Maria Rosa Pezzotti

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Historically, mutations have had a significant impact on the study of developmental processes and phenotypic evolution. Lesions in DNA are created by artificial methods or detected by natural genetic variation. Random mutations are then ascribed to genetic change by direct sequencing or positional cloning. Tunicate species of the ascidian genus Ciona(More)
Retinal homeobox (Rx) genes play a crucial and conserved role in the development of the anterior neural plate of metazoans. During chordate evolution, they have also acquired a novel function in the control of eye formation and neurogenesis. To characterize the Rx genetic cascade and shed light on the mechanisms that led to the acquisition of this new role(More)
The recent advances on ascidian pigment sensory organ development and function represent a fascinating platform to get insight on the basic programs of chordate eye formation. This review aims to summarize current knowledge, at the structural and molecular levels, on the two main building blocks of ascidian light sensory organ, i.e. pigment cells and(More)
The expression pattern of Onecut genes in the central and peripheral nervous systems is highly conserved in invertebrates and vertebrates but the regulatory networks in which they are involved are still largely unknown. The presence of three gene copies in vertebrates has revealed the functional roles of the Onecut genes in liver, pancreas and some(More)
Tyrosinases, widely distributed among animals, plants and fungi, are involved in the biosynthesis of melanin, a pigment that has been exploited, in the course of evolution, to serve different functions. We conducted a deep evolutionary analysis of tyrosinase family amongst metazoa, thanks to the availability of new sequenced genomes, assessing that(More)
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