CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology

Tours, France

CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology

Tours, France
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Potter K.A.,University of Montana | Potter K.A.,Northern Arizona University | Arthur Woods H.,University of Montana | Pincebourde S.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

Despite decades of work on climate change biology, the scientific community remains uncertain about where and when most species distributions will respond to altered climates. A major barrier is the spatial mismatch between the size of organisms and the scale at which climate data are collected and modeled. Using a meta-analysis of published literature, we show that grid lengths in species distribution models are, on average, ca. 10 000-fold larger than the animals they study, and ca. 1000-fold larger than the plants they study. And the gap is even worse than these ratios indicate, as most work has focused on organisms that are significantly biased toward large size. This mismatch is problematic because organisms do not experience climate on coarse scales. Rather, they live in microclimates, which can be highly heterogeneous and strongly divergent from surrounding macroclimates. Bridging the spatial gap should be a high priority for research and will require gathering climate data at finer scales, developing better methods for downscaling environmental data to microclimates, and improving our statistical understanding of variation at finer scales. Interdisciplinary collaborations (including ecologists, engineers, climatologists, meteorologists, statisticians, and geographers) will be key to bridging the gap, and ultimately to providing scientifically grounded data and recommendations to conservation biologists and policy makers. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Pincebourde S.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology | Woods H.A.,University of Montana
Functional Ecology | Year: 2012

Significant deviations between macro- and microclimates are quite common in different ecosystems. Such deviations have also been observed between leaf and air temperatures. The surface of leaves hosts a huge diversity of organisms. Here, we point out the crucial role of leaf microclimates in the fate of leaf-dwelling organisms in a changing climate. Leaf microclimate, which includes temperature and humidity at the leaf surface, results from the biophysical filtering of local macroclimates by the plants themselves through complex and nonlinear processes. However, because the processes contributing to leaf microclimate are poorly understood, we lack a strong basis for predicting the impacts of global warming on plants and their denizens. We describe two mechanisms that generate climate uncertainty at the leaf surfaces. First, stomatal responses to the environment generate great complexity in the dynamics of leaf temperatures. Secondly, herbivores, by feeding on leaf tissues, modify their leaf microclimates. Little is known about how these modifications affect the ecophysiology of organisms at the leaf surface, an effect called physical feedback of herbivory. Recent findings report a latitudinal gradient in the temperatures of tree leaves, which can be linked to gradients in plant structural traits. We propose two competing hypotheses to describe how the leaf microclimate will change with global warming across latitudes. These hypotheses predict opposite patterns of change in the leaf microclimate. How can we reduce our uncertainty about what will happen at leaf surfaces? Recent advances in stomatal biology give cues regarding the direction and the speed at which plant stomata will influence the evolution of leaf microclimates. In addition, local heterogeneity in microclimatic conditions might help leaf-dwelling organisms to find suitable microhabitats, as long as they can migrate over short distances. The challenges now are to understand whether leaf microclimates will buffer or magnify the amplitude of warming, and to determine how much the outcome will affect ecological processes within new microclimates. Leaf microclimates can provide suitable microhabitats in an unfavourable climate, and conversely, they can bring a species to local extinction in what would seem to be an otherwise favourable climate. © 2012 The Authors. Functional Ecology © 2012 British Ecological Society.

Casas J.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology | Dangles O.,University Paris - Sud
Annual Review of Entomology | Year: 2010

Terrestrial and aquatic arthropods sense fluid flow in many behavioral and ecological contexts, using dedicated, highly sensitive mechanosensory hairs, which are often abundant. Strong similarities exist in the biomechanics of flow sensors and in the sensory ecology of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans in their respective fluid environments. We extend these considerations to flow in sand and its implications for flow sensing by arthropods inhabiting this granular medium. Finally, we highlight the need to merge the various findings of studies that have focused on different arthropods in different fluids. This could be achieved using the unique combination, for sensory ecology, of both a workable and well-accepted mathematical model for hair-based flow sensing, both in air and water, and microelectronic mechanical systems microtechnology to tinker with physical models. © 2010 by Annual Reviews All rights reserved.

Herniou E.A.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

The Polydnaviridae (PDV), including the Bracovirus (BV) and Ichnovirus genera, originated from the integration of unrelated viruses in the genomes of two parasitoid wasp lineages, in a remarkable example of convergent evolution. Functionally active PDVs represent the most compelling evolutionary success among endogenous viral elements (EVEs). BV evolved from the domestication by braconid wasps of a nudivirus 100 Ma. The nudivirus genome has become an EVE involved in BV particle production but is not encapsidated. Instead, BV genomes have co-opted virulence genes, used by the wasps to control the immunity and development of their hosts. Gene transfers and duplications have shaped BV genomes, now encoding hundreds of genes. Phylogenomic studies suggest that BVs contribute largely to wasp diversification and adaptation to their hosts. A genome evolution model explains how multidirectional wasp adaptation to different host species could have fostered PDV genome extension. Integrative studies linking ecological data on the wasp to genomic analyses should provide new insights into the adaptive role of particular BV genes. Forthcoming genomic advances should also indicate if the associations between endoparasitoid wasps and symbiotic viruses evolved because of their particularly intimate interactions with their hosts, or if similar domesticated EVEs could be uncovered in other parasites.

Lahondre C.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology | Lazzari C.R.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
Current Biology | Year: 2012

Temperature is one of the most important factors affecting the life of insects [1]. For instance, high temperatures can have deleterious effects on insects' physiology. Therefore, many of them have developed various strategies to avoid the risk of thermal stress [2]. They can seek a fresher environment or adjust their water loss, but hematophagous insects, such as mosquitoes, must confront the issue of thermal stress at each feeding event on a warm-blooded host [3]. To better understand to what extent mosquitoes are exposed to thermal stress while feeding, we conducted a real-time infrared thermographic analysis of mosquitoes' body temperature during feeding on both warm blood and sugar solution. First, our results highlighted differences in temperature between the body parts of the mosquito (i.e., heterothermy) during blood intake, but not during sugar meals. We also found that anopheline mosquitoes can decrease their body temperature during blood feeding thanks to evaporative cooling of fluid droplets, which are excreted and maintained at the end of the abdomen. This mechanism protects the insect itself, probably as well as the sheltered microorganisms, both symbionts and parasites, from thermal stress. These findings constitute the first evidence of thermoregulation among hematophagous insects and explain the paradox of fresh blood excretion during feeding. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Moreau S.J.M.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
Journal of Insect Physiology | Year: 2013

Venoms from Hymenoptera display a wide range of functions and biological roles. These notably include manipulation of the host, capture of prey and defense against competitors and predators thanks to endocrine and immune systems disruptors, neurotoxic, cytolytic and pain-inducing venom components. Recent works indicate that many hymenopteran species, whatever their life style, have also evolved a venom with properties which enable it to regulate microbial infections, both in stinging and stung animals. In contrast to biting insects and their salivary glands, stinging Hymenoptera seem to constitute an under-exploited ecological niche for agents of vector-borne disease. Few parasitic or mutualistic microorganisms have been reported to be hosted by venom-producing organs or to be transmitted to stung animals. This may result from the presence of potent antimicrobial molecules in venoms, histological features of venom apparatuses and selective effects of venoms on immune defenses of targeted organisms. The present paper reviews for the first time the venom antimicrobial potential of solitary and social Hymenoptera in molecular, ecological, and evolutionary perspectives. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Giron D.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology | Glevarec G.,CNRS Biomolecule and Plant Biotechnology Laboratory
Journal of Chemical Ecology | Year: 2014

Recently, a renewed interest in cytokinins (CKs) has allowed the characterization of these phytohormones as key regulatory molecules in plant biotic interactions. They have been proved to be instrumental in microbe- and insect-mediated plant phenotypes that can be either beneficial or detrimental for the host-plant. In parallel, insect endosymbiotic bacteria have emerged as key players in plant-insect interactions mediating directly or indirectly fundamental aspects of insect nutrition, such as insect feeding efficiency or the ability to manipulate plant physiology to overcome food nutritional imbalances. However, mechanisms that regulate CK production and the role played by insects and their endosymbionts remain largely unknown. Against this backdrop, studies on plant-associated bacteria have revealed fascinating and complex molecular mechanisms that lead to the production of bacterial CKs and the modulation of plant-borne CKs which ultimately result in profound metabolic and morphological plant modifications. This review highlights major strategies used by plant-associated bacteria that impact the CK homeostasis of their host-plant, to raise parallels with strategies used by phytophagous insects and to discuss the possible role played by endosymbiotic bacteria in these CK-mediated plant phenotypes. We hypothesize that insects employ a CK-mix production strategy that manipulates the phytohormonal balance of their host-plant and overtakes plant gene expression causing a metabolic and morphological habitat modification. In addition, insect endosymbiotic bacteria may prove to be instrumental in these manipulations through the production of bacterial CKs, including specific forms that challenge the CK-degrading capacity of the plant (thus ensuring persistent effects) and the CK-mediated plant defenses. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Goubault M.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology | Decuigniere M.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
American Naturalist | Year: 2012

The experience of a previous conflict can affect animals' performance during a later contest: a victory usually increases and a defeat usually decreases the probability of winning a subsequent conflict. These winner and loser effects could result from a reassessment by contestants of their perceived fighting abilities. Gametheoretic models based on this assumption predict that a loser effect can exist alone or in the presence of a winner effect, but a winner effect cannot persist alone, at least when contestants are young and without experience of contest. Moreover, when both effects coexist, the loser effect is expected to be of a greater magnitude and last longer than the winner effect. To date, these predictions have been supported by empirical evidence. Here we show for the first time that a winner effect can exist in the absence of any evident loser effect in a parasitoid wasp, Eupelmus vuilleti, when fighting for hosts. This finding consequently raises questions about the possible mechanisms involved and challenges the main assumption of previous theoretical models. We suggest an alternative explanation for the evolution of only winner effects that is based on the modification of contestants' subjective value of the resource rather than on a reestimation of their fighting abilities. © 2012 by The University of Chicago.

Pincebourde S.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology | Casas J.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
Journal of Insect Physiology | Year: 2016

Gas composition is an important component of any micro-environment. Insects, as the vast majority of living organisms, depend on O2 and CO2 concentrations in the air they breathe. Low O2 (hypoxia), and high CO2 (hypercarbia) levels can have a dramatic effect. For phytophagous insects that live within plant tissues (endophagous lifestyle), gas is exchanged between ambient air and the atmosphere within the insect habitat. The insect larva contributes to the modification of this environment by expiring CO2. Yet, knowledge on the gas exchange network in endophagous insects remains sparse. Our study identified mechanisms that modulate gas composition in the habitat of endophagous insects. Our aim was to show that the mere position of the insect larva within plant tissues could be used as a proxy for estimating risk of occurrence of hypoxia and hypercarbia, despite the widely diverse life history traits of these organisms. We developed a conceptual framework for a gas diffusion network determining gas composition in endophagous insect habitats. We applied this framework to mines, galls and insect tunnels (borers) by integrating the numerous obstacles along O2 and CO2 pathways. The nature and the direction of gas transfers depended on the physical structure of the insect habitat, the photosynthesis activity as well as stomatal behavior in plant tissues. We identified the insect larva position within the gas diffusion network as a predictor of risk exposure to hypoxia and hypercarbia. We ranked endophagous insect habitats in terms of risk of exposure to hypoxia and/or hypercarbia, from the more to the less risky as cambium mines > borer tunnels ≫ galls > bark mines > mines in aquatic plants > upper and lower surface mines. Furthermore, we showed that the photosynthetically active tissues likely assimilate larval CO2 produced. In addition, temperature of the microhabitat and atmospheric CO2 alter gas composition in the insect habitat. We predict that (i) hypoxia indirectly favors the evolution of cold-tolerant gallers, which do not perform well at high temperatures, and (ii) normoxia (ambient O2 level) in mines allows miners to develop at high temperatures. Little is known, however, about physiological and morphological adaptations to hypoxia and hypercarbia in endophagous insects. Endophagy strongly constrains the diffusion processes with cascading consequences on the evolutionary ecology of endophagous insects. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Bezier A.,CNRS Research Institute of Insect Biology
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

Bracoviruses represent the most complex endogenous viral elements (EVEs) described to date. Nudiviral genes have been hosted within parasitoid wasp genomes since approximately 100 Ma. They play a crucial role in the wasp life cycle as they produce bracovirus particles, which are injected into parasitized lepidopteran hosts during wasp oviposition. Bracovirus particles encapsidate multiple dsDNA circles encoding virulence genes. Their expression in parasitized caterpillars is essential for wasp parasitism success. Here, we report on the genomic organization of the proviral segments (i.e. master sequences used to produce the encapsidated dsDNA circles) present in the Cotesia congregata parasitoid wasp genome. The provirus is composed of a macrolocus, comprising two-thirds of the proviral segments and of seven dispersed loci, each containing one to three segments. Comparative genomic analyses with closely related species gave insights into the evolutionary dynamics of bracovirus genomes. Conserved synteny in the different wasp genomes showed the orthology of the proviral macrolocus across different species. The nudiviral gene odv-e66-like1 is conserved within the macrolocus, suggesting an ancient co-localization of the nudiviral genome and bracovirus proviral segments. By contrast, the evolution of proviral segments within the macrolocus has involved a series of lineage-specific duplications.

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