David Martín Lab
                                                          Funtional Evolution in Insects Programme
                                                   Nuclear Hormone Receptors in Insect Development


David Martín

Researcher at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF)
Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49
E-08003 Barcelona (Spain)

Telephone: +34 932309640

E-mail: david.martin [at] ibe.upf-csic.es  


My group studies the hormonal control of insect embryogenesis, post-embryonic growth, molting and metamorphosis, particularly the roles of ecdysteroids and juvenile hormone. We are also interested in the hormonal basis of the evolution of metamorphosis.

In insects, the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) triggers major developmental transitions. The regulatory activity of this hormone is mediated by a genetic cascade of transcription factors that belong to the Nuclear Hormone Receptor superfamily (NRs). Whereas great deal of research has been devoted to uncover the molecular mechanisms regulating 20E-triggered cascade in holometabolous insects (Drosophila melanogaster), little understanding has been achieved regarding how these mechanisms operate in more primitive direct-developing hemimetabolous insects. To solve this, our research group is working to characterize the mechanisms of 20E action in the hemimetabolous insect, Blattella germanica. During the last years, we have cloned and characterized the entire repertoire of NRs that form the 20E-triggered genetic cascade in B. germanica and we have characterized their functional properties during embryonic, ninfal and adult development by using RNAi in vivo and parental RNAi procedures.

Furthermore, we are also working with another important hormone in insect development, that is Juvenile hormone (JH), which coordinates multiple developmental and physiological processes ranging from molting to reproduction and aging. Although discovered over 7 decades ago, the mechanism of JH action remains mostly unknown. Despite long-standing efforts and interest, the search for a JH receptor has not been successful. The overall goal of research in the lab is to uncover the molecular mechanism underlying JH action.

Positions Available

If you are interested in joining the lab to do a Master Thesis, Ph.D. Thesis or a Postdoctoral work, please contact Dr. Martín by sending an e-mail describing your scientific interests and academic experience.