Marco Gerdol

Marco Gerdol
University of Trieste | UNITS · Department of Life Sciences

PhD

About

190
Publications
42,339
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2,747
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January 2009 - present
University of Trieste

Publications

Publications (190)
Article
Full-text available
Despite a growing number of non-model insect species is being investigated in recent years, a greater understanding of their physiology is prevented by the lack of genomic resources. This is the case of the common European stick insect Bacillus rossius (Rossi, 1788): in this species, some knowledge is available on hemocyte-related defenses, but lit...
Article
Full-text available
Although the major SARS‐CoV‐2 omicron lineages share over 30 non‐synonymous substitutions in the spike glycoprotein, they show several unique mutations that were acquired after their ancestral split. One of the most intriguing mutations associated with BA.1 is the presence of the inserted tripeptide Glu‐Pro‐Glu within the N‐terminal domain, at a si...
Chapter
As complete genomes become easier to attain, even from previously difficult-to-sequence species, and as genomic resequencing becomes more routine, it is becoming obvious that genomic structural variation is more widespread than originally thought and plays an important role in maintaining genetic variation in populations. Structural variants (SVs)...
Article
Full-text available
The striped venus Chamelea gallina is a bivalve mollusc that represents one of the most important fishery resources of the Adriatic Sea. In this work, we investigated for the first time the ability of this species to modulate the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in biomineralization process in response to biotic and abiotic factors. W...
Article
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Background Real-time quantitative PCR is a widely used method for gene expression analyses in various organisms. Its accuracy mainly relies on the correct selection of reference genes. Any experimental plan involving real-time PCR needs to evaluate the characteristics of the samples to be examined and the relative stability of reference genes. Most...
Article
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Fish are an interesting taxon comprising species adapted to a wide range of environments. In this work, we analyzed the transcriptional contribution of transposable elements (TEs) in the gill transcriptomes of three fish species exposed to different salinity conditions. We considered the giant marbled eel Anguilla marmorata and the chum salmon Onco...
Article
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Ovothiols are histidine-derived thiols produced by a variety of marine invertebrates, protists and bacteria. These compounds, which are among the strongest natural antioxidants, are involved in controlling the cellular redox balance due to their redox exchange with glutathione. Although ovothiols were initially reported as protective agents against...
Preprint
Although the SARS-CoV-2 variants BA.1 and BA.2 share over 30 non-synonymous substitutions in the spike glycoprotein, they show several unique mutations that were likely acquired after the split between these two major omicron lineages. One of the most intriguing mutations associated with BA.1 is the presence of the inserted tripeptide Glu-Pro-Glu w...
Article
An infecting and propagating parasite relies on its innate defense system to evade the host's immune response and to survive challenges from commensal bacteria. More so for the nematode Anisakis, a marine parasite that during its life cycle encounters both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts and their highly diverse microbiotas. Although much is stil...
Article
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Due to their high biodiversity and adaptation to a mutable and challenging environment, aquatic lophotrochozoan animals are regarded as a virtually unlimited source of bioactive molecules. Among these, lectins, i.e., proteins with remarkable carbohydrate-recognition properties involved in immunity, reproduction, self/nonself recognition and several...
Article
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Tracking the evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through genomic surveillance programs is undoubtedly one of the key priorities in the current pandemic situation. Although the genome of SARS-CoV-2 acquires mutations at a slower rate compared with other RNA viruses, evolutionary pressures derived from the wi...
Article
Full-text available
Congeria kusceri is a bivalve mollusk species endemic to the Dinaric Karst, which displays unique adaptations that have allowed its survival in the subterranean environment with small morphological changes compared with its fossil relatives. Anthropic activities have recently impacted the surface flow of the Neretva river, impairing the seasonal wa...
Article
The stenothermal Antarctic fish that live in the coastal waters of the Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea) are rarely exposed to temperatures above zero during the year. We tested whether a slight temperature rise of 1.5 °C affects a sensitive biomarker such as erythrocytes morphology in sections of blood pellets of a small demersal notothen. The erythrocyte...
Article
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White to brown/beige adipocytes conversion is a possible therapeutic strategy to tackle the current obesity epidemics. While mitochondria are key for energy dissipation in brown fat, it is unknown if they can drive adipocyte browning. Here, we show that the mitochondrial cristae biogenesis protein optic atrophy 1 (Opa1) facilitates cell-autonomous...
Article
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Caudata is an order of amphibians with great variation in genome size, which can reach enormous dimensions in salamanders. In this work, we analysed the activity of transposable elements (TEs) in the transcriptomes obtained from female and male gonads of the Chinese fire-bellied newt, Cynops orientalis, a species with a genome about 12-fold larger...
Article
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DNA methylation is an essential epigenetic mechanism influencing gene expression in all organisms. In metazoans, the pattern of DNA methylation changes during embryogenesis and adult life. Consequently, differentiated cells develop a stable and unique DNA methylation pattern that finely regulates mRNA transcription during development and determines...
Article
Bivalve mollusks are continuously exposed to potentially pathogenic microorganisms living in the marine environment. Not surprisingly, these filter-feeders developed a robust innate immunity to protect themselves, which includes a broad panel of antimicrobial peptides. Among these, myticalins represent a recently discovered family of linear cationi...
Article
The advent of complete genomic sequencing has opened a window into genomic phenomena obscured by fragmented assemblies. A good example of these is the existence of hemizygous regions of autosomal chromosomes, which can result in marked differences in gene content between individuals within species. While these hemizygous regions, and presence/absen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Groundwater habitats in the Dinaric Karst are home to the only known cave-adapted genus of bivalve mollusks, which currently survives as three distinct species with a highly fragmented distribution. Over the past few decades, Congeria populations suffered a steep decline across their range, as a result of human activities. Here, we identify the mos...
Article
Cryonotothenioidea is the main group of fishes that thrive in the extremely cold Antarctic environment, thanks to the acquisition of peculiar morphological, physiological and molecular adaptations. We have previously disclosed that IgM, the main immunoglobulin isotype in teleosts, display typical cold-adapted features. Recently, we have analyzed th...
Preprint
Tracking the evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through genomic surveillance programs is undoubtedly one of the key priorities in the current pandemic situation. Although the genome of SARS-CoV-2 acquires mutations at a slower rate compared with other RNA viruses, evolutionary pressures derived from the wi...
Article
Full-text available
Mytimycins are cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides that show antifungal properties. These peptides are part of the immune network that constitutes the defense system of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). The immune system of mussels has been increasingly studied in the last decade due to its great efficiency, since these mollusc...
Article
Full-text available
Insects produce a large repertoire of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as the first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. These peptides are produced from a large precursor that contains a signal domain, which is cleaved in vivo to produce the mature protein with antimicrobial activity. At present, AMPs from insects include se...
Article
Full-text available
Far from being devoid of life, Antarctic waters are home to Cryonotothenioidea, which represent one of the fascinating cases of evolutionary adaptation to extreme environmental conditions in vertebrates. Thanks to a series of unique morphological and physiological peculiarities, which include the paradigmatic case of loss of hemoglobin in the famil...
Preprint
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We here report the de novo transcriptome assembly and functional annotation of Eusirus cf. giganteus clade g3, providing the first database of expressed sequences from this giant Antarctic amphipod. RNA-sequencing, carried out on the whole-body of a single juvenile individual likely undergoing molting, revealed the dominant expression of hemocyanin...
Article
Full-text available
Transposable elements (TEs) represent a considerable fraction of eukaryotic genomes, thereby contributing to genome size, chromosomal rearrangements, and to the generation of new coding genes or regulatory elements. An increasing number of works have reported a link between the genomic abundance of TEs and the adaptation to specific environmental c...
Preprint
Cryonotothenioidea is the main group of fishes that thrive in the extremely cold Antarctic environment, thanks to the acquisition of peculiar morphological, physiological and molecular adaptations. We have previously disclosed that IgM, the main immunoglobulin isotype in teleosts, display typical cold-adapted features. Recently, we have analyzed th...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis is an ecologically and economically relevant edible marine bivalve, highly invasive and resilient to biotic and abiotic stressors causing recurrent massive mortalities in other bivalves. Although these traits have been recently linked with the maintenance of a high genetic variation with...
Preprint
Full-text available
The advent of complete genomic sequencing has opened a window into genomic phenomena obscured by fragmented assemblies. A good example of these is the existence of hemizygous regions of autosomal chromosomes, which can result in marked differences in gene content between individuals within species. While these hemizygous regions, and presence/absen...
Article
Fucus virsoides is an ecologically important canopy-forming brown algae endemic to the Adriatic Sea. Once widespread in marine coastal areas, this species underwent a rapid population decline and is now confined to small residual areas. Although the reasons behind this progressive disappearance are still a matter of debate, F. virsoides may suffer,...
Article
Three classes of immunoglobulins have been identified in Teleosts: IgM, IgT/Z and IgD. They are fundamental for fish immune responses and, therefore, their functional activities are heavily investigated. In this paper, we describe the identification of a new IgT/IgD chimera in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from a gills transcriptome. This transcr...
Article
Full-text available
Myticins are cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides highly expressed in hemocytes of Mytilus galloprovincialis. Along with other antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), myticins are potent effectors in the mussel immune response to pathogenic infections. As intertidal filter-feeders, mussels are constantly exposed to mutable environmental conditions, as well...
Chapter
Full-text available
We identified a lectin (carbohydrate-binding protein) belonging to the complement 1q(C1q) family in the feather star Anneissia japonica (a crinoid pertaining to the phylum Echinodermata). The combination of Edman degradation and bioinformatics sequence analysis characterized the primary structure of this novel lectin, named OXYL, as a secreted 158...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the 2010s, a novel lectin family with β-trefoil folding has been identified in marine mussels from the family Mytilidae (phylum Mollusca). “MytiLec-1,” the lectin described in this chapter, was the first member of this family to be isolated and characterized from the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, a commercially and ecologically...
Article
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Big defensins are antimicrobial polypeptides believed to be the ancestors of β-defensins, the most evolutionary conserved family of host defense peptides (HDPs) in vertebrates. Nevertheless, big defensins underwent several independent gene loss events during animal evolution, being only retained in a limited number of phylogenetically distant inver...
Article
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Amphibians evolved in the Devonian period about 400 Mya and represent a transition step in tetrapod evolution. Among amphibians, high-throughput sequencing data are very limited for Caudata, due to their largest genome sizes among terrestrial vertebrates. In this paper we present the transcriptome from the fire bellied newt Cynops orientalis. Data...
Article
Full-text available
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are short peptides active against a wide range of pathogens and, therefore, they are considered a useful alternative to conventional antibiotics. We have identified a new AMP in a transcriptome derived from the Antarctic fish Trematomus bernacchii. This peptide, named Trematocine, has been investigated for its expressi...
Article
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The head kidney is a key organ that plays a fundamental role in the regulation of the fish immune response and in the maintenance of endocrine homeostasis. Previous studies indicate that the supplementation of exogenous dietary components, such as krill meal (KM), soybean meal (SM), Bactocell ® (BA), and butyrate (BU), can have a significant effect...
Article
Full-text available
The CS-αβ architecture is a structural scaffold shared by a high number of small, cationic, cysteine-rich defense peptides, found in nearly all the major branches of the tree of life. Although several CS-αβ peptides involved in innate immune response have been described so far in bivalve mollusks, a clear-cut definition of their molecular diversity...
Article
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Background Thalidomide is an effective drug in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refractory to standard treatments, however, its use is often limited by its safety profile, in particular for the risk of teratogenicity and peripheral neuropathy. Multiple hypotheses exist to explain the molecular mechanism of thalidomide action but no da...
Article
This study reports the identification of four novel proline-rich antimicrobial peptides (PR-AMP) from the transcriptome of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii. The newly identified putative peptides (PcAst-1b, -1c, -2 and -3), which are related with the previously identified hemocyte-specific PR-AMP astacidin-1, are encoded by the multi-geni...
Article
Full-text available
Sulfoxide synthases are enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of small sulfur-containing natural products. Their enzymatic activity represents a unique sulfur transfer strategy in nature that is the insertion of a sulfur atom on the imidazole ring of histidine. To date, only two enzymes are known to carry out this function: the sulfoxide synthase Eg...
Article
Full-text available
A 15‐kDa lectin, termed SeviL, was isolated from Mytilisepta virgata (purplish bifurcate mussel). SeviL forms a noncovalent dimer that binds strongly to ganglio‐series GM1b oligosaccharide (Neu5Acɑ2‐3Galβ1‐3GalNAcβ1‐4Galβ1‐4Glc) and its precursor, asialo‐GM1 (Galβ1‐3GalNAcβ1‐4Galβ1‐4Glc). SeviL also interacts weakly with the glycan moiety of SSEA‐4...
Article
In mammals, interleukin (IL)-2, initially known as a T-cell grow factor, is an immunomodulatory cytokine involved in the proliferation of T cells upon antigen activation. In bony fish, some IL-2 orthologs have been identified, but, recently, an additional IL-2like (IL-2L) gene has been found. In this paper, we report the presence of these two diver...
Article
Full-text available
Lysozyme is one of the most important anti-bacterial effectors in the innate immune system of animals. Besides its direct antibacterial enzymatic activity, lysozyme displays other biological properties, pointing toward a significant anti-inflammatory effect, many aspects of which are still elusive. Here we investigate the perturbation of gene expre...
Article
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C1q-domain-containing (C1qDC) proteins are rapidly emerging as key players in the innate immune response of bivalve mollusks. Growing experimental evidence suggests that these highly abundant secretory proteins are involved in the recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns, serving as lectin-like molecules in the bivalve proto-complement...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mussels are ecologically and economically relevant edible marine bivalves, highly invasive and resilient to biotic and abiotic stressors causing recurrent massive mortalities in other species. Here we show that the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis has a complex pan-genomic architecture, which includes a core set of 45,000 genes shared...
Article
Full-text available
A subclade of connexins comprising Cx26, Cx30, and Cx32 are directly sensitive to CO2. CO2 binds to a carbamylation motif present in these connexins and causes their hemichannels to open. Cx26 may contribute to CO2-dependent regulation of breathing in mammals. Here, we show that the carbamylation motif occurs in a wide range of non-mammalian verteb...
Article
Full-text available
Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) are sessile filter feeders that live in close contact with numerous marine microorganisms. As is the case in all invertebrates, mussels lack an adaptive immune system, but they respond to pathogens, injuries or environmental stress in a very efficient manner. However, it is not known if they are abl...
Article
Full-text available
Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) dynamically connects innate and adaptive immune systems in vertebrate animals, allowing highly orchestrated systemic responses to various insults. The occurrence of MIF-like genes in non-vertebrate organisms suggests its origin from an ancestral metazoan gene, whose function is still a matter of debate....
Article
In the present study we describe the molecular characterization of the two paralogous mitochondrial peroxiredoxins from Trematomus bernacchii, a teleost that plays a pivotal role in the Antarctic food chain. The two putative amino acid sequences were compared with orthologs from other fish, highlighting a high percentage of identity and similarity...
Article
Full-text available
This study reports the presence of two distinct MHC class II β genes in the Antarctic icefish Chionodraco hamatus, belonging to the classical (ChhaDAB) and nonclassical (ChhaDBB) evolutionary lineages. By the application of targeted sequencing approach, a remarkable molecular diversity in the exon 2 sequence of the highly expressed gene ChhaDAB has...
Article
Full-text available
We identified a lectin (carbohydrate-binding protein) belonging to the complement 1q(C1q) family in the feather star Anneissia japonica (a crinoid pertaining to the phylum Echinodermata). The combination of Edman degradation and bioinformatics sequence analysis characterized the primary structure of this novel lectin, named OXYL, as a secreted 158...
Article
Full-text available
Proteins of the ShK superfamily are characterized by a small conserved domain (ShKT), first discovered in small venom peptides produced by sea anemones, and acting as specific inhibitors of voltage-dependent and calcium-activated K+ channels. The ShK superfamily includes both small toxic peptides and larger multifunctional proteins with various fun...