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Developmental genomics and evolution

Disciplines Biology
Research fields Genomics Proteomics, Experimental model insect, Developmental biology, Evolutionary Ecology
Supporting organisms ENS de Lyon, CNRS
Geographical location ENS de Lyon (Campus Charles Mérieux)
Team leader Abderrhaman Khila


Our research focuses on semi-aquatic insects, an emerging model system that offers the possibility to integrate multiple areas of biology, thus allowing a comprehensive study of biodiversity.

The study of mechanisms that control biodiversity constitutes a challenge for the field of biology. Our research goal is to understand how the interaction between the selective forces and genetic and molecular mechanisms contributing to the emergence of adaptive traits.

This group includes insects beyond the 1900 species in the diverse morphologies, especially in the shape and size of the legs. Extensive studies of evolutionary ecology have allowed to attribute this diversity to ecological factors such as interactions male / female or predator / prey, and the adaptation for locomotion on water surface.

This wealth of biodiversity is a good context for identifying genes and genetic changes responsible for morphological changes in semi-aquatic insects.

Our approach to biodiversity study combines the techniques of developmental biology, genomics / proteomics, and evolutionary ecology.

With this integrative strategy, we hope to provide comprehensive answers to questions concerning the origin of biodiversity within and beyond this group.