Laura Baldo

Universität Basel,
Zoologisches Institut
Vesalgasse 1
CH-4051 Basel


+41 (0)61 207 03 05

+41 (0)61 207 03 01


Laura Baldo

PostDoc in the group of Walter Salzburger.

Current research

I am broadly interested in the molecular processes underlying the diversification of life, from genetics to expression differences. In particular, I am fascinated by the concept of animal as a supra-organism, that is a community of both host and symbionts, and how this partnership has shaped animal life. I am currently investigating the role of symbiotic processes in leading cichlid major evolutionary transitions.

Curriculum vitae

2009-present ERC Postdoctoral Researcher with Walter Salzburger at the Institute of Zoology, University of Basel, Switzerland
2005-2009 NSF Postdoctoral Researcher with John Werren and Cheryl Hayashi, at the University of California, Riverside, USA
2001-2005 Ph.D., Animal Biology, University of Milano, Italy
1995-2001 B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Milano, Italy

Representative Publications


  • Baldo L, Santos ME and Salzburger W (2011). Comparative transcriptomics of eastern African cichlid fishes shows signs of positive selection and a large contribution of untranslated regions to genetic diversity. Genome Biology and Evolution. 3:443-55.
  • Baldo L, De Queiroz A, Hayashi CHY, Marshall E and Gatesy J (2011). Nuclear-mitochondrial sequences as witnesses of past interbreeding and population diversity in the jumping bristletail Mesomachilis. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 28:195-210.
  • Baldo L, Desjardins CA, , Russell JA, Stahlhut JK and Werren JH (2010). Accelerated Microevolution in an Outer Membrane Protein (OMP) of the Intracellular Bacteria Wolbachia. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10:48.
  • Russell JA, Goldman-Huertas B, Moreau CS, Baldo L, Stahlhut JK, Werren JH and Pierce NE (2009). Specialization and geographic isolation among Wolbachia symbionts from ants and lycaenid butterflies. Evolution, 63:624-40.
  • Raychoudhury R, Baldo L, Oliveira DCSG and Werren JH (2009). Modes of Acquisition of Wolbachia in Nasonia: Horizontal Transfer, Hybrid Introgression and Co-divergence. Evolution, 63:165-83.
  • Werren JH, Baldo L and Clark ME (2008). Wolbachia: Master Manipulators of Invertebrate Biology. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 6: 741-751.
  • Baldo L, Ayoub NA, Hayashi CY, Russel JA, Stahlhut JK and Werren JH (2008) Insight into the routes of Wolbachia invasion: high levels of horizontal transfer in the spider genus Agelenopsis revealed by Wolbachia strain and mitochondrial DNA diversity. Molecular Ecology 17:557–569.
  • Baldo L, Prendini L, Corthals A and Werren JH (2007). Wolbachia are present in Southern African scorpions and cluster with supergroup F. Current Microbiology, 55:367–373.
  • Baldo L and JH Werren (2007) Revisiting Wolbachia Supergroup Typing Based on WSP: Spurious Lineages and Discordance with MLST. Current Microbiology, 55:81-7.
  • Baldo L, Dunning Hotopp JC, Jolley KA, Bordenstein SR, Biber SA, Choudhury RR, Hayashi CY, Maiden MCJ, Tettelin H and Werren JH (2006). Multilocus Sequence Typing system for the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72:7098-7110.
  • Baldo L, Bordenstein SR, Wernegreen JJ and JH Werren. (2006). Widespread recombination throughout Wolbachia genomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23:437-449.
  • Baldo L, Lo N and Werren JH (2005). Mosaic nature of the Wolbachia surface protein. Journal of Bacteriology 187: 5406-5418.
  • Baldo L and Ferraguti M (2005). Mixed reproductive strategy in Tubifex tubifex (Oligochaeta, tubificidae)? Journal of Experimental Zoology 303A:168-177.