Pierre-Jean G Malé

Pierre-Jean G Malé
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology | ice

MSc, PhD

About

59
Publications
11,554
Reads
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968
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in understanding how close interspecific interactions such as parasitism or symbiosis are affecting genetic diversity, and vice versa. One of my current research projects specifically adresses the question of the mechanisms that promote the maintaining of an obligatory ant-plant symbiosis despite the potential evolutionary conflicts. I am particularly having a close look at sanctions mechanisms and at the transmission mode of the relationship.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2013 - June 2016
University of Toronto
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2011 - October 2013
Paul Sabatier University - Toulouse III
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2007 - February 2011
Paul Sabatier University - Toulouse III
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolution
September 2005 - June 2007
French National Centre for Scientific Research
Field of study
  • Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution
September 2002 - June 2005
Paul Sabatier University - Toulouse III
Field of study
  • Organism, Population and Ecosystem Biology

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
The diversion of a host’s energy by a symbiont for its own benefit is a major source of instability in horizontally-transmitted mutualisms. This instability can be counter-balanced by the host’s retaliation against exploiters. Such responses are crucial to the maintenance of the relationship. We focus on this issue in an obligate ant–plant mutualis...
Article
Full-text available
In theory, mutualisms are intrinsically unstable, and the search for the maximum profit at the minimum cost should lead every mutualist to become a parasite. From an empirical point of view, mutualisms are ubiquitous and of major importance to ecosystems, suggesting the existence of mechanisms that enhance the maintenance of such relationships. We...
Article
Full-text available
Whole genome sequencing is helping generate robust phylogenetic hypotheses for a range of taxonomic groups that were previously recalcitrant to classical molecular phylogenetic approaches. As a case study, we performed a shallow shotgun sequencing of eight species in the tropical tree family Chrysobalanaceae to retrieve large fragments of high-copy...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative studies of the population genetics of closely associated species are necessary to properly understand the evolution of these relationships because gene flow between populations affects the partners' evolutionary potential at the local scale. As a consequence (at least for antagonistic interactions), asymmetries in the strength of the ge...
Preprint
Full-text available
Applying behavioural economics to encourage investors to seek and follow professional financial advice
Article
Devil’s gardens are a remarkable feature of Amazonian rainforests. These clearings result from the cultivation of ant-plants by their symbiotic ant, Myrmelachista schumanni. Each devil’s garden is inhabited by a single M. schumanni colony, often with millions of workers and thousands of queens. Through a combination of field surveys and microsatell...
Article
Full-text available
Mutualisms may be “key innovations” that spur lineage diversification by augmenting niche breadth, geographic range, or population size, thereby increasing speciation rates or decreasing extinction rates. Whether mutualism accelerates diversification in both interacting lineages is an open question. Research suggests that plants that attract ant mu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mutualisms may be “key innovations” that spur diversification in one partner lineage, but no study has evaluated whether mutualism accelerates diversification in both interacting lineages. Recent research suggests that plants that attract ant mutualists for defense or seed dispersal have higher diversification rates than non-ant associated plant li...
Article
Full-text available
In plant–animal mutualisms, how an animal forages often determines how much benefit its plant partner receives. In many animals, foraging behaviour changes in response to foraging gene expression or activation of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) that foraging encodes. Here, we show that this highly conserved molecular mechanism affects the o...
Article
Full-text available
Species engaged in multiple, simultaneous mutualisms are subject to tradeoffs in their mutualistic investment if the traits involved in each interaction are overlapping, which can lead to conflicts and affect the longevity of these associations. We investigate this issue via a tripartite mutualism involving an ant plant, two competing ant species a...
Article
Full-text available
Species engaged in multiple, simultaneous mutualisms are subject to tradeoffs in their mutualistic investment if the traits involved in each interaction are overlapping, which can lead to conflicts and affect the longevity of these associations. We investigate this issue via a tripartite mutualism involving an ant plant, two competing ant species a...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms responsible for phenotypic diversification within and among species ultimately rests with linking naturally occurring mutations to functionally and ecologically significant traits. Colour polymorphisms are of great interest in this context because discrete colour patterns within a population are often controlled by just...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the study: The complex geological and climatic history of the Neotropics has had major implications on the diversification of plant lineages. Chrysobalanaceae is a pantropical family of trees and shrubs with 75% of its 531 species found in the Neotropics, and a time-calibrated phylogeny of this family should shed light on the tempo of d...
Article
Full-text available
Myrmecophytism occurs in plants that offer ants a nesting space and, often, food rewards in exchange for protection from predators and competitors. Such biotic protection by ants can, however, interfere with the activity of pollinators leading to potential negative consequences for the plant’s reproduction. In this study, we focused on the associat...
Article
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Collections of specimens held by natural history museums are invaluable material for biodiversity inventory and evolutionary studies, with specimens accumulated over 300 years readily available for sampling. Unfortunately, most museum specimens yield low-quality DNA. Recent advances in sequencing technologies, so called next-generation sequencing,...
Article
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Background and Aims: An accurate characterization of biodiversity requires analyses of DNA sequences in addition to classical morphological descriptions. New methods based on high-throughput sequencing may allow investigation of specimens with a large set of genetic markers to infer their evolutionary history. In the grass family, the phylogenetic...
Article
Full-text available
This article documents the addition of 268 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Alburnoides bipunctatus, Chamaerops humilis, Chlidonias hybrida, Cyperus papyrus, Fusarium graminearum, Loxigilla barbadensis, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, Odontesthes bonariensis, Pelteobag...
Article
Full-text available
Mutualisms, or interactions between species that lead to net fitness benefits for each species involved, are stable and ubiquitous in nature mostly due to "byproduct benefits" stemming from the intrinsic traits of one partner that generate an indirect and positive outcome for the other. Here we verify if myrmecotrophy (where plants obtain nutrients...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, a phylogeographical approach was developed to analyse the influence of selection and history on a major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class II gene polymorphism in European bank vole (Myodes glareolus) populations. We focused on exon 2 of the Dqa gene because it is highly variable in a large array of species and appears to...
Article
Full-text available
The recently described procedure of microsatellite-enriched libraries pyrosequencing was used to isolate 557 microsatellite loci in two subspecies of the snapdragon Antirrhinum majus (Plantaginaceae). Four multiplex PCR sets were optimized to genotype 24 polymorphic markers. The number of alleles per locus ranged from one to 19 and observed heteroz...
Article
Full-text available
Microsatellites (or SSRs: simple sequence repeats) are among the most frequently used DNA markers in many areas of research. The use of microsatellite markers is limited by the difficulties involved in their de novo isolation from species for which no genomic resources are available. We describe here a high-throughput method for isolating microsate...
Article
Full-text available
Ant-fungus associations are well known from attine ants, whose nutrition is based on a symbiosis with basidiomycete fungi. Otherwise, only a few non-nutritional ant-fungus associations have been recorded to date. Here we focus on one of these associations involving Allomerus plant-ants that build galleried structures on their myrmecophytic hosts in...
Article
Full-text available
Myrmecophytic symbioses are widespread in tropical ecosystems and their diversity makes them useful tools for understanding the origin and evolution of mutualisms. Obligate ant-plants, or myrmecophytes, provide a nesting place, and, often, food to a limited number of plant-ant species. In exchange, plant-ants protect their host plants from herbivor...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study, which was conducted in French Guiana, was to characterize the karyotypes of nine ant species belonging to the genera Anochetus, Apterostigma, Cyphomyrmex, Camponotus, Gigantiops, Myrmicocrypta, Odontomachus and Pseudomyrmex, and to compare them with published data. We present the first descriptions of the karyotypes of Gigant...
Article
Full-text available
This article documents the addition of 205 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Bagassa guianensis, Bulweria bulwerii, Camelus bactrianus, Chaenogobius annularis, Creontiades dilutus, Diachasmimorpha tryoni, Dioscorea alata, Euhrychiopsis lecontei, Gmelina arborea, Ha...
Article
Full-text available
Five polymorphic microsatellite loci of the arboreal ant Allomerus decemarticulatus (Myrmicinae) were isolated and characterized. The amplification and polymorphism of seven additional microsatellite loci, previously developed for the ant species A. octoarticulatus and Wasmannia auropunctata, were also tested and the amplification conditions necess...
Article
Full-text available
We analysed the influence of MHC class II Dqa and Drb genes on Puumala virus (PUUV) infection in bank voles (Myodes glareolus). We considered voles sampled in five European localities or derived from a previous experiment that showed variable infection success of PUUV. The genetic variation observed in the Dqa and Drb genes was assessed by using si...
Presentation
Full-text available
Demystification of knowledge: the stakes of beginning popular science from University
Article
Full-text available
In the understory of pristine Guianese forests, the myrmecophyte Hirtella physophora almost exclusively shelters colonies of the plant-ant Allomerus decemarticulatus in its leaf pouches. We experimentally tested three non-mutually exclusive hypotheses concerning phenomena that can determine the species specificity of this association throughout the...
Article
Full-text available
Although associations between myrmecophytes and their plant ants are recognized as a particularly effective form of protective mutualism, their functioning remains incompletely understood. This field study examined the ant-plant Hirtella physophora and its obligate ant associate Allomerus decemarticulatus. We formulated two hypotheses on the highly...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I need to get DNA extracts from RNALater preserved ants. Since the ants are very small (and I cannot pool them since I need the individual information) I tried to perform Chelex extractions. Subsequent PCRs are not working very well.
This extraction/PCR protocol is usually working on this ant species but with alcohol-preserved samples.
I am now left with the following question: are my poor results due to a poor DNA yield/quality due to some weird Chelex-RNALater interaction?
And subsequently : is there something I can do to improve my results?

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