Antoinebranca Name: Branca, Antoine

Status: Postdoc


Tel.: +49-(0)251-83-


Research interests:

  • Host-parasite coevolution
  • Population genomics
  • Comparative genomics
  • Next-Generation Sequencing

Curriculum vitae:

  1. Masri L., Branca, A., , Sheppard AE, Papkou A, Laehnemann D, Günther PS, Prahl S, Saebelfeld M, Crain PR, Strauß J, Hollensteiner J, Liesegang H, Brzuszkiewicz E, Daniel R, Michiels NK, Schulte RD, Kurtz J, Rosenstiel P, Telschow A, Bornberg-Bauer E, Schulenburg H
    "Host-Pathogen Coevolution: The Selective Advantage of Bacillus thuringiensis Virulence and Its Cry Toxin Genes " PLoS Biology 2015
    [Online access]
  2. Epstein, B., Branca, A., Mudge, J.,  Bharti, A. K., Briskine, R. T., Farmer, A. D., Sugawara, M., Young, N. D., Sadowsky, M. J., Tiffin, P. (2012) "Population genomics of the facultatively mutualistic bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti and S. medicae" PLoS Genetics Accepted
  3. Paape, T.D., Zhou, P., Branca, A., Briskine, R., T., Young, N.D., Tiffin, P. (2012)  "Fine scale population recombination rates, hotspots and correlates of recombination in the Medicago truncatula genome" Genome Biology and Evolution  4 (5): 726-737
  4. Branca, A., Paape, T.D., Zhou, P., Briskine, R., Farmer, A.D., Mudge, J., Bharti, A.K., Woodward, J.E., May, G.D., Gentzbittel, L., Ben, C., Denny, R., Sadowsky, M.J., Ronfort, J., Bataillon, T., Young, N.D., Tiffin, P. (2011)"Whole-genome nucleotide diversity, recombination,,linkage disequilibrium in the model legume Medicago truncatula" PNAS 108 (42) E864-E870
  5. Branca, A., Gitau, C. W., Dupas, S. (2011) “Maintenance of specialized parasitoid populations through polyDNAviruses” In: Parasitoid Viruses: Symbionts and Pathogens (eds N. E. Beckage and J.-M. Drezen), Elsevier
  6. Branca, A. , Le Rü, B. P., Vavre F., Silvain J.-F., Dupas, S. (2011) "Intraspecific specialization of the generalist parasitoid Cotesia sesamiae revealed by polyDNAvirus polymorphism and associated with different Wolbachia infections." Molecular Ecology 20 (5) 959–971
  7. Faure N., Branca, A., Gigot, G., Dupas, S., Silvain, J-F. (2009) "Isolation and characterization of ten microsatellite loci in Cotesia sesamiae (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a parasitoid of African stem borer pests." Molecular Ecology Resources 9 (5) 1375-1379.
  8. Branca, A., Vavre F., Silvain J.-F., Dupas, S. (2009) "Maintenance of adaptive differentiation by Wolbachia induced bidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility: sib-mating and reproductive system matter." BMC Evolutionary Biology 9:185.
  9. Dupas, S., Gitau, C. W., Branca, A., Le Rü, B. P., Silvain, J.-F. (2008) " Evolution of a Polydnavirus Gene in Relation to Parasitoid-Host Species Immune Resistance." Journal of Heredity 99(5):491-499.
  10. Branca, A., Dupas, S. (2006) " A model for the study of Wolbachia pipientis Hertig(Rickettsiales:Rickettsiaceae)-induced cytoplasmic incompatibility in arrhenotokous haplodiploid populations: Consequences for biological control." Annales de la Société entomologique de France 42:443-448.
  11. Lopez-Villavicencio, M., Branca, A., Giraud, T., Shykoff, J. (2005) "Sex-specific effect of
    Microbotryum violaceum (Uredinales) spores on healthy plants of the gynodioecious Gypsophila repens (Caryophyllaceae)." American Journal of Botany 92: 896-900.

Presentations and Posters at International Conferences:
  • International Conference on Lepidopteran Cereal Stem and Cob Borers in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, October 24-28, 2005)
  • Evolutionary Biology meeting (Marseille, France, September 20-22, 2006) 1st International Entomophagous Insect Conference (Minneapolis, Minnesota July 27-31, 2009)
  • Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (Uppsala, Sweden, August 20-25, 2007)
  • XVIII Plant and Animal Genome Conference (San Diego, California, January 9-13 2010)
  • Annual meeting of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution (Lyon,France, July 4-8 2010)
Project At IEB

Experimental co-evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis and Caenorhabditis elegans



The bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis are one of the most used bio-pesticide in the world. These bacteria can infect a wide range of organisms, mainly arthropods, but also nematods like Caenorhabditis elegans . A host-parasite co-evolution experiment between Bacillus thuringiensis and Caenorhabditis elegans has been performed to detect phenotypic changes during co-adaptation process of host and parasite. My work is to go deeper inside genetic changes occuring during the experiment, allowing the different partners to adapt. To do so, I am mainly using next-generation sequencing and population genetics tools on whole-genome sequence of pooled populations.

Main Collaborator: Dr Anna Sheppard and Prof Hinrich Schulenburg, University of Kiel ( )