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Antoine Fraimout


PhD thesis defended on december 9th 2016

Research Project

Evolution of the invasive Drosophila suzukii: population and quantitative genetics

My current PhD project aims at studying genetic and phenotypic evolution in invasive populations of the spotted-wing Drosophila suzukii. This asian drosophilid fruit pest has spread globaly since 2008 and is now colonizing most of the North-American & European continents, generating considerable loss in infested crops. I'm using this recent invasion as an opportunity to examine current patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation and to infer evolutionary processes which could have facilitated the successful establishment of this species in a wide scale of environments.

This project integrates molecular population genetics, geometric morphometrics, quantitative genetics and morpho-functional experiments to adress three key questions:

  1. What are the invasion routes of D. suzukii? Using specific microsatellite markers and Bayesian inference methods, my first objective is to retrace the demographic history of the invasion (i.e. Invasion routes) to infer the most probable source populations of the different invaded areas. This work will stand as a strong base to formulate evolutionary hypotheses, notably concerning local adaptations in invasive populations.

  2. How does the G matrix evolve in the context of biological invasion? The second objective is to investigate the quantitative genetic variation in invasive populations and estimate changes in the structure of the genetic variance-covariance matrix (G) from ancestral asian populations. The structure of G is thought to be altered in its orientation and/or dimensionality in response to new selective pressures. Comparing matrices for wing shape among different populations will shed light on the processes which lead to current patterns of phenotypic variation.

  3. Do invasive populations exhibit higher phenotypic plasticity? As an alternative to genetic variation, phenotypic plasticity is often proposed as a factor for successful establishment of invasive populations. By measuring wing plasticity to developmental temperature in two invasives and one native population of D.suzukii I'm testing the hypothesis for higher plasticity in invasive populations and the associative effect of temperature and wing morphology on flight performance.

Key words: population genetics, quantitative genetics, geometric morphometrics, invasion biology, phenotype evolution, genetic structure.


In prep

Fraimout A., N. Navarro, S. Chantepie, M. Watada, M. T. Kimura, C. Teplitsky* and V. Debat*. Quantitative genetics of Drosophila suzukii wing shape: early phases of divergence during a worldwide invasion. (in prep)

Fraimout A., P. Jacquemart, D. J. Aponte, T. Descamps, A. Herrel, R. Cornette and V. Debat. Phenotypic plasticity of Drosophila suzukii wing to developmental temperature: implications for flight performance. (in prep)


(5) Fraimout A., V. Debat, S. Fellous, R. Hufbauer, J. Foucaud, P. Pudlo, J. -M. Marin, D. K. Price, J. Cattel, X. Chen, M. Deprá, P. F. Duyck, C. Guedot, G. Loeb, M. Kenis, M. T. Kimura, A. Loiseau, I. Martinez-Sañudo, M. Pascual, M. Polihronakis Richmond, P. Shearer, N. Singh, K. Tamura, A. Xuéreb, J. Zhang and A. Estoup. (2017) Deciphering the routes of invasion of Drosophila suzukii by means of ABC random forest. Mol. Biol. Evol. (in press)


(4) Cattel, J., Kaur, R., Gibert, P., Martinez, J., Fraimout, A., Jiggins, F., Andrieux, T., Siozios, S., Anfora, G., Miller, W., et al. (2016b). Wolbachia in European Populations of the Invasive Pest Drosophila suzukii: Regional Variation in Infection Frequencies. PLoS One 11, e0147766.


(3) Kangas, V.-M., Kvist, L., Kholodova, M., Nygrén, T., Danilov, P., Panchenko, D., Fraimout, A. and Aspi, J. (2015), Evidence of post-glacial secondary contact and subsequent anthropogenic influence on the genetic composition of Fennoscandian moose (Alces alces). Journal of Biogeography, 42: 2197–2208. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12582

(2) Fraimout A., Loiseau A., Price D. K., Xuereb A., Martin J-F., Vitalis R., Fellous R., Debat V. and A. Estoup. (2015) New set of microsatellite markers for the spotted-wing Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae): a promising molecular tool to infer the invasion history of this major insect pest. European Journal of Entomology 112(4): 855-859.  PDF reprint


(1) Um, S., Fraimout, A., Sapountzis, P., Oh, D. C., & Poulsen, M. (2013). The fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis harbors bacillaene-producing Bacillus sp. that inhibit potentially antagonistic fungi. Scientific reports 3.


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