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You are here: HomeStaffList of PersonnelDe Luca DanieleDe Luca Daniele

De Luca DPh.D. Student
Integrative Marine Ecology Department

Tel.: +39 081 5833201
Fax: +39 081 7641355
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Skype: danie.deluca

Curriculum Vitae


Director of Studies
: Wiebe HCF Kooistra
Internal Supervisor: Diana Sarno
External Supervisor: Christine Maggs
Program: Open University, XVIII cycle

Research Interests

Diversity is perhaps the most striking characteristic of the life on our planet, and it can be observed at every level, from genes to species and ecosystems. However, we still lack a full understanding of the processes that give rise to distinct species, and there is considerable confusion on how to delineate individual species and enumerate them. Species can be viewed as dynamic entities that originate from ancestral populations through changes in their morphological, ecological, genetic and physiological makeup over space and time. Therefore, the very process of speciation implies a transition between single species and their daughter species. Nowadays, DNA markers, together with morphological and other phenotypic information, are commonly used to describe species, and this is true also for planktonic microalgae.
The planktonic diatom genus Chaetoceros exhibits characteristics that make it a prime target for ecological and evolutionary studies in marine phytoplankton. It is arguably the most species-rich genus among marine planktonic diatoms and it is distributed globally. My PhD project aims to explore: 1) the genetic diversity of this genus at species level, producing a multi-gene phylogeny which integrates the pre-existing information of nuclear data with chloroplast and mitochondrial ones; 2) the genetic diversity within selected species of Chaetoceros on a spatial and temporal scale using phylogeographic approaches. Furthermore, NGS data from V4-18S metabarcoding will be analysed to explore the potential of this technique in detecting speciation processes.

Journal Papers

De Luca, D., Menale, B., Caputo, P., and Cennamo, P. (2017). Population genetics analysis in a relic population of silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in southern Italy: a comparison of microsatellite and reference data. Plant Biosys 151:567-573.

De Luca, D., Catanese, G., Procaccini, G., and Fiorito, G. (2016). Octopus vulgaris (Cuvier, 1797) in the Mediterranean Sea: genetic diversity and population structure. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149496. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149496.

De Luca, D., Catanese, G., Fiorito, G., and Procaccini, G. (2015). A new set of pure microsatellite loci in the common octopus Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797 for multiplex PCR assay and their cross-amplification in O. maya Voss & Solís Ramírez, 1966. Conservation Genet Resour 7:299-301.

De Luca, D., Catanese, G., Procaccini, G., and Fiorito, G. (2014). An integration of historical records and genetic data to the assessment of global distribution and population structure in Octopus vulgaris. Front Ecol Evol 2:55. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2014.00055.

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