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Integrative biology of host-parasitoid interactions (B2iHP)

bandeau B2iHP
Crédit photos : M Ravallec, M Frayssinet, INRA, DGIMI

Research project

The B2iHP team studies the molecular interactions between parasitic wasps and their insect hosts. We are more specifically interested in Ichneumonid wasps which develop inside other insects (endoparasitoids) and which are associated with symbiotic viruses resulting from virus domestication during evolution. In these models, viruses are required for successful parasitism as they manipulate host physiology to render the host suitable for parasitoid development.

The biological model we are particularly addressing are:

  • Hyposoter didymator, a natural parasitoid of Helicoverpa armigera larvae. This wasp species is associated with the symbiotic polydnavirus Hyposoter didymator IchnoVirus (HdIV). For this model a number of genomic tools are today available, we are starting to have good knowledge on some of the mechanisms involved, but we still have little population or ecological data. 
  • Venturia canescens, a parasitoid of larvae of Lepidoptera from the Pyralidae family, notably the Ephestia kuehniella flour moth. The parasite success of this species relies on the presence of virus-like particles (VLPs) that are produced in the ovaries of the wasp. 

In the team, we conduct genomic and functional studies to decipher the molecular mechanisms governing host-parasitoid interactions.

Our research topics are:

1. Functional characterization of the viral and wasp factors involved in success of parasitism;

2. Diversity and evolution of symbiotic viruses and other factors involved in the virulence of parasitoids;

3. The role of symbiotic viruses in the adaptation of parasitoids to their hosts.

The outputs of our research have an application in plant protection:  use of parasitoids or their products as biological control tools.

logo B2IHP

Main collaborations  


JM DREZEN, Institute of Insect Biology Research (IRBI), Tours

M POIRIE, Sophia Agrobiotech Institute (ISA), Sophia-Antipolis

D BOURGUET, Biology Center for Population Management (CBGP), Montpellier

F LEGEAI & S ROBIN, BioInformatics Platform for Agroecosystem Arthropods (BIPAA); Institut de Génétique, Environnement et Protection des Plantes (IGEPP), Rennes


M CUSSON, Canadian Forest Service, Canada

FL CONSOLI, Departamento de Entomologia e Acarologia, Brésil

DA STOLTZ, Dalhousie University, Canada

M TAMO, CGIAR & A BOKONON GANTA, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Bénin

BA WEBB, University of Kentucky, USA

A CUSUMANO, University of Palermo, Italy; Wageningen University, The Netherlands


Participation in networks

EMBA (Ecological management of bioagressors in agrosystems)

ADALEP (Adaptation to the biotic environment in lepidoptera),

REID (Ecology of sustainable interactions),

IMH (Microorganism-host interactions)



Supervision of students (L3, M1, M2, PhD)

Participation to M1 and M2 courses, University of Montpellier

Participation to Master committees