Carla Maria Calò


Carla Maria Calò

Address: Dept. Sciences of Life and Environment
Cittadella Universitaria, SS 554, km. 4.500.
Phone: 0039 0706754154

Curriculum Vitae

Education and training
Degree in Biological Sciences (21/11/1991)

Degree in Natural Sciences (04/03/1993)

PhD doctor in Anthropology at University of Cagliari (04/0/1997)

Post PhD at University of Cagliari February (1999-2001).

Current position
Researcher at University of Cagliari (since 02/03/2002), Dept. of Sciences of Life and Environment.

Molecular Anthropology and Anthropometry

In the last 5 years scientific responsible of the following projects:

  • RAS (Sardinian Region) 2008 Analysis of ACTN3 gene polymorphism in elite athletes
  • RAS 2009 (Sardinian Region). ACTN3 and elite soccer players.
  • PRIN MIUR (2009). Human Biodiversity in Sardinia: analysis of isolated populations (Local coordinator)

Lines of research

  1. Molecular analysis of some Sardinian populations, with particular reference to geographic and/or cultural isolates.
    The research led to interesting results concerning some isolates of Sardinia: an isolated language of southern Sardinia (Carloforte) and two geographic isolates Benetutti (Northern Sardinia) and Desulo (Central Sardinia). A strong genetic differentiation between north and south of the island has been shown, in addition, the analysis of Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in these isolates showed the presence of peculiar haplogroups absent in other areas of the island and especially absent in the Italian population .
    Now you are focusing the study into a few lineage of mtDNA and Y that have proven characteristics of the island. The intent is to determine the sub-haplogroups to trace their origin and provenance , and then verify or disprove, with the presence of own genes and their haplogroups, native evolution of isolates.
    The use of uniparental markers (Y-chromosome and mitochondrial) will highlight the times of the peopling of the island and any discrepancies between female and male lineage can reflect a different matrimonial and social behavior.
    The assessment of the degree of isolation of populations has the dual purpose of verifying the degree of involvement in migration flows that have invested the areas in historic and prehistoric period and verify the possible use of these populations as a source for the mapping of complex diseases.
  2. Identification of DNA markers related to sports performance. The research aims to identify and quantify the influence of genetics in some phenotypic aspects of particular relevance for the achievement of high levels in the sport performance (strength development, oxygen consumption, fatigue resistance, etc..). Several markers (ACE, ACTN3, BK2, etc..) have been studied and among them the polymorphism SNP of the ACTN3 gene resulted correlated with muscle strength and the polymorphism Alu of the ACE gene with resistance and oxygen consumption. Currently the research is moving towards the study of other polymorphisms and towards the single sport discipline. Particularly, important correlations have been found when the cumulative effect of several genes is analyzed through modern statistical approaches (Total genotype score, and WTGS).
  3. Identification of genetic polymorphisms potentially related with the predisposition to complex diseases. This issue, which began several years ago with the study of obesity and cardio-circulatory, is now focusing on the study of muscle-tendon injuries caused by indirect trauma in sports. Also in this case significant correlations with the cumulative effect of several genes (VDR, lactate, COL5, ACTN3, etc.) have been found.
  4. With the collaboration of other colleagues (physiologists, biochemists) we are also studying genes potentially correlated with sensitivity to the taste, with particular attention to the bitter taste.

Publications from 2008 to 2013:

  1. Falchi A, Piras IS, Vona G, Calo CM, Varesi L. Red blood cell polymorphisms in beta degrees -39 heterozygotes in Corsica island (France). Am J Hematol.83 (2): 173; 2008.
  2. Piras I, Falchi A, Moral P, Melis A, Giovannoni L, Paoli G, Calò C, Vona G, Varesi L. Frequencies of Promoter Pentanucleotide (TTTTA)n of CYP11A Gene in European and North African Populations. Genet Test. 12(1):93-96; 2008.
  3. Calò C.M., Melis A., Vona G., Piras I.S. Sardinian population (Italy) a Genetic Review. Int. J. Modern Anthropology 1: 39-64; 2008.
  4. Destro Bisol G, Anagnostou P, Batini C, Battaggia C, Bertoncini S, Boattini A, Caciagli L, Caló MC, Capelli C, Capocasa M, Castrí L, Ciani G, Coia V, Corrias L, Crivellaro F, Ghiani ME, Luiselli D, Mela C, Melis A, Montano V, Paoli G, Sanna E, Rufo F, Sazzini M, Taglioli L, Tofanelli S, Useli A, Vona G, Pettener D. Italian isolates today: geographic and linguistic factors shaping human biodiversity. J Anthropol. Sci. 2008;86:179-88
  5. Calò C.M., Vona G. Gene polymorphisms and elite athletes performance. J Anthropol. Sci (Invited Review), 86: 113-131; 2008.
  6. Gatti A.M., Calò C.M., Piras I.S. Lo stato di salute delle leve militari in Sardegna tra Ottocento e Novecento. In Statura, Salute e migrazioni: le leve militari italiane. A cura di C. A. Corsini, Ed. Forum, Udine; pp: 169-191; 2008.
  7. Piras IS, Falchi A, Melis A, De Cian MC, Calò CM, Vona G, Varesi L. High frequencies of short alleles of NOS1 (CA)n polymorphism in beta(0)39 carriers from Corsica Island (France). Exp Mol Pathol. 86:136-137; 2009
  8. Calò C.M., Sanna S., Piras I.S., Pavan P., Vona G. Body composition of Italian female hockey players. Biol. Sport 26: 23-31; 2009.
  9. Massidda M., Vona G., Calò C.M. Association Between the ACTN3 R577X Polymorphism and Artistic Gymnastic Performance in Italy. Genet Test Mol Biomarkers 13 (3): 377-380; 2009.
  10. Robledo R., Piras I., Beggs W., Calò C. Analysis of 31 STR loci in the genetic isolate of Carloforte (Sardinia, Italy). Genetics and Molecular Biology, 32 (3): 462:465; 2009.
  11. Ghiani ME, Mameli A, Piras G, Berti A, Calo CM, Vona G. Population data for Y-chromosome haplotypes defined by AmpFlSTR YFiler PCR amplification kit in North Sardinia (Italy). Coll Antropol. 33(2):643-651; 2009.
  12. Loviselli A, Ghiani ME, Velluzzi F, Piras IS, Minerba L, Vona G, Calò CM. Prevalence and trend of overweight and obesity among Sardinian conscripts (Italy) of 1969 and 1998. J. Biosoc. Sci, 42 (2): 201-211; 2010.
  13. Piras I., Falchi A., Moral P., Paoli G., Calò C.M., Vona G., Varesi L. Selective neutrality analysis of 17 STRs in Mediterranean populations. J. Hum. Genet. 55(4):207-214 2010.
  14. Padiglia A, Zonza A, Atzori E, Chillotti C, Calò C, Tepper BJ, Barbarossa IT. Sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil is associated with gustin (carbonic anhydrase VI) gene polymorphism, salivary zinc, and body mass index in humans Am J Clin Nutr., 92 (3): 539-545; 2010.
  15. Piras I, Falchi A, Moral P, Paoli G, Calò CM, Vona G, Varesi L. A Gradient of NOS1 Overproduction Alleles in European and Mediterranean Populations. Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 14(5): 673-676; 2010.
  16. Massidda M., Vona G., Calò C.M. Lack of association between ACE gene insertion/deletion polymorphism and elite artistic gymnastic performance in Italians. Eur. J. Sport Sci., 11 (3): 149-153; 2011.
  17. Massidda M., Calò C., Corrias L., Vona G., Piras F., Folletti S., Scorcu M. Angiotensin–convertin enzyme gene does not contribute to genetic predisposition to elite soccer’s performance in Italians. Med. Sport, 64 (1): 45-54; 2011.
  18. Calò C, Padiglia A, Zonza A, Corrias L, Contu P, Tepper BJ, Barbarossa IT Polymorphisms in TAS2R38 and the taste bud trophic factor, gustin gene co-operate in modulating PROP taste phenotype. Physiol Behav, 104: 1065–1071; 2011.
  19. Massidda M, Cugusi L, Ibba M, Tradori I, Calò CM. Energy expenditure during competitive Latin American dancing simulation. Med Probl Perform Ar. 26(4):206-210; 2011
  20. Calò C.M., Corrias L, Vona G, Bachis V, Robledo R. Sampling strategies in a linguistic isolate: results from mtDNA analysis Am J Hum Biol. 24(2):192-194; 2012.
  21. Massidda M, Corrias L, Ibba G, Scorcu M, Vona G, Calò CM Genetic markers and explosive leg-muscle strength in elite Italian soccer players. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 52(3):328-34; 2012.
  22. Fadda R, Rapinett G, Grathwohl D, Parisi M, Fanari R, Calò CM, Schmitt J. Effects of Drinking Supplementary Water at School on Cognitive Performance in Children. Appetite. 59: 730-737; 2012
  23. Piras IS, De Montis A, Calò CM, Marini M, Atzori M, Corrias L, Sazzini M, Boattini A, Vona G, Contu L. Genome-wide scan with nearly 700 000 SNPs in two Sardinian sub-populations suggests some regions as candidate targets for positive selection. Eur J Hum Genet. 20(11):1155-61; 2012.
  24. Massidda M., Calò C.M. Performance scores and standings during the 43rd Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, J Sports Sci 2012, 30(13):1415-20; 2012..
  25. Massidda M., Corrias L., Scorcu M., Vona G., Calò C.M. ACTN-3 and ACE genotypes in elite male Italian athletes. Anthropological Review, 75: 51–59; 2012.
  26. Corrias L., Calò C.M., Vona G., Robledo R., Bachis V.. MtDNA analysis in a linguistic isolate with different sampling strategies. Journal of Biological Research, LXXXV, 1: 164-166; 2012. (atti XIX congress AAI).
  27. Robledo R., Corrias L., Bachis V., Puddu N., Mameli A., Vona G., Calò C.M. Analysis of a genetic isolate. The case of Carloforte. Human Biology 84 (6) 735-754, 2012.
  28. Calò C.M., Corrias L., Bachis V., Vona G., Brandas A., Scudiero C.M., Di Fede C., Mameli A., Robledo R. Analisi di due isolati della Sardegna (Italia) attraverso lo studio dei polimorfismi del cromosoma Y. Antropo 29, 1-7; 2013.
  29. Sanna E., Congiu A., Milia N., Orrù A., Vallascas E., Calò C.M., Danubio M.E. Questionability of secular trend data and factors influencing menarcheal age: a study in Sardinia (Italy). Human Ecology – An Interdisciplinary Journal
  30. Massidda M., Brasili P., Toselli S., Calò C.M. Influenza dell’allenamento della ginnastica artistica sul processo di accrescimento in giovani atlete. Antropo 29: 89-99; 2013.
  31. Massidda M., Scorcu M., Calò C.M. New genetic model for predicting phenotype traits in Sports. Int. J. Sports Physiol. 2013
  32. Melis M., Atzori E., Cabras S., Zonza A., Calò C., Muroni P., Nieddu M., Padiglia A., Sogos V., Tepper B.J., Tomassini Barbarossa I. The Gustin (CA6) Gene Polymorphism, rs2274333 (A/G), as a Mechanistic Link between PROP Tasting and Fungiform Taste Papilla Density and Maintenance. Plos One, 8, 9 e74851; 2013


Prof. Laurent Varesi, Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, University of Corte (France);
Prof. Pedro Moral and Prof. Ester Esteban, Faculty of Biology, Dept. of Animal Biology, University of Barcelona (Spain).

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