Morgan Dutilleul

Université du Québec à Montréal
Ph.D. candidate

Supervisor: Denis Réale
Simon Galas, Université de Montpellier
Start: 2009-09-01
End: 2013-03-12


Microevolutionary responses and adaptive costs of Caenorhabditis elegans populations exposed to environmental stress
The contemporary evolution of organisms is largely dependent on anthropogenic disturbances. In particular, the pollution amplifies the intensity or the quantity of selection pressures suffered by populations. However, these changes may have negative effects on the life of individuals, the demographics of the populations, and its phenotypic and genetic characteristics over generations. Thus, microevolutionary changes are likely to occur in response to selection pressures. These phenomenon lead to collateral damages: adaptive costs. Populations can be more susceptible to many environmental changes. Hence, it is essential to expand our knowledge on the evolution of populations in polluted environment. In this context, our study aims to determine the microevolutionary response of C. elegans populations exposed to different pollutions, and to measure their costs of adaptation. Populations were experimentally exposed for 22 generations to a high concentration of uranium or sodium chloride. We confirmed the genetic differentiation between populations with an increase of resistance in populations exposed to different pollutions. The speed of evolutionary responses depended on exposure conditions and their effects on the expression of the genetic structure of life history traits. Microevolutionary changes were linked to costs of adaptation, such as reduced fertility, in stressful novel environments (e.g. fast temperature raise) or in the absence of stress. This project allowed us to better identify how exposure to one or two pollutants affects the evolutionary response of C. elegans populations and evaluate the impact on their sensitivity to environmental conditions.


experimental evolution, quantitative genetics, costs of adaptation, environmental stress, life history traits, genetic structure, local adaptation, evolution of generalism, Caenorhabditis elegans


1- Consequences of a multi-generation exposure to uranium on Caenorhabditis elegans life parameters and sensitivity
Goussen, Benoit, Florian Parisot, Rémy Beaudouin, Morgan Dutilleul, Adeline Buisset-Goussen, Alexandre R. R. Péry, Jean-Marc Bonzom
2013 Ecotoxicology

2- Rapid phenotypic changes in Caenorhabditis elegans under uranium exposure
Dutilleul, Morgan, Laurie Lemaire, Denis Réale, Catherine Lecomte, Simon Galas, Jean-Marc Bonzom
2013 Ecotoxicology

3- Genotoxicity of acute and chronic gamma-irradiation on zebrafish cells and consequences for embryo development
Pereira, Sandrine, Stéphanie Bourrachot, Isabelle Cavalie, Delphine Plaire, Morgan Dutilleul, Rodolphe Gilbin, Christelle Adam-Guillermin
2011 Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry