Marcello Mezzasalma

Marcello Mezzasalma
Natural History Museum, London · Department of Life Sciences

About

47
Publications
63,839
Reads
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385
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2018 - present
Natural History Museum, London
Position
  • Fellow
December 2015 - December 2016
University of Naples Federico II
Position
  • PostDoc Position
March 2011 - April 2014
University of Naples Federico II
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Full-text available
The fin whale Balaenoptera physalus is a large rorqual species occurring worldwide, mainly in temperate and subpolar zones. In contrast to many baleen whales, not all the fin whale populations show the same model of migration. In fact, migratory behaviours of this latter species range from long seasonal migration between high and low latitudes to a...
Article
Full-text available
We performed a molecular and cytogenetic analysis on different Mantellinae species and revised the available chromosomal data on this group to provide an updated assessment of its karyological diversity and evolution. Using a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA, we performed a molecular taxonomic identification of the samples that were used for...
Article
Full-text available
Lizards represent unique model organisms in the study of sex determination and sex chromosome evolution. Among tetrapods, they are characterized by an unparalleled diversity of sex determination systems, including temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and genetic sex determination (GSD) under either male or female heterogamety. Sex chromoso...
Article
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We performed a molecular and a comparative cytogenetic analysis on different Helicoidea species and a review of all the available chromosome data on the superfamily to provide an updated assessment of its karyological diversity. Standard karyotyping, banding techniques, and Fluorescence in situ hybridization of Nucleolus Organizer Region loci (NOR-...
Article
Full-text available
Here we report the results of a longitudinal field study (2002-2018) aimed at monitoring the presence and the breeding activity of the Italian Green Toad, Bufotes balearicus, within the area of the administrative boundaries of Naples. We identified breeding sites in five sub-areas (Bagnoli-ex sito industriale, Mostra d'Oltremare, Parco del Poggio,...
Article
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We performed the first cytogenetic analysis on five out of the seven species of the genus Lyciasalamandra, including seven subspecies, and representatives of its sister genus Salamandra. All the studied species have a similar karyotype of 2n = 24, mostly composed of biarmed elements. C-bands were observed on all chromosomes, at centromeric, telomer...
Article
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The smooth snake Coronella austriaca is a widespread Palearctic colubrid species. The species has been the subject of several molecular and phylogeographic studies which highlighted the occurrence of distinct genetic lineages in different areas of the species distribution, but scarce cytogenetic data are currently available on the species. In this...
Article
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The knowledge of demographic traits such as longevity, growth rates and age at sexual maturity is crucial for understanding the structure of a population in its natural environment and implementing appropriate strategies for its management and conservation. Based on counts of growth layer groups in sections of decalcified teeth using the paraffin t...
Article
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The genus Matoatoa includes two Malagasy endemic species, M. brevipes and M. spannringi. Due to their cryptic behaviour, the two species are known only from a handful of specimens and have been included in few molecular studies. Here we carried out a molecular barcoding analysis using a fragment of the mitochondrial NADH dehy-drogenase subunit 2 (N...
Article
Information on demographic and life-history traits of endangered vertebrate species, such as sea turtles, is crucial for planning management and conservation actions. We applied skeletochronology of phalanges to estimate the age of loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta , found dead stranded along the beaches of Campania (western Mediterranean) from 2...
Article
Full-text available
The data presented in this paper stand as supplementary information of the associated article " Karyological characterization of the common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) provides insights on the evolution and diversification of sex chromosomes in Chamaeleonidae" [1].This work provides (i) raw experimental data on the karyology of the common cham...
Article
Chameleons display high karyological diversity in chromosome number (from 2n = 20 to 62), morphology, heterochromatin distribution and location of specific chromosomal markers, making them unique study models in evolutionary cytogenetics. However, most available cytogenetic data are limited to the description of the chromosome number and morphology...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Endemic fluorosis induced by high concentrations of fluoride in groundwater and soils is a major health problem in several countries, particularly in volcanic areas. Aim: To evaluate the occurrence of dental fluorosis resulting from exposure to high levels of environmental fluoride in 79 AD Herculaneum and close Vesuvius towns. Subjects...
Article
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We characterized the body size (as snout-vent length), age, sexual size dimorphism, and growth rate in a population of one of the larger riparian frog from Madagascar (Mantidactylus grandidieri) from a rainforest patch close to Vevembe, SE Madagascar. We identified a significant female-biased sexual size dimorphism. Age was estimated using phalange...
Article
The common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) displays characteristic cytogenetic, reproductive, molecular, and biogeographic variability. This species comprises oviparous and viviparous populations with disjunct distribution and sex chromosome polymorphisms, from simple ZZ/ZW to complex Z1Z1Z2Z2/Z1Z2W systems with different morphologies of the W chromosome...
Article
Polyploidy is exceptional in mammals and rare in reptiles. Unscheduled polyploidy often leads to cell disorders and cancer through genomic rearrangements that can be difficult to trace and is particularly poorly studied in non-model vertebrates. In the present paper, using a combination of banding and Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) tech...
Article
In this work, we performed a biogeographic analysis with Bayesian binary MCMC (BBM) statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis (S-DIVA) and species distribution models (SDM) on three phylogenetically closely related Mediterranean whipsnakes (Hierophis gemonensis, H. carbonarius, H. viridiflavus), to investigate the pathways of their geographical div...
Article
Except for polyploidy, parthenogenesis and hybridogenesis, the role of chromosome rearrangements in speciation is still highly debated. This paper highlights an unusual karyotype diversification and a putative case of chromosomal speciation in the endemic Malagasy tomato frogs.The tomato frogs include Dyscophus insularis as well as the sister speci...
Article
Sexual differentiation (SD) during development results in anatomical, metabolic, and physiological differences that involve not only the gonads, but also a variety of other biological structures, such as the brain, determining differences in morphology, behavior, and response in the breeding season. In many reptiles, whose sex is determined by egg...
Article
Full-text available
In thermally damaged archaeological bones the quantity, quality, and amplifiability of DNA are very much reliant on both the extent of heating and the environmental conditions of the burial context. In this study we tested the possibility of extracting and amplifying ancient DNA from human bone remains of Herculaneum victims of the 79 AD eruption o...
Article
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We report a new record of the Dwarf Sperm Whale Kogia sima (Owen, 1866) (Cetacea Kogiidae) in the Mediterranean Sea, following the stranding of a dead female of this species occurred on 4th February 2017. The specimen was found at the Trentova seaside near Agropoli (Salerno Province, Southern Italy) within the area of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano an...
Article
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The question whether taxonomic descriptions naming new animal species without type specimen(s) deposited in collections should be accepted for publication by scientific journals and allowed by the Code has already been discussed in Zootaxa (Dubois & Nemésio 2007; Donegan 2008, 2009; Nemésio 2009a–b; Dubois 2009; Gentile & Snell 2009; Minelli 2009;...
Data
This plot is not part of the published stance but derives from it. The plot shows the number of authors by geographic region (courtesy of Dr. Diego Astua).
Article
Full-text available
In this study, the authors tested the usefulness of postpygal caudal vertebrae and osteoderms for the assessment of individual age in the limbless lizard Anguis veronensis Pollini, 1818, employing the skeletochronological method. The results showed that osteoderm-based skeletochronology was unreliable, since within any specimen examined the number...
Article
We performed a phylogenetic analysis using nuclear (RAG-1, RAG-2) and mitochondrial (16S) markers, a statistical Bayesian reconstruction of ancestral distribution areas and a karyological analysis on most Malagasy species of the gekkonid genus Lygodactylus. The phylogenetic analysis largely confirms major basal branching pattern of previous molecul...
Article
Blindsnakes are poorly studied reptiles from the karyological point of view since chromosomal data are only known for eight out of more than 420 species. The present paper shows the results of a karyological study conducted by means of standard and banding staining (Ag-NOR-banding and C-banding plus CMA and DAPI fluorochromomes) on three typhlopid...
Article
Due to their particular phylogenetic position and biological characteristics, squamate reptiles and, in particular, snakes are becoming an increasingly important model for fields such as evolutionary biology, molecular ecology and adaptation. Recently, during a study to analyze the evolutionary history of European whip snakes, we found a LINE1 (L1)...
Article
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We studied population size and age structure of the sand lizard Lacerta agilis Linnaeus 1758, from northwest Italian Alps. Twenty-nine (9 males, 15 females, 5 juveniles) and 19 (8 males, 5 females, 6 juveniles) lizards were captured in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Adult population size, estimated by capture-markrecapture, was 54 individuals in 2011...
Article
Karyological studies continue to clarify the evolutionary history of many taxa. We report here on the first chromosome survey of the frog Pseudhymenochirus merlini (Pipidae) in comparison with the related species Hymenochirus boettgeri. In addition to the 2n = 20 regular (A) chromosomes (eight metacentric and two subtelocentric pairs), H. boettgeri...
Article
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We used a multidisciplinary approach to infer the taxonomy and historical biogeography of Hierophis viridiflavus and H. gemonensis, performing molecular analyses of mitochondrial (16S, Cyt-b, ND4) and nuclear markers (PRLR), a landmark-based morphometric study and a cytogenetic analysis. Our data distinguished three main groups in the studied speci...
Article
Full-text available
Here we communicate the finding of an adult of Ocellated Skink, Chalcides ocellatus in the ex Royal Park of Portici, near Naples, Italy. This finding is of particular interest because this species has been no longer reported in Portici for about twenty years, the only site so far documented in mainland Italy, where it was introduced from the mid-ei...
Article
In this first cytogenetic survey on the lamprophiid snake subfamily Pseudoxyrhophiinae, we studied the karyology of ten snake species belonging to seven genera from Madagascar (Compsophis, Leioheterodon, Liophidium, Lycodryas, Madagascarophis, Phisalixella and Thamnosophis) using standard and banding methods. Our results show a wide range of differ...
Article
Lepidosaurs are frequently described as having highly kinetic skulls, and different forms of cranial kinesis have been described as being characteristic of their radiation. The model of amphikinesis proposed by Frazzetta, J Morphol 1962; 111:287-319, which was long considered a synapomorphy of the large suborder Sauria, is now much debated given it...
Article
Full-text available
A karyological analysis on six Italian populations the slow worm (Anguis veronensis Pollini, 1818) was performed and their genetic differentiation at the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene fragment from a Spanish sample has been assessed. The Italian populations were karyologically uniform, all showing 2n=44 elements, of which 20 were macrochromosomes and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Riassunto. Aspetti cariologici di alcune popolazioni italiane di orbettino, Anguis fragilis (Squamata: Anguidae). Sono stati studiati vari individui di tre popolazioni italiane di Anguis fragilis mediante metodi di colorazione standard dei cromosomi. Tutti gli individui studiati mostrano un cariotipo di 2n=44 elementi (20 macro-e 24 microcromosomi)...
Article
Age structure and growth in the Moroccan spadefoot toad, Pelobates varaldii were estimated by skeletochronology and reported for the first time for a population living in NW Morocco. Snout vent length and body mass did not significantly differ between the sexes, although females appeared larger and heavier than males. Age ranged 2-7 years in males...
Article
Full-text available
The ecological status of 203 amphibian aquatic breeding sites, selected from the national database of the Societas Herpetologica Italica (SHI), was surveyed in the period 2008-2009 to assess their ecological status. Sites were randomly extracted, after stratification by the three biogeographical regions present in Italy, besides Sardinia and Sicily...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The main aim of CHROMREP is to determine the extent to which chromosomal evolution might explain the extraordinary biodiversity and speciation patterns of reptile radiations from Madagascar. CHROMREP will employ a phylogenetic approach to analyse diversity, extrapolate biogeographic patterns, and evaluate trait evolution using modern comparative methods to test specific chromosomal evolutionary models. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under grant agreement No 797027.
Project
Conservation of Malagasy amphibians through the initiatives of the Sahonagasy Action Plan http://www.amphibians.org/news/nsap2016-2020/