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Stefano Gatti

Stefano Gatti

Research Assistant

Sainsbury Laboratory
University of Cambridge
47 Bateman Street


I am fascinated by how plant reproductive structures, from the micro-scale (pollen and ovules) to the macro-scale (flowers) are surprisingly different from those we animals are used to. I have always found astonishing how these structures can differ and culminate in an extraordinary variety of forms and colours. That is why I focused my studies on trying to understand in mind-numbing detail all the intricacies of the sexual life of these beautiful creatures.

Research Interests


Research Assistant in Edwige Moyroud Lab (SLCU, University of Cambridge)

When I heard about this exciting project on patterning formation in the petals, I grabbed the chance with both hands. Petals patterning is important not only because of its functional role (pollinators’ attraction), but also because it raises interesting developmental questions: how can differences in pigmentation, cell shape and ornamentation of the cuticle combine in an organised fashion within the same organ to produce a pattern?
My main role in this project is to explore the importance of hormones as developmental regulators coordinating patterning mechanisms. I am also involved in understanding how evolution tinkers with these mechanisms to generate pattern variations between species or populations. To that end, our group is using Hibiscus trionum as a wonderful model plant. Since I have been in the lab, I had multiple occasions to introduce and guide students into the world of plant genetics and developmental biology, from both the theoretical and practical levels.



BSc Natural Sciences at the University of Milan (Italy)

In my final year project (2012), I decided to focus my attention on the male reproductive part of flowers.
The research I was involved in was aimed at analysing the role of Golgi-derived vesicles in the tip growth of the pollen tube in Nicotiana tabacum, both from the functional and structural points of view.

MSc Evolutionary Biology at the University of Milan (Italy)

During my Master internship (2014 – 2015), I decided to shift my attention to the female reproductive organs of flowers. I used the “evergreen” Arabidopsis thaliana to try and find a link between the genetics and the epigenetics during the formation of the MMC (Megaspore Mother Cell), the diploid cell within the ovule that will seal the developmental fate of the female gametophyte.

Research Assistant in Lucia Colombo Lab (Plant development, University of Milan)

After my graduation (2015 - 2017), I wanted to explore the development of the ovules in species other than Arabidopsis. I moved my attention to the evolutionary-conserved pathways during meiotic process in Dicots (Taraxacum officinale), Monocots (Oryza sativa) and even a fungus (actually, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae). During this period, I also cooperated with KeyGene Company (Wageningen, The Netherlands).

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