Dr. Yannick Pauchet

   Department of Insect Symbiosis
   Molecular Biology of the Insect Digestive System
 Phone:+49 (0)3641 57 1507Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
 Fax:+49 (0)3641 57 1502Hans-Knöll-Straße 8
  emailD-07745 Jena

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My research is centered on the digestive system of insects. I am mainly focusing on phytophagous insects from the orders Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and Coleoptera (beetles).

I am currently working on the following projects:

Plant cell wall degrading enzymes in phytophagous beetles

We recently discovered that enzymes able to degrade the various polysaccharides constituting the plant cell wall, such as cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin, are widely distributed in phytophagous beetles from the superfamilies Chrysomeloidea (leaf beetles, longicorn beetles…) and Curculionoidea (weevils and bark beetles…). These enzymes are encoded by relatively large gene families. Here I am interested in determining how these genes are organized in the beetle genome. We also aim to decipher their evolutionary history in beetles. I am also investigating their functions to test whether these enzymes are still functioning as plant cell wall degrading enzymes, or whether some of them acquired new function during the course of evolution. Plant cell wall degrading enzymes are also heavily used in various industrial applications ranging from the production of biomass, bioethanol from crops to waste processing. Ultimately we believe that insects will emerge as an important new source of enzymes for use in biotechnology.

Genetic basis of the resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin in Chrysomela tremulae

In the early 2000’s, an allele conferring resistance to the Cry3Aa toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has been detected in a French population of the poplar pest, Chrysomela tremulae. Although this pest had never been subjected to Bt selection pressure due to human activities, the frequency of this allele was found to be relatively high in natural populations. From this population, a resistant strain has been selected in the lab, exhibiting a resistance ratio over 6,400. The resistance was found to be recessive and conferred by a single autosomal gene. We are attempting the identification of this resistance allele by using a genetic approach.

This work is carried out in collaboration with:

David Pauron, INRA Sophia Antipolis, France.

Sylvie Augustin, INRA Orléans, France.
last updated on 2016-11-29