrating that Hf is an inducible protein constitutively produced by the S2 hemocyte-derived cell line. Hf expression is stimulated by bacterial extracts that specifically trigger the Imd pathway. In absence of any bacterial challenge, the recombinant form of Hf can influence the expression of the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) defensin but not drosomycin. These data suggest that in vitro Hf is an inducible and immune-regulated factor, with functions comparable to those of secreted vertebrate cytokines


2012 - Genetica ed evoluzione [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

genetica ed evoluzione


2012 - Horizontal transmission of the symbiotic bacterium Asaia sp. in the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus Ball (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) [Articolo su rivista]
E., Gonella; E., Crotti; A., Rizzi; Mandrioli, Mauro; G., Favia; D., Daffonchio; A., Alma
abstract

Bacteria of the genus Asaia have been recently recognized as secondary symbionts of differentsugar-feeding insects, including the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, vector of Flavescence dorée phytoplasmas.Asaia has been shown to be localized in S. titanus gut, salivary glands and gonoducts and to be maternallytransmitted to the progeny by an egg smearing mechanism. It is currently not known whether Asaia in S. titanus istransmitted by additional routes. We performed a study to evaluate if Asaia infection is capable of horizontaltransmission via co-feeding and venereal routes.


2012 - I coleotteri di Darwin: il ruolo degli insetti nella nascita ed evoluzione della biologia evoluzionistica [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

nd


2012 - Il DNA: la molecola della vita [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

DNA


2012 - Il metabolismo energetico [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Il metabolismo energetico


2012 - Il nostro DNA [Prefazione o Postfazione]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract


2012 - Karyotype variations in Italian populations of the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae). [Articolo su rivista]
Rivi, Marco; Monti, Valentina; E., Mazzoni; Cassanelli, Stefano; M., Panini; D., Bizzaro; Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

In this study, we present cytogenetic data regarding 66 Myzus persicae strainscollected in different regions of Italy. Together with the most common 2n= 12karyotype, the results showed different chromosomal rearrangements: 2n= 12 withA1–3 reciprocal translocation, 2n= 13 with A1–3 reciprocal translocation and A3fission, 2n= 13 with A3 fission, 2n= 13 with A4 fission, 2n= 14 with X andA3 fissions. A 2n= 12–13 chromosomal mosaicism has also been observed.Chromosomal aberrations (and in particular all strains showing A1–3 reciprocaltranslocation) are especially frequent in strains collected on tobacco plants,and we suggest that a clastogenic effect of nicotine, further benefited by theholocentric nature of aphid chromosomes, could be at the basis of the observedphenomenon


2012 - La genetica umana [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

genetica umana


2012 - La nascita della genetica moderna [Capitolo/Saggio]
P., Carrucciu; P., Mantecca; Mandrioli, Mauro; S., Scali; E., Marcon; A., Menta
abstract

elementi di base della genetica


2012 - La regolazione dell'espressione genica [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

geni e loro regolazione


2012 - Le biomolecole [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Le biomolecole


2012 - Morpho-functional changes of fat body in bacteria fed Drosophila melanogaster strains [Articolo su rivista]
Franchini, Antonella; Mandrioli, Mauro; C., Franceschi; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

We have examined the addition of Escherichia coli to the diet at day 0 of adult life of females from two Oregon R Drosophila melanogaster strains, selected for different longevities: a short-life with an average adult life span of 10 days and a long-life standard R strain with an average adult life span of 50 days. The addition of bacteria to the diet significantly prolonged the fly longevity in both strains and affected the structure and histochemical reactivity of the fat body. The increased survival was characterized by great amount of glycogen accumulated in fat body cells from both strains. In aged control animals, fed with standard diet, lipid droplets were seen to be stored in fat body of short-lived, but not long-lived, flies. On the whole, our data indicate that exogenous bacteria are able to extend the survival of Drosophila females, and suggest that such a beneficial effect can be mediated, at least in part, by the fat body cells that likely play a role in modulating the accumulation and mobilization of reserve stores to ensure lifelong energy homeostasis.


2012 - Quando l'evoluzione ricicla ovvero l'imprevedibilità e irripetibilità dell'evoluzione [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

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2012 - Someone like it hot? Effects of global warming on insect immunity and microbiota [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Global warming represents a substantial challenge on a broad range of organisms with diverse life-history traits and geographical distributions. Up till now several studies correlated global warming to changes in body mass, growth rate or fat content, whereas the effects on immune function and microbiota composition remained almost unexplored. On the contrary, some pioneering studies are showing that increased temperature may influence the insect immune function and the microbiota composition, making global warming in a pivotal position influencing insect survival and adaptation to a warming planet


2012 - Starting at the end: telomeres and telomerase in arthropods [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Monti, Valentina; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Telomere composition and structure have been studied in several arthropods allowing us to better understand the evolution of such an important portion of the eukaryotic chromosomes. Genes coding for telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) have been sequenced and studied in few arthropod species only,where they resulted highly transcribed also in somatic tissues suggesting a different TERT regulation in respect to vertebrates. Contrary to the strict conservation of telomeres,subtelomeric regions were more polymorphic and heterogeneous in composition and frequently contained retrotransposable elements that strongly influenced subtelomere evolution.


2012 - The vanishing clone: karyotypic evidence for extensive intraclonal genetic variation in the peach potato aphid, Myzus persicae (Hemiptera:Aphididae) [Articolo su rivista]
Monti, Valentina; Mandrioli, Mauro; Rivi, Marco; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Analysis of holocentric mitotic metaphase chromosomes of the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) clone 33H revealed different chromosome numbers, ranging from 12 to 17 within each embryo, in contrast to the standard karyotype of this species (2n=12). Chromosome length measurements revealed that the observed chromosomal mosaicism is due to recurrent fragmentations of chromosomes X, 1 and 3 due to fragile sites or to hot spots of recombination. Fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments showed that X chromosomes were frequently involved in recurrent fragmentations, in particular their telomeric end opposite to the nucleolar organizer region (NORs). Experiments to induce males showed that M. persicae clone 33H is obligately parthenogenetic. The reproduction by apomictic parthenogenesis, together with a high telomerase expression that stabilized the chromosomes involved in the fragmentations observed in the M. persicae clone 33H, appears to favour the stabilization of the observed chromosome instability.


2012 - Unlocking Holocentric Chromosomes: New Perspectives from Comparative and Functional Genomics? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

The presence of chromosomes with diffuse centromeres (holocentric chromosomes) has been reported in several taxa since more than fifty years, but a full understanding of their origin is still lacking. Comparative and functional genomics are nowadays furnishing new data to better understand holocentric chromosome evolution thus opening new perspectives to analyse karyotype rearrangements in species with holocentric chromosomes in particular evidencing unusual common features, such as the uniform GC content and gene distribution along chromosomes.


2011 - Bacterial endosymbiont localization in Hyalesthes obsoletus, the insect vector of Bois Noir in Vitis vinifera [Articolo su rivista]
Elena, Gonella; Ilaria, Negri; Massimo, Marzorati; Mandrioli, Mauro; Luciano, Sacchi; Massimo, Pajoro; Elena, Crotti; Emanuela, Clementi; Rosemarie, Tedeschi; Claudio, Bandi; Alberto, Alma; Daniele, Daffonchio
abstract

Elena Gonella1, Ilaria Negri1, Massimo Marzorati2†, Mauro Mandrioli3, Luciano Sacchi4, Massimo Pajoro1, Elena Crotti2, Emanuela Clementi4, Rosemarie Tedeschi1, Claudio Bandi5, Alberto Alma1* and Daniele Daffonchio2*


2011 - Candidatus Liberibacter europaeus, a novel microorganism associated with Cacopsylla spp.: a symbiont, a potential pathogen or an endophyte? [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Raddadi, N.; Camerota, C.; Gonella, E.; Pizzinat, A.; Tedeschi, R.; Crotti, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Bianco, P. A. DAFFONCHIO D.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2011 - Candidatus Liberibacter europaeus’ sp. nov is associated to Cacopsylla pyri the insect vector of pear decline phytoplasma [Articolo su rivista]
Noura, Raddadi; Elena, Gonella; Caterina, Camerota; Alan Claudio Franco, Pizzinat; Rosemarie, Tedeschi; Elena, Crotti; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pierattilio, Bianco; Daniele, Daffonchio; Aberto, Alma
abstract

‘Candidatus Liberibacter sp.’ causes serious plant diseases. ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’, ‘Ca. L. americanus’ and ‘Ca. L. africanus’ cause citrus greening (Huanglongbing) in Asia, Americas and Africa. ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ causes diseases in solanaceae in America and New Zealand. All of the four species are vectored by psyllid insects of different genera. Here, we show that the pear psyllid pest Cacopsylla pyri (L.) hosts a novel liberibacter species that we named ‘Ca. Liberibacter europaeus’. It can bloom to high titers in the psyllid host, with more than 109 16S rRNA gene copies per individual. Fluorescent in situ hybridization experiments showed that ‘Ca. L. europaeus’ proliferates in the host gut, salivary glands and Malpighian tubules. ‘Ca. L. europaeus’ has a relatively high prevalence (> 51%) in C. pyri from different areas in Piedmont and Val d’Aosta regions in Italy and it can be transmitted to pear plants in experimental transmission experiments. However, even though high titers of the bacterium (more than 108 16S rRNA gene copies g-1 of pear plant tissue) could be detected in the pear tissues no specific disease symptomps could be observed in the infected plants over a one year period. ‘Ca. L. europaeus’ represents the first liberibacter with quarantine potential described in Italy and Europe.


2011 - Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii: symbiont or parasite of tick mitochondria? [Capitolo/Saggio]
D., Pistone; L., Sacchi; N., Lo; S., Epis; M., Pajoro; G., Favia; Mandrioli, Mauro; C., Bandi; D., Sassera
abstract

Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii: Symbiont or Parasite of Tick Mitochondria?


2011 - Composition and Epigenetic Markers of Heterochromatin in the Aphid Aphis nerii (Hemiptera: Aphididae). [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Azzoni, Paola; G., Lombardo; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

A detailed karyotype analysis of the oleander aphid Aphis nerii focusing on the distribution, molecular composition and epigenetic modifications of heterochromatin was done in order to better understand the structure and evolution of holocentric/holokinetic chromosomes in aphids. The female karyotype (2n = 8) consisted of 3 pairs of autosomes and a pair of X chromosomes that were the longest elements in the karyotype and carried a single, terminally located nucleolar organizer region. Males showed 2n = 7 chromosomes due to the presence of a single X chromosome. Heterochromatin was located in the X chromosomes only and consisted of 4 satellite DNAs that have been identified. A. nerii constitutive heterochromatin was enriched in mono-, di- and tri-methylated H3 histones and HP1 proteins but, interestingly, it lacked DNA methylation that was widespread in euchromatic chromosomal regions. These results suggest that aphid heterochromatin is assembled and condensed without any involvement of DNA methylation.


2011 - Cytogenetic and molecular analysis of the holocentric chromosomes of the potato aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas, 1878) [Articolo su rivista]
Monti, Valentina; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Cytogenetic and molecular investigations on the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas, 1878) have been carried out using silver staining and C-banding (followed by chromomycin A3 and DAPI staining) in order to improve our knowledge about the structure of aphid chromosomes. C-banding pattern is peculiar since only the two X chromosomes and a single couple of autosomes presented heterochromatic bands. Silver staining and FISH with the 28S rDNA probe localized the rDNA genes on one telomere of each X chromosome that also resulted brightly fluorescent after chromomycin A3 staining of C-banded chromosomes, whereas all other heterochromatic bands were DAPI positive. Interestingly, a remarkable nucleolar organizing region (NOR) heteromorphism was present making the two X chromosomes easily distinguishable. Southern blotting and FISH assessed the presence of the (TTAGG)n repeat at the ends of all the M. euphorbiae chromosomes. Karyotype analysis showed that all males possessed the X chromosome with the larger amount of rDNA suggesting a non-Mendelian inheritance of the two X chromosomes.


2011 - Deciphering Insect Immunity New Insights from RNA Interference [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malagoli, Davide; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Insect and vertebrate evolutionary histories are separated by more than 500 million years, but the molecular bases of several fundamental biological functions, including innate immune response, seem to have been conserved during metazoan diversification. As a consequence, insects represent good models for gaining new insights into biological basis of human immune-surveillance and pathology. Gene silencing consists in several fruitful techniques, such as the production of loss-of-function mutants and RNA interference. These methods, when applied to models for which molecular databases are available, allow the genetic dissection of several immune-related processes and pathways. In the present review, we will focus on the recent advances on insect immunity derived from the application of gene silencing techniques in Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae.


2011 - Different mosquito species host Wickerhamomyces anomalus (Pichia anomala): perspectives on vector-borne diseases symbiotic control [Articolo su rivista]
I., Ricci; M., Mosca; M., Valzano; C., Damiani; P., Scuppa; P., Rossi; A., Cappelli; U., Ulissi; A., Capone; F., Esposito; A., Alma; Mandrioli, Mauro; L., Sacchi; C., Bandi; D., Daffonchio; G., Favia
abstract

The genetic manipulation of microbial community associated to hematophagus insects is particularly relevant for public health application. Within mosquito populations, this relationship has been overlooked until recently. New advances in molecular biotechnology propose the genetic manipulation of mosquitoes symbionts to prevent the transmission of pathogens to humans by interfering with the obligatory life cycle stages within the insect thorough the use of effector molecules. This approach, defined as ‘paratransgenesis’, has opened the way towards the investigation and characterization of microbes residing in the mosquito body and especially those that localise in the gut. Some interesting bacteria have been identified as candidates for this genetic modification however endosymbiont yeasts still remain largely unexplored with little information on the symbiotic relationship to date. Here we review the recent report of symbiotic relationship between Wickerhamomyces anomalus (Pichia anomala) and several mosquito vector species as promising methods to implement for control of mosquito-borne diseases.


2011 - Ecological interactions between acetic acid bacterial symbionts and their insect hosts [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Crotti, E.; Chouaia, B.; Rizzi, A.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; Sassera, D.; Ricci, I.; Gonella, E.; Favia, G.; Alma, A.; Bandi, C.; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

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2011 - Espressione di anidrasi carbonica, CFTR e V-H+-ATPase nella pelle dell'anfiosso (Branchiostoma lanceolatum, pallas 1774) [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Pederzoli, Aurora; L., Gavioli; Mola, Lucrezia; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Abbiamo ridato nuovo valore scientifico alla sezione zoologica di questa Collezione con l’aggiornamento sistematico dei reperti. Tale fase di revisione e riordino, ancora in atto, si concluderà con la stesura di un Catalogo aggiornato dal punto di vista sistematico che rispecchi la consistenza e lo stato di conservazione dei reperti. Le indagini immunoistochimiche sono state condotte su adulti di anfiosso (circa 7-8 cm), forniti dal Prof. Pestarino (Univ. Genova) fissati in paraformaldeide 4%, utilizzando gli anticorpi anti-V-H+-ATPasi, anti-CFTR e anti-anidrasi carbonica II. La loro specificità è stata valutata amplificando porzioni dei geni corrispondenti disponibili nel database di B. floridae (http://genome.jgi-psf.org/Brafl1/Brafl1.home.html).L’amplificazione e sequenziamento di porzioni dei geni V-H+-ATPasi, CFTR e anidrasi carbonica II conferma che B. lanceolatum ha un ortologo per i tre geni e che gli anticorpi riconoscono regioni conservate. Tutte le cellule dell’epidermide sono risultate intensamente positive all’anti-anidrasi carbonica; molte cellule sono inoltre positive ad anti-CFTR e anti-V-H+-ATPasi.L’espressione di queste tre proteine di trasporto ionico nella pelle di adulti ne suggerisce il coinvolgimento nella regolazione acido-base. Indagini precedenti su giovani avevano evidenziato immunoreattività a queste proteine prevalentemente nell’apparato digerente. Pelle e digerente, in momenti diversi, potrebbero svolgere la funzione che nelle missine, osmoconformi marine, compiono le branchie.


2011 - Evoluzione del genoma [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Evoluzione: modelli e processi


2011 - Evoluzione fenotipica [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Evoluzione: modelli e processi


2011 - Gut microbiota as a candidate for lifespan extension:an ecological/evolutionary perspective targeted on livingorganisms as metaorganisms [Articolo su rivista]
Ottaviani, Enzo; N., Ventura; Mandrioli, Mauro; M., Candela; Franchini, Antonella; C., Franceschi
abstract

An emerging central concept in evolutionarybiology suggests that symbiosis is a universalcharacteristic of living organisms that can help inunderstanding complex traits and phenotypes. Duringevolution, an integrative circuitry fundamental forsurvival has been established between commensal gutmicrobiota and host. On the basis of recent knowledgein worms, flies, and humans, an important roleof the gut microbiota in aging and longevity isemerging. The complex bacterial community thatpopulates the gut and that represents an evolutionaryadapted ecosystem correlated with nutrition appearsto limit the accumulation of pathobionts and infectionsin all taxa, being able of affecting the efficiencyof the host immune system and exerting systemicmetabolic effects. There is an urgent need todisentangle the underpinning molecular mechanisms,which could shed light on the basic mechanisms ofaging in an ecological perspective. Thus, it appearspossible to extend healthy aging and lifespan bytargeting the host as a metaorganism by manipulatingthe complex symbiotic ecosystem of gut microbiota,as well as other possible ecosystems of the body.


2011 - In vitro characterization of the cytokine Drosophila Helical factor [Abstract in Rivista]
Malagoli, Davide; A., Accorsi; D., Conklin; Filaferro, Monica; Mandrioli, Mauro; Pinti, Marcello; S., Sacchi; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

Drosophila Helical factor (Hf) is a protein discovered through the QT method, an algorithm specifically designed for finding helical cytokines. Since in vivo experiments suggested the involvement of Hf in Drosophila melanogaster immunity, we have proceeded with the characterization of Hf functions in the macrophage-like Drosophila embryonic hemocytes, SL2 cell line. qPCR results demonstrated that Hf gene is induced in the SL2 cell line, after either 6 or 24 h incubation with Escherichia coli-purified peptidoglycan. The silencing of Hf expression through RNAi resulted in the reduced capability of synthesizing antimicrobial peptides (AMP) after exposure to heat-inactivated E. coli. The effects of the recombinant peptide rHf have also been tested in the SL2 cell line. rHf promotes the expression and triggers the release of Hf from the hemocytes, and stimulates the synthesis of the antimicrobial peptides (AMP) Defensin and Drosomycin, without any further immune stimulation. Consistent with the output of the QT method, which predicts Hf as a secreted protein, chromatin immune-precipitation experiments confirmed that Hf does not bind DNA, excluding that it acts as an immune-regulated transcription factor. Finally, rHf neither exerts chemotactic action nor triggers bacterial phagocytosis in SL2 cells.Altogether, our data supports the prediction that Hf is an helical cytokine produced and secreted by the hemocytes and it is mainly involved in the regulation of the humoral component of the immune response of D. melanogaster.


2011 - Microbial symbioses [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Crotti, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; Bandi, C.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2011 - Mosquito symbioses: from basic research to the management of mosquito-borne diseases [Articolo su rivista]
I., Ricci; C., Damiani; P., Rossi; A., Capone; P., Scuppa; A., Cappelli; U., Ulissi; M., Mosca; M., Valzano; E., Crotti; D., Daffonchio; A., Alma; L., Sacchi; Mandrioli, Mauro; C., Bandi; G., Favia
abstract

Mosquito-borne diseases pose significant concerns in public health. Microbial symbionts of mosquitoes are attracting quite a lot of interest in relation to the development of novel strategies aimed to reduce mosquito vectorial capacity with particular regard to paratransgenesis that relies on genetically modified mosquito symbionts to express molecules within the vector able to interfere with parasite development and transmission.Here, we review the present status of the knowledge of mosquito–symbionts relationships, focusing on perspective in the applicationof symbiotic control in developing an efficient management of mosquito-borne diseases.


2011 - Nutritional stress: how insects and their bacterial symbionts cooperate to overcome the lack of nutrients [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Negri, I.; Crotti, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Tedeschi, R.; Sacchi, L.; Bandi, C.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2011 - Presence of a functional (TTAGG)n telomere-telomerase system in aphids [Articolo su rivista]
Monti, Valentina; M., Giusti; D., Bizzaro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

The structure of the telomeres of four aphid species (Acyrthosiphon pisum, Megoura viciae, Myzus persicae and Rhopalosiphum padi) has been evaluated by Southern blotting and fluorescent in situ hybridization. This revealed that each chromosomal end consists of the (TTAGG)n repeat. The presence of a telomerase coding gene has been successively verified in the A. pisum genome, revealing that aphid telomerase presents a sequence identity ranging from 12 to 18% with the invertebrate and vertebrate homologues and possesses the two main domains involved in telomerase activity. Interestingly, telomerase expression has been verified in different somatic tissues suggesting that in aphids the telomerase activity could be not restricted as in human cells. The study of telomeres in a M. persicae strain with variable chromosome number evidenced that aphid telomerase can initiate the de novo synthesis of telomere sequences at internal breakpoints resulting in the stabilization of the chromosomal fragments.


2011 - Relazioni multi partite tra i batteri simbionti di Hyalesthes obsoletus [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Negri, I.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Crotti, E.; Tedeschi, R.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2011 - Secondary symbionts of insects: acetic acid bacteria [Capitolo/Saggio]
E., Crotti; E., Gonella; I., Ricci; Mandrioli, Mauro; L., Sacchi; G., Favia; A., Alma; K., Bourtzis; A., Cherif; C., Bandi; D., Daffonchio
abstract

The insect digestive system is emerging as a new niche from which acetic acid bacteria (AAB) have been recovered and characterized. An environment permeable to oxygen and rich in different kinds of sugars, according to the diet followed by the insect, and the acidic conditions, typically associated to specific parts of the digestive system, are the main characteristics of this AAB isolation source. AAB are indeed well known for the capability to grow and flourish in acidic conditions and to produce several acids and alcohols metabolizing/consuming sugars. To date, symbiotic AAB have been identified from different insect orders, among which Diptera, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae, and the mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles and Aedes, Hymenoptera, such as the honey bee Apis mellifera, and Hemiptera, such as the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus and the mealybug Saccharicoccus sacchari. Interestingly these insects rely on sugar-based diets, represented by sugars from fruits, nectars or phloematic sap, thus giving a clue to a possible bacterial contribution to the insect nutritional function. Recently, AAB have been described as involved in the insect innate immune response participating in the maintenance of the insect gut homeostasis. As documented for Asaia symbionts, these bacteria are vertically and horizontally transmitted and are able to cross-colonizing insects that belong to phylogenetically distant orders and genera. AAB possess interesting characteristics that could be exploited in the development of symbiotic control strategies.


2011 - Symbionts of leafhoppers and planthoppers vectors of phytoplasmas in grapevine. Arthropod symbiosis in extreme environments [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Alma, A.; Crotti, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; Bandi, C.; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

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2011 - The stability of instability: occurrence of a functional telomerase in the holocentric chromosomes of aphids [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Monti, Valentina; Mandrioli, Mauro; M., Rivi; D., Bizzaro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

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2011 - The yeast Wickerhamomyces anomalus (Pichia anomala) inhabits the midgut and reproductive system of the Asian malaria vector Anopheles stephensi [Articolo su rivista]
I., Ricci; C., Damiani; P., Scuppa; E., Crotti; M., Mosca; E., Gonella; F., Esposito; A., Alma; Mandrioli, Mauro; L., Sacchi; C., Bandi; D., Daffonchio; G., Favia
abstract

Yeast endosymbionts of insects have been known for many years, but the discovery of yeasts associated with insects has increased dramatically in the last ten years. Although there are certain clades that are composed primarily of insect-associated yeasts, it is clear that these associations evolved many times and that these yeasts occur throughout the yeasts phylogenetic tree. Many of these yeasts have been reported from frass or insect habitats, but others have been shown to reside in specific parts of the gut or other internal organs. Few yeasts are known from associations with mosquitoes. Recent reports described the isolation of members of the genus Pichia from the gut of the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti. Here we report the isolation of another yeast, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, previously known as Pichia anomala, from specimens of the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi. Within the mosquito body, W. anomalus was detected in the midgut and in both male and female reproductive systems, suggesting the possibility that this yeast is vertically inherited. The localization of W. anomalus in the mosquito gonads is quite peculiar since very few reports described yeasts residing in reproductive system of insects. The potential application of W. anomalus as a tool for the “symbiotic control” of mosquito-borne diseases is discussed


2010 - Acetic acid bacteria, newly emerging symbionts of insects [Articolo su rivista]
E., Crotti; A., Rizzi; G., Favia; A., Alma; L., Sacchi; K., Bourtzis; Mandrioli, Mauro; A., Cherif; C., Bandi; D., Daffonchio
abstract

Recent research in microbe-insect symbiosis has shown that acetic acid bacteria (AAB) establish symbiotic relationships with several insects of the orders Diptera, Hymenoptera, Hemiptera and Homoptera, all relying on sugar-based diets, such as nectars, fruit sugars or phloem sap. To date, the fruit flies Drosophila melanogaster and Bactrocera oleae, mosquitoes of the genera Anopheles and Aedes, the honey bee Apis mellifera, the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus and the mealybug Saccharicoccus sacchari have been found to be associated with the bacterial genera Acetobacter, Gluconacetobacter, Gluconobacter, Asaia, Saccharibacter and the novel genus Commensalibacter. AAB establish symbiotic associations with the insect midgut, a niche characterized by the availability of diet-derived carbohydrates and oxygen and by an acidic pH, selective factors that support AAB growth. AAB have been shown to actively colonize different insect tissues and organs, such as the epithelia of male and female reproductive organs, the Malpighian tubules and the salivary glands. This complex topology of the symbiosis indicates that AAB possess the keys for passing through body barriers, allowing them to migrate to different organs of the host. Recently, AAB involvement in the regulation of innate immune system homeostasis of Drosophila has been shown, indicating a functional role for host survival. All these lines of evidence indicate that AAB can play different roles in insect biology, not being restricted to the feeding habit of the host. The close association of AAB and their insect hosts has been confirmed by the demonstration of multiple modes of transmission between individuals and to the progeny that include vertical and horizontal transmission routes, comprising a venereal one. Taken together, the data indicate that AAB represent novel secondary symbionts of insects.


2010 - Asaia, the acetic acid bacterial symbiont of Scaphoideus titanus, is a potential symbiotic control agent against “flavescence dorée”. [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Crotti, E.; Damiani, C.; Pajoro, M.; Rizzi, A.; Negri, I.; Raddadi, N.; Marzorati, M.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; Favia, G.; Alma, A.; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

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2010 - Distribution and molecular composition of heterochromatin in the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (Hemiptera: Aphididae) [Articolo su rivista]
Monti, Valentina; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

In order to study the structure of holocentric chromosomes in aphids, the localization and the composition of Rhopalosiphum padi heterochromatin and rDNA genes have been evaluated at cytogenetic and molecular level. In particular, heterochromatin resulted located on all the chromosomes both in intercalary and telomeric positions. Moreover, enzymatic digestion of R. padi genome put in evidence a DraI satellite DNA which has been isolated, cloned and sequenced. FISH experiments showed that this satellite DNA clusters in an intercalary C-positive band on the two X chromosomes.


2010 - Endoreplication as molecular trick during animal neuron evolution. [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia; B., Cuoghi; Sonetti, Dario
abstract

The occurrence of endoreplication has been repeatedly reported in many organisms, including protists, plants, worms, arthropods, molluscs, fishes, and mammals. As a general rule, cells possessing endoreplicated genomes are large-sized and highly metabolically active. Endoreplication has been not frequently reported in neuronal cells that are typically considered to be fully differentiated and non-dividing, and which normally contain a diploid genome. Despite this general statement, various papers indicate that giant neurons in molluscs, as well as supramedullary and hypothalamic magnocellular neurons in fishes, contain DNA amounts larger than 2C. In order to study this issue in greater detail here, we review the available data about endoreplication in invertebrate and vertebrate neurons, and discuss its possible functional significance. As a whole, endoreplication seems to be a sort of molecular trick used by neurons in response to the high functional demands that they experience during evolution.


2010 - Gene Silencing and the Analysis of Immune Response in Model Insects [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malagoli, Davide; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Insects are organisms of considerable interest for comparative biology and medicine, therefore it is not surprising that several publications referred to them as model organisms. Insect and vertebrate evolution diverged more than 500 million years ago, but the molecular bases of several fundamental biological functions, including innate immune response, were already established in their common progenitor and have been conserved. Consequently, starting from information collected in insects, new insights into human biology and pathology were gained. Gene silencing includes several powerful methods, such as the production of loss-of-function mutants and RNA interference. These procedures, in particularly when performed in models for which molecular databases are already available, allow the genetic dissection of several immune-related processes and pathways. In the present review, we will concentrate our attention on the information derived from gene silencing techniques on insect immune signalling with particular attention for Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae.


2010 - Microbial symbiosis in phytoplasma vectors [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Daffonchio, D.; Raddadi, N.; Crotti, E.; Gonella, E.; Tedeschi, R.; Negri, I.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Rizzi, A.; Alma, A.
abstract

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2010 - Mosquito-bacteria symbiosis: the case of Anopheles gambiae and Asaia [Articolo su rivista]
C., Damiani; I., Ricci; E., Crotti; P. o., Rossi; P., Scuppa; A., Capone; U., Ulissi; S., Epis; M., Genchi; N., Sagnon; A., Kang; I., Faye; C., Whitehorn; G. W., Moussa; Mandrioli, Mauro; F., Esposito; L., Sacchi; C., Bandi; D., Daffonchio; G., Favia
abstract

The symbiotic relationship between Asaia, an α-proteobacterium belonging to the family Acetobacteriaceae, and mosquitoes has been studied mainly in the Asian malaria vector Anopheles stephensi. Thus, we have investigated the nature of the association between Asaia and the major Afro-tropical malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. We have isolated Asaia from different wild and laboratory reared colonies of A. gambiae, and it was detected by PCR in all the developmental stages of the mosquito and in all the specimens analyzed. Additionally, we have shown that it localizes in the midgut, salivary glands and reproductive organs. Using recombinant strains of Asaia expressing fluorescent proteins, we have demonstrated the ability of the bacterium to colonize A. gambiae mosquitoes with a pattern similar to that described for A. stephensi. Finally, fluorescent in situ hybridization on the reproductive tract of females of A. gambiae showed a concentration of Asaia at the very periphery of the eggs, suggesting that transmission of Asaia from mother to offspring is likely mediated by a mechanism of egg-smearing. We suggest that Asaia has potential for use in the paratransgenic control of malaria transmitted by A. gambiae.


2010 - Novel emerging plant pathogens in phytoplasma vectors [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Raddadi, N.; Camerota, C.; Tedeschi, R.; Crotti, E.; Pizzinat, A.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Bianco, P. A.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

n.d.


2010 - The interaction between acetic acid bacterial symbionts and their insect hosts: first insights from the genome sequence of the Asaia symbiont of Anopheles stephensi. [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Crotti, E.; Chouaia, B.; Sassera, D.; Rizzi, A.; Raddadi, N.; Epis, S.; Damiani, C.; Gonella, E.; Rossi, P.; Negri, I.; Ricci, I.; Sacchi, L.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Alma, A.; Favia, G.; Bandi, C.; Daffonchio, D.
abstract

n.d.


2009 - Asaia, a versatile acetic acid bacterial symbiont, capable of cross-colonizing insects of phylogenetically-distant genera and orders [Articolo su rivista]
E., Crotti; C., Damiani; M., Pajoro; E., Gonella; A., Rizzi; I., Ricci; I., Negri; P., Scuppa; P., Rossi; Mandrioli, Mauro; C., Bandi; G., Favia; A., Alma; D., Daffonchio
abstract

Bacterial symbionts of insects have been proposed for blocking transmission of vector-borne pathogens. However, in many vector models the ecology of symbionts and their capability of cross-colonizing different hosts, an important feature in the symbiotic control approach, is poorly known. Here we show that the acetic acid bacterium Asaia, previously found in the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles stephensi, is also present in and capable of cross-colonizing other sugar-feeding insects of phylogenetically distant genera and orders. PCR, real-time PCR and in situ-hybridization experiments showed Asaia in the body of the mosquito Aedes aegypti and the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, vectors of human viruses and a grapevine phytoplasma, respectively. Cross colonization patterns of the body of Ae. aegypti, An. stephensi and S. titanus have been documented with Asaia strains isolated from An. stephensi or Ae. aegypti, and labelled with plasmid- or chromosome-encoded fluorescent proteins (Gfp and DsRed, respectively). Fluorescence and confocal microscopy showed that Asaia, administered with the sugar meal, efficiently colonized guts, male and female reproductive systems and the salivary glands. The ability in cross-colonizing insects of phylogenetically distant orders indicates that Asaia adopts body invasion mechanisms independent from the host biological characteristics. This versatility is an important property for the development of symbiont-based therapies of different vector-borne diseases.


2009 - Comparative analysis of different fixative solutions on insect preservation for molecular studies [Articolo su rivista]
M., Bisanti; Ganassi, Sonia; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

In order to define a convenient and reliable method for DNA preservation that can be applied both during field collection and archival maintenance of Coleoptera, a comparative analysis of different fixative solutions has been performed. In the present paper both quality and quantity of DNA extracted by insects stored for different periods of time have been compared. In particular, we used the yellow mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae, Linnaeus, 1758), as an experimental model comparing the results obtained with this species with those available in literature for other insects. As a whole, acetone preservation proved to be cost-effective and widely applicable making acetone an excellent storage medium not only during field surveys, but also to obtain efficient and low-cost storage of Coleoptera in museum collections for biomolecular studies. Furthermore, the morphological characters of acetone-preserved insects have been examined by scanning electron microscope analysis, showing that acetone can preserve also fragile structures, such as sensilla, strengthening our suggestion of acetone as an optimal fixative for insect archival maintenance.


2009 - Espressione di molecole coinvolte nella regolazione ionica in Branchiostoma lanceolatum [Articolo su rivista]
Pederzoli, Aurora; Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia
abstract

The presence of CFTR, V-ATPase and carbonic anidrase II were demonstrated by immunocytochemical and bioinformatics studies in Branchiostoma lanceolatum. The physiological role of these molecules and the possible evolutive implications were discussed.


2009 - La teoria dell’evoluzione: da Darwin ad oggi, 150 anni di biologia evoluzionistica [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
M., Bisanti; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

breve manuale


2009 - Male or female? The epigenetic conflict between a feminizing bacterium and its insect host [Articolo su rivista]
I., Negri; P. J., Mazzoglio; Franchini, Antonella; Mandrioli, Mauro; A., Alma
abstract

In the leafhopper Zyginidia pullula, the maternally-inherited symbiont Wolbachia pipientis feminizes genetic males, leaving them as intersex females. The Wolbachia density is correlated with the feminization degree of males which either bear ovaries or testes. Methylation-sensitive RAPD profiles showed that while feminized males with ovaries possess a female imprinting pattern, those with testes maintain the same methylation pattern of males, indicating that the Wolbachia infection is able to modulate host genomic imprinting, but this occurs only if the bacterium exceeds a density threshold. Here we report methylation-sensitive RAPD analyses on insects’ gonads (testes and ovaries) from leafhopper uninfected male and female individuals, and males feminized by Wolbachia, discussing these additional insights and speculating on possible bacterium/host interactions.


2009 - The interaction insect-symbiont, rather than insect-pathogen, may open new perspectives in the understanding of the host choice in bacteria [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Insects are extremely successful animals in view of their great adaptability to a wide range of terrestrial niches. Symbiotic bacteria gave a precious contribution to such a success playing crucial roles in several insects in different contexts such as nutrition, development, reproduction, immunity, defense against natural enemies and speciation.Surprisingly, the study of symbiosis furnished precious data not only on insect evolution, but also on the mechanisms involved in the host choice giving us new perspectives to study this process that was poorly understood up to date through the study of pathogenic interactions.


2009 - Unravelling the Wolbachia evolutionary role: the reprogramming of the host genomic imprinting. [Articolo su rivista]
I., Negri; Franchini, Antonella; E., Gonella; D., Daffonchio; P. J., Mazzoglio; Mandrioli, Mauro; A., Alma
abstract

Environmental factors can play a significant role in inducing epigenetic changes that may also be inherited by future generations. The maternally-inherited symbiont of arthropods Wolbachia pipientis is an excellent candidate as an “environmental” factor promoting trans-generational epigenetic changes. Indeed, by establishing intimate relationships with germ line cells, epigenetic effects of Wolbachia symbiosis would be manifested as a “maternal effect”, in which infection of the mother modulates the offspring phenotype. In the leafhopper Zyginidia pullula, Wolbachia feminizes genetic males, leaving them as intersexes possessing phenotypic features that are typical of females (including ovaries) with the exception of male chitinous structures that are present in the last abdominal segments. Analysis of the methylation pattern revealed that genome imprinting of feminized males is identical to the female one indicating that Wolbachia may alter the proper establishment of the imprinting in the infected leafhoppers disrupting male imprinting, which dramatically influences the expression of genes involved in sex differentiation and development. Strikingly, Wolbachia is capable of inducing trans-generational inherited modification in the imprinting of the host genome.


2008 - Comunità microbica associata a Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret, vettore del Legno nero della vite [Abstract in Rivista]
Gonella, E.; Negri, I.; Marzorati, M.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

n.d.


2008 - Insect collections and DNA analyses: how to manage collections? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Numerous papers have been recently published regarding DNA studies of museum insect specimens. Despite the great enthusiasm for such analyses, there continues to be a potential conflict between specimen maintenance and their use for experimental procedures, since DNA extraction methods are sample destructive. This created a strong limitation for studies on museum specimens, making so impossible to work on rare or irreplaceable species. However, new methods for improving insect preservation have been recently published, together with new procedures for performing less destructive DNA extractions that combine specimen maintenance and DNA extraction.


2008 - Study of the bacterial community affiliated to Hyalesthes obsoletus, the insect vector of “bois noir” phytoplasma of grape [Articolo su rivista]
E., Gonella; I., Negri; M., Marzorati; L., Brusetti; M., Pajoro; Mandrioli, Mauro; R., Tedeschi; D., Daffonchio; A., Alma
abstract

Grape yellows caused by phytoplasmas afflict several important wine-producing areas of Europe. A grape yellows with increasingincidence in European vineyards is “bois noir” (BN), caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’. Its vector is the planthopperHyalesthes obsoletus Signoret (Hemiptera Cixiidae), occasionally feeding on grapevine. An innovative strategy for reducing thediffusion of the disease could be symbiotic control, exploiting the action of symbiotic microorganisms of the insect host. To investigatethe occurrence of possible microbial candidates for symbiotic control we performed a molecular characterization of thebacteria associated to H. obsoletus. Length heterogeneity PCR was applied for a preliminary population screening. Taxonomicaffiliations of the bacterial species were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, showing, within the microbial diversity,the intracellular reproductive parasite Wolbachia pipientis and a Bacteroidetes symbiont with 92% nt identity with ‘CandidatusSulcia muelleri’. PCR essays specific for these bacteria showed they co-localize in several organs of H. obsoletus. Fluorescentin situ hybridization was performed to assess the distribution of these microorganisms within the insect body, showing interestinglocalization patterns, particularly in insect gonads and salivary glands. These results could be a starting point for a deeper investigationof functions and relationships between microbial species.


2008 - The gonads of Zyginidia pullula males feminized by Wolbachia pipientis [Articolo su rivista]
I., Negri; Franchini, Antonella; Mandrioli, Mauro; P. J., Mazzoglio; A., Alma
abstract

Zyginidia pullula (Boheman) (Hemiptera Cicadellidae) is a widespread central European leafhopper about 3 mm long. It is a multivoltine species, with a bisexual reproduction. Some females collected in Northern Italy, when mated with males, give origin toan exclusively female brood. These lineages are infected by Wolbachia pipientis (Rickettsiales), an α-proteobacterium known to induce several reproductive manipulations in its arthropod host. In Z. pullula, the infection by W. pipientis induces feminization of genetical males. These feminized males are characterised by intersexual phenotypes, i.e. they are females harbouring upper pygofer appendages, a typical male secondary sexual feature. In this study we report preliminary results on the ovary histological structure and the immunohistochemical localization of W. pipientis in the gonads of these aberrant females (intersexes).


2008 - Zyginidia pullula (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) males feminized by Wolbachia: gonad characterization, bacterial transmission routes and genomic imprinting [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Negri, I.; Marzorati, M.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Sacchi, L.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

n.d.


2007 - A new synthesis in epigenetics: towards an unified function of DNA methylation from invertebrates to vertebrates [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

DNA methylation is generally limited to CpG doublets located at gene promoter with an involvement in gene silencing. Surprisingly, two recent papers showed an extensive methylation affecting coding portions of transcriptionally active genes in human and plants prompting a rethink of DNA methylation in eukaryotes. Actually, gene body methylation is not surprising since it was repeatedly reported in invertebrates, where it interferes with transcriptional elongation preventing aberrant transcription initiations. As a whole, data published suggest that the most ancestral function of DNA methylation is the control of genes that are susceptible to transcriptional interference and not to gene silencing. The recruitment of DNA methylation for silencing represents a successive tinkered use. In view of this additional function, invertebrate-vertebrates transition has been accompanied by new constrains on DNA methylation that resulted in the strong conservation of the DNA methylation machinery in vertebrates and in the non-viability of mutants lacking DNA methylation.


2007 - A putative helical cytokine functioning in innate immune signalling in Drosophila melanogaster [Articolo su rivista]
Malagoli, Davide; D., Conklin; Sacchi, Sandro; Mandrioli, Mauro; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

In invertebrates and vertebrates, innate immunity is considered the first line of defense mechanism against non-self material. In vertebrates,cytokines play a critical role in innate immune signalling. To date, however, the existence of genes encoding for invertebrate helical cytokines hasbeen anticipated, but never demonstrated. Here, we report the first structural and functional evidence of a gene encoding for a putative helicalcytokine in Drosophila melanogaster. Functional experiments demonstrate that its expression, as well as that of the antimicrobial factors defensinand cecropin A1, is significantly increased after immune stimulation. These observations suggest the involvement of helical cytokines in the innateimmune response of invertebrates.


2007 - Analysis of heterochromatic epigenetic markers in the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Borsatti, Federica
abstract

Monomethylated-K9 H3 histones (Me9H3) and heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) are reported as heterochromatin markers in several eukaryotes possessing monocentric chromosomes. In order to confirm that these epigenetic markers are evolutionary conserved, we sequenced the HP1 cDNA and verified the distribution of Me9H3 histones and HP1 in the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. Sequencing indicates that A. pisum HP1 cDNA (called ApHP1) is 1623 bp long, including a 170 bp long 5’UTR and a 688 bp long 3’UTR. The ApHP1 protein consists in 254 amino acidic residues, has a predicted molecular mass of 28 kDa and a net negative charge. At the structural level, it shows an N terminal chromo domain and a chromo shadow domain at the C terminus linked by a short hinge region. At the cytogenetic level, ApHP1 is located exclusively in the heterochromatic regions of the chromosomes. The same heterochromatic regions were labelled after immuno-staining with antibodies against Me9H3 histones confirming that Hp1 and Me9H3 co-localize at heterochromatic chromosomal areas. Surprisingly, aphid heterochromatin lacks DNA methylation and methylated cytosine residues were mainly spread at euchromatic regions. Finally, the absence of DNA methylation is observed also in aphid rDNA genes that have been repeatedly described as mosaic of methylated and unmethylated units in vertebrates.


2007 - Conoscere il DNA: due itinerari tematici dei Musei Modenesi di Anatomia [Articolo su rivista]
M., Bisanti; Mola, Lucrezia; Mandrioli, Mauro; Maramaldo, Rita
abstract

I Musei Anatomici di Modena da anni propongono itinerari didattici per le scuole con il proposito di offrire approfondimenti su alcune importanti tematiche biologiche. Sono stati così proposti due itinerari sul DNA e sulla genetica di popolazione (“Alla scoperta del DNA” e “DNA, Geni e Caratteri”) per le scuole primarie e secondarie di I e II grado. Questi due percorsi affrontano i temi della forma del DNA, del codice genetico, della diversità degli esseri viventi e del ruolo delle mutazioni nell’insorgere di alcune malattie. Inoltre una semplice, ma precisa, opera di laboratorio è stata affiancata alle lezioni, per fissare i temi principali e per inserire l’itinerario nell’ottica del “fare” e del “saper fare” in modo da favorire la partecipazione degli alunni.


2007 - Evolution game: which came first, the receptor or the ligand? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Malagoli, Davide; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

On the basis of a bioinformatic approach, we suggest that in invertebrates many ligands interact with a single, ancestral and generalized receptor driving ligand evolution. In vertebrates, on the other hand, the occurrence of gene/genome duplications induced the shift to a ligand-directed evolution of receptors.


2007 - Occurrence of DNA endoreplication in neurons. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mola, Lucrezia; Mandrioli, Mauro; Cuoghi, B.; Sonetti, Dario
abstract

DNA endoreplication has been repeatedly reported in protists, plants, arthropods, molluscs, fish and mammals. The same studies indicated that cells possessing endoreplicated genome are generally large-sized and highly metabolically active, suggesting that endoreplication could have a functional significance. Neurons are typically considered as fully differentiated, non-dividing cells containing a diploid genome. Despite this general rule, some papers questioned the validity of this statement and indicated that giant neurons in molluscs, supramedullary and hypothalamic magnocellular neurons in fish and Purkinje cells in vertebrate (predominantly mammalian) cerebellum present DNA contents larger than 2C. Quantitative microfluorimetric evaluation of DNA content in nerve cells of the gastropod molluscs Planorbarius corneus, Aplysia californica and Lymnaea stagnalis indicated that neuronal DNA contents range between 2C and 200.000C values. This increase in DNA content generally concerns whole-genome duplications, whereas in P. corneus endoreplication mainly applies to GC-rich sequences. The second example of endoreplicated neurons is highlighted by the large, clustered neurons located at the boundary between the medulla oblongata and spinal cord in the fish Lophius piscatorius and Diodon holacanthus. The DNA content of these neurons, evaluated by microfluorimetric methods, range from 4C in small to over 5000C in large neurons. Further experiments with AT and GC specific fluorochromes showed that the increase in DNA content is due to an amplification involving GC-rich DNAs in L. piscatorius, whereas a whole-genome endoduplication occurs in D. holacanthus. Subsequent quantitative evaluation revealed that also L. piscatorius hypothalamic magnocellular neurons, located in the preoptic and tuberal areas, largely exceed 2C. The third example is represented by nuclei of Purkinje cells isolated from the cerebellum. These results have been debated for several years, since contrasting data are present in literature. Up till now, the dilemma remains unsolved, but it is not possible to exclude that a small percentage of Purkinje neurons contain hyperdiploid and tetraploid nuclei, due to additional DNA synthesis. In order to study this topic into more detail, we here review the available data about endoreplication in invertebrate and vertebrate giant neurons and consider the possible molecular mechanisms responsible for endoreplication. Furthermore, some possible functional significances of neuron endoploidy are discussed.


2007 - Study of the bacterial community affiliated to Hyalesthes obsoletus (Hemiptera: Cixiidae), the insect vector of Bois Noir phytoplasma of grape [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Gonella, E.; Negri, I.; Marzorati, M.; Brusetti, L.; Pajoro, M.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Tedeschi, R.; Daffonchio, D.; Alma, A.
abstract

Grape yellows caused by phytoplasmas afflict several important wine-producing areas of Europe. A grape yellows with increasing incidence in European vineyards is “bois noir” (BN), caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma solani’. Its vector is the planthopper Hyalesthes obsoletus Signoret (Hemiptera Cixiidae), occasionally feeding on grapevine. An innovative strategy for reducing the diffusion of the disease could be symbiotic control, exploiting the action of symbiotic microorganisms of the insect host. To investigate the occurrence of possible microbial candidates for symbiotic control we performed a molecular characterization of the bacteria associated to H. obsoletus. Length heterogeneity PCR was applied for a preliminary population screening. Taxonomic affiliations of the bacterial species were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, showing, within the microbial diversity, the intracellular reproductive parasite Wolbachia pipientis and a Bacteroidetes symbiont with 92% nt identity with ‘Candidatus Sulcia muelleri’. PCR essays specific for these bacteria showed they co-localize in several organs of H. obsoletus. Fluorescent in situ hybridization was performed to assess the distribution of these microorganisms within the insect body, showing interesting localization patterns, particularly in insect gonads and salivary glands. These results could be a starting point for a deeper investigation of functions and relationships between microbial species.


2006 - Advanced microscopic approaches to the study of eukaryotic chromosomes [Articolo su rivista]
Borsatti, Federica; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Since the first discoveries of Schneider and Flemming, several papers have been published on chromosome structure making the understanding of chromatin organization in chromosomes one of the most attractive topics of the current biosciences. Several new discoveries on chromosome structure arose from advanced microscopy techniques that flanked light and electron microscopy. In the present review, the newest microscopy techniques applied to the study of the chromosome structure are presented and discussed in order to evidence the advantages and disadvantages of each approach


2006 - DNA endoreplication: what you did not expect from neurons [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mola, Lucrezia; Mandrioli, Mauro; Cuoghi, B.; Sonetti, Dario
abstract

Endoreplication has been repeatedly found in eukaryotes. In particular, endoreplicative or endoduplicative mechanisms have been reported in protists, plants, arthropods, molluscs, fishes and mammals. The same studies indicated that cells possessing endoreplicated genome are generally large-sized and highly metabolically active, suggesting that endoreplication could have a functional significance. Neurons are typically considered as fully differentiated, non-dividing cells containing normally a diploid DNA amount, and endoreplication has not been historically reported in neuronal cells. Despite this general rule, some papers questioned the validity of this finding and indicated that giant neurons in molluscs, supramedullary and hypothalamic magnocellular neurons in fishes and Purkinje cells in vertebrate (prevalently mammal) cerebellum present DNA contents greater than 2C. Quantitative microfluorometric evaluation of DNA content in nerve cells of the gastropod molluscs Planorbarius corneus, Aplysia californica and Lymnaea stagnalis indicated that neuronal DNA contents are scattered between 2C and 200.000C values. This increase in DNA content is given in account mostly to whole-genome duplications, whereas in P. corneus an endoreplication mainly of GC-rich sequences occurs. The second example of endoreplicated neurons was highlighted in the large clustered neurons, located at the boundary between the medulla oblongata and spinal cord, of the fishes Lophius piscatorius and Diodon holacanthus. The DNA content of these neurons, evaluated by microfluorimetric methods, results ranging from a minimum of 4C in the smaller to over 5000C in the larger neurons. Further experiments with AT and GC specific fluorochromes showed that the increase in DNA content is due to an amplification involving GC-rich DNAs in L. piscatorius, whereas a whole-genome endoduplication occurs in D. holacanthus. Subsequent quantitative evaluation revealed that also L. piscatorius hypothalamic magnocellular neurons, located in the preoptic and tuberal complexes, largely exceed 2C DNA content. The last example is represented by nuclei of vertebrate Purkinje cells isolated from cerebellum. These results have been debated for several years, since contrasting data are present in literature. Up till now, the dilemma remains unsolved, but it is not possible to exclude that a small percentage of Purkinje neurons contains hyperdiploid and tetraploid nuclei, might be due to an extra DNA synthesis. In order to go in depth in the understanding of this topic, we revised in the present review the available data about endoreplication in invertebrate and vertebrate giant neurons and considered the possible molecular mechanisms responsible for endoreplication. Furthermore, some possible functional significances of neuron endoploidy are discussed.


2006 - DNA methylation of fly genes and transposons [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Borsatti, Federica
abstract

The use of anti-5-methylcytosine antibodies in affinity columns allowed the identification of methylated sequences in the genome of Drosophila melanogaster adults. In view of the presence of transposable elements amongst the identified sequences, it has been suggested that DNA methylation is involved in transposon control in the fly genome. On the contrary, a re-analysis of these data can furnish several intriguing elements that could open new questions about the role that DNA methylation plays in the fly genome. The aim of the present paper is to discuss some features that emerge from the analysis of the identified methylated sequences.


2006 - Factors affecting DNA preservation from museum-collected lepidopteran specimens [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Borsatti, Federica; Mola, Lucrezia
abstract

Recent innovations in molecular genetics made DNA an intriguing molecule not only in molecular biology, but also in ecology and evolutionary and conservation biology. Despite this general interest, several discrepancies have been reported in the literature regarding the techniques for preserving insects for DNA analysis, prompting us to analyse the effects of different storage conditions on lepidopteran DNA preservation. In particular, in the present paper, adults of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (L.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), were stored under various conditions in order to verify which method is the most suitable to preserve lepidopteran specimens for DNA studies. Mamestra brassicae adults were stored by rapid desiccation with silica gel, by preservation in acetone, 2-propanol, Carnoy's or ethanol (both at 75 and 100% concentrations) solutions, and finally by storage in an ultracold freezer and liquid nitrogen. Adults preserved by each method were used to extract DNA at the aim of verifying the size of the extracted DNAs, the extraction yield and the possibility of using these samples to amplify both short and long DNA sequences by polymerase chain reaction. The results were compared with those obtained using fresh samples acting as controls. Acetone preservation appeared to be the most recommendable method for moth specimens as it proved to be a good storage medium for DNA analysis, it is cost-effective, and it is applicable not only to field surveys, but also to obtain efficient and low-cost storage of lepidopteran specimens in museum collections.


2005 - Conservation of HP1 and methylated H3 histones as heterochromatic epigenetic markers in the holocentric chromosomes of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera) [Articolo su rivista]
Borsatti, Federica; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

The methylated H3 histone and heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) are markers of heterochromatin in several eukaryotes possessing monocentric chromosomes. In order to confirm that these epigenetic markers of heterochromatin arc evolutionary conserved, the distribution of methylated H3 histones and HP1 homologues on the holocentric chromosomes of the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera) were studied. In particular, PCR experiments with degenerated primers identified a HP1 homologue (called MbHP1) in the M. brassicae genome. Sequencing showed that the MbHP1 gene is 737 bp long including a 102 bp 5'UTR and a 635 bp coding portion (comprising an 80 bp intron). The MbHP1 peptide consisted of 184 amino acids, had a 20 kDa molecular mass and a net negative charge. At the structural level, it showed an N terminal chromo-domain and a chromo-shadow-domain at the C terminus linked by a short hinge region. At the cytogenetic level, MbHP1 was located exclusively in the heterochromatic regions of the chromosomes. The same heterochromatic regions became labelled after immuno-staining with antibodies against H3 historic methylated at lysine 9, reinforcing the hypothesis that this modified histone is essential for HP1 binding. Our data, as a whole, confirm that heterochromatic components and markers are evolutionary conserved both in mono- and holocentric chromosomes despite the difference in the distribution of heterochromatin on chromosomes.


2005 - Histone methylation and DNA methylation: a missed pas de deux in invertebrates? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Borsatti, Federica
abstract

Several Authors have reported that histone methylation interacts with DNA methylation creating a self-propagating epigenetic cycle for long-term transcriptional repression of methylated genome compartments. This phenomenon, observed in plant and vertebrate genomes, does not appear to hold true in invertebrates. In particular, both structural and functional evidences suggest that, in invertebrates, DNA methylation and histone methylation do not interact, thus inhibiting the intimate pas de deux observed in other eukaryotes.


2005 - Il museo come biobanca: nuove prospettive per le collezioni entomologiche. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Mola, Lucrezia
abstract

Analisi molecolari di collezioni entomologiche museali


2004 - Analysis of the expression pattern of the defensin gene in the lepidopteran Mamestra brassicae. [Articolo su rivista]
Borsatti, Federica; Casarini, Livio; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Southern blotting experiments performed on M. brassicae genomic DNA after digestion with methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes indicated that defensin gene is methylated at CpG targets in the promoter region. However, defensin gene is actively transcribed despite the presence of methylation. Experiments performed by genome demethylation indicated that demethylated defensin gene resulted in altered expression after bacterial induction. In particular, if defensin gene is demethylated it has not possible to observed any increase in gene expression after induction with Gram positive bacteria. The present results are very intriguing since they indicate not only that in M. brassicae DNA methylation is not involved in gene silencing but also that cytosine methylation could be essential to assure the expression of specific genes. Finally, the above reported data apparently argue against a unifying and evolutionary conserved role of cytosine methylation from invertebrates to vertebrates. In fact, it appears that the DNA methylation/gene silencing correlation, which is typically reported in vertebrates, appears not to hold true for insects.


2004 - DNA methylation in insects [Articolo su rivista]
L. M., Field; F., Lyko; Mandrioli, Mauro; G., Prantera
abstract

Cytosine DNA methylation has been demonstrated in numerous eukaryotic organisms and has been shown to play an important role in human disease. The function of DNA methylation has been studied extensively in vertebrates, but establishing its primary role has proved difficult and controversial. Analysing methylation in insects has indicated an apparent functional diversity that seems to argue against a strict functional conservation. To investigate this hypothesis, we here assess the data reported in four different insect species in which DNA methylation has been analysed more thoroughly: the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae, the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae and the mealybug Planococcus citri.


2004 - Epigenetic tinkering and evolution: is there any continuity in the functional role of cytosine methylation from invertebrates to vertebrates? [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

The function of DNA methylation has been investigated in depth in vertebrate and plant genomes, establishing that it is involved in gene silencing and transposon control. Data regarding insect methylation, even if still scanty, apparently argue against evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation functions. Cytosine methylation, therefore, proves to be an epigenetic tool repeatedly used to accomplish different functions in different taxa according to a sort of epigenetic tinkering occurring during evolution.


2004 - Identification of a new hobo element in the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera). [Articolo su rivista]
Borsatti, Federica; Azzoni, Paola; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

A complete hobo-like element, called Mbhobo, was identified in the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae. This element has a high sequence similarity to the HFL1 hobo element of Drosophila melanogaster. Amplification of Mbhobo termini indicated that transposition occurred into a 5’-GTGGGTAC-3’ target sequence that was duplicated upon insertion. This target site conforms to the consensus sequence established for the insertion sites of insect hAT elements. Mbhobo has a single 1935 bp long ORF with significant homology to the D. melanogaster HFL1 hobo transposase. FISH experiments evidenced Mbhobo clusters located in heterochromatic regions of Z and W sex chromosomes and in heterochromatic areas of chromosome pair 10.


2004 - ProCRH in the teleost Ameiurus nebulosus: gene cloning and role in LPS-induced stress response [Articolo su rivista]
Malagoli, Davide; Mandrioli, Mauro; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

The procorticotrophin-releasing hormone (proCRH) gene from the teleost Ameiurus nebulosus was cloned by direct and inverse PCR-based technologies and characterized. The structure of the proCRH gene shows the presence of four exons and three introns giving a total length of 1416 bp. Sequence similarity with the corresponding proCRH coding sequences in Tilapia mossambica and Homo sapiens is 97.7 and 78%, respectively. Western blot experiments performed with an anti-human CRH (1-41) antibody revealed the presence of an immumoreactive molecule with an approximate MW of 18 kDa, a value comparable to that of the putative catfish proCRH peptide. These data suggest that proCRH could be active in A. nebulosus without any cleavage. ProCRH immunoreactive molecules were found in the central nervous system (CNS) and were immunocytochemically detected in the head kidney and in the pancreatic gland. Western blot and immunocytochemical experiments showed an increase in proCRH expression in the CNS after 15 min but not after 120 min exposure to LPS. In contrast, the increased immunopositivity was detectable in the pancreas only after 120 min of treatment, but in the head kidney throughout the entire period of exposure. Our findings indicate that the CNS responds to the altered conditions for a shorter period of time than the peripheral organs, suggesting a hierarchical and time-regulated stress response. However, an independent response in the peripheral organs cannot be excluded in this scenario.


2004 - The structure of insect DNA methyltransferase 2 (DNMT2) DNA binding domain is responsible for the non-CpG methylation in insect genomes [Articolo su rivista]
Borsatti, Federica; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Alignment of vertebrate and invertebrate DNA methyltransferases; 2 (Dnmt2) evidenced an over-all evolutionary conservation of these proteins. However, alignment revealed a vertebrate-specific stretch of about forty amino acids located between the catalytic motif VIII and the target recognition domain that is constantly absent from insect homologues. The analysis of the three-dimensional structure of DNA methyltransferase indicated that this vertebrate specific Dnmt2 portion is located at the DNA binding domain whose structure is essential for the discrimination of the proper target sequence. Insect Dnmt2 enzymes are, therefore, devoid of a portion of the DNA binding domain suggesting that this structural change may alter the methylation target of insect Dnmt2 Making cytosine methylation not limited to the vertebrate canonical CpG but extended to cytosine residues belonging to other dinucleotides.


2003 - Analysis of insect holocentric chromosomes by atomic force microscopy [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

In order to go in depth into the analysis of holocentric chromosome structure, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was applied to metaphase plates of the aphid Megoura viciae. AFM showed that aphid chromatids adhere to one another without any prominent structure detectable between them and without any evidence of chromosomal constrictions. AFM thus provided new and reliable evidences at a nanomolecular level concerning the holocentric structure of aphid chromosomes, without any of the artefacts due to sample staining or coating that are usually associated with electron microscopy.


2003 - Cytogenetic analysis on the holocentric chromosomes of the cabbage aphid Brevicoryne brassicae [Articolo su rivista]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Chromatin organization in the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Brevicoryne brassicae has been investigated at a cytological level after C-banding, NOR, Giemsa, DAPI and CMA(3) staining. C-banding technique showed the presence of heterochromatic bands on both telomeres of the two X chromosomes, whereas only the longest pair of autosomes show distinct intercalary C-positive bands. Moreover, silver staining and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a 28S rDNA probe localized rDNA genes on one telomere of each X chromosome; these are the only brightly fluorescent C-positive regions revealed after CMA(3) staining, whereas all other heterochromatic bands are DAPI positive.


2003 - Cytogenetic and molecular characterization of the MBSAT1 satellite DNA in holokinetic chromosomes of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; F., Marec
abstract

Digestion of Mamestra brassicae DNA with DraI produced a prominent fragment of approximately 200 by and a ladder of electrophoretic bands with molecular weights which are a multiple of 200 bp. Southern blotting revealed that this ladder is composed of DNA fragments that are multimers of the 200-by DraI band suggesting that DraI isolated a satellite that has been called Mamestra brassicae satellite DNA 1 (MBSAT1). MBSAT1 is the first satellite DNA isolated in Lepidoptera. In-situ DraI digestion of chromosome spreads, together with fluorescent in-situ hybridization, showed that MBSAT1 sequences are clustered in heterochromatin of the sex chromosomes, Z and W. MBSAT1 was 234 bp long with an AT content of 60.7%. The curvature-propensity plot suggested a curvature in the MBSAT1 structure.


2003 - Identification and chromosomal localization of mariner-like elements in the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

A complete mariner-like element has been identified in the lepidopteran Mamestra brassicae. This element, called Mbmar, represents a new type of mariner transposon. It has a transposase similar to that of other insect mariner coding sequences but its inverted terminal repeats differ from typical mariner ones. This observation is unique since generally both mariner coding region and ITRs are evolutionarily conserved in insects. Mbmar is detectable by FISH only in the heterochromatic regions of both the sex chromosomes.


2003 - Identification and molecular characterization of R1 transposable elements in the cabbage moth Mamestra brassicae [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

RFLP experiments showed rDNA variants due to R1 insertions in theMamestra brassicae 28S rDNA genes. Their location within the ribosomal geneswas confirmed by PCR amplification of the 3’ R1-28S rDNA junction. Dot blotting experiments indicated that 10% of rDNA units was interrupted by R1. RTPCR showed that R1 was actively transcribed and that its insertion did not prevent the transcription of the interrupted ribosomal units. Northern blottingindicated that at least a portion of the R1 elements was spliced from the 28SrRNA. Digestion with MspI and HpaII indicated that R1 was not methylated inthe cabbage moth genome and the methylation could be not involved in R1control. These data, as a whole, suggested that M. brassicae R1 was active at thetranspositional level


2003 - Molecular characterization of a defensin in the IZD-MB-0503 cell line derived from immunocytes of the insect Mamestra brassicae (Lepidoptera) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; S., Bugli; Genedani, Susanna; Ottaviani, Enzo; Saltini, S.
abstract

The induction of anti-microbial peptides against Gram positive and negative bacteria in the IZD-MB-0503 cell line from the lepidopteranMamestra brassicae is demonstrated, while no anti-fungal activity is detected. The identification of a defensin-like molecule active againstGram positive bacteria is described for the first time in Lepidoptera. This molecule shows between 43% and 59% homology with group Adefensins from other dipteran and hymenopteran species.


2003 - Principi di citogenetica [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

manuale di citogenetica


2003 - Stable transformation of a Mamestra brassicae (lepidoptera) cell line with the lepidopteran-derived transposon piggyBac [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Ea, Wimmer
abstract

Cabbage moth cells were transfected with the vector pBac[3xP3-EGFPafm] and helper phsp-pBac. Seventeen percent of the transfected cells showed stable EGFP-expression. This indicates successful and stable transformation of M. brassicae cells with a piggyBac-derived vector. Genomic integration of Bac[3xP3-EGFPafm] in stably transformed cells was confirmed by Southern blots and inverse PCR. Since the integrations are stable, and transfection with pBac(3xP3-EGFPafm) alone did not yield in transformations, no cross-reacting transposase activity seems present in M. brassicae cells. Moreover, Southern blotting with a probe for piggyBac transposase indicated the absence of piggyBac-related elements in the genome of Mamestra brassicae. Due to the tissue specificity of the,:3xP3-EGFP marker for eye and nervous tissues, it is intriguing that 3xP3-EGFP can successfully be used to identify stably transformed M. brassicae cells of cell line IZD-MB0503, which is hemocyte-derived. Sequence analysis of the insertion sites showed that piggyBac inverted repeats were adjacent to TTAA sequences on both termini in all the clones. The present results are particularly important as they suggest that piggyBac can be used for transgenesis of cabbage moth cells. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


2003 - The genome of the lepidopteran Mamestra brassicae has a vertebrate-like content of 5-methyl-cytosine (5mC) [Poster]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Borsatti, F.; Azzoni, P; Volpi, Nicola
abstract

The genome of the lepidopteran Mamestra brassicae has a vertebrate-like content of 5-methyl-cytosine (5mC)


2003 - The genome of the lepidopteran Mamestra brassicae has a vertebrate-like content of methyl-cytosine [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Volpi, Nicola
abstract

Mamestra brassicae genomic DNAs, isolated from larvae and adult tissues and from in vitro cultured CRL-8003cells, were enzymatically hydrolysed to nucleosides that were separated by HPLC. HPLC analysis showed that5mC content in cabbage moth larvae, adults and cultured cells was 8.9± 0.5, 9.3%± 0.2 and 10.2%± 0.4 respectively. Cabbage moth 5mC content results the highest reported till now in insects and it is similar to the typicalvertebrate one. Analysis of MspI and HpaII restriction pattern on M. brassicae DNA showed that a portion ofits genome was methylated at CpG sites. Moreover, the absence of small digestion products after MspI digestionsuggested that CpG are not clustered in the cabbage moth genome. Finally, methylation of repeated DNAs has beenstudied. Comparison of the restriction pattern of MspI and HpaII after hybridisation with the hobo, mariner, 28Sand 5S rDNA probes did not evidence any difference indicating the absence of CpG methylation in all the studiedrepeated DNAs.


2002 - Amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel subunits are expressed in human and mussel immunocytes [Articolo su rivista]
Ottaviani, Enzo; Franchini, Antonella; Mandrioli, Mauro; A., Saxena; A., Hanukoglu; I., Hanukoglu
abstract

In this study, we examined the expression of epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) subunits in human peripheral blood lymphocytes, human lymph nodes and molluscan immunocytes using non-radioactive in situ hybridization. The results showed that T lymphocytes express the ENaC gamma subunit mRNA, and B lymphocytes the ENaC beta subunit mRNA. Yet, the alpha subunit mRNA was not detected in either cell type. In molluscan immunocytes, all three homologous ENaC subunit mRNAs are present. and these data were also confirmed by RT-PCR and sequencing of the PCR products. These findings show evolutionary conservation of the expression of ENaC subunits in immunocytes of invertebrates to vertebrates. The observed differential expression patterns of ENaC subunits suggest that ENaC function may be regulated differentially in different types of human lymphocytes. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


2002 - Cloning and characterisation of a procorticotrophin-releasing hormone in the IZD-MB-0503 immunocyte line from the insect Mamestra brassicae [Articolo su rivista]
Malagoli, Davide; Mandrioli, Mauro; Ottaviani, Enzo
abstract

The cloning and characterisation of a procorticotrophin-releasing hormone (proCRH) and the related CRH fragment in the IZD-MB-0503 cell line from the leptidopteran Mamestra brassicae were performed. PCR amplification of the genomic DNA reveals a fragment of 276 bp, while inverse PCR shows the presence of a gene consisting of 1153 bp. The comparison of the insect genomic proCRH gene with proCRH cDNA obtained by RACE shows the presence of three introns. There was a 61% identity with the corresponding coding sequence in Tilapia mossambica, and a 65.2% identity with the human proCRH coding sequence. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.


2002 - Cytogenetic and Molecular Analysis of Heterochromatic Areas in the Holocentric Chromosomes of Different Aphid species. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro; Bizzaro, D.; Bianchi, U.
abstract

L'articolo presenta una revisione delle ricerche di citogenetica classica e molecolare svolte allo scopo di mettere in evidenza le peculiarità dei cromosomi olocentrici degli afidi.


2002 - Cytogenetic characterization of telomeres in the holocentric chromosomes of the lepidopteran Mamestra brassicae [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Telomeres of the Mamestra brassica holocentric chromosomes were studied by Southern blotting, in-situ hybridization and Bal31 assay evidencing the presence of the telomeric (TTAGG)(n) repeat. Successively, molecular analysis of telomeres showed that TRAS1 transposable elements were present at the subtelomeric regions of autosomes but not in the NOR-bearing telomeres of the Z and W sex chromosomes. TRAS1 appeared to be transcriptionally active and non-methylated, as evaluated by RT-PCR and digestion with MspI and HpaII. Finally, dot-blotting experiments showed that the 2.8 +/- 0.5% of the M. brassicae genome consists of TRAS1.


2002 - rDNA (18S-28S and 5S) co-localization and linkage between ribosomal genes and (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequence in the earthworm Octodrilus complanatus (Annelida: Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) revealed by single- and double-colour FISH [Articolo su rivista]
R., Vitturi; M. S., Colomba; A. M., Pirrone; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

Spermatogonial and metaphase I chromosomes of the lumbricid earthworm Octodrilus complanatus (Annelida: Oligochaeta) were examined using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with three repetitive DNA probes—5S rDNA, 18S–26S rDNA, and (TTAGGG)n. Single-color FISH consistently mapped one chromosome pair per spread using either 5S rDNA or 18S–26S rDNA as probes. Simultaneous (18S–26S)-5S and (18S–26S)-(TTAGGG)nFISH demonstrated that repeated units of the two ribosomal families were overlapped and closely associated with telomeric sequences.


2001 - Chromosomes at the microscope [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

The past two decades have seen enormous progress towards understanding eukaryotic genes and genomes. Recombinant DNA technology has provided this power and hardly any contemporary experiment of gene structure and function is done today without recourse to methods of molecular biology. Considerable detail is known of the fine structure of genes and regulatory proteins that control not only single metabolic steps but even complicated developmental processes. It became obvious, however, that a gene can no longer be portrayed only one-dimensionally and that an understanding of the dimensions between the macromolecule DNA and the cytological entity chromosome, with its periodically recurring conformational changes, will be required. Yet the relationships between topographical, physical, and genetic distances of genes and their impact on genetic events, gene expression, and evolution have largely escaped analysis. It is therefore desirable to unravel chromosome structure and gene arrangement at the ultrastructural level. Modern high-resolution microscopes provide a powerful tool for studying such ultrastructural detail. For a more detailed introduction see the BMS homepage (http://www.wadsworth.org/ BMS/SCBlinks/mcewen/techniques.html) or the Compton Enciclopedia On-line (http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/ARTICLES/0100/01217280-A.html#P23A1).


2001 - Cytogenetic and molecular analysis of the pufferfish Tetraodon fluviatilis (Osteichthyes) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

In view of their compact genome, pufferfish (Tetraodontiformes) have been proposed as model animal for the study of the vertebrate genome. Despite such interest, cytogenetic information about puffers is still scanty. To fill this gap, a cytogenetic analysis of T. fluviatilis has been performed using both classical and molecular techniques. C-banding, followed by DAPI staining, evidenced that in T. fluviatilis, like all other puffer species so far examined, heterochromatin is essentially AT-rich and it is located at centromeres, whereas staining with CMA(3), silver staining and FISH with a 28S ribosomal RNA gene DNA probe showed 2-4 nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) located in heterochromatic regions in the considered puffer species. FISH with the 5S probe put in evidence both in T. fluviatilis and in T. nigroviridis only a 5S cluster per haploid genome that is physically unlinked with the major ribosomal RNA genes including the 28S rRNA genes. Hybridization with the (TTAGGG)(n) probe showed in all the puffers brightly fluorescent signals uniform both in size and intensity at the end of all the chromosomes. Finally, mariner-like elements (MLEs) have been identified in T. fluviatilis and they have located into the NOR-associated heterochromatin.


2001 - DNA endoreplication in the clustered supramedullary neurons of the pufferfish Diodon holacanthus L. (Osteichthyes) [Articolo su rivista]
Mola, Lucrezia; Cuoghi, Barbara; Mandrioli, Mauro; Marini, Milena
abstract

DNA contents, ranging from 4C to more than 500C, were determined by a quantitative microfluorimetric assay in supramedullary neuron nuclei of the pufferfish Diodon holacanthus. The distribution of C values after ethidium bromide staining indicates an inter- and intra-individual variation in DNA contents which do not correspond to duplications of the total genome, suggesting that DNA replication is specific for particular genes (endoreplication). Moreover, the DNA content appears to be correlated with nuclear size. A relationship between the DNA amounts and the presence of AT- and GC-rich sequences has been shown. This work demonstrates, for the first time, DNA endoreplication in a specific neuronal type in vertebrates.


2001 - Molecular analysis of Salamander family: the new alpine salamander Salamandra atra aurorae [Articolo su rivista]
Pederzoli, Aurora; Azzoni, Paola; Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

A portion of the mitochondrial DNA from the 3 ' terminal of gene 12S rRNA to the 5 ' extremity of 16S rRNA gene has been amplified by PCR from Salamandra atra aurorae genomic DNA in order to define the taxonomic position of S. atra aurorae within the Salamandra species. Analysis of the molecular data indicated that S, a. aurorae is quite different from S, salamandra, whereas S. a. aurorae and S. a. atra are more similar, although their mitochondrial DNA present several mutations. Our analysis suggested therefore that S. a. aurorae could really represent a new subspecies of alpine salamander. Finally, on the basis of the rate of sequence divergence, we could suggest that S. a. atra and S. a. aurorae diverged about three million years ago.


2000 - 18S-28S rDNA is interspersed throughout heterochromatin in the millepede Enologus oxypygum (Diplopoda). [Articolo su rivista]
R., Vitturi; M. S., Colomba; Mandrioli, Mauro; A. M., Pirrone; G., Grispo; R. Barbieri, R.
abstract

In the present study, somatic metaphase chromosomes of the millipede Enologus oxypygum (Diplopoda: Julida) were hybridized in situ with a sea urchin (Echinodermata) ribosomal probe (prR14) in order to map major RNA genes (rDNA). Chromosomal preparations were also silver stained (Ag-NOR) to evaluate the rDNA transcriptional activity. Our results indicate that RNA genes are throughout heterochromatin in eight chromosomes involving 1/4 of the total heterochromatin which, in this species, is about 67% of the total DNA. Ag-NOR and FISH patterns were not coincident.


2000 - Ceratotoxins: Female-specific X-linked genes from the medfly, Ceratitis capitata [Articolo su rivista]
M., Rosetto; T., de Filippis; Mandrioli, Mauro; A., Zacharopoulou; P., Gourzi; A. G. O., Manetti; D., Marchini; R., Dallai
abstract

In this paper, we report the chromosomal localization of ceratotoxins, a gene family encoding antibacterial female-specific peptides from the mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata. The analysis of both polytene and mitotic chromosomes by in situ hybridization shows that ceratotoxins are the first case of female-specific X-linked genes from the medfly C. capitata. Southern blot analysis reveals that the ceratotoxin gene family is not specifically amplified in the female reproductive accessory glands of C. capitata.


2000 - Chromosomal analysis of repeated DNAs in the rainbow wrasse Coris julis (Pisces, Labridae) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; M. S., Colomba; R., Vitturi
abstract

Despite the interest of several authors, the karyotype of the labrid C. julis is still debated and in particular the presence of sex-chromosomes is still contradictory. In order to analyze the karyotype organization of C. julis we have performed an analysis with classical and molecular cytogenetic techniques. Our results after silver-, CMA(3)- and DAPI-staining, C-banding and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using 28S rDNA, 5S rDNA, and telomeric repeat (TTAGGG)(n) as probes allowed us to characterize the chromosomal location of several repetitive DNAs of C. julis. Finally, regardless of the technique used, no difference in the chromosome complement was found between males and females.


2000 - Chromosome analysis and molecular characterization of highly repeated DNAs in the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Aphididae, Hemiptera) [Articolo su rivista]
D., Bizzaro; Mandrioli, Mauro; M., Zanotti; M., Giusti; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Despite the interest in aphid biology, information on chromatin organization of their holocentric chromosomes is still limited to few species. In order to fill this gap, we have performed an extensive survey on pea aphid mitotic chromosomes using both classical and molecular cytogenetic techniques. Our results after silver, CMA(3) and DAPI-staining, C-banding and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using 28S rDNA and 5S rDNA as probes evidenced a tendency of repetitive DNAs to be concentrated on the X chromosomes. FISH experiments with the telomeric probe (TTAGG)(n) revealed bright hybridization signals on each telomere of all Acyrthosiphon pisum chromosomes. No interstitial signals were seen.


2000 - Cytogenetic analysis of the pufferfish Tetraodon fluviatilis (Tetraodontiformes, Osteychthyes). [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Cuoghi, Barbara; Marini, Milena; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Because of their compact genome, pufferfish (Tetraodontiformes) have been proposed as a model for the study of the vertebrate genome. The genome of pufferfish is peculiar as it has the structural complexity of the genomes of higher vertebrates, but has small introns and lacks large clusters of highly repetitive sequences. Despite such interest, information about the genetics of pufferfish is still scanty. To fill this gap, we have performed a cytogenetic analysis of the pufferfish, Tetraodon fluviatilis, which can be maintained in an aquarium for a long time and, unlike the pufferfish, Fugu rubripes, it is not difficult to obtain. Karyotype analysis shows that T. fluviatilis has 2n = 42 with two metacentric chromosomes, four submetacentrics, two subtelocentrics and 34 acrocentrics. C-banding, followed by DAPI staining, showed that heterochromatin is essentially AT-rich and is located at centromeres. Staining of the same metaphase plates with CMA(3) showed the presence of four heterochromatic regions located on two pairs of submetacentric chromosomes. Silver staining and FISH with a 28S rDNA probe showed that these GC-rich regions are nucleolar organizing regions (NORs). Finally, regardless of the technique used, no difference in the chromosome complement was found between males and females.


2000 - Mariner-like transposable elements are interspersed within the rDNA-associated heterochromatin of the pufferfish Tetraodon fluviatilis (Osteichthyes) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro
abstract

mariner-like elements, puffer®sh, rDNA genes, transposon


2000 - Molecular and cytogenetic analysis of the goby Gobius niger (Teleostei, Gobiidae) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Machella, N; Caputo, V.
abstract

A molecular cytogenetic study of Gobius niger has been conducted by treating its mitotic chromosomes with silver-, CMA(3)- and DAPI-staining and fluorescent in situ hybridization using four multicopy or repetitive DNAs (the 28S and 5S rDNAs, the TTAGGG telomeric repeat and the mariner-like elements) as probes. In particular, the study proved the presence of NOR heteromorphism and suggested the possible role of the transposable element mariner in its genesis. In situ hybridization with the 5S rDNA probe proved the presence of just one 5S-bringing chromosome pair, whereas hybridization with the telomeric repeat revealed small bright hybridization spots, uniform in size and intensity, on each telomere of all chromosomes but no interstitial signals were noticed.


2000 - Relationship between expression, amplification and methylation of FE4 gene in Myzus persicae (Homoptera, Aphididae) [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bizzaro, D.; Barbolini, E.; Mazzoni, E.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Cravedi, P.; Crema, R.; Pagliai, A. M.; Bianchi, U.
abstract

The paper deals witha precise description of the elationship between expression, amplification and methylation of FE4 gene in Myzus persicae (Homoptera, Aphididae).


2000 - The use of two density gradient centrifugation techniques and swim-up method to separate spermatozoa with chromatin and nuclear DNA anomalies [Articolo su rivista]
Sakkas, D.; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Tomlinson, M.; Bizzaro, D.; Mandrioli, Mauro; Bianchi, P. G.; Bianchi, U.
abstract

Human semen is heterogeneous in quality, not only between males but also within a single ejaculate. Differences in quality are evident, both when examining the classical parameters of sperm number, motility and morphology and in the integrity of the sperm nucleus. The aim of this study was to determine the efficiency of the PureSperm(R), Percoll(R) and swim-up preparation techniques to eliminate spermatozoa with nuclear anomalies. Semen samples were collected, washed and one part of the semen spread on a slide, the remainder was prepared using the swim-up, PureSperm(R) or Percoll(R) techniques. Spermatozoa from different fractions were fixed on slides and assessed. Sperm samples (n) from different men were stained using the chromomycin A(3) (CMA(3)) fluorochrome, which indirectly demonstrates a decreased presence of protamine (n = 31 for swim-up; n = 45 for PureSperm(R); n = 39 for Percoll(R)). Spermatozoa prepared using PureSperm(R) (n = 35) and Percoll(R) (n = 37) were also examined for the presence of endogenous DNA nicks. Good quality spermatozoa should not possess DNA nicks and not stain (i.e. fluoresce) with CMA(3). When prepared using the swim-up technique the spermatozoa recovered showed no significant improvement with the CMA(3) staining. When spermatozoa were prepared using the PureSperm(R) and Percoll(R) techniques, a significant (P < 0.001) decrease in both CMA(3) positivity and DNA strand breakage was observed. These results indicate that both the PureSperm(R) and Percoll(R) techniques can enrich the sperm population by separating out those with nicked DNA and with poorly condensed chromatin.


1999 - Caratterizzazione delle cellule gliali nel cluster di neuroni sopramidollari di Tetraodon fluviatilis (Osteichthyes). [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
B., Cuoghi; Mandrioli, Mauro; L., Blasiol; Marini, Milena; Sabatini, Maria Agnese
abstract

Uno studio ultrastrutturale delle cellule gliali del cluster di neuroni sopramidollari di Tetraodon fluviatilis ha evidenziato chiaramente la presenza di almeno due tipi cellulari morfologicamente identificabili come microglia ed astrociti. Il dato morfologico è stato confermato immunocitochimicamente con anticorpi diretti contro la proteina acida fibrillare gliale (GFAP), marker astrocitario. La reazione infatti è risultata positiva in alcune delle cellule situate attorno ai neuroni sopramidollari. A livello molecolare, una porzione corrispondente ai primi due esoni ed al primo introne del gene codificante per la GFAP è stata amplificata dal genoma di T. fluviatilis tramite PCR utilizzando primers disegnati sulla base di sequenze presenti in bnca dati. Il frammento amplificato è stato clonato, sequenziato e confrontato con sequenze omologhe note.


1999 - Cytogenetic analysis of the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Schizaphis graminum [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Ganassi, S; Bizzaro, D; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Chromatin organization in the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Schizaphis graminum has been investigated at a cytological level after C-banding, NOR, Giemsa, DAPI and CMA(3) staining. C-banding technique showed the presence of numerous C bands on the two X chromosomes both in telomeric and intercalary regions, whereas autosomes show a small number of heterochromatic bands. Contrary to the results with other aphid species, in S. graminum the C-banding pattern is peculiar to each chromosome pair, thus allowing the identification of homologues and the reliable reconstruction of a karyotype. These cytogenetic data could be useful for the identification of chromosomal rearrangement eventually occurred between different S. graminum biotypes. Moreover, silver staining and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with a 28S rDNA probe localized rDNA genes on one telomere of each X chromosome; these are the only brightly fluorescent C-positive regions revealed after CMA(3) staining, whereas all other heterochromatic bands are DAPI positive.


1999 - Cytogenetic and molecular characterization of a highly repeated DNA sequence in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; D., Bizzaro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; D., Gionghi; L., Bassoli; Bianchi, Umberto
abstract

Electrophoresis following digestion of Myzus persicae genomic DNA with HindIII showed the presence of a prominent band of approximately 200 bp whereas a faint electrophoretic band corresponding to DNA fragments of about 3000 bp was observed after digestion with ApaI. In situ digestion with restriction enzymes, followed by in situ nick translation, showed that ApaI targets are localized at the nucleolus organizer-bearing X telomeric region, whereas HindIII restriction sites are clustered in intercalary C-positive areas on the same X chromosome. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) carried out by using digoxygenin-labeled HindIII repeats as probe fully confirmed overlapping between the hybridization sites of this probe and the AT-rich intercalary heterochromatic bands on the X chromosome. These findings, together with published data, allow us to conclude that the M. persicae genome possesses three classes of C-positive heterochromatin: (i) a GC-rich argentophilic band located on one telomere of the X chromosome that contains ApaI targets; (ii) AT-rich intercalary bands located on the X chromosome containing clustered HindIII fragments; (iii) AT-rich telomeric bands, located on autosomes, consisting of Haem repeats. Molecular analysis has shown that the length of the HindIII repeat consensus sequence is 189 bp with an AT content of 67%. Southern blotting with HindIII monomers revealed a regular ladder of bands composed of multimers of basic length that are characteristic of satellite DNAs. The HindIII repeat displays other features typical of eukaryotic satellite arrays such as overlapping with heterochromatic bands and a high degree of sequence similarity among monomers (84%-94%). A similarity plot showed that sequences were particularly variable in the 50-100 bp region whereas they proved to be highly conservative in the first 50 bp, thus suggesting that this portion of the repeat might be functionally important.


1999 - Cytogenetic characterization of the holocentric chromosomes in the aphids Myzus varians and Myzus cerasi [Articolo su rivista]
Bizzaro, D; Barbolini, E; Mandrioli, Mauro; Mazzoni, E; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

Cytogenetic investigations on the holocentric chromosomes of Myzus varians and Myzus cerasi have been carried out using silver staining and C-banding followed by chromomycin A(3) (CMA(3)) and DAPI staining in order to improve our knowledge of these pest crop species and facilitate their identification. In M. varians C-banding pattern is peculiar of each chromosome pair thus allowing the identification of all homologues and the reconstruction of a reliable karyotype whereas in M. cerasi, C-positive regions result to be limited to both the telomeric regions of the X chromosomes. In both species, silver staining localizes rDNA genes on one telomere of each X chromosome; such telomeres are the unique brightly fluorescent C-positive regions after CMA(3) staining, whereas all other heterochromatic bands result DAPI positive.


1999 - Interactions supramedullary neurons-glial cells in Tetraodon fluviatilis (Osteichthyes) in vivo and in vitro. [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
B., Cuoghi; Mandrioli, Mauro; Marini, Milena; Sabatini, Maria Agnese
abstract

The cluster of supramedullary neurons and glial cells of the teleost Tetraodon fluviatilis is presented as an excellent model for the study of the interactions neurons-glia. Furthermore, the cluster is well defined, easy to locate and to single out. Explants from the cluster of about 0.2-0.5 mm3 (from 6 to 12 neurons each) were cultured for 24 and 48 h. The preliminary findings, such as the good preservation of the cultured cells and the maintenance of the relations between neurons and glia in culture, are encouraging in order to go deep in such an interesting model.


1999 - Localization of the (TTAGGG)(n) telomeric repeat in the chromosomes of the pufferfish Tetraodon fluviatilis (Hamilton Buchanan) (Osteichthyes) [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Cuoghi, Barbara; Marini, Milena; Manicardi, Gian Carlo
abstract

In order to characterise the telomeric repeats of the pufferfish Tetraodon fluviatilis, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was carried out on metaphase chromosomes using a PCR generated probe (TTAGGG)(n). Distinct signals have been observed on the telomeres of all the chromosomes and hybridization signals appears of uniform size and intensity. Moreover FISH experiment does not evidence any interstitial non-telomeric signal. As non-telomeric FISH signal has been used as a marker for karyotype evolution and for determining the evolutionary status of fish species, it could be supposed that the absence of non telomeric signals makes T. fluviatilis (Tetraodontiformes) an evolutionary ancient species in respect to Perciformes.


1999 - NORs heteromorphism within a parthenogenetic lineage of the aphid Megoura viciae [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; D., Bizzaro; U., Bianchi
abstract

In parthenogenetic females of a clone of the aphid Megoura viciae (Homoptera, Aphididae), more than 50% of the cells show heteromorphism between homologous NORs which are located on one telomeric region of the two X chromosomes. Using different techniques, such as staining with the CG-specific fluorochrome chromomycin A(3), silver staining and in-situ hybridization with an rDNA probe, we have shown that the observed heteromorphism is due to an unequal distribution of ribosomal genes between homologous NOR regions. The total number of rDNA genes per individual aphid remained constant. Moreover, the analysis of cells from single embroys has shown that the observed heteromorphism is not only intraclonal but also intraindividual. These data, together with the finding of X chromosomes connected by chromatin bridges between their NORs, allow us to suggest that mitotic unequal crossing over could be the main cause of NOR heteomorphism in this taxon.


1999 - The role of rDNA genes in X chromosome association in the aphid Acyrthosipon pisum. [Articolo su rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; D., Bizzarro; M., Giusti; U., Bianchi
abstract

Silver staining of mitotic metaphases of the aphid A. pisum reveals the presence of argentophilic bridges connecting the two X chromosomes. The presence of nucleolar material connecting sex chromosomes seems to be quite a common phenomenon in organisms belonging to very different phyla, and suggests a role of nucleolar proteins in chromosome association and disjunction. In somatic cells of A. pisum, bridges connecting X chromosomes are detectable not only after silver staining but also after CMA3 staining. This finding suggests that GC rich DNA is involved in this type of association. Molecular analysis of rDNA intergenic spacers shows several 247 bp repeats containing short sequences having a high level of homology with the chi sequence of Escherichia coli and with the consensus core region of human hypervariable minisatellites. Moreover, each 247 bp repeat presents a perfect copy of a promoter sequence for polymerase I. These aphid repeats show structural homologies with a 240 bp repeat, which is considered to be responsible for sex chromosome pairing in Drosophila, not only in view of their common presence within rDNA spacers but also for their length and structure. The presence of chi sequences in the IGS of A. pisum, by promoting unequal crossing-over between rDNA genes, could thus give rise to the nucleolar organizing region (NOR) heteromorphism described in different aphid species. Although X pairing at NORs is fundamental in aphid male determination, the presence of heteromorphism of rDNA genes does not inhibit male determination in the A. pisum clone utilized for our experiments.


1998 - Molecular and cytogenetic characterization of a highly repeated DNA sequence in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae [Abstract in Rivista]
Bizzaro, D; Mandrioli, Mauro; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Gionghi, D; Bassoli, L; Bianchi, U.
abstract

The paper describes chromosomal localization of a a highly repeated DNA sequence in the peach potato aphid Myzus persicae.


1998 - Occurrence of NORs heteromorphism in the two X chromosomes of different aphid species [Capitolo/Saggio]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro; D., Bizzaro; U., Bianchi
abstract

In this paper we review recent work concerning both cytogenetic and molecular features of constitutive heterochromatin in the holocentric chromosomes of different aphid species. Sections include an extensive survey regarding chromosomal localization and DNA base composition of C-positive areas together with a cytological and molecular analysis of nucleolar organizer regions. The possible role of mitotic crossing over on genetic variability in parthenogenetic lineages is also briefly reviewed.


1998 - Occurrence of NORs heteromorphism of the two X chromosomes in different aphid species. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Bizzaro, D; Mandrioli, Mauro; Bianchi, U; Crema, R.
abstract

The chromosomal localization of the rDNA has been determined in embryo cells of four aphid species (Megoura viciae, Acyrthosiphon pisum, Myzus persicae, Aphis sambuci) by staining with Chromomycin A3, a fluorochrome specific for GC-rich DNA, by silver staining and by in situ hybridization with a probe obtained by PCR amplification of 28S rDNA obtained from A. pisum. All these techniques showed that in all the examined species the ribosomal cistrons are located in one telomeric position on the X chromosomes. This localization of NORs seems to be a general phenomenon in aphids whereas autosomal NORs have been reported for Schoutedenia ralumensis only. Our data show a certain amount of heteromorphism between homologous NORs. This condition, already reported for some aphid species, is an unusual phenomenon in other animal species. The origin of this rDNA heteromorphism is still unclear. It may be caused by differential gene amplification, unequal crossing-over, unequal sister chromatid exchange or unequal mitotic crossing-over. The last hypothesis may be supported by the frequent observation of X connected by NORs bearing telomeres in mitotic metaphases.


1998 - Patterns of DNase I sensitivity in the holocentric chromosomes of the aphid Megoura viciae [Articolo su rivista]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Mandrioli, Mauro; D., Bizzaro; Bianchi, Umberto
abstract

Using the in situ nick translation technique, we looked for the presence of DNase I sensitive sites in Megoura viciae chromosomes, to study the distribution of active or potentially active genes in aphids, a group of insects possessing holocentric chromosomes. Cytological preparations obtained by the spreading of embryo cells were treated in situ with increasing concentrations (ranging from 5 to 200 ng/mL) of DNase I. At DNase I concentrations below 50 ng/mL, only one hypersensitive site was observed, and this was located on a telomeric region of the X chromosome that contains transcriptionally active nucleolar organizing regions, as assayed by silver staining. Interestingly, at intermediate concentrations of DNase. the incorporation of biotinylated nucleotide occurred uniformly throughout all chromosomes, whereas at concentrations above 100 ng/mL, a C-like banding pattern was produced. Our data differ from results obtained with mammalian, frog, and grasshopper chromosomes, where it was found that DNase I nicking is concentrated at the distal regions of all chromosomes.


1998 - Sex chromosome pairing: the role of rDNA genes in the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum [Abstract in Rivista]
Mandrioli, Mauro; Bizzaro, D; Manicardi, Gian Carlo; Bianchi, U.
abstract

The paper describes the role of rDNA genes in sex chromosome pairing in the aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.


1998 - Silver staining as a new banding technique to identify aphid chromosomes [Articolo su rivista]
Manicardi, Gian Carlo; D., Bizzaro; Mandrioli, Mauro; U., Bianchi
abstract

The karyotype of the aphid Aphis sambuci has been studied by means of C-banding, fluorochrome staining and AgNO3 staining. Heterochromatic areas are confined exclusively to the X chromosomes. Interestingly, silver staining produces a clear-cut longitudinal differentiation of all chromosomes, which allows reliable identification of homologues.