Raphaël Leblois

Université Montpellier 2 Sciences et Techniques, Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

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Publications (34)210.44 Total impact

  • Conservation Genetics 12/2014; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the demographic history of populations and species is a central issue in evolutionary biology and molecular ecology. In the present work, we develop a maximum likelihood method for the inference of past changes in population size from microsatellite allelic data. Our method is based on importance sampling of gene genealogies, extended for new mutation models, notably the generalized stepwise mutation model (GSM). Using simulations, we test its performance to detect and characterize past reductions in population size. First, we test the estimation precision and confidence intervals coverage properties under ideal conditions, then we compare the accuracy of the estimation with another available method (MsVar) and we finally test its robustness to misspecification of the mutational model and population structure. We show that our method is very competitive compared to alternative ones. Moreover, our implementation of a GSM allows more accurate analysis of microsatellite data, as we show that violations of a single step mutation assumption induce very high bias towards false contraction detection rates. However, our simulation tests also showed some limits, which most importantly are large computation times for strong disequilibrium scenarios and a strong influence of some form of unaccounted population structure. This inference method is available in the latest implementation of the Migraine software package.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 07/2014; · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents genetic evidence that whale sharks, Rhincodon typus, are comprised of at least two populations that rarely mix and is the first to document a population expansion. Relatively high genetic structure is found when comparing sharks from the Gulf of Mexico with sharks from the Indo-Pacific. If mixing occurs between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, it is not sufficient to counter genetic drift. This suggests whale sharks are not all part of a single global meta-population. The significant population expansion we found was indicated by both microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA. The expansion may have happened during the Holocene, when tropical species could expand their range due to sea level rise eliminating dispersal barriers and increasing plankton productivity. However, the historic trend of population increase may have reversed recently. Declines in genetic diversity are found for 6 consecutive years at Ningaloo Reef in Australia. The declines in genetic diversity being seen now may be due to commercial-scale harvesting of whale sharks and collision with boats in past decades in other countries in the Indo-Pacific. The study findings have implications for models of population connectivity for whale sharks and advocate for continued focus on effective protection of the world's largest fish at multiple spatial scales.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Molecular Ecology 04/2014; · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DIYABC is a software package for a comprehensive analysis of population history using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) on DNA polymorphism data. Version 2.0 implements a number of new features and analytical methods. It allows: (i) the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data at large number of loci, apart from microsatellite and DNA sequence data; (ii) efficient Bayesian model choice using linear discriminant analysis on summary statistics; and (iii) the serial launching of multiple post-processing analyses. DIYABC v2.0 also includes a user-friendly graphical interface with various new options. It can be run on three operating systems: GNU/Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple Os X. Availability: Freely available with a detailed notice document and example projects to academic users from: http://www1.montpellier.inra.fr/CBGP/diyabc CONTACT: estoup@supagro.inra.fr.
    Bioinformatics 01/2014; · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA barcoding is the assignment of individuals to species using standardized mitochondrial sequences. Nuclear data are sometimes added to the mitochondrial data to increase power. A barcoding method for analysing mitochondrial and nuclear data is developed. It is a Bayesian method based on the coalescent model. Then this method is assessed using simulated and real data. It is found that adding nuclear data can reduce the number of ambiguous assignments. Finally, the robustness of coalescent-based barcoding to departures from model assumptions is studied using simulations. This method is found to be robust to past population size variations, to within-species population structures, and to designs that poorly sample populations within species. Supplementary Material is available online at www.liebertonline.com/cmb.
    Journal of computational biology: a journal of computational molecular cell biology 03/2012; 19(3):271-8. · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    François Rousset, Raphaël Leblois
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    ABSTRACT: Likelihood-based methods of inference of population parameters from genetic data in structured populations have been implemented but still little tested in large networks of populations. In this work, a previous software implementation of inference in linear habitats is extended to two-dimensional habitats, and the coverage properties of confidence intervals are analyzed in both cases. Both standard likelihood and an efficient approximation are considered. The effects of misspecification of mutation model and dispersal distribution, and of spatial binning of samples, are considered. In the absence of model misspecification, the estimators have low bias, low mean square error, and the coverage properties of confidence intervals are consistent with theoretical expectations. Inferences of dispersal parameters and of the mutation rate are sensitive to misspecification or to approximations inherent to the coalescent algorithms used. In particular, coalescent approximations are not appropriate to infer the shape of the dispersal distribution. However, inferences of the neighborhood parameter (or of the product of population density and mean square dispersal rate) are generally robust with respect to complicating factors, such as misspecification of the mutation process and of the shape of the dispersal distribution, and with respect to spatial binning of samples. Likelihood inferences appear feasible in moderately sized networks of populations (up to 400 populations in this work), and they are more efficient than previous moment-based spatial regression method in realistic conditions.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 03/2012; 29(3):957-73. · 10.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Environmental changes have been shown to play an important role in the emergence of new human diseases of zoonotic origin. The contribution of social factors to their spread, especially conflicts followed by mass movement of populations, has not been extensively investigated. Here we reveal the effects of civil war on the phylogeography of a zoonotic emerging infectious disease by concomitantly studying the population structure, evolution and demography of Lassa virus and its natural reservoir, the rodent Mastomys natalensis, in Guinea, West Africa. Analysis of nucleoprotein gene sequences enabled us to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Lassa virus, which appeared 750 to 900 years ago in Nigeria and only recently spread across western Africa (170 years ago). Bayesian demographic inferences revealed that both the host and the virus populations have gone recently through severe genetic bottlenecks. The timing of these events matches civil war-related mass movements of refugees and accompanying environmental degradation. Forest and habitat destruction and human predation of the natural reservoir are likely explanations for the sharp decline observed in the rodent populations, the consequent virus population decline, and the coincident increased incidence of Lassa fever in these regions. Interestingly, we were also able to detect a similar pattern in Nigeria coinciding with the Biafra war. Our findings show that anthropogenic factors may profoundly impact the population genetics of a virus and its reservoir within the context of an emerging infectious disease.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e37068. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Testudo marginata, the largest European land tortoise, is suffering habitat degradation and destruction. Some populations, in markedly degraded habitats, are characterized by divergent morphotypes. However, the evolutionary significance of these morphotypes is of debate. Using 11 polymorphic microsatellites, we studied: (1) marginated tortoises from Sardinia that display a divergent morphotype – this population was potentially introduced from Greece; and (2) an area in the southern Peloponnese that includes a small and degraded zone in which marginated tortoises are dwarf. Genetic analyses run without any a priori assignment clearly acknowledge the specimens sampled in the territory of the dwarf form as a single group whilst Sardinian specimens are clustered with other specimens from the northern part of the area sampled in Greece. Demographic analyses suggest that Sardinian tortoises originated recently from some of the populations sampled in the northern part of the area sampled in Greece. Over locations sampled in Greece, a landscape-genetic analysis allowed us to detect potential landscape features that may reduce gene flow between the dwarf form territory and surrounding areas. Our results suggest that the territory of the dwarf form is particularly propitious for marginated tortoises and that conservation regulations in Greece should be reinforced to protect this area from increasing impact of human activities changing from traditional agriculture to mechanization and extensive use of chemicals. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 105, 591–606.
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 12/2011; 105(3):591 - 606. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gene flow between domesticated plants and their wild relatives is one of the major evolutionary processes acting to shape their structure of genetic diversity. Earlier literature, in the 1970s, reported on the interfertility and the sympatry of wild, weedy and cultivated sorghum belonging to the species Sorghum bicolor in most regions of sub-Saharan Africa. However, only a few recent surveys have addressed the geographical and ecological distribution of sorghum wild relatives and their genetic structure. These features are poorly documented, especially in western Africa, a centre of diversity for this crop. We report here on an exhaustive in situ collection of wild, weedy and cultivated sorghum assembled in Mali and in Guinea. The extent and pattern of genetic diversity were assessed with 15 SSRs within the cultivated pool (455 accessions), the wild pool (91 wild and weedy forms) and between them. F (ST) and R (ST) statistics, distance-based trees, Bayesian clustering methods, as well as isolation by distance models, were used to infer evolutionary relationships within the wild-weedy-crop complex. Firstly, our analyses highlighted a strong racial structure of genetic diversity within cultivated sorghum (F (ST) = 0.40). Secondly, clustering analyses highlighted the introgressed nature of most of the wild and weedy sorghum and grouped them into two eco-geographical groups. Such closeness between wild and crop sorghum could be the result of both sorghum's domestication history and preferential post-domestication crop-to-wild gene flow enhanced by farmers' practices. Finally, isolation by distance analyses showed strong spatial genetic structure within each pool, due to spatially limited dispersal, and suggested consequent gene flow between the wild and the crop pools, also supported by R (ST) analyses. Our findings thus revealed important features for the collection, conservation and biosafety of domesticated and wild sorghum in their centre of diversity.
    Theoretical and Applied Genetics 08/2011; 123(7):1231-46. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The evolutionary history of Leishmania chagasi, the aetiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis in South America has been widely debated. This study addresses the problem of the origin of L. chagasi, its timing and demography with fast evolving genetic markers, a suite of Bayesian clustering algorithms and coalescent modelling. Here, using 14 microsatellite markers, 450 strains from the Leishmania donovani complex, we show that the vast majority of the Central and South American L. chagasi were nested within the Portuguese Leishmania infantum clade. Moreover, L. chagasi allelic richness was half that of their Old World counterparts. The bottleneck signature was estimated to be about 500 years old and the settlement of L. chagasi in the New World, probably via infected dogs, was accompanied by a thousand-fold population decrease. Visceral leishmaniasis, lethal if untreated, is therefore one more disease that the Conquistadores brought to the New World.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 07/2011; 11(5):1091-5. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reconstructing the demographic history of populations is a central issue in evolutionary biology. Using likelihood-based methods coupled with Monte Carlo simulations, it is now possible to reconstruct past changes in population size from genetic data. Using simulated data sets under various demographic scenarios, we evaluate the statistical performance of Msvar, a full-likelihood Bayesian method that infers past demographic change from microsatellite data. Our simulation tests show that Msvar is very efficient at detecting population declines and expansions, provided the event is neither too weak nor too recent. We further show that Msvar outperforms two moment-based methods (the M-ratio test and Bottleneck) for detecting population size changes, whatever the time and the severity of the event. The same trend emerges from a compilation of empirical studies. The latest version of Msvar provides estimates of the current and the ancestral population size and the time since the population started changing in size. We show that, in the absence of prior knowledge, Msvar provides little information on the mutation rate, which results in biased estimates and/or wide credibility intervals for each of the demographic parameters. However, scaling the population size parameters with the mutation rate and scaling the time with current population size, as coalescent theory requires, significantly improves the quality of the estimates for contraction but not for expansion scenarios. Finally, our results suggest that Msvar is robust to moderate departures from a strict stepwise mutation model.
    Genetics 03/2011; 188(1):165-79. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hunter-gatherer Pygmies from Central Africa are described as being extremely mobile. Using neutral genetic markers and population genetics theory, we explored the dispersal behaviour of the Baka Pygmies from Cameroon, one of the largest Pygmy populations in Central Africa. We found a strong correlation between genetic and geographical distances: a pattern of isolation by distance arising from limited parent-offspring dispersal. Our study suggests that mobile hunter-gatherers do not necessarily disperse over wide geographical areas.
    Biology letters 12/2010; 6(6):858-61. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article documents the addition of 396 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Anthocidaris crassispina, Aphis glycines, Argyrosomus regius, Astrocaryum sciophilum, Dasypus novemcinctus, Delomys sublineatus, Dermatemys mawii, Fundulus heteroclitus, Homalaspis plana, Jumellea rossii, Khaya senegalensis, Mugil cephalus, Neoceratitis cyanescens, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Phytophthora infestans, Piper cordulatum, Pterocarpus indicus, Rana dalmatina, Rosa pulverulenta, Saxifraga oppositifolia, Scomber colias, Semecarpus kathalekanensis, Stichopus monotuberculatus, Striga hermonthica, Tarentola boettgeri and Thermophis baileyi. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Aphis gossypii, Sooretamys angouya, Euryoryzomys russatus, Fundulus notatus, Fundulus olivaceus, Fundulus catenatus, Fundulus majalis, Jumellea fragrans, Jumellea triquetra Jumellea recta, Jumellea stenophylla, Liza richardsonii, Piper marginatum, Piper aequale, Piper darienensis, Piper dilatatum, Rana temporaria, Rana iberica, Rana pyrenaica, Semecarpus anacardium, Semecarpus auriculata, Semecarpus travancorica, Spondias acuminata, Holigarna grahamii, Holigarna beddomii, Mangifera indica, Anacardium occidentale, Tarentola delalandii, Tarentola caboverdianus and Thermophis zhaoermii. A supplementary dataset for Delomys is available.
    Molecular Ecology Resources 11/2010; 10(6):1098-1105. · 7.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plague is a pandemic human invasive disease caused by the bacterial agent Yersinia pestis. We here report a comparison of 17 whole genomes of Y. pestis isolates from global sources. We also screened a global collection of 286 Y. pestis isolates for 933 SNPs using Sequenom MassArray SNP typing. We conducted phylogenetic analyses on this sequence variation dataset, assigned isolates to populations based on maximum parsimony and, from these results, made inferences regarding historical transmission routes. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that Y. pestis evolved in or near China and spread through multiple radiations to Europe, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, leading to country-specific lineages that can be traced by lineage-specific SNPs. All 626 current isolates from the United States reflect one radiation, and 82 isolates from Madagascar represent a second radiation. Subsequent local microevolution of Y. pestis is marked by sequential, geographically specific SNPs.
    Nature Genetics 10/2010; 42(12):1140-3. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Isolation by distance (IBD) models are widely used to predict levels of genetic connectivity as a function of Euclidean distance, and although recent studies have used GIS-landscape ecological approaches to improve the predictability of spatial genetic structure, few if any have addressed the effect of habitat continuity on gene flow. Landscape effects on genetic connectivity are even less understood in marine populations, where habitat mapping is particularly challenging. In this study, we model spatial genetic structure of a habitat-structuring species, the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera, using highly variable microsatellite markers. GIS mapping was used to characterize habitat continuity and distance between sampling sites along the mainland coast of the Santa Barbara Channel, and their roles as predictors of genetic differentiation were evaluated. Mean dispersal distance (sigma) and effective population size (Ne) were estimated by comparing our IBD slope with those from simulations incorporating habitat continuity and spore dispersal characteristics of the study area. We found an allelic richness of 7-50 alleles/locus, which to our knowledge is the highest reported for macroalgae. The best regression model relating genetic distance to habitat variables included both geographic distance and habitat continuity, which were respectively, positively and negatively related to genetic distance. Our results provide strong support for a dependence of gene flow on both distance and habitat continuity and elucidate the combination of Ne and a that explained genetic differentiation.
    Ecology 01/2010; 91(1):49-56. · 5.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the lack of fossil evidence, the timescales of bacterial evolution are largely unknown. The speed with which genetic change accumulates in populations of pathogenic bacteria, however, is a key parameter that is crucial for understanding the emergence of traits such as increased virulence or antibiotic resistance, together with the forces driving pathogen spread. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a common cause of hospital-acquired infections. We have investigated an MRSA strain (ST225) that is highly prevalent in hospitals in Central Europe. By using mutation discovery at 269 genetic loci (118,804 basepairs) within an international isolate collection, we ascertained extremely low diversity among European ST225 isolates, indicating that a recent population bottleneck had preceded the expansion of this clone. In contrast, US isolates were more divergent, suggesting they represent the ancestral population. While diversity was low, however, our results demonstrate that the short-term evolutionary rate in this natural population of MRSA resulted in the accumulation of measurable DNA sequence variation within two decades, which we could exploit to reconstruct its recent demographic history and the spatiotemporal dynamics of spread. By applying Bayesian coalescent methods on DNA sequences serially sampled through time, we estimated that ST225 had diverged since approximately 1990 (1987 to 1994), and that expansion of the European clade began in 1995 (1991 to 1999), several years before the new clone was recognized. Demographic analysis based on DNA sequence variation indicated a sharp increase of bacterial population size from 2001 to 2004, which is concordant with the reported prevalence of this strain in several European countries. A detailed ancestry-based reconstruction of the spatiotemporal dispersal dynamics suggested a pattern of frequent transmission of the ST225 clone among hospitals within Central Europe. In addition, comparative genomics indicated complex bacteriophage dynamics.
    PLoS Pathogens 01/2010; 6(4):e1000855. · 8.14 Impact Factor
  • Molecular Ecology Resources 01/2010; 10:1098-1105. · 7.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inselbergs are isolated granitic rock outcrops that provide distinctive ecological conditions. In northern South America they rise above the surrounding rainforest. Among inselberg specialists, Pitcairnia geyskesii (Bromeliaceae) is restricted to these habitats in French Guiana. We studied populations from 12 inselbergs using 7 microsatellite loci to give a “reverse image” of the reduction-expansion of the rainforest in the context of the refuge hypothesis. Our analyses showed that populations are fragmented with dispersal occurring only over very short distances. Genetic diversity was higher in northern French Guiana, whereas specific alleles were observed in the south. The results point to the occurrence of a dry corridor in the north, as hypothesized by Tardy (1998) based on charcoal analyses, whereas de Granville's (1982) hypothesis of a unique past refuge is not confirmed. Moreover, our data suggests the importance of Oyapock River as a pathway for range expansion, arguing against the potential role of the Inini-Camopi Mountains as a physical barrier. Finally, in spite of a strongly argued scenario in favour of a north-to-south migration history, a clear genetic isolation of P. geyskesii populations living on inselbergs of the Mitaraka archipelago suggests a distinct ancestry of the most southern populations.
    Ecography 10/2009; 33(1):175 - 184. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The joint analysis of spatial and genetic data is rapidly becoming the norm in population genetics. More and more studies explicitly describe and quantify the spatial organization of genetic variation and try to relate it to underlying ecological processes. As it has become increasingly difficult to keep abreast with the latest methodological developments, we review the statistical toolbox available to analyse population genetic data in a spatially explicit framework. We mostly focus on statistical concepts but also discuss practical aspects of the analytical methods, highlighting not only the potential of various approaches but also methodological pitfalls.
    Molecular Ecology 10/2009; 18(23):4734-56. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA barcoding aims to assign individuals to given species according to their sequence at a small locus, generally part of the CO1 mitochondrial gene. Amongst other issues, this raises the question of how to deal with within-species genetic variability and potential transpecific polymorphism. In this context, we examine several assignation methods belonging to two main categories: (i) phylogenetic methods (neighbour-joining and PhyML) that attempt to account for the genealogical framework of DNA evolution and (ii) supervised classification methods (k-nearest neighbour, CART, random forest and kernel methods). These methods range from basic to elaborate. We investigated the ability of each method to correctly classify query sequences drawn from samples of related species using both simulated and real data. Simulated data sets were generated using coalescent simulations in which we varied the genealogical history, mutation parameter, sample size and number of species. No method was found to be the best in all cases. The simplest method of all, "one nearest neighbour", was found to be the most reliable with respect to changes in the parameters of the data sets. The parameter most influencing the performance of the various methods was molecular diversity of the data. Addition of genetically independent loci--nuclear genes--improved the predictive performance of most methods. The study implies that taxonomists can influence the quality of their analyses either by choosing a method best-adapted to the configuration of their sample, or, given a certain method, increasing the sample size or altering the amount of molecular diversity. This can be achieved either by sequencing more mtDNA or by sequencing additional nuclear genes. In the latter case, they may also have to modify their data analysis method.
    BMC Bioinformatics 01/2009; 10 Suppl 14:S10. · 3.02 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

987 Citations
210.44 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2012
    • Université Montpellier 2 Sciences et Techniques
      • Institut des Sciences de l’Évolution Montpellier (ISEM)
      Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • 2009
    • Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
      • Department of Systematics and Evolution
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
  • 2008–2009
    • Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Toulon et du Var
      Toulon-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
  • 2005–2009
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      • Laboratoire Statistique et Génome
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • Imperial Valley College
      Imperial, California, United States
  • 2007
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Integrative Biology
      Berkeley, MO, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Queensland
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia