Secondment period means the period spent by the staff member in a host organisation for the purposes of the action. A secondee is a staff member hosted.


Dr. Diego Zappacosta

Bahia Blanca, Argentina, CERZOS

University of Perugia (Italy), from March 1st, 2022 to May 7, 2022

The objective of this secondment is to continue the assembly of Eragrostis curvula tetraploid genomes to determine the locus controlling apomixis and study genome evolution in this grass (WP 3). During these two months, I will analyze, in collaboration with the group of UNIPG, the genetic relationships between the sexual diploid (cv Victoria), previously sequenced and published by the 2 institutions, and the apomictic tetraploid cv. Tanganyika. We will first assemble a pan-genome and resolve it into the core genome and the dispensable genome. The reads mapping onto the Victoria reference will be assembled while unmapped reads will be assembled de novo to analyze the presence/absence variations. We will next analyze orthologous genes to find contractions and expansions of gene families and compare regions controlling apomixis in Eragrostis and Paspalum spp. Finally, I will apply the MCSeEd protocol developed by UNIPG to compare differentially methylated regions between apomictic and sexual genotypes (Task 3.3).

Juan Manuel Vega

Rosario, Argentina, IICAR

IRD, Montpellier (France), from April 19, 2022 to June 18, 2022

This secondment is part of the effort undertaken by the MAD project (see WP3 objectives) to determine the nature, the evolution and the functional role of the apospory controlling region (ACR) in Paspalum notatum. By taking advantage of a diploid reference genome and long reads data sets available for tetraploid apomicts, I will first use the adaptive sampling method offered by the ONT sequencing platform to enrich sequencing of ACR long reads and then perform a high coverage assembly for both an obligate apomict and a facultative apomict. Complementary approaches by using open source methods aiming at identifying and filtering structural variations will also be applied.  Altogether, this should allow structural and comparative genomics to determine the genetic content and coding/regulatory capacity within the ACR and provide cues for its functional role in the emergence of apomixis in Paspalum.

Dr. Carolina Colono & Prof. Silvina Pessino

Rosario, Argentina, IICAR

University of Milan, from April 29, 2022 to July 2nd, 2022

From April 29 to July 2nd, 2022  Dr. Carolina Colono and Prof. Silvina Pessino will be visiting Prof. Lucia Colombo laboratory at the University of Milan, to explore the role of the hormonal control in the transition from sexuality to apomixis using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

From left to rigth: Carolina Colono, SIlvina Pessino and Lucia Colombo

Dr. Juan Pablo A. Ortiz

Rosario, Argentina, IICAR

IBBR, from May 5, 2022 to June 6, 2022

A new MAD secondment involving researchers from Argentina and Italy started May 9, 2022 for one month! Indeed, Dr. Juan Pablo A. Ortiz from IICAR, (CONICET-UNR) is visiting Dr. Fulvio Pupilli’s lab at the Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources (IBBR-CNR) of Perugia. The working plan is focused on the functional analysis of ORC3, a gene that segregates as completely linked to apomixis, in the formation of the endosperm of Paspalum simplex apomicts. Moreover, it is also intented to progress in the assembly and the characterization of the P. simplex genome using long reads generated using the Oxford Nanopore sequencing technology. Dr. Pupilli group’s members involved in these projects are: Dra. María Eugenia Cáceres, Dr. Andrea Rubini, Dra. Francesca De Marchis and Dr. Michele Bellucci. By the end of the secondment, we expect to have completed the redaction of a manuscript on PsORC3 functional analysis and produced a draft assembly of the P. simplex genome.

Fulvio Pupilli (left) & Juan Pablo A. Ortiz (right)