A key gene involved in the transmission of the chromosome Y

Most often the repartition between the sexual chromosomes, X and Y, is even in the spermatozoides. However, in some drosophila populations there is a strong bias for X.

The team of Catherine Montchamp-Moreau (IGGIPOP) at EGCE in collaboration with collegues of the Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive in Lyon and of the Institut de Biologie du Développement in Marseille looked further. A key gene involved in the transmission of chromosome Y in the male gamets was identified on chromosome X. This work was published in PNAS:

« Rapid evolution of a Y-chromosome heterochromatin protein underlies sex chromosome meiotic drive« , par par Quentin Helleu, Pierre R. Gérard, Raphaëlle Dubruille, David Ogereau, Benjamin Prud’homme, Benjamin Loppin et Catherine Montchamp-Moreau publié dans PNAS le 15 mars 2016. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1519332113.

A brief communication was posted  on the web site of l’INEE.

Drosophiles and social learning

The behaviour named social learning is generally considered to be displayed by evolved animals such as apes. Yet, Frédéric Méry’s team in collaboration with the team of the Hubert Curien Pluridisciplinary Institute in Strasbourg showed that drosophila are able to display such a behaviour when chosing the site to lay their eggs. This work was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, serie B.

To read the article, please click here.

A brief communication on the web site of INEE was posted , based on these results. To read it, please click here.

A case where female drosophilas mimick males

The work of Jean David (IGGIPOP), Amir Yassin and colleagues on the variability of females of Drosophila erecta was published in Nature Communications. The authors showed that one gene, the tan gene, was responsible for the existence of two types of females, one ressembling the males with a black abdomen and the other harboring a white abdomen.

The females with black abdomen would have an advantage when sexual competition is at its top because they are less attractive and hence are less subjected to sexual harrassment from the males. This would maintain this variability of abdomen coloration of females which appears to date from long ago.

To read the article click here.

A brief communication was posted on the INEE web site about this article. To read it, please click here.

Different transcriptomes depending on host plant

Laure Kaiser‘s team (DEEIT) published a work in Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology showing that Sesamia nonagrioides expresses different transcriptomes in chemosensory organs depending on its diet. Scientists took either larvae feeding on maize in France or on Typha domingensis in Africa and found numerous candidates to an adaptation to the host plant. They especially determined gene candidates involved in olfactory sensitivity.

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How can bees perform higher order learning?

Jean-Christophe Sandoz‘s team (Evolbee) is involved in a work published in PNAS showing that mushroom bodies are necessary for configural discriminations in bees.

Mushroom bodies are especially prominent structures in the brain of social  insects like honey bees. This species also shows unique higher order learning capabilities among insects. This work establishes links between these two facts by showing the role of mushroom bodies in bees in higher order learning that for example Drosophila are not able to perform.


To read the article please click here.

This article was chosen to be part of the “En direct des labos” web site of INSB.