Xavier Bellés Lab
Evolution of Insect Metamorphosis Lab
Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF)
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Xavier Belles
PhD, Honorary Professor at the CSIC.
Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Passeig Maritim 37, 08003 Barcelona

E-mail: xavier.belles [at] ibe.upf-csic.es
Telephone: +34 93 230 96 36
Fax: +34 93 221 10 11

How does a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? That question, which sums up the wonder and mystery of insect metamorphosis, has built a timeless enigma, which has perplexed mankind since the earliest times. The subject fascinated me since I was a child, when I raised silkworms at home, in shoeboxes. As an adult, I have studied the metamorphosis of insects using the German cockroach, which is a representative of the most ancestral direct metamorphosis mode.

My academic career began in the 1970s, and continues today
[more]. I seek to understand the mechanisms regulating metamorphosis in the German cockroach, concentrating on three main subjects: 1) qualitative metamorphic changes, 2) transcription factors involved, 3) small RNAs, and 4) complex networks [more].

The idea is to compare these mechanisms with those operating in more derived species that follow an indirect metamorphosis mode. I enjoy trying to unravel the evolutionary transition from direct (hemimetabolan) to indirect (holometabolan) metamorphosis.

For a recent and comprehensive review, you can explore:

Insect Metamorphosis. From Natural History to Regulation of Development and Evolution

Author: Xavier Belles
Paperback ISBN: 9780128130209
eBook ISBN: 9780128130216
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 17th March 2020
Page Count: 304

Last update: May 2022