Extra molting and selection on nymphal growth in the desert locust

Pélissié Benjamin, Piou Cyril, Jourdan Hélène, Pagès Christine, Blondin Laurence, Chapuis Marie Pierre. 2016. Extra molting and selection on nymphal growth in the desert locust. PloS One, 11 (5):e0155736, 18 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact Revue en libre accès total
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Liste HCERES des revues (en SHS) : oui

Thème(s) HCERES des revues (en SHS) : Psychologie-éthologie-ergonomie; Staps

Abstract : In insects, extra-molting has been viewed as a compensatory mechanism for nymphal growth that contributes to optimize body weight for successful reproduction. However, little is known on the capacity of extra-molting to evolve in natural populations, which limits our understanding of how selection acts on nymphal growth. We used a multi-generational pedigree, individual monitoring and quantitative genetics models to investigate the evolution of extra-molting and its impact on nymphal growth in a solitarious population of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Growth compensation via extra-molting was observed for 46% of the females, whose adult weight exceeded by 4% that of other females, at a cost of a 22% longer development time. We found a null heritability for body weight threshold only, and the highest and a strongly female-biased heritability for extra molting. Our genetic estimates show that (1) directional selection can act on growth rate, development time and extra-molting to optimize body weight threshold, the target of stabilizing selection, (2) extra-molting can evolve in natural populations, and (3) a genetic conflict, due to sexually antagonistic selection on extra-molting, might prevent its fixation. Finally, we discuss how antagonistic selection between solitarious and gregarious environments and/or genetic correlations between growth and phase traits might also impact the evolution of extra-molting in locusts.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Schistocerca gregaria, Génétique des populations, Évolution, Mutation, Mue, Croissance, Héritabilité, Développement biologique, Surveillance des déprédateurs

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Mauritanie

Mots-clés libres : Desert locust, Development, Environment, Evolution, Genetics, Gregarious, Growth, Heritability, Impact, Molting, Monitoring, Reproduction, Schistocerca gregaria

Classification Agris : H10 - Pests of plants
L20 - Animal ecology

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 4 (2014-2018) - Santé des animaux et des plantes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Pélissié Benjamin
  • Piou Cyril, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR CBGP (MAR) ORCID: 0000-0002-9378-9404
  • Jourdan Hélène, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR CBGP (REU)
  • Pagès Christine, CIRAD-BIOS-UPR Bioagresseurs (FRA)
  • Blondin Laurence, CIRAD-BIOS-UPR Bioagresseurs (FRA)
  • Chapuis Marie Pierre, CIRAD-BIOS-UMR CBGP (FRA)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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