The French National Research Agency Projects for science

Voir cette page en français

ANR funded project

Blanc international - Sciences de la vie, de la santé et des écosystèmes : Biodiversité, évolution des écosystèmes, écosystèmes productifs, agronomie (Blanc Inter SVSE 7) 2010
Projet MACBI

Megastigmus and conifers: the biology of invasion

Forests are an enormous economic resource in Canada and France. Not only do they represent an immediately exploitable resource, they are renewable and sustainable. The health of forests is highly susceptible to environmental effects. These range from abiotic factors, such as changes in weather patterns, and biotic factors, such as pests and diseases. Insect invasions due to the global seed trade are now becoming extensive. Seed parasites that destroy conifer seed crops are essentially invisible as the parasites move undetected within seed lots shipped from continent to continent. An added risk is that invasions by one species are often occasions for invasion complexes to develop. Diseases such as fungi travel with new insects, doubling the threat to forest health. Our ability to predict the influence of insects and diseases on future landscapes depends on how well we understand the relationship between immobile trees and highly mobile insects. Tree seed insects damage forests and plantations in both countries, affecting native species of plants as well as the animals that depend on them. The success of seed insects is due to their ability to bypass barriers in the developing plant ovule. If we wish to manage seed insects, we require basic information about how the insect takes over a seed's physiology, then moves through a species into other ones, and finally, how it then moves across a landscape. We will look at the highly invasive species of chalcid wasps in the genus Megastigmus (Hymenoptera; Torymidae), which cause extensive damage. M. spermotrophus is found on Douglas-fir. We will deep sequence the seeds and the insects to determine putative mechanisms of physiological control of the plant by the insect. In addition, we will investigate both the insect's and tree's phenologies to decipher how Megastigmus species are able to infest trees in the Pinaceae and Cupressaceae. This information, coupled with phylogeny of the chalcids, will be used to develop models of future invasion. To tackle these international problems caused by global seed exchange we have assembled a team of Franco-Canadian experts in Megastigmus-conifer seed interactions including those specialized in plant and animal reproduction, forest pest surveys, entomology and modeling.

Partners

Department of Biology University of Victoria Canada

INRA URFM INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE- CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON

INRA URZF INSTITUT NATIONAL RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'ORLEANS

ANR grant: 274 305 euros
Beginning and duration: - 36 mois

 

ANR Programme: Blanc international - Sciences de la vie, de la santé et des écosystèmes : Biodiversité, évolution des écosystèmes, écosystèmes productifs, agronomie (Blanc Inter SVSE 7) 2010

Project ID: ANR-10-INTB-1705

Project coordinator:
Madame Marie-Anne AUGER-ROZENBERG (INSTITUT NATIONAL RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'ORLEANS)
Marie-Anne.Auger-Rozenberg@nullorleans.inra.fr

 

Back to the previous page

 

The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.