Dr Mirko Pegoraro

School of Biological and Environmental Sciences

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". Dobzhansky’s remark is at the base of my scientific interests. I seek to understand evolution through natural selection at multiple levels, from its molecular mechanisms to a possible epigenetic component. A deep understanding of the relationship between genes, their function, and their evolution, shall give us a better opportunity to explain the delicate interactions between individuals, different species and the environment.
Since life began four billion years ago, organisms were subjected to continuous night day cycles that most probably drove the selection of a molecular clock that allow them to anticipate daily variation in environmental clues. It is possible to recognize a molecular mechanism that generates circadian rhythms of behaviour, metabolism and physiology in all higher organisms and in some prokaryotes. The photoperiodic adaptation of animals that inhabit temperate climate is very interesting from an evolutionary point of view and to monitor climate changes.
I am interested of studying the evolution of the circadian clock and the seasonal timer and cold adaptation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and in the jewel wasp Nasonia vitripennis.
Gut Microbiota influences flies metabolism, their mating preferences, their fitness strategies.
I am interested in exploring how the gut microbiota participates to flies overwintering strategies and seasonal adaptation.
Flies are model organisms for studying neurogenetics, molecular evolution and behavioural genetics. The combination of these studies can lead to elucidate molecular mechanisms of animal behaviour. Nasonia is a parasitic wasp that has the potential to become the epigenetic molecular model for insect epigenetics.




2004, University of Padova, Italy, PhD

Academic appointments

Lecturer in Epigenetics, Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2018 - present

Postgraduate training

Research Associate, United Kingdom, University of Leicester, 2016 - 2018
Research Associate, UK, University of Leicester, 2007 - 2016
Post Doctoral Research, Italy, University of Padova, 2006 - 2007

Journal article

Pegoraro M, Weedall GD. 2021. Malaria in the 'Omics Era'. Genes, 12 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Flavell LMM, Menegazzi P, Colombi P, Dao P, Helfrich-Förster C, Tauber E. 2020. The genetic basis of diurnal preference in Drosophila melanogaster. BMC Genomics, 21 :596-596 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Bebane PSA, Hunt BJ, Pegoraro M, Jones ARC, Marshall H, Rosato E, Mallon EB. 2019. The effects of the neonicotinoid imiacloprid on gene expression and DNA methylation in the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286 DOI Author Url Public Url

McCoy VE, Soriano C, Pegoraro M, Luo T, Boom A, Foxman B, Gabbott SE. 2018. Unlocking preservation bias in the amber insect fossil record through experimental decay PLOS ONE, 13 DOI Author Url Public Url

Noreen S, Pegoraro M, Nouroz F, Tauber E, Kyriacou CP. 2018. Interspecific studies of circadian genes period and timeless in Drosophila Gene, 648 :106-114 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Marshall H, Lonsdale ZN, Mallon EB. 2017. Do social insects support Haig's kin theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting? EPIGENETICS, 12 :725-742 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Zonato V, Collins L, Pegoraro M, Tauber E, Kyriacou CP. 2017. Is diapause an ancient adaptation in Drosophila? Journal of Insect Physiology, 98 :267-274 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Zonato V, Tyler ER, Fedele G, Kyriacou CP, Tauber E. 2017. Geographical analysis of diapause inducibility in European Drosophila melanogaster populations Journal of Insect Physiology, 98 :238-244 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Bafna A, Davies NJ, Shuker DM, Tauber E. 2016. DNA methylation changes induced by long and short photoperiods in Nasonia GENOME RESEARCH, 26 :203-210 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Picot E, Hansen CN, Kyriacou CP, Rosato E, Tauber E. 2015. Gene expression associated with early and late chronotypes in Drosophila melanogaster FRONTIERS IN NEUROLOGY, 6 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Gesto JS, Kyriacou CP, Tauber E. 2014. Role for Circadian Clock Genes in Seasonal Timing: Testing the Bunning Hypothesis PLOS GENETICS, 10 DOI Author Url Public Url

Pegoraro M, Noreen S, Bhutani S, Tsolou A, Schmid R, Kyriacou CP, Tauber E. 2014. Molecular Evolution of a Pervasive Natural Amino-Acid Substitution in Drosophila cryptochrome PLoS One, 9 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Vanin S, Bhutani S, Montelli S, Menegazzi P, Green EW, Pegoraro M, Sandrelli F, Costa R, Kyriacou CP. 2012. Unexpected features of Drosophila circadian behavioural rhythms under natural conditions NATURE, 484 :371-U108 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Pegoraro M, Tauber E. 2011. Animal clocks: a multitude of molecular mechanisms for circadian timekeeping WILEY INTERDISCIPLINARY REVIEWS-RNA, 2 :312-320 DOI Author Url

Pegoraro M, Tauber E. 2008. The role of microRNAs (miRNA) in circadian rhythmicity JOURNAL OF GENETICS, 87 :505-511 DOI Author Url

Sandrelli F, Tauber E, Pegoraro M, Mazzotta G, Cisotto P, Landskron J, Stanewsky R, Piccin A, Rosato E, Zordan M, Costa R, Kyriacou CP. 2007. A molecular basis for natural selection at the timeless locus in Drosophila melanogaster SCIENCE, 316 :1898-1900 DOI Author Url

Tauber E, Zordan M, Sandrelli F, Pegoraro M, Osterwalder N, Breda C, Daga A, Selmin A, Monger K, Benna C, Rosato E, Kyriacou CP, Costa R. 2007. Natural selection favors a newly derived timeless allele in Drosophila melanogaster SCIENCE, 316 :1895-1898 DOI Author Url

Sandrelli F, Cappellozza S, Benna C, Saviane A, Mastella A, Mazzotta GM, Moreau S, Pegoraro M, Piccin A, Zordan MA, Cappellozza L, Kyriacou CP, Costa R. 2007. Phenotypic effects induced by knock-down of the period clock gene in Bombyx mori GENETICS RESEARCH, 89 :73-84 DOI Author Url

Zordan MA, Cisotto P, Benna C, Agostino A, Rizzo G, Piccin A, Pegoraro M, Sandrelli F, Perini G, Tognon G, De Caro R, Peron S, Kronnie TT, Megighian A, Reggiani C, Zeviani M, Costa R. 2006. Post-transcriptional silencing and functional characterization of the Drosophila melanogaster homolog of human Surf1 GENETICS, 172 :229-241 DOI Author Url


Green EW, O'Callaghan EK, Pegoraro M, Armstrong JD, Costa R, Kyriacou CP. 2015. Genetic Analysis of Drosophila Circadian Behavior in Seminatural Conditions Sehgal A. 551 :121-133 Elsevier DOI Author Url