Yvan Rahbé Ph.D., Biologist - Agronomist, Scientist in Insect Physiology. Research Director @ INRA France
Course and current status
Cursus: Present: Research Scientist in insect physiology and genomics in Entomotox group, BF2I (lead: Pedro Da Silva 2014-2015, Corinne Royer 2012:2013, Fred Gressent 2006-2011).
• 2006-2012: Lab Head BF2I (Functional Biology Insects & Interaction, UMR0203 INRA INSA de Lyon); member of SymTrophique group 2010-2012 (lead: Hubert Charles).
• 2000-2005: Group leader Entomotox. Jun 2000: Research director, DR INRA and HDR.
• 1986-1999: Scientist, Chargé de Recherche CR INRA Insect-Plant theme, together with Gerard Febvay. Sep 1985: Junior scientist CR INRA.
• 1985-1986: VAT (military service), scientist at INRA Guadeloupe FWI (head Gérard Febvay & Aain Kermarrec).
Dec 1984: AgroParisTech Ph.D., Paris (Lyon from Nov 1982-Dec 1984 as INRA "ASC" grantee). Nov 1984: ISA degree in applied statistics, Jouy-en-Josas. Sep 1982: Masters degree AgroParisTech. Jun 1982: AgroParisTech Agronomy Engineer, specialty Biochemistry. 1979: laureate AgroParisTech (rk 6) and Ecole Normale Supérieure de St-Cloud (Biology section, rk 1). 1977: Baccalaureat laureate (Science section, TB).
- Research and Research management: I have been a wetbench biochemist and physiologist, working in aphid toxicology and symbiosis in a group of the INRA-INSA laboratory BF2I (formerly LBA, Applied Biology Lab, Prof. P. Nardon). We launched the Insect-Plant group within this lab together with Gérard Febvay, who ran the symbiosis and metabolism project, while i started our toxinology project. I have coordinated two European projects (the Aphid symbiosis network project with Prof. Andres Moya -Valencia U- and Angela E Douglas -York U- and EPG, a behavioural methodology workshop with Prof. Freddy Tjallingii -Wageningen U-). I participated as WP leader in a ECOS project in chemical ecology with Prof. H. Niemeyer -Santiago U-, a Capes-Cofecub 261/98 project in insect digestive physiology with Prof. Walter Terra -Sao Paulo U-, and an european FAIR6-CT98-4322 project [both coord. Dr S. Grenier, INRA]. Also involved in the european FAIR-CT98-4239 Novel PI Crops (coord. MA Jongsma -Wageningen PRI-) as INRA partner. I coordinated an ANR-Genoplante Aphicible project in 2008-11, and worked as WP leader/participant in two ANR-Emergence projects in 2009 and 2011 (CerealProtect & Hortibiope). Participant in ANR-Blanc Speciaphid project 2013-2015 (coord. JC Simon, IGEPP INRA Rennes).
- Teaching: Although not a teacher, I have been involved in Masters-level lectures on Insect-Plant interactions (U. Paris 6), on Insect Symbiosis (U Lyon 1), on Plant-Resistance to insects (U Lyon 1), on Insect Biodivertsity and control (INSA de Lyon) and on Bio/Insect-inspired technology & Biomimetics (INSA de Lyon).
- Expertise: I have worked as expert of research projects in France (ANR, France Genomique, France Agrimer), Belgium (FNRS) and Czec republic (GACR). I am working as a scientific expert in two boards of professional federations (FN3PT and SIPRE).
- Partnership: Scientific collaborations with plant health or seed industry companies: Biotope; Biogemma-Limagrain, Bayer CropScience.
- Organisation: Co-organization, together with Dr Gérard Febvay and other Lyon colleagues, of the Lyon 2010 CBI (Congress of Insect Biology France).
Publications and patents: 85+ peer-reviewed papers. 4 patents in the fiield of plant protection against insects. All accessible through the following links:
Pubmed (see on left), ProdINRA, ResearchGate, ResearchID and my personal web page (see on left).
My present project (2014-2015) involves both toxinology and the building of a new research project on insect cuticle (2016+). Insect cuticle is a non-cellular tissue i have been interested in during my early science years, when studying the economy of the aromatic nucleus and its key amino-acid tyrosine during insect metamoprphosis. Synthesizing, storing and mobilizing this essential metabolite is a limiting process in the bulding of larval, nymphal and adult exoskeleton for all insect groups. I am presently (2016-2018) starting a project on aphid cuticle and cuticular proteins, their roles in microbe signalling at the insect solid interface, and including a biomimicry/ bioinspiration application to material science, with a focus on the influence of cuticular proteins on chitin-based material properties (core and surface).
General outlines: Trained as a biochemist, I was embarked early in insect physiology and insect-specific metabolic pathways, as well as in the study of adaptation of insects to their host-plants. Three main blocks constitute my essential research since my early steps: Plant resistance mechanisms, with a speciality in peptide toxins and in the taxon explored (aphids, as a model for phloem-feeding, symbiont-bearing, insect pests).
- Toxins and toxinogenomics. Plants has launched a long-lasting arms-race with insects (their main animal predators), which is dominated by small-molecular weight secondary metabolites. However, plants also evolved small and larger peptide toxins, which have the advantage of a wider basis for genetic engineering and cross-species occurrence. Since the mid nineties, I have explored many peptide classes (lectins, different categories of peptidase inhibitors, as well as a novel class of toxins) for their potentialities as insect toxins. Together with Bernard Delobel, and afterwards with Frédéric Gressent, we focused on the evolutionary history and the mode of action of the novel bioinsecticidal class of the legume albumins I (A1b). This is presently caried on with Corinne Royer and Pedro Da Silva.
- Insect obligate endosymbiosis. Many niche-restricted insects rely on obligate bacterial symbiotes to exploit their food. This is the case of all sap-sucking insects, among which aphids are an economically important group of phloem-restricted and virus-transmitting insects. At the turn of the millenium, aphids became an interesting model in evolutionary biology due its endogenous microbial community, starting with the Buchnera genus (obligate symbiont, dating back to the early colonization of plant vascular tissues by this insect clade during the jurassic period). Together with the SymTrophic group (Hubert Charles, Gérard Febvay, Federica Calevro and Stefano Colella), I explored the functioning of the reduced genome of this bacteria, lately through a specific focus on the transport system controlling this symbiosis.
- Insect-Plant interactions and Plant Resistance to aphids. Plant show intraspecific variation for resistance to pests and pathogens. Such genetic resistance traits are essential components of integrated control methods in all agricultural systems (being organic, traditional, industrial or agroecological). Identifying and understanding such traits is key knowledge for building-up durable plant health management strategies, as well as for studying the evolution of plant-insect interactions. From natural to engineered (GM) resistant traits, my interest on the mechanisms of crop plant resistance to aphids has been a permanent guideline to my scientific activities.
- Aphid cuticular proteins. Just started !