Roberto Feuda

Roberto Feuda
University of Leicester | LE · Department of Genetics

PhD

About

35
Publications
8,432
Reads
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972
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2013 - present
California Institute of Technology
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Developmental System Biology, Gene Regulatory Network
January 2013 - March 2013
University of Oxford
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Opsin evolution
October 2009 - November 2012
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Comparative genomics of early animals
Education
October 2007 - June 2009
Sapienza University of Rome
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Biology

Publications

Publications (35)
Preprint
Full-text available
Genomic data allowed for a detailed resolution of the tree of life. Yet, tricky nodes such as the root of the animal, plants, eukaryotes, bacterial and archaeal trees remain unresolved. Genomic datasets are heterogeneous as genes and species evolve under different selective pressures, impending the efficacy of evolutionary analyses. Amino acid reco...
Article
Opsins, the protein moieties of animal visual photo-pigments, have emerged as moonlighting proteins with diverse, light-dependent and -independent physiological functions. This raises the need to revise some basic assumptions concerning opsin expression, structure, classification, and evolution.
Article
Full-text available
Background The evolutionary history of cell types provides insights into how morphological and functional complexity arose during animal evolution. Photoreceptor cell types are particularly broadly distributed throughout Bilateria; however, their evolutionary relationship is so far unresolved. Previous studies indicate that ciliary photoreceptors a...
Article
The evolutionary origin of metazoan cell types such as neurons and muscles is not known. Using whole-body single-cell RNA sequencing in a sponge, an animal without nervous system and musculature, we identified 18 distinct cell types. These include nitric oxide–sensitive contractile pinacocytes, amoeboid phagocytes, and secretory neuroid cells that...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this work, we used Nanostring N-counter technology, to evaluate the mRNA expression level of more than 330 regulatory genes over 34-time points covering the first three days of development of the sea urchin larvae. The hierarchical clustering of the mRNAs expression levels has identified groups corresponding to the major developmental landmarks...
Article
Full-text available
Diptera is one of the biggest insect orders and displays a large diversity of visual adaptations. Similarly to other animals, the dipteran visual process is mediated by opsin genes. While the diversity and function of these genes is well studied in key model species, a comprehensive comparative genomic study across the dipteran phylogeny is missing...
Article
Opsins are genes underpinning vision in animals. A new study shows that they are also involved in taste perception in fruit flies, significantly expanding their scope of action. This has important implications for our understanding of the evolution of vision.
Preprint
Full-text available
Opsin receptors mediate the visual process in animals and their evolutionary history can provide precious hints on the ecological factors that underpin their diversification. Here we mined the genomes of more than 60 Dipteran species and reconstructed the evolution of their opsin genes in a phylogenetic framework. Our phylogenies indicate that dipt...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of winged insects revolutionized terrestrial ecosystems and led to the largest animal radiation on Earth. However, we still have an incomplete picture of the genomic changes that underlay this diversification. Mayflies, as one of the sister groups of all other winged insects, are key to understanding this radiation. Here, we describe...
Article
Full-text available
Our ability to correctly reconstruct the topology of a phylogenetic tree is strongly affected by both systematic errors and the amount of phylogenetic signal in the data. Current approaches to tackle tree reconstruction artifacts, such as the use of parameter-rich models, do not translate readily to single-gene alignments. This, coupled with the li...
Preprint
Full-text available
The first winged insects underwent profound morphological and functional transformations leading to the most successful animal radiations in the history of earth. Despite this, we still have a very incomplete picture of the changes in their genomes that underlay this radiation. Mayflies (Ephemeroptera) are one of the extant sister groups of all oth...
Preprint
Full-text available
The evolutionary origin of metazoan cell types such as neurons, muscles, digestive, and immune cells, remains unsolved. Using whole-body single-cell RNA sequencing in a sponge, an animal without nervous system and musculature, we identify 18 distinct cell types comprising four major families. This includes nitric-oxide sensitive contractile cells,...
Article
Full-text available
One of the signatures of evolutionarily related cell types is the expression of similar combinations of transcription factors in distantly related animals. Here we present evidence that sea urchin larvae possess bilateral clusters of ciliary photoreceptors that are positioned in the oral/anterior apical neurogenic domain and associated with pigment...
Preprint
One of the signatures of evolutionarily related cell types is the expression of similar combinations of transcription factors in distantly related animals. Here we present evidence that sea urchin larvae possess bilateral clusters of ciliary photoreceptors that are positioned in the oral/anterior apical neurogenic domain and associated with pigment...
Article
Full-text available
The relationships at the root of the animal tree have proven difficult to resolve, with the current debate focusing on whether sponges (phylum Porifera) or comb jellies (phylum Ctenophora) are the sister group of all other animals [1–5]. The choice of evolu- tionary models seems to be at the core of the prob- lem because Porifera tends to emerge as...
Article
Full-text available
Background Retrotransposed genes are different to other types of genes as they originate from a processed mRNA and are then inserted back into the genome. For a long time, the contribution of this mechanism to the origin of new genes, and hence to the evolutionary process, has been questioned as retrogenes usually lose their regulatory sequences up...
Article
Full-text available
Opsin proteins covalently bind to small molecular chromophores and each protein-chromophore complex is sensitive to particular wavelengths of light. Multiple opsins with different wavelength absorbance peaks are required for color vision. Comparing opsin responses is challenging at low light levels, explaining why color vision is often lost in noct...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how complex traits, such as epithelia, nervous systems, muscles, or guts, originated depends on a well-supported hypothesis about the phylogenetic relationships among major animal lineages. Traditionally, sponges (Porifera) have been interpreted as the sister group to the remaining animals, a hypothesis consistent with the conventiona...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships within the class Asteroidea have remained controversial for almost 100 years and, despite many attempts to resolve this problem using molecular data, no consensus has yet emerged. Using two nuclear genes and a taxon sampling covering the major asteroid clades we show that non-phylogenetic signal created by three factors-Long Branch At...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of the effect of Pleistocene climatic changes on the biodiversity of European mammals mostly comes from phylogeographical studies of non-subterranean mammals, whereas the influence of glaciation cycles on subterranean mammals has received little attention. The lack of data raises the question of how and to what extent the current...
Article
Full-text available
Opsins mediate light detection in most animals, and understanding their evolution is key to clarify the origin of vision. Despite the public availability of a substantial collection of well-characterized opsins, early opsin evolution has yet to be fully understood, in large part because of the high level of divergence observed among opsins belongin...
Article
Full-text available
All known visual pigments in Neuralia (Cnidaria, Ctenophora, and Bilateria) are composed of an opsin (a seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptor), and a light-sensitive chromophore, generally retinal. Accordingly, opsins play a key role in vision. There is no agreement on the relationships of the neuralian opsin subfamilies, and clarifying th...

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