TEAM

Evolution and development of morphology and behavior

Group leader : B. Prud’homme

 

Our group studies the genetic mechanisms that give rise to new characters and those that allow these characters to diversify between species.

FOR BEGINNERS

The diversity of forms and behaviors that we witness in animals around us results from evolutionary changes. Evolution is a two-step process: First, the information contained in DNA sequences that determine animals’ traits, for instance their shapes and behaviors, changes over time by accumulating random mutations. These mutations may determine new traits or variations on existing traits. In a second step, these variations are sorted out by natural selection. The selective process will endow some individuals harboring a particular set of mutations with a higher chance of survival and a larger progeny, compared to others individuals equipped with different mutations, which will be progressively eliminated over time.

wings

Diversity of wing pigment patterns in Drosophila

Our team is interested in the evolutionary process as a whole, with a strong emphasis on the first aspect, how novelty arises and diversifies. We are studying these questions in fruitfly species (Drosophila), along two main lines of research. Namely, we use pigmentation patterns on fly wings as a model system to study the evolution of morphology, and in parallel, we also study how different reproductive behaviors evolved in these flies. Beyond identifying how genes have changed to produce novel traits, our goal is to address how these two categories of traits –forms and behaviors– often evolve in concert.

FOR SPECIALISTS

We are interested in understanding the genetic and developmental bases of phenotypic novelty. We are addressing this question mostly by studying as a model system the evolution of a male specific wing pigmentation patterns present in some Drosophila species, in particular Drosophila biarmipes and its closely related species. The males of these species have also evolved along with wing pigment patterns a specific wing display courtship behavior. Our previous work has revealed that functional modifications of cis-regulatory sequences of pigmentation genes, mainly by co-option of existing regulatory information, played a major role in the diversification of pigmentation patterns. We are expanding this work along two lines of research:

1) we want to reconstruct the gene regulatory network involved in the formation and the evolution of wing pigment patterns and characterize the genetic modifications in this network underlying phenotypic variation within and between species. We rely on various approaches including genetics, comparative genomics, bioinformatics, biochemistry and in vivo transgenic functional assays to achieve this goal.

elegans-courtship2

Courtship in Drosophila

2) we are testing whether sexual selection is involved in the evolution of this wing pigment pattern and the associated courtship behavior . Also, we want to assess the role of extant natural variation as the raw material for these novelties. Large sampling of natural populations as well as female choice preference tests using wild caught or genetically modified flies will allow testing and evaluating the selective forces involved.

In addition, we are exploring the neuronal and genetic bases underlying the assembly and the evolution of a novel behavior. Specifically, we are studying how Drosophila suzukii, another wing spotted species, has changed its oviposition site preference from rotting fruits (common to most Drosophila species) to fresh, ripening fruits. This species, which is in the process of invading the world, represents a serious threat to fruits growers because of this behavioral shift. In order to better understand how this species has changed its ecological niche we are using an interspecies comparative approach to dissect the contribution of specific genes and neural circuits on the control of oviposition behavior.


Selected publications

PUBLICATION

Evolution of Multiple Sensory Systems Drives Novel Egg-Laying Behavior in the Fruit Pest Drosophila suzukii

Karageorgi M, Bräcker LB, Lebreton S, Minervino C, Cavey M, Siju KP, Grunwald Kadow IC, Gompel N, Prud'homme B.
Curr Biol. 2017 Mar 8. pii: S0960-9822(17)30090-8. PMID: 28285999

PUBLICATION

Emergence and diversification of fly pigmentation through evolution of a gene regulatory module.

Arnoult L, Su KF, Manoel D, Minervino C, Magriña J, Gompel N, Prud'homme B.
Science. 2013 Mar 22;339(6126):1423-6. PMID: 23520110

PUBLICATION

Evolution of multiple additive loci caused divergence between Drosophila yakuba and D. santomea in wing rowing during male courtship.

Cande J, Andolfatto P, Prud'homme B, Stern DL, Gompel N.
PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43888. PMID: 22952802

PUBLICATION

Body plan innovation in treehoppers through the evolution of an extra wing-like appendage.

Prud'homme B, Minervino C, Hocine M, Cande JD, Aouane A, Dufour HD, Kassner VA, Gompel N.
Nature. 2011 May 5;473(7345):83-6. PMID: 21544145

PUBLICATION

Emerging principles of regulatory evolution.

Prud'homme B, Gompel N, Carroll SB.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 May 15;104 Suppl 1:8605-12. PMID: 17494759

PUBLICATION

Monkey see, monkey do.

Prud'homme B, Carroll SB.
Nat Genet. 2006 Jul;38(7):740-1. PMID: 16804536

PUBLICATION

Repeated morphological evolution through cis-regulatory changes in a pleiotropic gene.

Prud'homme B, Gompel N, Rokas A, Kassner VA, Williams TM, Yeh SD, True JR, Carroll SB.
Nature. 2006 Apr 20;440(7087):1050-3. PMID: 16625197

PUBLICATION

Chance caught on the wing: cis-regulatory evolution and the origin of pigment patterns in Drosophila.

Gompel N, Prud'homme B, Wittkopp PJ, Kassner VA, Carroll SB.
Nature. 2005 Feb 3;433(7025):481-7. PMID: 15690032

PUBLICATION

Smells like evolution: the role of chemoreceptor evolution in behavioral change.

Cande J, Prud'homme B, Gompel N.
Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Feb;23(1):152-8. PMID: 22884223

PUBLICATION

Evolution: return of the ant supersoldiers.

Prud'homme B, Gompel N.
Curr Biol. 2012 Mar 6;22(5):R165-7. PMID: 22401899

PUBLICATION

Behavioural neuroscience: Fruity aphrodisiacs.

Prud'homme B, Gompel N.
Nature. 2011 Oct 12;478(7368):190-1. PMID: 21993752

PUBLICATION

Evolutionary biology: Genomic hourglass.

Prud'homme B, Gompel N.
Nature. 2010 Dec 9;468(7325):768-9. PMID: 21150985

PUBLICATION

Behavioural neurobiology: Chemical love.

Gompel N, Prud'homme B.
Nature. 2009 Oct 15;461(7266):887-8. PMID: 19829359

PUBLICATION

The causes of repeated genetic evolution.

Gompel N, Prud'homme B.
Dev Biol. 2009 Aug 1;332(1):36-47. PMID: 19433086

PUBLICATION

Regulating evolution.

Carroll SB, Prud'homme B, Gompel N.
Sci Am. 2008 May;298(5):60-7. PMID: 18444326

Members more

  Matthieu Cavey   Charalampos-chrysovalantis Galouzis Sébastien Lebreton Caroline Minervino  
Benjamin Prud'homme
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Benjamin Prud'homme

Researcher

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Emmanuelle Caturegli

Technical staff

Matthieu Cavey
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Matthieu Cavey

University lecturer

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Celine Della Mea

Technical staff

Charalampos-chrysovalantis Galouzis
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Charalampos-chrysovalantis Galouzis

PhD student

Sébastien Lebreton
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Sébastien Lebreton

Postdoctoral fellow

Caroline Minervino
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Caroline Minervino

Technical staff

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Junichi Yamaguchi

Researcher

Overview

Animal model organism
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Drosophila species
Biological process studied
  • Phenotypic evolution
Biological techniques
  • Genomic approaches
  • Bioinformatics methods
  • Biochemical methods
  • in vivo functional approaches (transgenesis, genetics)