Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal Rennes 1 University Logo Igepp

Home page

Hervé Maxime

What determines attack of oilseed rape by pollen beetles?

PhD thesis started October 1st, 2011
PhD defended october 15th, 2014
Fund: INRA (Junior Scientist Grant)
Direction: Anne-Marie Cortesero & Régine Delourme


Plants display multiple defense systems against phytophagous insects. Manipulating these defenses by means of selection could contribute to decrease damages caused by insect pests, by increasing natural resistance of crops. This strategy faces great constraints when applied to insects.

We first detail these constraints and then propose an alternative approach to classical methods. It consists in identifying key plant traits that determine the intensity of the interaction between the plant and the pest. If such traits are identified, selection could be conducted on the basis if these sole traits, without needing any insect.

We tested this approach in a system composed of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and the pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus), a major pest of this culture. This coleopteran generalist pollen feeder lays eggs only on certain brassicaceous plants. Agronomical damage arise before plant flowering and are caused by adults, which destroy flower buds to get the pollen they contain.

Four crucial steps of the interaction were studied: attraction, adult feeding, egg production and oviposition, and larval development. Six oilseed rape genotypes were compared in a series of experiments conducted in the laboratory. By linking insect preference/performance to large metabolic profiling of bud tissues, we identified candidate key traits. Main conclusions of this work are (i) that biochemical composition of the perianth, especially a few compounds among which sucrose, is determinant for feeding intensity; (ii) that feeding stimulation has an important impact on egg production by constraining oogenesis; (iii) that pollen nutritional quality, probably mostly determined by starch and some glucosinolates, interacts with both pollen beetle larvae and adults. Combination of several results also allows drawing more general hypotheses about the oilseed rape - pollen beetle interaction.  One of these is that the agronomical context in which the interaction takes place may have largely influenced, or even disturbed, the interaction that linked this insect and wild brassicaceous plants before oilseed rape cultivation.

This thesis showed that a new way might be possible to protect cultures against insect pests. It could be both efficient and sustainable, especially in systems where agronomical damage is caused at a temporary vulnerable plant stage.