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.
A group of 3 laboratories (Laboratoire Evolution, Génomes, Comportement, Ecologie (EGCE – CNRS/IRD/Univ Paris Sud), Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris (IEES – INRA/CNRS/UPMC/IRD/UPEC/Paris-Diderot) et Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l’Insecte (IRBI – CNRS/Univ. François Rabelais) is involved in the international work that led to the publication of the sequence of the genome of the insect vector of Chagas disease Rhodnius prolixus. The 3 french laboratories were more particularly in charge of the study of the genes involved in sensory perception.
A 30h R software course started the 19th of October in the Ecology Institute of UMSA (La Paz, Bolivia). It is organized by IRD in collaboration with the “Centro de Análisis Espacial”. François Rebaudo, with the help of Quentin Struelens (UMR EGCE), proposes a full training on the basis of this software. R is a programmation language and a free software for scientific data treatment, statistical analysis and graph creation (r-project.org). It is nowadays the most powerful and popular tool for the treatment of scientific data. This course is open to everyone, students as well as teachers and scientists.