Elisa Pieragostini

University of Bari Aldo MoroItaly

Degree in Biological Science taken in 1970 from the University of Bologna. From 1970 to 1976 she was involved in research on lipid classes in different animal species at the Institute of Biochemistry - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - University of Bologna. From 1977 to 1984 she carried out an intensive activity of research on Drosophila melanogaster in the field of genetics of quantitative characters associated with biochemical markers. In 1985, she was appointed professor of Animal Breeding at the Faculty of Agriculture in Bari. Thus, she has been studying Apulian farm animals and, particularly, aiming to provide information regarding the genetic uniqueness of the native breeds, she has been focusing her attention on milk and blood-based markers suited to measure genetic diversity. She found, for instance, that the Altamurana sheep breed exhibit extremely peculiar arrangements as to globin genes and subsequent Hb phenotypes. The necessity to study the structure-function relationship of the different Hbs found, led her to acquire certain knowledge of sheep blood. Thus, almost by chance, she has confronted the problem of seasonal anaemia, a result of Apulian enzootic diseases among which those caused by endoerythocytic parasites are the most important. Apulian livestock show a good degree of tolerance and this fact, led prof.Pieragostini to intensify her researches on the blood of Apulian native farm animals and on the response to experimental infections with tick borne parasites. She developed a wide scientific activity documented by 170 works, mainly connected to animal genetics, particularly to the study of blood and milk polymorphisms.

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