Loan Calame

Research interests

Chemical sequestration of cucurbitacin by Diabrotica balteata: implications for pest control and sustainable agriculture 

The banded cucumber beetle, Diabrotica balteata, is a generalist pest that causes huge yield losses in numerous crops, including several species from the Cucurbitaceae family. These insects evolved the capacity to sequester cucurbitacins from their host plants. Cucurbitacins are chemical compounds produced by multiple Cucurbitaceae plants, and in many cases, act as a chemical defense against herbivores. Even though the sequestration capacity of this beetle is well known and often hypothesized as a protection mechanism against natural enemies, several questions are still open. The ecological implications and the genetic bases of sequestration are still unclear. Therefore, during my master thesis, I will explore the possible ecological functions of this sequestration process using different approaches of ecology, chemical ecology and molecular biology.

Thesis supervisors: 

Prof. Dr. Betty Benrey. https://www.unine.ch/evol/en/home.html

Dr. Carla Arce. https://www.unine.ch/farce/home/membres/carla-marques-arce.html

Dr. Ricardo Machado. https://www.unine.ch/biologie/en/home/laboratoires-et-groupes-de-reche/experimental-biology.html


Loan Calame

Étudiant en Master



Room D105