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Emmanuelle Jousselin


Evolution of interspecific interactions

My long-term research interests are in the evolution of intimate interactions among species and their role in the diversification of life. I address these questions through the use of phylogenetic reconstructions and phylogenetic comparative methods.

I first started by working on one of the most fascinating model systems in the study of coevolutionnary processes, the fig/ fig wasp interactions. Upon being hired by the INRA, I initiated a research program on the evolutionary history of aphids (Hemiptera:Aphididae), a group of sap-sucking insects that encompass many agricultural pests. I  started a fruitful collaboration with A. Coeur d’acier, an international expert in aphid taxonomy. We investigated the central role of host-alternation in aphids diversification in the Brachycaudus genus (ANR funded project: 2005-2008), looked at the role of host plant specialization and asexuality in the diversification of a world-wide pest (Brachycaudus helichrysi) (INRA funded project: 2008-2012), weighed the relative role of ecological speciation and geographic isolation in the diversification of Cinara, one the most species rich aphid genus (ANR funded project: Phylospace 2009-2014). We  are now investigating the role of symbiont evolutionary dynamics in aphids long term evolution (MicroPhAn project-France génomique) using Cinara as a model system.

All these projects have direct implications for aphid taxonomy and the sampling expeditions we have conducted (in Europe, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, North-America) to obtain comprehensive phylogenies of the groups we are studying,  are continuously enriching the INRA National Collection and the background knowledge we have on these  insects which are both fascinating models in Evolutionary Biology and important agricultural pests.


jo 452

                                                              The team on a field trip in the US.

Main results of ongoing projects

Diversification in conifer-feeding aphids (Lachnidae:Cinara): our phylogenetic reconstructions of the Cinara genus have deciphered how host-plant adaptation processes and the climatic and geological changes that occurred through the Cenozoic  have impacted the diversification of this genus. We have also recently conducted high-throughput sequencing of 16s rRNA gene and showed that in most Cinara species, Buchnera has a “flatmate”: it co-exists with another obligate symbiont. We are currently conducting phylogenomic analyses to decipher the role of symbiont evolutionary dynamics in the diversification of this globally distributed aphid genus (MicroPhAn project-France génomique).

Ecological differentiation in a cosmopolitan pest: our ongoing work on the leaf-curl plum aphid (Brachycaudus helichrysi) has unravelled the existence of two sibling species in this cosmopolitan pest, differing in their primary host plant association. We have also demonstrated the repeated evolution of long term asexual lineages in one of the sibling species: it encompasses several “super-clones” that have dispersed over continents and persisted over a decade. We are currently conducting research to unravel the biotic and abiotic factors favouring the emergence of these superclones, and investigating whether endosymbionts play a role in their differentiation.

Life cycle complexity in aphids: by reconstructing a comprehensive phylogeny of the Brachycaudus genus, we have demonstrated that complex life-cycles (host-alternation) can be evolutionarily labile. This supports the hypotheses that life-cycles in aphids are adaptive: they evolve in response to natural selection. Using phylogenetic species delimitation methods on both Buchnera and aphids, we also demonstrated fine-scale cospeciation between the partners of the interaction. This showed that the Buchnera genome could be reliably used to infer investigate phylogenetic relationships in aphids.


see also

Chevenet F., Doyon JP, Scornavacca C., Jousselin  E et V. Berry. 2016. SylvX: a viewer for phylogenetic tree reconciliations.  Bioinformatics 32(4), 608-613.

E. Jousselin, A.-L. Clamens, M. Galan , M. Bernard, S. Maman, B. Gschloessl,  G. Duport., F. Calevro, A. S. Meseguer, A. Coeur d’acier. 2016. An assessment of 16S rRNA amplicon Illumina sequencing procedure to study the microbiome of a symbiont rich aphid genus. Molecular Ecology Ressources. 16 (3) 628-640.

Meseguer, A. S., A. Coeur d'acier, G. Genson, et E. Jousselin. 2015. Unravelling the historical biogeography and diversification dynamics of a highly diverse conifer-feeding aphid genus. J. of Biogeography: 42:1482-1492.

Castel, G., Razzauti Sanfeliu, M., Jousselin, E., Kergoat, G., Cosson, J.-F. 2014. Changes in Diversification Patterns and Signatures of Selection during the Evolution of Murinae-Associated Hantaviruses. Viruses, 6, 1112-1134.

 Coeur D'Acier, A., Cruaud, A., Artige, E., Genson, G., Clamens, A. L., Pierre, E., Hudaverdian, S., Simon, J.-C., Jousselin, E., Rasplus, J. Y. (2014). DNA barcoding and the Associated PhylAphidB@se Website for the identification of European Aphids (Insecta: Hemiptera: Aphididae). Plos One, 9 (6).

Hubert, F., Grimm, G. W., Jousselin, E., Berry, V., Franc, A., Kremer, A. (2014).. Multiple nuclear genes stabilize the phylogenetic backbone of the genus Quercus. Systematics and Biodiversity 12 (4), 405-423.

Fornuskova, A., Vinkler, M., Pagès, M., Galan, M., Jousselin, E., Cerqueira, F., Morand, S., Charbonnel, N., Bryja, J., Cosson, J.-F. (2013). Contrasted evolutionary histories of two Toll-like receptors (Tlr4 and Tlr7) in wild rodents (MURINAE). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13.

Jousselin, E., Cruaud, A., Genson, G., Chevenet, F., Foottit, R. G., Coeur d'Acier, A. (2013). . Is ecological speciation a major trend in aphids? Insights from a molecular phylogeny of the conifer-feeding genus Cinara. Frontiers in Zoology, 10.

Jousselin, E., Coeur D'Acier, A., Vanlerberghe-Masutti, F., Duron, O. (2013). Evolution and diversity of Arsenophonus endosymbionts in aphids. Molecular Ecology, 22 (1), 260-270.

Laamari, M., Coeur d'Acier, A., Jousselin, E. (2013). New data on aphid fauna (Hemiptera, Aphididae) in Algeria. Zookeys, 319, 223-229.

Piffaretti, J., Clamens, A. L., Vanlerberghe-Masutti, F., Gupta, R. K., Call, E., Halbert, S., Jousselin, E. (2013). Regular or covert sex defines two lineages and worldwide superclones within the leaf-curl plum aphid (Brachycaudus helichrysi, Kaltenbach). Molecular Ecology, 22 (15), 3916 - 3932.

Piffaretti, J., Rossi, J.-P., Vanlerberghe-Masutti, F., Genson, G., Coeur D'Acier, A., Jousselin, E. (2013). Molecular identification and ecological characteristics of two cryptic lineages within a cosmopolitan aphid pest, Brachycaudus helichrysi (Hemiptera: Aphididae). App. Ent. and Zoology, 48 (2), 155-164.

Cruaud, A., Ronsted, N., Chantarasuwan, B., Chou, L. S., Clement, W. L., Couloux, A., Cousins, B., Genson, G., Harrison, R. D., Hanson, P. E., Hossaert-McKey, M., Jabbour-Zahab, R., Jousselin, E., Kerdelhue, C., Kjellberg, F., Lopez Vaamonde, C., Peebles, J., Peng, Y.-Q., Santinello Pereira, R. A., Schramm, T., Ubaidillah, R., van Noort, S., Weiblen, G., Yang, D.-R., Yokpinyanee, A., Libeskind-Hadas, R., Cook, J. C., Rasplus, J. Y., Savolainen, V. (2012). An extreme case of plant-insect codiversification: figs and fig-pollinating wasps . Systematic Biology, 61 (6), 1029-1047.

Piffaretti, J., Vanlerberghe-Masutti, F., Tayeh, A., Clamens, A. L., Coeur d'Acier, A., Jousselin, E. (2012). Molecular phylogeny reveals the existence of two sibling species in the aphid pest Brachycaudus helichrysi (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Zoologica Scripta, 41, 266-280. x

Bonhomme, V., Gounand, I., Alaux, C., Jousselin, E., Barthélémy, D., Gaume, L. (2011). . The plant-ant Camponotus schmitzi helps its carnivorous host-plant Nepenthes bicalcarata to catch its prey. J. of Tropical Ecology, 27, 15-24.

Bonhomme, V., Pelloux-Prayer, H.,Jousselin, E., Forterre, Y., Labat, J.-J., Gaume-Vial, L. (2011). . Slippery or sticky? Functional diversity in the trapping strategy of Nepenthes carnivorous plants. New Phytologist, 191 (2), 545-54.

Lombaert, E., Guillemaud, T., Thomas, C. E., Lawson Handley, L. J. ., Li, J., Wang, S., Pang, H., Goryacheva, I., Zakharov, I. A., Jousselin, E., Poland, R. L., Migeon, A., van Lenteren, J., De Clercq, P., Berkvens, N., Jones, W., Estoup, A. (2011). . Inferring the origin of populations introduced from a genetically structured native range by approximate Bayesian computation: case study of the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis. Molecular Ecology, 20 (22), 4654 - 4670.

Laamari M, Jousselin E, Coeur d'acier A: 2010. Assessment of aphid diversity (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in Algeria: a fourteen-year investigation. Faunistic Entomology, 62(2):73-87.

Jousselin, E., G. Genson, et A. Coeur d'Acier. 2010. Evolutionary lability of a complex life cycle in the aphid genus Brachycaudus. BMC Evolutionary Biology 10.

J. Peccoud, J-C Simon, C von Dohlen, A Coeur d’acier, M Plantegenest, F Vanlerberghe-Masutti et E -Jousselin 2010.Evolutionary history of aphid-plant associations and their role in aphid diversification. Comptes Rendus Biologies, V 333, issue 6-7, P 474-487

Jousselin, E., Y. Desdevises, et A. Coeur d'Acier. 2009. Fine-scale cospeciation between Brachycaudus and Buchnera aphidicola:  bacterial genome helps define species and evolutionary relationships in aphids. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276:187-196.

Tayeh et al. dans Anderson CM, Aparicio GJ, Atangana AR, Beaulieu J, Bruford MW, Cain F, Campos T, Cariani A, Carvalho MA, Chen N et al: Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 December 2009-31 January 2010. Mol Ecol Resour 2010, 10(3):576-579. (Primer Note)

Jousselin, E. , S.  van Noort, V.  Berry, J.Y. Rasplus, N.  Ronsted, J.C.  Erasmus, et J..M.  Greeff 2008. One fig to bind them all: host conservatism in a Fig wasp community unraveled by cospeciation analyses among pollinating and nonpollinating fig wasps. Evolution 62:1777-1797.

Coeur d'Acier, A., G. Cocuzza, E. Jousselin, V. Cavalieri, et S. Barbagallo. 2008. Molecular phylogeny and systematic in the genus Brachycaudus (Homoptera: Aphididae): insights from a combined analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Zoologica Scripta 37 (2):175-193.

Cocuzza, G., E. Jousselin, V. Cavalieri, A. Coeur d'Acier, et S. Barbagallo. 2007. Morphological and Molecular analysis of Brachycaudus, subgenus Appelia-complex (Rhynchota, Aphididae). Redia 90:33-49.

Coeur d'Acier, A., E. Jousselin, J.F. Martin, & J.Y. Rasplus. 2007. Phylogeny of the genus Aphis Linnaeus, 1758 (Homoptera: Aphididae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42:598-611.

Erasmus, J.C., S. Van Noort, E. Jousselin, & J.M. Greeff. 2007. Molecular phylogeny of fig wasp pollinators (Agaonidae, Hymenoptera) of Ficus section Galoglychia. Zool. Scripta 36 (1):61-78

Jousselin E., van Noort S., Rasplus, J-Y, Greeff J.M.  2006. Patterns of diversification of Afrotropical Otiteselline fig wasps: phylogenetic study reveals a double radiation across host figs and conservatism of host association. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. . 19: 253-266.

Jousselin E., van Noort S., & Greeff J.M.  2004. Labile male morphology and intraspecific male polymorphism in the Philotrypesis fig wasps.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 33: 706-718

Jousselin E. Kjellberg, F., Herre, E.A. 2004. Flower specialisation in a passively pollinated monoecious fig: a question of style and stigma? Int. J. of Plant Science. 16S (4): 587-593

Yu, DW J Ridley,  E Jousselin, EA Herre, SGA Compton, JM Cook,  JC Moore & GD Weiblen. 2004. Oviposition strategies, host coercion, and the stable exploitation of figs by wasps. - Proceedings of the Royal society of London.  271: 1175-1183

Jousselin E., Hossaert-McKey, M., Herre E.A. & Kjellberg F. 2003. Why actively pollinate monoecious figs ?- Oecologia 134: 381-387

Jousselin E., Rasplus J.Y & Kjellberg F. 2003. Convergence and coevolution in a mutualism: evidence from a molecular phylogeny of Ficus - Evolution 57: 1255-1269.

Jousselin E., Rasplus J.Y & Kjellberg F. 2001. Shift to mutualism in a parasitic lineage of the fig/fig wasp mutualism - Oikos : 2 : 287-294

Jousselin E., Hossaert-Mckey M., Vernet D. & Kjellberg F. 2001. Egg deposition pattern in fig wasps: implication for studies on the mutualism stability - Ecological entomology, 26:602-608

Jousselin E. et Kjellberg F. 2001. The functional implications of active and passive pollination in dioecious figs - Ecology letters  4 :151-158

Machado C., Jousselin E., Kjellberg, F., Compton S.G. et Herre E. A. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships, historical biogeography, and characters evolution of fig pollinating wasps – Proc. R.  soc . London B. 268 : 685-694

Kjellberg F., Jousselin E., Bronstein J., Patel A & Rasplus J.Y 2001. Pollination mode in fig wasps : the predictive power of correlated traits- Proc. of the Royal society of London B. 268 : 1113-1121

Book chapters

Nieberding, C., E Jousselin et Y. Desdevise. 2010. The use of .co-phylogeographic patterns to predict the nature of host-parasite interactions, and vice versa, dans “The biogeography of Host-Parasite Interactions” Edité par S. Morand, B.R. Krasnov.  p 60669

Ravigné V.(dir. Chap. 4), Barberousse A., Bierne N., Britton-Davidian J., Capy P., Desdevises Y., Giraud T., Jousselin E., Moulia C., Simadja C. & Samadi S. 2010. La spéciation. In: Thomas, F., Lefevre, T. & Raymond, M., ed. Biologie évolutive. de Boeck, Bruxelles & CNRS, pp. 79-122

Kjellberg F., Jousselin E., Hossaert-Mc Key M., Rasplus J.Y. 2005. Biology, Ecology and Evolution of Ficus (Moraceae) pollinating wasps (Chalcidoidea, Agaonidae). In Biology, Ecology and Evolution of Gall-inducing arthropods. Volume 2. Raman, A Schaefer C.W., Withers T.M. (eds) inc., Enfield, New Hampshire

Jousselin, E., J-F Sylvain et G.Kergoat . 2013. Les scénario évolutifs d’interactions entre insectes phytophages et plantes, ( Partie 7 - Chapitre 35). dans des « Insectes et des Plantes ». Edité par N. Sauvion, D. Thierry, P.A. Calatayud, F. Marion-Poll. IRD & Publibook