Integrative taxonomy of parasitoid assemblages of forestry and agricultural pests with emphasis on the chestnut gallwasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus
Abordarea integrată a taxonomiei complexelor de parazitoizi ai dăunătorilor forestieri și agricoli, îndeosebi ai viespii galigene a castanilor, Dryocosmus kuriphilus

    The project is a bilateral collaboration between the Research Group on the Invertebrate Diversity and Phylogenetics from the Faculty of Biology of the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi and the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute in Sophia-Antipolis. It is financed through the Brîncuşi-Hubert Curien partnership between Romania and France, grant no. 89BM/2017.

French team Romanian team
Dr. Nicolas Ris (Principal Investigator)
  Dr. Nicolas Borowiec
Dr. Alexandre Bout

Dr. Géraldine Groussier-Bout

PhD Michela Ion Scotta
Dr. Lucian Fusu (Principal Investigator)

Dr. Mircea-Dan Mitroiu

Dr. Ovidiu Alin Popovici

Dr. Maria-Magdalena Dascălu

PhD Mădălina-Ionela Viciriuc

    The objectives of the project are to offer the essential tools for a rapid and exact identification of the parasitoid species that attack the invasive species Dryocosmus kuriphilus (Dk) and several other pests, improving thus significantly the chances for a successful biological control program, and to estimate the magnitude and impact of the eventual hybridisation of the introduced species T. sinensis and the native species of Torymus

Dryocosmus kuriphilus galls
(photo N. Borowiec)

  Torymus sinensis
(photo M. Viciriuc)

For this we are:
  • (1) Exploring the current biodiversity of the parasitoids associated with Dk in France and Romania (they are partly known in France but the taxonomy of several groups is still problematic). To this we will add parasitoids of gall wasps associated with oaks and egg parasitoids of several pests.
  • (2) Generating DNA barcodes for as many species as possible, especially those that attack or potentially attack Dk, in order to facilitate their recognition by non-taxonomists (we will focus mainly on Eupelmus, Ormyrus and Torymus). Additionally we will explore the parasitoids of gall wasps associated with oaks and the egg parasitoids of several pests.
  • (3) Producing a detailed morphological characterisation of the parasitoids of Dk (especially Ormyrus and Torymus) using modern imaging equipment and software (the availability of high resolution images makes correct identification by non-taxonomists easier).
  • (4) Undertaking a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the genus Eupelmus in order to augment the predictive value of the nomenclature and systematics of this genus.
  • (5) Estimating the magnitude and impact of the eventual hybridisation of the introduced species T. sinensis and the native species of Torymus.

The results of this project are newly generated data and finalising the analysis of those accumulated during a long collaboration between the laboratory of Invertebrate Diversity and Phylogenetics and the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute that started in 2012. In this context we genetically analysed almost 1000 Torymus specimens in order to estimate the genetic diversity of the French populations of Torymus sinensis in France and establish if it is usable for eventual new introductions into other EU states. We also analysed the possibility of the hybridisation Torymus sinensis and native species of Torymus, concluding that this is not happening and is unlikely to take place in the future. For the genus Ormyrus we analysed over 100 specimens for several nuclear and mitochondrial genes, and the results of molecular species delimitations estimate between five and 33 species instead of two currently recognised species. For the genus Eupelmus we finalised the analyses for a multilocus phylogeny and completed the matrix with most of the missing loci and essential species. The topology of the recovered phylogeny is almost completely resolved, and we have a good concordance with the current subgeneric classification based on morphology.

The results that we obtained do not have a direct economic value, but they are creating a stable and predictive taxonomic framework for the biological control. The data generated from this collaboration will also serve for a PhD thesis on the parasitoids of gall wasps and an undergraduate thesis on some egg parasitoids of the true bugs.




Faculty of Biology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Carol I B-vd., No. 20A,

Iaşi, 700505


Phone: 40(0)232201072

Fax: 40(0)232201472