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TEs and spatial expansion (Coord. M Boulesteix)

The genetic basis of adaptation to new environments : the Asian tiger mosquito case


Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) is an invasive species. From its cradle in Asia it has colonized Europe, America and Africa during the last 30 years, mainly through intercontinental trade in used automobile tires where females lay their eggs. In France its range at first limited to the South East is rapidly expanding. The goal of our project is to understand if the success of the colonizing populations of A. albopictus is due to particular genetic characteristics that distinguishes them from the Asian populations. To answer this question we are comparing Asian and recently established populations by genotyping individuals at thousands of markers, TEs-based or not, distributed throughout the genome, taking advantage of the most recently developed sequencing technologies.

People involved : M. Boulesteix, C. Vieira and C. Goubert

Collaborators :
Claire Valiente-Moro and Patrick Mavingui (UMR 5557) ; Frédéric Simard and Didier Fontenille (MIVEGEC), Grégory L’Ambert (EID-MIVEGEC)

The effect of range expansions on TE content

Range expansions of populations/species may be accompanied by a series of founder events. Such founder events imply an intense genetic drift on the lip of an expanding population. In this situation we expect natural selection to be less effective at controlling TEs proliferation. We investigate this idea by means of modelling, experimental evolution and in natura assessment.

People involved : M. Boulesteix, C. Vieira