I am focusing on adaptations of microbes to their hosts and on how looking at the steps of infections help to better understand these adapations. Host-microbe relationships are very common in natural systems and shape the evolution of both host and microbial traits. The two interacting partners will evolve mechanisms to outdo the defense/attack of the other, eventually leading to an endless co-evolutionary arm race. Specifically, I am interested in investigating to what extent, and by what mechanisms, bacterial parasites adapt to the most common host type, when groups of individuals of a same host species differ qualitatively in physiology and/or immunity.
In species with separate sexes, parasite prevalence and disease expression is often different between males and females. This effect has mainly been attributed to sex differences in host traits, such as immune response. In my research, I make the case for how properties of the parasites themselves can also matter. Specifically, I suggest that differences between host sexes in many different traits, such as morphology and hormone levels, can impose selection on parasites. This selection can eventually lead to parasite adaptations specific to the host sex more commonly encountered, or to differential expression of parasite traits depending on which host sex they find themselves in. Parasites adapted to host sex in this way can contribute to differences between males and females in disease prevalence and expression.
Using as experimental system the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and one of its natural bacterial pathogens of the species Providencia rettgeri, I am revealing the sexual dimorphism in host defense and testing experimentally the hypothesis that parasites adapt to the host sex they encounter the most.
I did my undergraduate studies in France at the University of Montpellier where I received my master degree in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology in 2006. I then did my PhD at the University of Basel (Switzerland) under the supervision of Dieter Ebert. Before coming to Toulouse thanks to a Labex TULIP fellowship, I was in Post-doc with Brian Lazzaro at Cornell University (USA). For more information about my previous work, see cv.
List of publications (from most recent to oldest) :
(Google scholar H-index : 10 ; Google scholar total citations : 285)
1. Duneau D, Ebert D, Du Pasquier L. (2016) Infections by Pasteuria do not protect its natural host Daphnia magna from subsequent infections. Developmental and Comparative immunology
2. Ebert D, Duneau D, Hall M, Luijckx P, Andras J, Du Pasquier L, Ben-Ami F. (2016) A population biology perspective on the stepwise infection process of the bacterial pathogen Pasteuria ramosa in Daphnia. Advances in Parasitology
3. Avila F, Cohen A, Ameerudeen F, Duneau D, Suresh S, Mattei A, Wolfner M. (2015) The Drosophila mating plug protein, PEBme, is required to maintain the ejaculate within the female reproductive tract at the termination of copulation. Genetics 200 : 1-9
4. Luijckx P, Duneau D, Andras J, Ebert D (2014) Cross‐species infection trials reveal cryptic parasite varieties and a putative polymorphism shared among host species Evolution 68 : 577-586
5. Luijckx P, Fienberg H, Duneau D, Ebert D (2013) A matching-allele model explains host resistance to parasites Current Biology 23 : 1085-1093
6. Duneau D, Luijckx P, Ruder L, Ebert D (2012) Sex-specific effects of a parasite evolving in a female-biased host population BMC Biology 10 : 104
7. Duneau D, Ebert D (2012) The role of molting in parasite defense Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 279 : 3049-3054
8. Duneau D, Ebert D (2012) Host sexual dimorphism and parasite adaptation PLoS Biology 10 : 2
9. Luijckx P*, Fienberg H*, Duneau D, Ebert D (2011) Resistance to a bacterial parasite in the crustacean Daphnia magna shows Mendelian segregation with dominance Heredity 108 : 547–551 (* equal contribution)
10. Duneau D, Luijckx P, Ben-Ami F, Laforsch C, Ebert D (2011) Resolving the infection process reveals striking differences in the contribution of environment, genetics and phylogeny to host-parasite interactions BMC Biology 9 : 11
11. Ponton F, Otalora-Luna F, Lefevre T, Guerin PM, Lebarbenchon C, Duneau D, Biron DG, Thomas F (2011) Water-seeking behavior in worm-infected crickets and reversibility of parasitic manipulation Behavioral Ecology 22 : 392-400
12. Gómez-Díaz E, Doherty P Jr, Duneau D, McCoy KD (2010) Cryptic vector divergence masks vector-specific patterns of infection : an example from the marine cycle of Lyme borreliosis. Evolutionary Applications 3 : 391-401.
13. Ponton* F, Duneau* D, Sanchez M, Courtiol A, Terekhin A, Budilova, EV, Renaud F, Thomas F (2009) Effect of parasite-induced behavioral alterations on juvenile development. Behavioral Ecology 20 : 1020-1025 (* equal contribution)
14. Duneau D, Boulinier T, Gomez-Diaz E, Petersen A, Tveraa T, Barrett RT, McCoy KD (2008) Prevalence and diversity of Lyme borreliosis bacteria in marine birds Infection, Genetics and Evolution 8 : 352-359
15. Ponton F, Lebarbenchon C, Lefèvre T, Thomas F, Duneau D, Marché L, Renault L, Hughes DP, Biron DG (2006) Hairworm anti-predator strategy : a study of causes and consequences Parasitology 133 : 631-638
16. Ponton F, Lebarbenchon C, Lefèvre T, Biron DG, Duneau D, Hughes DP, Thomas F (2006) How parasitic Gordian worms cut the Gordian knot : a novel solution to predation upon the host. Nature 440 : 756
17. Ponton F, Biron DG, Joly C, Duneau D, Thomas F (2005) Ecology of populations parasitically modified : a case study from a gammarid (Gammarus insensibilis)-trematode (Microphallus papillorobustus) system. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 299 : 205-215