Research objectives

Our long term objective is to elucidate how the oogenesis in insects is regulated, considering the structural diversity of ovary types and their respective evolutionary history.

In insects, two main types of ovaries have been described: the panoistic and the meroistic. The panoistic type is generalized in the phylogenetically basal species. Whereas, the meroistic type predominates in distal insect groups. Our purpose is to understand the transition from panoistic to meroistic ovaries during evolution. To reach this end objective is crucial to gather molecular information about the different ovarian types. Most of the studies on insect oogenesis published to date were done using Drosophila melanogaster as a model. A species with meroistic ovaries. Thus, we have based our research on an insect species with panoistic ovaries: the cockroach Blattella germanica. Our group has been recording a lot of information related to the oogenesis and reproduction of this species. In the last years, our research was focused on oocyte polarization and the control of follicular cell proliferation. At present, we include in our research the small non-coding RNAs since we are interested in the role of these molecules in regulating the main processes of insect oogenesis.