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Adaptation of plant-eaters, their natural enemies and their symbionts

Organizers: Emmanuelle Jousselin & Carole Kerdelhué

Our researches aim at analyzing the evolution of plant-eater arthropods and associated organisms (parasitoids, predators, symbiontes) in changing environment, considering pressures of biotic (host plant/plant-eater,  host insect/parasitoid) and non-biotic selection (climate, land use, agricultural practices). Our programs are insterested in past processes, using macro-evolutionary approaches, as well as in fast modern evolutions. Our main biological models are crop and forest pests (e.g. moths, beetles, mites, drosophilas, acarids) and their natural enemies, potential agents of biological control (e.g. parasitoid hymenopterans, predatory mites).

In this thematic group, we mainly approach the following points:

  • the identification and the study of the adaptive processes underlying diversification (e.g. adaptation to hosts/preys, evolution of life cycles, adaptation to past climate changes) by phylogenic / phylogenomic approaches,
  • the influence of symbiotic micro-organisms on the evolution and adaptation of plant-eater arthropods, parasitoids or predators (food specialization, immunity, resistances, reproductive systemes, etc.),
  • the characterization of the life history traits involved in adaptation, phenotypic differenciation of natural populations and approches of experimental evolution,
  • the search for the adaptative molecular bases: identification of the selection signatures along the genome, genomic architecture of the adaptive traits and gene networks, understanding of the phenotypes/genotypes links.