New social contact in honey bees

Jean-Christophe Sandoz’s team (Evolbee) work was published in Current Biology. A new social learning was demonstrated in honey bees. A mere social contact without food exchange allows worker bees to describe other worker bees the source of food. This article was distinguished for a dispatch in Current Biology.

To read the article: Social Contact Acts as Appetitive Reinforcement and Supports Associative Learning in Honeybees. Cholé H, Carcaud J, Mazeau H, Famié S, Arnold G, Sandoz JC. Curr Biol. 2019 Apr 8. pii: S0960-9822(19)30323-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.025.  PMID:   30982650

Taiadjana, Marques Fortuna

Ingénieur de recherche (IR) IRD, DEEIT team

PhD, 2013, University of Wageningen, The Netherlands

Tel. +33 (0)1 69 82 37 48

taiadjana.fortuna[at]  //  taiadjana.marquesfortuna[at]

Research interests

I’m an ecologist interested on the interactions between plants and their associated insect communities (herbivores, parasitoids etc.) and pathogens.

During my PhD, I focused on PLANT-INSECT interactions on the context of PLANT INVASION in order to understand some of the key factors underlying the invasive ability of certain plant species. During my postdoc, I focused on PLANT-FUNGI interactions to study multiple infections and within-host competition of the anther-smut fungi, responsible for castrating its host.

One of my research interests relates to insect behaviour and to the mechanisms underlying host selection and acceptation by Lepidoptera (e.g. moths and butterflies) and Hymenoptera parasitic wasps. During my formation, I have developed a taste for CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, particularly the cues (e.g. volatiles, contact cues) used by insects during their host searching behaviour. This knowledge is essential to evaluate the efficiency of weed and crop pest BIOLOGICAL CONTROL programs.

Now working in DEEIT team, I am conducting the risk assessment for non-target species of a stemborer parasitoid to evaluate the feasibility and the potential of annual releases of the parasitoid as a new biological control agent against the Mediterranean corn borer (ANR project COTEBIO).



[10] Fortuna TM, Namias A, Snirc A, Branca A, Hood ME, Raquin C, Shykoff JA & Giraud T (2018) Multiple infections, relatedness and virulence in the anther-smut fungus castrating Saponaria plants. Molecular Ecology, in review.

[9] Fortuna TM, Snirc A, Badouin H, Gouzy J, Siguenza S, Le Prieur S & Giraud T (2016) Polymorphic microsatellite markers for the tetrapolar anther-smut fungus Microbotryum saponariae based on genome sequencing. PLoS One 11(11): e0165656.

[8] Fortuna TM, Eckert S, Harvey JA, Vet LEM, Müller C, Gols R (2014). Variation in plant defences among populations of a range-expanding plant: consequences for trophic interactions. New Phytologist 204(4): 989-999.

[7] van Geem M, Gols R, van Dam NM, van der Putten WH, Fortuna T & Harvey JA (2013). The importance of aboveground-belowground interactions on the evolution and maintenance of variation in plant defence traits. Frontiers in Plant Science 4(431): 1-13.

[6] Fortuna TM, Woelke JB, Hordijk CA, Jansen JJ, van Dam NM, Vet LEM & Harvey JA (2013). A tritrophic approach to the preference-performance hypothesis involving an exotic and a native plant. Biological Invasions 15(11): 2387-2401.

[5] Fortuna TM, Harvey JA & Vet LEM (2012). Effects of an invasive plant on the performance of two parasitoids with different host exploitation strategies. Biological Control 62(3): 213-220.

[4] Harvey JA & Fortuna TM (2012) Chemical and structural effects of invasive plants on herbivore–parasitoid/predator interactions in native communities. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 144(1): 14-26.

[3] Franco JC, Fortuna T, Silva EB, Suma P, Russo A, Zada A & Mendel Z (2011) Vine mealybug sex pheromone increases citrus mealybug parasitism by Anagyrus sp. near pseudococci (Girault). Biological Control 58(3): 230-238.

[2] Harvey JA, Biere A, Fortuna T, Vet LEM, Engelkes T, Morriën E, Gols R, Verhoeven Koen, Vogel H, Macel M, Heidel-Fischer HM, Schramm K & Putten WH (2010). Ecological fits, misfits and lotteries involving insect herbivores on the invasive plant, Bunias orientalis. Biological Invasions 12(9): 3045–3059.

[1] Bezemer TM, Harvey JA, Kamp AFD, Wagenaar R, Gols R, Kostenko O, Fortuna T, Engelkes T, Vet LEM, Putten WH & Soler R (2010). Behaviour of male and female parasitoids in the field: influence of host density, patch size and habitat complexity. Ecological Entomology 35(3): 341–351.


Other publications

 [5] Fortuna TM, Franco JC & Rebelo MT (2015) Morphology and distribution of antennal sensilla in a mealybug parasitoid, Anagyrus sp. near pseudococci (Hymenoptera, Encyrtidae). Microscopie and Microanalysis 21 (S6): 8-9.

[4] Fortuna TM (2014) Multitrophic Interactions on a Range-expanding Plant Species. Entomologische Berinchten 74 (3): 4-5.

[3] Fortuna TM (2013) Multitrophic Interactions on a Range-expanding Plant Species. (PhD thesis, University of Wageningen).

[2] Silva EB, Fortuna T, Franco JC, Campos L, Branco M, Zada A & Mendel Z (2009) Kairomonal response of a parasitic wasp to the sex pheromone of the vineyard mealybug. IOBC wrps Bulletin 41: 79-82.

[1] Franco JC, Fortuna T, Silva EB, Suma P, Russo A, Campos L, Branco M, Zada A & Mendel Z (2008) May vine mealybug sex pheromones improve the biological control of the citrus mealybug? IOBC wprs Bulletin 38: 94-98.

Maria Gutierrez Costa

Gutierrez Costa
Membre de l’équipe RESGEN
Doctorante Université Paris-Sud et La Havane

1397745702_aiga_telephone +33 (0)1 69 82 37 59

Thèmes de Recherche


Phylogeography of Gambusia spp. in Cuba


Postdoc in environmental demogenetics

The flagship project of BASC labex aiming to improve adaptive capacities of socioecosystems is providing a 2 years postdoctoral position starting in september 2014 in the area of demogenetics.

The researcher will by based in the DEEIT team of CNRS / IRD laboratory LEGS/ BEI in Gif-sur-Yvette, and its activities will be held in collaboration with BASC teams.


Species distribution and their response to global changes result from both neutral spatial dynamic processes and environmental niche processes related to socioecosystem. Population genetic data harbor information on both processes and improvements in model based statistical analysis of genetic distributions could help putting them together in order to develop more realistic models of species responses to environment.

The candidate should have an experience in statistical inference, bayesian or frequentist, and markov chains.


The researcher will develop in collaboration with population biologists and biostatisticians of Paris-Saclay IDEX, a bioinformatic tool for the inference of statistical models from genetic and environmental data available on insects, plants, and plant pathogens, in BASC labex teams.

Recruitment will last 2 years and should start in September 2014. Please send CV, motivation letter and recommendation letters before july 15th 2014 to and

For more information on specific activities to be held, please contact Stéphane Dupas , tel. +33 169823725,



Claude, Wicker-Thomas


Claude, Wicker-Thomas

Pheromonal communication in Drosophila

Tel. 01 69 82 37 08 Fax 33 1 69 82 37 36 Mail.


In Drosophila courtship behavior is an obligatory step before mating. Sex pheromones are located on the cuticule and play an important role in courtship behavior and also in speciation. They are long -chain hydrocarbons and act essentially by contact. They originate from fatty acids and are synthesized in special cells in the epidermis, the oenocytes. We hace characterized the main hydrocarbon biosynthesis genes in the species Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans.

We are interested in the study of pheromone regulation and evolution. We use biochemical methods (gas chromatography), comportment studies (courtship behavior), genetics  (construction of lines, RNAi lines), and molecular studies (expression of the genes promoter analysis).

We want to understand the role of pheromones in reproductive success, their regulation by hormones (ecdysone, juvenile hormone), neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonine).


Wicker-Thomas, C., Garrido D., Bontonou, G., Napal L., Mazuras N., Denis, B., Rubin T., Parvy J.P., Montagne J. 2015 Flexible origin of hydrocarbon/pheromone precursors in Drosophila melanogaster. J. Lipid Res. 56, 2094-2101.

Denis, B., Le Rouzic A.,Wicker-Thomas, C. 2015 Hydorcarbon patterns and mating behaviour  in populations of Drosophila yakuba. Insects, 6, 897-911.

Bontonou, G.,Shaik, H.A., Denis, B., Wicker-Thomas, C. 2015 Acp70A regulates Drosophila pheromones through juvenile hormone induction. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 56, 36-49.

Bontonou, G.,Wicker-Thomas, C. 2014 Sexual communication in the Drosophila genus. Insects, 5, 439-458.

Bontonou G., Denis B., Wicker-Thomas C. 2013 Interaction between temperature and male pheromone in sexual isolation in Drosophila melanogaster. J. Evol. Biol., 26, 2008-2020.

Qiu Y., Tittiger C., Wicker-Thomas C., Le Goff G., Younga S., Wajnberg E., Fricaux T., Taquet N., Blomquist G.J., Feyereisen R. 2012 An insect-specific P450 oxidative decarbonylase for cuticular hydrocarbon biosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 14858-14863.

Ruiz M., Wicker-Thomas C., Sanchez D., Ganfornina M. D. 2012 Grasshopper lazarillo, a GPI-anchored lipocalin, increases Drosophila longevity and stress resistance, and functionally replaces its secreted homologue NLaz. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 42, 776-789.

Bontonou G., Denis B., Wicker-Thomas C. 2012 Male pheromone polymorphism and reproductive isolation in populations of Drosophila simulans. Ecology and Evolution 2, 2527-2536.

Parvy J.P.,  Napal L., Rubin T., Poidevin M., Perrin L., Wicker-Thomas C., Montagne J. 2012 Drosophila acetyl-CoA-carboxylase sustains a fatty acid-dependent remote signal to waterproof the respiratory system. PLOS Genet. 8,e1002925.

Veltsos P., Wicker-Thomas C., Butlin R., Hoikkala A., & Ritchie M. G. 2012 Sexual selection on song and cuticular hydrocarbons in two distinct populations of Drosophila montana. Ecology and Evolution 2, 80-94.

Wicker-Thomas C. 2012 Signaux chimiques, adaptation et spéciation (Chapitre 23). In« ODORAT et GOUT : de la neurobiologie des sens chimiques aux applications agronomiques, industrielles et médicales », Eds  R. Salesse & R. Gervais, Editions QAE, Versailles, 311-320.

Keays M. C., Barker D., Wicker-Thomas C., Ritchie M. G. 2011 Signatures of selection and sex-specific alternative splicing during the evolution of the Drosophila desaturase gene family. Mol. Ecol. 20, 3617-3630.

Wicker-Thomas C. 2011 Evolution of insect pheromones and their role in reproductive isolation and speciation. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 47, 55-62.

Arienti M., Antony A., Wicker-Thomas C., Delbecque J. P., Jallon J. M. 2010 Ontogeny of D. melanogaster female sex-appeal and cuticular hydrocarbons. Integr. Zool. 5, 272-282.

Wicker-Thomas C., Chertemps T. 2010 Molecular biology and genetics of hydrocarbon production. (Chapter 4). In “Insect hydrocarbons : biology, chemistry and chemical ecology ”, Eds G. J. Blomquist and A. G. Bagnères , Cambridge University Press,  53-74.

Bagnères, A. G., Wicker-Thomas C. 2010 Chemical taxonomy with hydrocarbons. (Chapter 7). In “Insect hydrocarbons : biology, chemistry and chemical ecology ”, Eds G. J. Blomquist and A. G. Bagnères , Cambridge University Press,  121-162.

Hefetz, A., Wicker-Thomas C.,  Bagnères, A. G. 2010 New areas of research on insect hydrocarbons and conclusion. (Chapter 20). In “Insect hydrocarbons : biology, chemistry and chemical ecology ”, Eds G. J. Blomquist and A. G. Bagnères ,Cambridge University Press,  477-485.

Gleason J. M., James R. A., Wicker-Thomas C., Ritchie M. G. 2009 Identification of quantitative trait loci function through analysis of multiple cuticular hydrocarbons differing between Drosophila simulans and D. sechellia females. Heredity 103, 416-424.

Wicker-Thomas C, Guenachi I, Keita Y. F. 2009 Contribution of oenocytes and pheromones to courtship behaviour in Drosophila. BMC Biochem. Aug 11;10:21.

Legendre A., Miao X. X., Da Lage J. L., Wicker-Thomas C. 2008 Evolution of a desaturase involved in female cuticular hydrocarbon biosynthesis and courtship behaviour in Drosophila. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 38, 244-253.

Wicker-Thomas C., Hamann M. 2008 Interaction of dopamine, female pheromones, locomotion and sex behaviour in Drosophila melanogaster. J. Insect Physiol.. 54, 1423-1431.

Chertemps T., Duportets L., Labeur C., Ueda R., Takahashi K., Saigo K., Wicker-Thomas C. 2007 A female-biased expressed elongase involved in long-chain hydrocarbon biosynthesis and courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.104, 4273-4278.

Wicker-Thomas C. 2007 Review. Pheromonal communication involved in courtship behaviour in Diptera. J. Insect Physiol. 53, 1089-1100.

Chertemps T., Duportets L., Labeur C., Ueyama M., Wicker-Thomas C. 2006 A female specific desaturase gene responsible for diene hydrocarbon biosynthesis and courtship behavior in D. melanogaster. Insect Mol. Biol. 15, 465-473.

Ueyama M., Chertemps T., Labeur C., Wicker-Thomas C. 2005 Mutations in the desat1 gene reduces the production of courtship stimulatory pheromones through a marked effect on fatty acids in Drosophila melanogaster. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 35, 911-920.

Chertemps T., Duportets L., Labeur C., Wicker-Thomas C. 2005 A new elongase selectively expressed in Drosophila male reproductive system. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 333, 1066-1072.

Rouault J. D., Marican C., Wicker-Thomas C., Jallon J. M. 2004  Relations between cuticular hydrocarbon (HC) polymorphism, resistance against desiccation and breeding temperature: a model for HC evolution in D. melanogaster and D. simulans. Genetica 120, 195-212.

Jallon J. M., Wicker-Thomas C. 2003 Genetic studies on pheromone production in Drosophila. (Chapter 9). In “Insect Pheromone Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Part 1. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of pheromone production”, Eds G. J. Blomquist and G. Vogt , pp253-281.

Labeur C., Dallerac R., Wicker-Thomas C. 2002 Involvement of desat1 gene in the control of Drosophila melanogaster pheromone biosynthesis. Genetica 114, 269-274.

Wicker-Thomas C., Jallon J. M. 2001 Control of female pheromones in Drosophila melanogaster by homeotic genes. Genet. Res.78, 235-242.

Wicker-Thomas C., Jallon J. M.  2000  Role of Enhancer of zeste on the production of Drosophila melanogaster pheromonal hydrocarbons. Naturwissenschaften. 87, 76-79.

Dallerac R., Labeur C., Jallon J. M., Knipple D. C., Roelofs W.L., Wicker-Thomas C. 2000 A  D9 desaturase gene with a different substrate specificity is responsible for the cuticular diene hydrocarbon polymorphism in Drosophila  melanogaster. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97, 9449-9454.

Coyne J. A., Wicker-Thomas C., Jallon J. M.  1999  A gene responsible for a cuticular hydrocarbon  polymorphism in Drosophila melanogaster. Genet. Res., 73, 189-203.

Wicker-Thomas C., Henriet C., Dallerac R.  1997  Partial characterization of a fatty acid desaturase gene in Drosophila melanogaster. Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol. 27, 963-972.

Wicker C., Jallon J. M.  1995  Hormonal control of sex pheromone biosynthesis in Drosophila melanogaster. J. Insect Physiol 41, 65-70.

Wicker C., Jallon J. M.  1995  Influence of ovary and ecdysteroids on pheromone biosynthesis in Drosophila melanogaster (Diptera: Drosophilidae). Eur. J. Entomol. 92, 197-202.

El Messoussi S., Wicker C., Arienti M., Carlson D.A., Jallon J. M.  1994  Hydrocarbons in species recognition in insects.  In “Identification and characterization of pest organisms”, Eds D. Hawskworth, CABI Press, London, pp. 277-287.