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portrait de Pierre GérardPierre GÉRARD


Evolutionary genetics of selfish genes and speciation

Génétique Quantitative et Évolution - Le Moulon
INRA - Université Paris-Sud - CNRS – AgroParisTech
Ferme du Moulon
F-91190 Gif-sur-Yvette
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Phone: + 33 1 69 33 23 61
Google Scholar profile - Research Gate - ORCID


> Positions and Education

2016-present: Lecturer (Maître de Conférences) AgroParisTech, Department of Life Sciences and Health (Evolutionary Genetics and Plant Breeding) / GQE-Le Moulon lab (Genome dynamics and crop adaptation team)

2015-2016: Elementary school teacher (5th grade), Ecole Houdon (Paris XVIII)

2009-2015: Lecturer (ATER) in Evolutionary and functional ecology at the University Paris-Sud and CNRS post-doc on evolutionary genetics of selfish genes in Drosophila at Evolutionary Genetics, Behavior and Ecology lab (EGCE), Orsay/Gif-sur-Yvette, France, with Catherine Montchamp-Moreau

2007-2009: Post-doc on evolutionary genetics of selfish genes and speciation in Drosophila at the University of Rochester, Rochester NY, USA, with Daven Presgraves

2002-2006: PhD on evolutionary ecology and genetics of speciation in ash trees Fraxinus sp., ENGREF-AgroParisTech / Ecology Systematics Evolution lab (ESE), Orsay, France, with Nathalie Frascaria-Lacoste.

2001-2002: MSc on population biology and coevolution between Melampsora larici-populina rust and poplar, University of Nancy / Forest Pathology lab, INRA Nancy, France, with Pascal Frey.


> Research interests

My research has mainly focused on the evolution of reproductive isolation during the process of speciation in plants and animals, as well as the evolution of selfish genetic elements and their impact in natural populations. I have worked on ecological prezygotic isolation (by habitat and phenology) and natural hybridization in European ashes in relation to climatic variation, in collaboration with Juan Fernandez-Manjarres (ESE lab, Univ. Paris-Sud). I have also worked on the evolution of post-zygotic isolation by hybrid incompatibilities in Drosophila. I am now collaborating with Karine Alix (GQE, DyGAP) on the consequences of genomic conflicts (eg TE-mediated processes) during interspecific hybridization and allopolyploidization in Brassica.

My research has also focused on the evolution of genomic conflicts in Drosophila, particularly those involving segregation distorters that subvert meiosis to their advantage. During Quentin Helleu’s PhD, we revealed for the first time a direct link between heterochromatin regulation and this kind of genetic conflicts. Besides meiotic drive, I have also worked on the impact of transposable elements on the evolution of insecticide resistance in Drosophila. I am also collaborating with Pierre Saumitou-Laprade, Philippe Vernet and Sylvain Billiard (EEP lab, Univ. Lille) on the evolution of mating systems in Oleaceae.

Keywords: speciation, reproductive isolation, selfish genes, genomic conflicts, domestication, interspecific hybridization, adaptation, coevolution.


> Teaching

Master of Engineering

1st year Mendelian and Population Genetics, Modelling in Population Biology

2nd year Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics, Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology

3rd year Population Genetics and Plant Breeding, Biostatistics

Master of Science

› M.Sc. in Integrative Biology and Physiology (BIP), Agrosciences and Environment (AETPF), Evolutionary Biology and Ecology (BEE) with the University Paris-Saclay and Ecology and Evolution with the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris.
Evolutionary and Population Genetics

> Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

16. Courret C., Gérard P. R., Ogereau D., Falque M., Moreau L., Montchamp-Moreau C. (2019) X-chromosome meiotic drive in Drosophila simulans: a QTL approach reveals the complex polygenic determinism of Paris drive suppression. Heredity, 122 (6) 906–915. doi:10.1038/s41437-018-0163-1

15. Alix K, Gérard PR, Schwarzacher T, Heslop-Harrison JS (2017) Polyploidy and interspecific hybridization: partners for adaptation, speciation and evolution in plants. Annals of Botany, 120 : 183-194.

14. Helleu Q, Gérard PR, Dubruille R, Ogereau D, Prud'homme B, Loppin B, Montchamp-Moreau C (2016) Rapid evolution of a Y-chromosome heterochromatin protein underlies sex chromosome meiotic drive. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 113 : 4110-4115.

Commentary by Colin D Meiklejohn (2016) Heterochromatin and genetic conflict. PNAS, 113 : 3915-3917

13. Helleu Q, Gérard PR, Montchamp-Moreau C (2015) Sex chromosome drive. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 7 : a017616.

12. Bastide H*, Gérard PR*, Ogereau D, Cazemajor M, Montchamp-Moreau C (2013) Local dynamics of a fast evolving sex-ratio system in Drosophila simulans. Molecular Ecology, 22 : 5352-5367. *Equal contribution.

11. Gérard PR, Temunovic M, Sannier J, Bertolino P, Dufour J, Frascaria-Lacoste N, Fernandez-Manjarres JF (2013) Chilled but not frosty : understanding the role of climate in the hybridization between the Mediterranean Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl and the temperate Fraxinus excelsior L. (Oleaceae) ash trees. Journal of Biogeography, 40 : 835-846.

10. Gérard PR, Presgraves DC (2012) Abundant genetic variability in Drosophila simulans for hybrid female lethality in interspecific crosses to Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics Research, 94 : 1-7.

9. Frascaria-Lacoste N, Henry A, Gérard PR, Bertolino P, Collin E, Fernandez-Manjarres JF (2011) Should forest restoration with natural hybrids be allowed? Restoration Ecology, 19 : 701-704.

8. Presgraves DC, Gérard PR, Cherukuri A, Lyttle TW (2009) Large-scale selective sweep among Segregation Distorter chromosomes in African populations of Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Genetics, 5 : e1000463.

7. Gérard PR, Presgraves DC (2009) Genetic analysis of hybrid incompatibilities in Drosophila. In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester.

6. Gérard PR, Klein EK, Austerlitz F, Fernandez-Manjarres JF, Frascaria-Lacoste N (2006) Assortative mating and differential male mating success in an ash hybrid zone population. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 6 : 96.

5. Gérard PR, Fernandez-Manjarres JF, Frascaria-Lacoste N (2006) Temporal cline in a hybrid zone population between Fraxinus excelsior L. and Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl. Molecular Ecology, 15 : 3655-3667.

4. Fernandez-Manjarres JF, Gérard PR, Dufour J, Raquin C, Frascaria-Lacoste N (2006) Differential patterns of morphological and molecular hybridization between Fraxinus excelsior L. and Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl (Oleaceae) in eastern and western France. Molecular Ecology, 15 : 3245-3257.

3. Gérard PR, Fernandez-Manjarrés JF, Bertolino P, Dufour J, Raquin C, Frascaria-Lacoste N (2006) New insights in the recognition of the European ash species Fraxinus excelsior L. and Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl as useful tools for forest management. Annals of Forest Science, 63 : 733-738.

2. Gérard PR, Husson C, Pinon J, Frey P (2006) Comparison of genetic and virulence diversity of Melampsora larici-populina populations on wild and cultivated poplar and influence of the alternate host. Phytopathology, 96 : 1027-1036.

1. Frey P, Gérard P, Feau N, Husson C, Pinon J (2005) Variability and population biology of Melampsora rusts on poplars. In Pei MH and McCracken AR (eds), Rust diseases of willow and poplar. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 63-72.

Outreach publications

Gérard P, Dufour J (2004) Histoires de frênes, implications de l'hybridation interspécifique pour la filière forestière. In Les Nouvelles Feuilles Forestières, Revue CRPF-LR, N° 78, Mai 2004.