Project: EXperimentally Orientated genomics to Tackle Insects adaptive Challenges during bio invasions: the ladybird Harmonia axyridis as a model species.

Invasive species raise evolutionary questions as well as ecological and economical problems, but few research programs have considered the specific genetic mechanisms underlying the evolutionary forces that lead aliens species to a better adaptation in the introduced environment. The Asiatic ladybird Harmonia axyridis (HA) originates from Southeast Asia and has been used as a biological control agent in North America and Europe. Yet, it is now considered as an invasive species in these areas. HA has indeed been introduced into new areas since 1916 but established populations were not observed before 1988 in the USA and 2001 in Europe. The main negative impacts include the loss of biodiversity through intraguild predation, infestation in homes resulting in allergies, and deterioration of fruit and wine quality. EXOTIC aims at understanding the adaptive changes that have taken place during HA invasion through genome-wide comparison of native, biocontrol and invasive populations. This will be done through an interdisciplinary approach integrating ecology, evolution, analytical chemistry and genomics at several biological levels (genes, phenotypes, individuals and populations).

Acronym EXOTIC
Duration 01/12/2013 - 30/11/2017
Website visit project website
Network BiodivERsA2
Call BiodivERsA Call 2012-2013 on invasive species and biological invasions

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Max Planck Society - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology Germany
Justus Liebig University Giessen Germany
French National Institute for Agricultural Research Coordinator France
University of Liège Belgium