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romano giovannaSenior Researcher
Marine Biotechnology Department

Tel. +39 081 5833430
Fax: +39 081 7641355
e-mail: giovanna.romano(at)szn.it
Skype: giovanna.romano59


Download Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Research interest: Chemical Ecology and Marine Biotechnology.
Microalgae are a key component of marine phytoplankton and support the cycle of secondary production that in turn sustains the growth of fish larvae. Recently we  discovered that diatoms, one of the major microalgal group, produce secondary metabolites which induce egg viability reduction and teratogenesis in their principal copepod grazers. Beside their ecological role as defence against grazers, secondary metabolites may have other bioactivity and can be explored for possible biotechnological and pharmacological applications.
Principal aims of my research studies are:

  • Clarify chemically mediated interactions between phytoplankton and their grazers.
  • Study the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of diatom-derived oxylipins on developmental processes, using the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos as in vivo model system.
  • Identify factors affecting the production of these bioactive secondary metabolites.
  • Discover potential biotechnological applications of lipoxygenase and other enzymes involved in diatom oxylipin pathways.
  • Discover potential biotechnological applications of microalgal secondary metabolites.

Journal Papers

Fontana A, d'Ippolito G, Cutignano A, Romano G, Lamari N, et al. (2007) LOX-induced lipid peroxidation mechanism responsible for the detrimental effect of marine diatoms on zooplankton grazers. Chembiochem 8: 1810-1818

d'Ippolito G, Lamari N, Montresor M, Romano G, Cutignano A, et al. (2009) 15S-lipoxygenase metabolism in the marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima. New Phytol 183: 1064-1071

Romano G, Miralto A, Ianora A (2010) Teratogenic effects of diatom metabolites on sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos. Marine Drugs 8: 950-967

Gerecht A, Romano G, Ianora A, d’Ippolito G, Cutignano A, et al. (2011) Plasticity of oxylipin metabolism among clones of the marine diatom Skeletonema Marinoi (Bacillariophyceae). Journal of Phycology 47: 1050-1056

Romano G, Costantini M, Buttino I, Ianora A, Palumbo A (2011) Nitric oxide mediates the stress response induced by diatom aldehydes in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Plos One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025980.

Marrone V, Piscopo M, Romano G, Ianora A, Palumbo A, et al. (2012) Defensome against toxic diatom aldehydes in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Plos One 7. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031750

Cutignano A, Avila C, Rosica A, Romano G, Laratta B, et al. (2012) Biosynthesis and cellular localization of functional polyketides in the gastropod mollusc Scaphander lignarius. Chembiochem 13: 1759-1766

Romano G, Manzo E, Russo GL, d'Ippolito G, Cutignano A, et al. (2013) Design and synthesis of pro-apoptotic compounds inspired by diatom oxylipins. Marine Drugs 11: 4527-4543.

Varrella S, Romano G, Ianora A, Bentley MG, Ruocco N, et al. (2014) molecular response to toxic diatom-derived aldehydes in the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Marine Drugs 12: 2089-2113.

Sansone C, Braca A, Ercolesi E, Romano G, Palumbo A, et al. (2014) Diatom-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes activate cell death in human cancer cell lines but not normal cells. Plos One 9. doi: 10.1371/journal.p\one.0101220

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