Crisanti:Catteruccia

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(Research Interests)
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=='''Flaminia Catteruccia'''==
 
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[[Image:Fla1.jpg]]
 
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==Position==
 
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<blockquote>MRC Fellow<br>
 
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Division of Cell and Molecular Biology<br>
 
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Sir Alexander Fleming Building<br>
 
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Email:[mailto:f.catteruccia@imperial.ac.uk f.catteruccia@imperial.ac.uk]
 
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</blockquote>
 
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----
 
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== Research Interests ==
 
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<blockquote>
 
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* My main interest is the study of the genetic basis of fertilization and mating behaviour in Anopheles mosquitoes, with the view to both answer basic biological questions and to develop new molecular and genetic tools for vector control programs. In many insect species, mating induces important behavioural and physiological changes in females. These include changes in flight activity, induction of mating refractoriness, reduced responsiveness to host cues, and induced oviposition. In Drosophila, the biological bases of this post-mating behaviour have been largely studied, and male secretions trasferred to the female upon copulation have been implicated to play a major role. However, information on how male products influence behavioural changes upon mating in female mosquitoes is still very limited. We have recently started analyzing the molecular bases of post-mating behaviour in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the most important vector of human malaria, focusing on the identification of male factors that may induce behavioural changes in females. These studies will not only expand the knowledge on important aspect of reproduction behaviour, but may also provide clues on how to manipulate mosquito fertility at the population level, a topic of large medical and public health relevance.
 
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*We are also involved in a series of projects aimed at developing tools for vector control methods, especially those based on the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). SIT generally relies on the release of mass numbers of sterile male insects over large areas. As mating of these males with field females produces no progeny, if releases are effective then eradication or reduction of the field population will ensue.  Considering that for malaria control male-only populations must be released, as females would contribute to disease transmission, efficient sexing methods to eliminate females from the released males must be in place. To this end, we have very recently accomplished the development of the first transgenic sexing strains for Anopheles mosquitoes, which allows for an automated separation of male from female individuals. In this stains, the sperm-specific expression of an EGFP reporter gene allows the identification of male individuals at the 4th instar larval stage and throughout development.
 
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*Recently we have started a project aimed at analyzing Anopheles genes that are involved in sex-determining pathway. We have identified, cloned and analyzed the Anopheles gambiae doublesex gene, the double-switch gene at the bottom of the sex-determining cascade, and we are now using this information to develop sexing strains and to identify other genes of the pathway.
 
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</blockquote>
 
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== Education==
 
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<blockquote>PhD, 2000, Imperial College London <br>
 
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</blockquote>
 
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==Recent Publications==
 
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<blockquote> <br>
 
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<biblio>
 
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#2006ref1 pmid=16629386
 
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#2005ref2 pmid=16244659
 
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#2005ref3 pmid=16169947
 
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#2005ref4 pmid=15796754
 
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#2005ref5 pmid=12888537
 
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#2005ref6 pmid=12728003
 
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#2005ref7 pmid=12595691
 
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</biblio>
 

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