Andrea Benazzo

Andrea Benazzo
University of Ferrara | UNIFE · Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnologies

Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology

About

92
Publications
12,240
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2,071
Citations
Education
January 2009 - December 2011
University of Ferrara
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology

Publications

Publications (92)
Article
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Reconstructing past events of hybridization and population size changes are required to understand speciation mechanisms and current patterns of genetic diversity, and ultimately contribute to species' conservation. Sea turtles are ancient species currently facing anthropogenic threats including climate change, fisheries, and illegal hunting. Five...
Article
Population and conservation genetics studies have greatly benefited from the development of new techniques and bioinformatic tools associated with next‐generation sequencing. Analysis of extensive datasets from whole‐genome sequencing of even a few individuals allows the detection of patterns of fine‐scale population structure and detailed reconstr...
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A Correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-021-00892-3.
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All crops are the product of a domestication process that started less than 12,000 years ago from one or more wild populations1,2. Farmers selected desirable phenotypic traits (such as improved energy accumulation, palatability of seeds and reduced natural shattering³) while leading domesticated populations through several more or less gradual demo...
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There is a wide consensus in considering Africa as the birthplace of anatomically modern humans (AMH), but the dispersal pattern and the main routes followed by our ancestors to colonize the world are still matters of debate. It is still an open question whether AMH left Africa through a single process, dispersing almost simultaneously over Asia an...
Article
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Inferring past demographic histories is crucial in population genetics, and the amount of complete genomes now available should in principle facilitate this inference. In practice, however, the available inferential methods suffer from severe limitations. Although hundreds complete genomes can be simultaneously analysed, complex demographic process...
Article
Background Although obese patients benefit from neuraxial anesthesia, technical difficulties often discourage its use. The current randomized trial compared Accuro, a hand-held, battery-operated ultrasound (US) device, and conventional palpation for spinal anesthesia in obese patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. We hypothesized that Accuro would...
Preprint
Full-text available
All crops are the product of a domestication process that started less than 12,000 years ago from one or more wild populations. Farmers selected desirable phenotypic traits, such as improved energy accumulation, palatability of seeds or reduced natural shattering, while leading domesticated populations through several more or less gradual demograph...
Poster
The Apennines bear is an iconic and endangered Italian mammal, distributed in a small area in Central Italy. Considered as an independent evolutionary lineage within the nominal species Ursus arctos, it shows some specific features including a small body size and a very low diversity at long fractions of the genome. It has also been suggested that...
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In light of the complex nature of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the recently estimated contribution of low-frequency variants into disease, decoding its genetic risk components requires novel variant prioritization strategies. We selected, by reviewing MS Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), 107 candidate loci marked by intragenic single nucleotid...
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CHC22 clathrin plays a key role in intracellular membrane traffic of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4 in humans. We performed population genetic and phylogenetic analyses of the CHC22-encoding CLTCL1 gene, revealing independent gene loss in at least two vertebrate lineages, after arising from gene duplication. All vertebrates retain...
Preprint
Full-text available
Inferring past demographic histories is crucial in population genetics, and the amount of complete genomes now available for many species should in principle facilitate this inference. In practice, however, the available inferential methods suffer from severe limitations. Although hundreds complete genomes can be simultaneously analyzed, complex de...
Preprint
Full-text available
CHC22 clathrin plays a key role in intracellular membrane traffic of the insulin-responsive glucose transporter GLUT4 in humans. We performed population genetic and phylogenetic analyses of the CHC22-encoding CLTCL1 gene, revealing independent gene loss in at least two vertebrate lineages, after arising from gene duplication. All vertebrates retain...
Article
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The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) acts as an interface between the immune system and infectious diseases. Accurate characterization and genotyping of the extremely variable MHC loci are challenging especially without a reference sequence. We designed a combination of long-range PCR, Illumina short-reads, and Oxford Nanopore MinION long-rea...
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Viviparity has evolved from oviparity at least 150 independent times in vertebrates. More than 80% of these transitions have occurred in squamate reptiles, where both reproductive modes are rarely seen in different populations of the same species. This condition (bimodal reproduction) is ideal for studying the physiological and morphological change...
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About 100 km east of Rome, in the central Apennine Mountains, a critically endangered population of ∼50 brown bears live in complete isolation. Mating outside this population is prevented by several 100 km of bear-free territories. We exploited this natural experiment to better understand the gene and genomic consequences of surviving at extremely...
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Crop species have been deeply affected by the domestication process, and there have been many efforts to identify selection signatures at the genome level. This knowledge will help geneticists to better understand the evolution of organisms, and at the same time, help breeders to implement successful breeding strategies. Here, we focused on domesti...
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Our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have a complex demographic history. We analyzed the high-coverage whole genomes of 75 wild-born chimpanzees and bonobos from 10 countries in Africa. We found that chimpanzee population substructure makes genetic information a good predictor of geographic origin at country and regional scales. M...
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Our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have a complex demographic history. We analyzed the high-coverage whole genomes of 75 wild-born chimpanzees and bonobos from 10 countries in Africa.We found that chimpanzee population substructure makes genetic information a good predictor of geographic origin at country and regional scales. Mu...
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The genus Pan is the closest genus to our own and it includes two species, Pan paniscus (bonobos) and Pan troglodytes (chimpanzees). The later is constituted by four subspecies, all highly endangered. The study of the Pan genera has been incessantly complicated by the intricate relationship among subspecies and the statistical limitations imposed b...
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Defining reliable demographic models is essential to understand the threats of ongoing environmental change. Yet, in the most remote and threatened areas, models are often based on the survey of a single population, assuming stationarity and independence in population responses. This is the case for the Emperor penguin Aptenodytes forsteri, a flags...
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Reduction in population size and local extinctions have been reported for the yellow-bellied toad, Bombina variegata, but the genetic impact of this is not yet known. In this study, we genotyped 200 individuals, using mtDNA cytochrome b and 11 nuclear microsatellites. We investigated fine-scale population structure and tested for genetic signatures...
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Balancing selection is an important evolutionary force that maintains genetic and phenotypic diversity in populations. Most studies in humans have focused on long-standing balancing selection, which persists over long periods of time and is generally shared across populations. But balanced polymorphisms can also promote fast adaptation, especially...
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Genetically-based reconstructions of the history of pig domestication in Europe are based on two major pillars: 1) the temporal changes of mitochondrial DNA lineages are related to domestication; 2) Near Eastern haplotypes which appeared and then disappeared in some sites across Europe are genetic markers of the first Near Eastern domestic pigs. We...
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The notion that patterns of linguistic and biological variation may cast light on each other and on population histories dates back to Darwin's times; yet, turning this intuition into a proper research program has met with serious methodological difficulties, especially affecting language comparisons. This article takes advantage of two new tools o...
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The proportion of Europeans descending from Neolithic farmers ∼10 thousand years ago (KYA) or Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers has been much debated. The male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) has been widely applied to this question, but unbiased estimates of diversity and time depth have been lacking. Here we show that European patrilineages...
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The introduction of invasive species to new locations (that is, biological invasions) can have major impact on biodiversity, agriculture and public health. As such, determining the routes and modality of introductions with genetic data have become a fundamental goal in molecular ecology. To assist with this goal, new statistical methods and framewo...
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Massive DNA sequencing has significantly increased the amount of data available for population genetics and molecular ecology studies. However, the parallel computation of simple statistics within and between populations from large panels of polymorphic sites is not yet available, making the exploratory analyses of a set or subset of data a very la...
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Background Archaeology reports millenary cultural contacts between Peruvian Coast-Andes and the Amazon Yunga, a rainforest transitional region between Andes and Lower Amazonia. To clarify the relationships between cultural and biological evolution of these populations, in particular between Amazon Yungas and Andeans, we used DNA-sequence data, a mo...
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Using RNA sequencing technology and de novo transcriptome assembly, we compared representative sets of wild and domesticated accessions of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) from Mesoamerica. RNA was extracted at the first true-leaf stage, and de novo assembly was used to develop a reference transcriptome; the final data set consists of ∼190,000 sing...
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Patients with established type 2 diabetes display both beta-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. To define fundamental processes leading to the diabetic state, we examined the relationship between type 2 diabetes risk variants at 37 established susceptibility loci and indices of proinsulin processing, insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity....
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Demographic bottlenecks can severely reduce the genetic variation of a population or a species. Establishing whether low genetic variation is caused by a bottleneck or a constantly low effective number of individuals is important to understand a species' ecology and evolution, and it has implications for conservation management. Recent studies have...
Article
Determining the timing, extent and underlying causes of interspecific gene exchange during or following speciation is central to understanding species' evolution. Antarctic notothenioid fish, thanks to the acquisition of antifreeze glycoproteins during Oligocene transition to polar conditions, experienced a spectacular radiation to >100 species dur...
Article
Neandertals, the archaic human form documented in Eurasia until 29,000 years ago, share no mitochondrial haplotype with modern Europeans. Whether this means that the two groups were reproductively isolated is controversial, and indeed nuclear data have been interpreted as suggesting that they admixed. We explored the range of demographic parameters...
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The analysis of genetic variation to estimate demographic and historical parameters and to quantitatively compare alternative scenarios recently gained a powerful and flexible approach: the Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC). The likelihood functions does not need to be theoretically specified, but posterior distributions can be approximated by...
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The ancient inhabitants of a region are often regarded as ancestral, and hence genetically related, to the modern dwellers (for instance, in studies of admixture), but so far, this assumption has not been tested empirically using ancient DNA data. We studied mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in Sardinia, across a time span of 2,500 years, compari...
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The available mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data do not point to clear genetic relationships between current Tuscans and the Bronze-Age inhabitants of Tuscany, the Etruscans. To understand how and when such a genetic discontinuity may have arisen, we extracted and typed the mtDNAs of 27 medieval Tuscans from an initial sample of 61, spanning a period b...