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Institutional highlights

2014 – INRA, SPE department

Chronicle of an announced phytosanitary crisis: the stink bug in France

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys is a pest of fruit and crops native of Asia, which was reported in Europe in 2007 and France in 2012. A collective assessment concluded that this species could colonize the major part of the French territory and impose heavy losses on numerous agricultural productions. We developed and spread recognition tools for professionals and general public. At present, we test diverse tools to improve the epidemic watch of this species and inform the public. Beyond the stink bug, this progress will be useful to manage better the phytosanitary crises to come.

Contact: Jean-Claude Streito and Jean Pierre Rossi, CBGP
Read more (in French)

2014 – CIRAD, Bios department

Desert locust: analyses of historical data for a better risk management

The Desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, in a major pest from West Africa to India. Its ability to gregarize – changing its behaviour, morphology and life cycle when population density increases – gives him a particularly devastating character when forming hoppers bands and destructive swarms. The only current way to avoid damages is to implement a preventive control which consists in searching and destroying gregarizing populations. These gregarizations are generally made in desert areas, where an occasional vegetation develops. The cost of sending control teams is a limiting factor. Cirad, in collaboration with FAO-CLCPRO, analysed data collected by these field teams in Mauritania, during the past nine years. A relation between the spatial structure of vegetation and the population density generating the gregarization was highlighted. By coupling these data with satellite images characterizing the vegetation, statistical models were developed, allowing to predict the presence of locusts. The preventive control should benefit from these predictive capacities with a reduction of areas to prospect and a better assessment of the gregarization risk in a given biotope.

Contact: Cyril Piou, CBGP
Partners:Commission de Lutte contre le Criquet Pèlerin en Région Occidentale de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO-CLCPRO) / Mauritania: Centre National de Lutte Anti-acridienne (CNLA) / Morocco: Centre National de Lutte Anti-Acridienne (CNLAA) and Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Complexe Horticole d’Agadir

Desert locust: a large-scale study unravels the mystery of solitary populations

While the first invasions of Desert locust strike East Africa this year, Cirad researchers question number of hypotheses concerning solitary locusts. Results from a large-scale genetic study led in association with numerous African partners are surprising and innovative. In its solitary phase, we considered it sedentary. On the contrary, it travels kilometres. We supposed its populations where vulnerable. Nevertheless, they are perfectly adapted to their environment and have a high capacity of recolonisation and a strong and long-lasting genetic diversity. Solitary populations, which quickly move, can then discover very fast areas becoming favourable to reproduction. These results modify radically the vision we had from solitary Desert locust populations. They will allow to strengthen the strategy of watching and preventing invasions.

Contact: Marie-Pierre Chapuis, CBGP and Michel Lecoq

2013 – INRA, EFPA department

Google Street View© to locate invasive insects

Pine processionary Thaumetopoea pityocampa is an insect which nymphs spin white silk nests during winter, particularly in trees along roads. This characteristic makes the use of Google Street View© very interesting. Indeed, the system provides access to panoramic views along roads and identifies many details. Researchers mark off a 47.000 km² viewing area in the region Centre which is divided in 183 16x16 km sampling cells. In each cell, researchers note the presence/absence of nests. Data are collected by direct field observation and by Google Street View©. Comparing them, they determined that Google Street View© is a good indicator of field data and provides an around 90% reliability at this resolution. These results open important perspectives to simplify and decrease the acquisition costs of data to study the presence of invasive organisms (for instance, the horse-chestnut leaf miner) and the evolution of their distribution.

Contact: Jean Pierre Rossi, CBGP and Jérôme Rousselet URZF Orleans
Press release


2008-2013 CBGP highlights

1 : Fig trees and their pollinators co-diversification
2 : Impact of past climate changes on the evolution of insect communities
3 : History of African environments through rodents
4 : A pest can hide another one: leaf-curling plum aphid Brachycaudus helichrysi has two lineages with contrasted life cycles
5 : Tetranychidae mites: evolution study model and population management
6 : Characterisation of emerging diseases reservoirs
7 : The European corn worm Ostrinia nutabilis
8 : Introduction paths and evolutionary changes during a biological invasion

Read more (in French)