Dick Roelofs

Dick Roelofs, Associate Professor


I apply genomic approaches to study soil invertebrates, in particular springtails (Collembola), in relation to their soil ecosystem. One part of my research relates to the development of innovative tests based on transcriptomics analysis as mechanistic tool to assess soil quality. These tests are developed in close collaboration with environmental organizations and companies involved in environmental risk assessment and sustainable land use. Moreover, I participate in national and international collaborative projects trying to assess and improve life support functions of the soil.

My second line of research is to investigate molecular and genomic consequences of evolution of stress tolerance. As a case study, we investigate micro-evolution of metal tolerance in springtails at the transcriptome and genome level.

Thirdly, we recently started to investigate gut microbiomes of springtails to learn more about animal-microbial interaction and identify components (genes, enzymes, metabolites) with possible antimicrobial action, such as β-lactam antibiotics. The ambition is to discover antimicrobial compounds with novel pharmaceutically relevant modes of action.

To support these research efforts we generated a genome portal for Collembola, that contains all relevant genome information for our two models Folsomia candida and Orchesella cincta.

Selected Publications

Faddeeva-Vakhrusheva A, Kraaijeveld K, Derks MFL, Yahya Anvar S, Agamennone V, Suring W, Kampfraath AA, Ellers J, Le Ngoc G, Van Gestel CAM, Mariën J, Smit S, Van Straalen NM, Roelofs D (2017) Coping with living in the soil: the genome of the parthenogenetic springtail Folsomia candida. BMC Genomics 18:493.

Chen G, van Straalen NM, Roelofs D (2016) The ecotoxicogenomic assessment of soil toxicity associated with the production chain of 2, 5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a candidate bio-based green chemical building block. Green Chemistry 18: 4420-4431.

de Boer TE, Janssens TK, Legler J, van Straalen NM, Roelofs D (2015) Combined Transcriptomics Analysis for Classification of Adverse Effects As a Potential End Point in Effect Based Screening. Environmental Science & Technology 49:14274-14281.

Roelofs D, Timmermans MJTN, Hensbergen P, van Leeuwen H, Koopman J, Faddeeva A, Suring W, de Boer TE, Marien J, Boer R, Bovenberg R, Van Straalen NM (2013) A Functional Isopenicillin N Synthase in an Animal Genome. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30:541-548.

Roelofs D, Janssens TKS, Timmermans MJTN, Nota B, Marien J, Bochdanovits Z, Ylstra B, Van Straalen NM (2009) Adaptive differences in gene expression associated with heavy metal tolerance in the soil arthropod Orchesella cincta. Molecular Ecology 18:3227-3239.

Link to full publication list in PURE