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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2023

A double-spiral maze and hi-resolution tracking pipeline to study dispersal by groups of minute insects

Abstract

Minute insects such as parasitic micro-wasps have high basic and applied importance for their widespread use as biocontrol agents. Their dispersal is a phenotype of particular interest. Classically, it is evaluated using field releases, but those are time consuming, costly, and their results highly variable, preventing high-throughput and repeatability. Alternatively, dispersal can be studied using small-scale assays, but those neglect important higher-scale processes. Consequently, proper evaluation of dispersal is often complicated or lacking in academic studies and biocontrol breeding programs. Here we introduce a new method, the double-spiral maze, that allows the study of spatial propagation of groups of micro-wasps at relevant scales (several hours and meters), retaining high throughput and experimental power. The method records the location of every individual at every time, enabling accurate estimates of diffusion coefficients or other dispersal metrics. We describe this affordable, scalable, and easy-to-implement method, and illustrate its application with a species of agricultural interest.
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hal-04144010 , version 1 (06-07-2023)

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Melina Cointe, V. Burte, G. Perez, Ludovic Mailleret, Vincent Calcagno. A double-spiral maze and hi-resolution tracking pipeline to study dispersal by groups of minute insects. Scientific Reports, 2023, 13 (1), pp.5200. ⟨10.1038/s41598-023-31630-8⟩. ⟨hal-04144010⟩
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