Number of documents

11

Christophe Lucas


Academic

Full CV (PDF in French)

Oct. 2010- CNRS Research Scientist (section 29)
University of Tours, France

2010 FNS Senio researcher
University of Lausanne, Suisse
Behavioral genetics in the ant Solenopsis invicta

2007-09 First assistant
University of Lausanne, Suisse (Supervisor: Laurent Keller)
Social structure and genetic expression in the ant Solenopsis invicta

2003-06 Post-doctoral researcher
University of Toronto, Canada (Supervisor: Marla B. Sokolowski)
Molecular mecanisms of the plasticity of social behaviors in the ant Pheidole pallidula

1998-2002 Doctorat ès sciences
University of Paris-Sud (Directors: Jean-Marc Jallon & Dominique Fresneau)
Chemical and behavioral bases of the recognition system in the ponerine ants (Pachycondyla)

 

Research keywords

Research fields: Chemical ecology, behavioral ecology, behavioral genetics, adaptation

Keywords: Chemical communication, genetic expression, behavior, polyethism, polyphenism, foraging gene, social conflict, reproduction, insect societies, invasive species.

Biological models: Social insects (termite, ant, wasp), earwig, drosophila, nasonia.

 

Research projects

My main research projects are to understand complex behaviors of insects and particularly of social insects. How environmental factors are pursued, analyzed and which behavioral responses are influenced? But also, how intra- and interspecific interactions could modify behaviors by changing gene expression? By using tools from chemical ecology and behavioral genetics, my own researches focus on social interactions and their adaptive impacts. So, my studies are based on insect behaviors (recognition, aggressiveness, foraging, parental care, sexual courtship) through the study of chemical communications and gene expression.

Pheidole pallidula hunting

Behaviors and genes expression are under several abiotic and biotic environmental factors which also include social environment. Chemical communication plays an important role in inter-individual interaction in insects and codifies part of the environmental and social information. To unravel communication mechanisms of insects and their evolutions, it is of primary importance to decrypt such chemical information. In more details, I explore questions on behavioral plasticity of insects and in particular in social insects: What are the chemical signals and the genes involved? How environmental factors play a role? What are the consequences of the different reproductives/castes on social organization in insect societies? How such systems are maintained and evolved?

In social insects, the caste system allow the main factor influencing behavioral plasticity is the caste system which is linked to social organization and raised several questions

R. flavipes in woods

Species studied

To answers such questions, I study several insect models like termites, ants, earwigs, wasps (solitary and social) and drosophila. They all presents specificity and possess different advantages for my researches. Social insects like termites and ants are organized in complex societies with several social interactions. Nevertheless, eusociality (true sociality) appeared independently in Isopteran (termites) and Hymenopteran (ants, bees and wasps) which gives to termites unique specificities. Concerning drosophila, it is the most studied insect model and its genome is known since a long time, which allow to dissect in details the genetic pathways of its communication system.

Pheidole pallidula soldiers and workers

Main methods

- Chemical analyze and identification: gas chromatography (GC), mass spectrometry (GC-MS/GC-TQ), thin layer chromatography (TLC), liquid chromatography (HPLC), chemical extraction (SPME, SBSE, SHS, DHS, DMDS)
- Genetic expression: quantitative RT-PCR, in situ, RNA interference
- Experimental behavior: video-tracking, cross-linked reproduction, cross-fostering

Termite biblio

 

Liens

Union Internationale pour l'Etude des Insectes Sociaux - Section Française
GDR d'écologie chimique
Canadian TV news on "foraging behaviour of Pheidole pallidula"


Journal articles11 documents

  • Lou Brossette, Joël Meunier, Simon Dupont, Anne-Geneviève Bagnères, Christophe Lucas. Unbalanced biparental care during colony foundation in two subterranean termites. Ecology and Evolution, Wiley Open Access, 2019, 9 (1), pp.192-200. ⟨10.1002/ece3.4710⟩. ⟨hal-02117935⟩
  • Christophe Lucas, Lou Brossette, Lauriane Lefloch, Simon Dupont, Jean-Philippe Christidès, et al.. When predator odour makes groups stronger: effects on behavioural and chemical adaptations in two termite species. Ecological Entomology, Wiley, 2018, 43 (4), pp.513-524. ⟨10.1111/een.12529⟩. ⟨hal-02139066⟩
  • Lou Brossette, A.G. Bagneres, A Millot, S. Blanchard, Simon Dupont, et al.. Termite’s royal cradle: does colony foundation success differ between two subterranean species?. Insectes Sociaux, Springer Verlag, 2017. ⟨hal-01671487⟩
  • Enikő Csata, Natalia Timuș, Magdalena Witek, Pietro Luca, Christophe Lucas, et al.. Lock-picks: fungal infection facilitates the intrusion of strangers into ant colonies. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, ⟨10.1038/srep46323⟩. ⟨hal-01671500⟩
  • Marlène Chirault, Christophe Lucas, Marlène Goubault, Claude Chevrier, Christophe Bressac, et al.. A Combined Approach to Heat Stress Effect on Male Fertility in Nasonia vitripennis: From the Physiological Consequences on Spermatogenesis to the Reproductive Adjustment of Females Mated with Stressed Males. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (3), pp.e0120656. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0120656⟩. ⟨hal-01294458⟩
  • Marlène Chirault, Christophe Lucas, Marlène Goubault, Claude Chevrier, Christophe Bressac, et al.. A Combined Approach to Heat Stress Effect on Male Fertility in Nasonia vitripennis: From the Physiological Consequences on Spermatogenesis to the Reproductive Adjustment of Females Mated with Stressed Males. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (3), pp.e0120656. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0120656⟩. ⟨hal-02146269⟩
  • Manfredini Fabio, Christophe Lucas, Michael Nicolas, Laurent Keller, Shoemaker Dewayne, et al.. Molecular and social regulation of worker division oflabour in fire ants. Molecular Ecology, Wiley, 2014, 23, pp.660-672. ⟨10.1111/mec.12626⟩. ⟨hal-01081694⟩
  • Janine W. Y. Wong, Christophe Lucas, Mathias Kolliker. Cues of Maternal Condition Influence Offspring Selfishness. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2014, 9, pp.87214. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0087214.t003⟩. ⟨hal-01081678⟩
  • Christophe Lucas, M. Nicolas, L. Keller. Expression of foraging and Gp-9 are associated with social organization in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta. Insect Molecular Biology, Wiley, 2014, 24 (1), pp.93-104. ⟨10.1111/imb.12137⟩. ⟨hal-01295760⟩
  • Janine W. Y. Wong, Joël Meunier, Christophe Lucas, Mathias Kolliker. Paternal signature in kin recognition cues of a social insect : concealed in juveniles, revealed in adults. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2014, 281 (1793), pp.20141236. ⟨10.1098/rspb.2014.1236⟩. ⟨hal-01294398⟩
  • Joël Meunier, Joël Meunier, Olivier Delémont, Christophe Lucas. Recognition in Ants: Social Origin Matters. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2011, 6 (5), pp.19347. ⟨hal-00657879⟩