Functional Genomics and Evolution

and Evolution



Maria-Dolors Piulachs CSIC Research Scientist

Maria-Dolors Piulachs - CSIC Research Scientist
Insect Reproduction lab Team
Insect Reproduction lab

MEMBERS OF THE GROUP (Active in 2018)

Research Technician José Carlos Montañés

Laboratory Technician Viviana Pagone

Master Students Fleur Chelemen, Ariadna Pedraza, Natalia Llonga

Undergraduate Student Oscar Paniello


I participate in the consortium that have sequenced the genome of a cockroach (Blattella germanica) and a termite (Cryptotermes secundus), doing a comparative analysis of genomes that provides key information about the evolution of insect eusociality. We also sequenced and identified, for the first time, the piRNA from a cockroach, studying its expression through the different developmental stages of B- germanica, and we did a comparative analysis against the piRNA from holometabolan insects showing the low level of conservation of these small non-coding RNAs between species. I was nominated as member of the ECE Praesidium.


Harrison, M.C., Jongepier, E., Robertson, H.M., Arning, N., Bitard-Feildel, T., Chao, H., Childers, C.P., Dinh, H., Doddapaneni, H., Dugan, S., Gowin, J., Greiner, C., Han, Y., Hu, H., Hughes, D.S.T., Huylmans, A.K., Kemena, C., Kremer, L.P.M., Lee, S,L,, Lopez-Ezquerra, A., Mallet, L., Monroy-Kuhn, J.M., Moser, A., Murali, S.C., Muzny, D.M., Otani, S., Piulachs, M.D., Poelchau, M., Qu, J., Schaub, F., Wada-Katsumata, A., Worley, K.C., Xie, Q., Ylla, G., Poulsen, M., Gibbs, R.A., Schal, C., Richards, S., Belles, X*., Korb, J*., Bornberg-Bauer. E*. 2018. Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2(3): 557-566.

Llonga, N., Ylla, G., Bau, J., Belles, X., Piulachs, M.D. (2018). Differential expression of piRNAs during the ontogeny of Blattella germanica, a short germ-band, hemimetabolan insect. J. Experimental Zoology. Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/jez.b.22815. Corresponding author

Ylla, G., Piulachs, M.D. and Belles, X. (2018). Clues about the evolution of insect metamorphosis revealed by comparative transcriptomics of hemimetabolan and holometabolan species. iScience (Cell Press) 4, 164–179 We used 22 transcriptomes from B. germanica to analyze keys steps in insect development.


Title: RNAi “a la carta” para el control de cucarachas.
Funded by: MINECO (Ministry of Science, Spain).
Reference: CGL2016-76011-R.
PI: M.D. Piulachs y J.L. Maestro
Date: 2016-2019

Title: Modifying plants to produce interfering RNA.
Funded by: CA COSTaction CA15223
PI: Bruno Mezzetti. (MD Piulachs Delegate for the Spanish Management Committee)
Date: 2016-2020

Title: Functional Genomics and Evolution (Ajuts de suport a la recerca de Catalunya, SGR).
Funded by: Generalitat de Catalunya, General Direction of Research, AGAUR. Catalan Government.
Reference: 2017-SGR 1030
Coordinator: Xavier Bellés
Date: 2017-2018


Follicular cells in a basal ovarian follicle from a 7-day-old adult female. Green: F-Actins stained with Phalloidin-Trict. Red: DNA staining with DAPI