Marie Pierre Chapuis

Past Research Lines


Molecular evolution of microsatellite markers in the Orthoptera

Microsatellite loci of Orthopteran species, which are characterized by giant genomes, are prone to high levels of heterozygosity, high prevalence of null alleles and high similarity between their flanking regions. My questions hence asked for an improved understanding of the peculiar molecular evolution of the microsatellite markers in this Order. The accuracy of inferences on evolutionary history or population demography from microsatellite data is highly dependent on this knowledge.

Main collaborators: A. Estoup, R. Streiff and G.A. Sword.

Main publications: 3, 16, 21, 25.  


Population structure in outbreaking populations of locust species

The aim was to investigate the role of the propensity to outbreak in shaping the worldwide and regional patterns of population genetic variation and in the same time to assess the potential of microsatellite markers to infer sources and routes of invading hopper bands or locust swarms. This work focused on several species, the migratory locust, Locusta migratoria, the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, the Italian locust, Calliptamus italicus, and the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria.

Main collaborators: K. Berthier, E. Blanchet, A. Estoup, M. Lecoq and G.A. Sword.
Main publications: 6, 7, 13, 15, 18, 22.

Evolutionary history of the desert locust

The desert locust is a polytypic species which is distributed in two distinct regions along the North-South axis of Africa. The nominal subspecies, S. g. gregaria, is one of the most widespread and harmful locust species with a huge potential invasion area in northern Africa. S. g. flaviventris is restricted to the south-western arid zone of Africa and swarms only rarely. My aims were to identify morphological and molecular diagnostic characters for desert locust subspecies, estimate key parameters of their independent evolutionary history (e.g. divergence time), better understand and compare their population structure, and characterize climatic causes behind each subspecies range limits.

Main collaborators: C.S. Bazelet, A. Estoup, M. Lecoq, C. Meynard.

Main publications: 26, 29, 31, 35.  


Evolution of phase polyphenism in main locust species

The aim is to inform on reaction norms of polyphenic traits (e.g. behavior, growth, morphology, reproduction) in populations of Locusta migratoria and Schistocerca gregaria in optimal or stressful environments. We also explore some of the genetic parameters (e.g. heritability of traits), genetic mechanisms (e.g. heat shock proteins) and evolutionary hypotheses (e.g. resource use optimization) involved in phenotypic plasticity.

Main collaborators: H. Jourdan, Y. Michalakis, B. PélissiéC. Piou, C. Vernier.

Main publications : 4, 8, 14, 27, 32, 38.  


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