CE02 - Terre vivante

Tracing back the history of an adaptive trait: genetic basis of plant host manipulation by gall wasps – BETAGALL

Submission summary

Finding the genes that encode adaptive traits is a key problematic in evolutionary biology because the link between the genotype and the phenotype is often intricate. Adaptation is a fundamental process to assess because this is what drives the diversification of species, thereby biodiversity. In this project, I intend to disentangle the genetic basis of an adaptive trait that is under multiple selective pressure: the gall.
Gall wasps are capable of inducing structures called galls providing shelter against antagonists and varying climatic conditions, as well as food for their progeny, thereby increasing their survival. They do it by manipulating their host plant gene. However, the genetic basis of the ability to form galls, on different plant species and organs, remains largely unknown and poorly studied despite the existence of economically important galling species. The BETAGALL project aims to determine which genes are used by the gall wasps to manipulate the development of the plant to induce the formation of galls and to give them a particular shape. First, genomic data will allow to identify putative galling genes using comparative and population genomics methods. Second, gene expression data will permit to better precise the functions of newly identified putative galling genes and identify potential targets in host plant.
On the one hand, this project will allow to disentangle the genes involved in overcoming plant defense and that induce the formation of a gall. On the other hand, it will also unravel genes that are used by the wasp to develop a particular morphology allowing the gall inducer to fight against its antagonists such as parasites or predators.

Project coordination

Antoine Branca (Evolution, Génomes, Comportement, Ecologie)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


EGCE Evolution, Génomes, Comportement, Ecologie

Help of the ANR 358,390 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2020 - 48 Months

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