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pelusi angelaPh. D. Student
Section EMI

Tel. +39 081 5833201
Fax: +39 081 7641355
e-mail pelusi.angela(at)gmail.com
Skype: angela.pelusi88

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Research interests

The formation of resting stages – i.e. stages capable to enter a reversible stage of reduced metabolic activity, or "dormancy" - is widespread amongst all organisms spanning from bacteria, to protists, animals and plants. Amongst marine planktonic species, resting stages are known in many lineages: e.g. cysts or spores in autotrophic and heterotrophic protists, akinetes in cyanobacteria, diapause eggs in crustaceans.
Shifts between a vegetative growth phase in the plankton and a dormant phase in the sediments, and vice versa, are key elements for planktonic population dynamics and provide a link between the planktonic and benthic compartments. The formation and germination of resting stages is linked to the perception of external cues, whose mechanisms have been elucidated for higher plants and animals and partly for bacteria. However, information on these processes in marine microalgae is still limited. The main objective of my project is to investigate the factors that trigger the formation and germination of resting spores in diatoms. The backbone of the project will focus on the role of nutrient (nitrogen) concentration in inducing the formation of spores and on the role of light (both as quality and quantity) in inducing the germination of resting stages. The project will also include transcriptomic approaches on key time points/phases of the life cycle transitions to gain insights on the molecular mechanisms involved in the perception of the cues and in the physiological response.

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