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: R. Streiff and G.A. Sword.
Population structure of outbreaking populations
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, and involved many collaborators including E. Blanchet, A. Estoup, M. Lecoq and G.A. Sword.
Quantitative genetics of phase polyphenism
The aim was to inform on reaction norms of polyphenic traits (e.g. larval behavior, larval growth, adult morphology) in a complex environment, and on the associated genetic parameters (heritability of traits). We also explored the genetic mechanisms involved in phenotypic plasticity. Main collaborators: H. Jourdan, B. Pélissié, C. Piou.
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