prof. dr. J.C. (Jean-Christophe) Billeter

Associate professor Neurogenetics of social and sexual behaviour

Research

Research units:

Research interests

Research: 

We are interested in understanding the mechanisms through which genetic and environmental factors influence behaviour. To this end we study social behaviours in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, whose organization shows a strong interplay between genetics and both biotic and abiotic environmental factors. Our main line of research evolves around the mechanisms that allow individuals to integrate social and environmental cues to make reproductive decisions. These decisions include partner choice, level of sexual promiscuity, and offspring production in changing environments.  We seek to answer these questions at the molecular and cellular level, but are also interested in the implications that genetic variation and adaptation to environmental conditions have on the evolution of social behaviours and mating systems.

Our choice of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as our experimental model is based on the availability of advanced genetic manipulations allowing the study of the function of genes and cells in live behaving individuals. We take a neurogenetics approach characterized by the use of forward, reverse and quantitative genetics to isolate genes that influence social behaviours. We then use these genes as a gateway to the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying social behaviours. For this we use a range of techniques including: molecular genetics such as gene cloning and transgenesis to manipulate gene expression and cellular physiology, analytical chemistry (e.g.Gas chromatography) to study small chemicals acting as social (e.g. pheromones) and environmental (e.g. food) cues, confocal microscopy for studies of gene expression on both fixed and live tissues, and behavioral paradigms to study social behaviours in groups.

Publications
  1. Making sense of intralocus and interlocus sexual conflict

    Schenkel, M. A., Pen, I., Beukeboom, L. W. & Billeter, J-C., Dec-2018, In : Ecology and evolution. 8, 24, p. 13035-13050 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

  2. An automated method to determine the performance of Drosophila in response to temperature changes in space and time

    Soto-Padilla, A., Ruijsink, R., Span, M., van Rijn, H. & Billeter, J-C., 12-Oct-2018, In : Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2018, 140, 9 p., e58350.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  3. Last male sperm precedence is modulated by female remating rate in Drosophila melanogaster

    Laturney, M., van Eijk, R. & Billeter, J-C., Jun-2018, In : Evolution Letters. 2, 3, p. 180-189 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

  4. Thermosensory perception regulates speed of movement in response to temperature changes in Drosophila melanogaster

    Soto-Padilla, A., Ruijsink, R., Sibon, O. C. M., van Rijn, H. & Billeter, J-C., 22-May-2018, In : Journal of Experimental Biology. 221, 10, 9 p., 74151.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  5. Chemical cues that guide female reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster

    Billeter, J-C. & Wolfner, M. F., Sep-2018, In : Journal of Chemical Ecology. 44, 9, p. 750-769 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

View all (30) »

Datasets
  1. Replication Data for: An automated method to determine the performance of Drosophila in response to temperature changes in space and time

    Soto Padilla, A. (Creator), Ruijsink, R. (Creator), Span, M. M. (Creator), Rijn, van, H. (Creator), Billeter, J. (Creator), University of Groningen, 21-Nov-2018

    Dataset

  2. Replication Data for: Thermosensory perception regulates speed of movement in response to temperature changes in Drosophila melanogaster

    Soto Padilla, A. (Creator), Ruijsink, R. (Creator), Sibon, O. (Creator), Rijn, van, H. (Creator), Billeter, J. (Creator), University of Groningen, 10-Nov-2017

    Dataset

View all (3) »

Prizes
  1. Nominee of the 2014-2015 Faculty Teaching Award

    Jean-Christophe Billeter (Recipient), 27-Nov-2015

    Prize: Other distinctionAcademic

  2. Art of Neurosciences Award

    Jean-Christophe Billeter (Recipient), 24-Mar-2015

    PrizeAcademic

View all (2) »

Activities
  1. 2018 Insect reproductive molecules meeting

    Jean-Christophe Billeter (Organiser)
    22-Aug-201824-Aug-2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an eventAcademic

  2. What can a silly little fly tell you about life and sex?

    Jean-Christophe Billeter (Invited speaker)
    9-Dec-2013

    Activity: Talk or presentationProfessional

  3. La vie sociale ne s'arrête pas à l'humanité!

    Jean-Christophe Billeter (Invited speaker)
    10-Mar-2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationProfessional

View all (16) »

Press / Media
  1. Do aphrodisiacs really work?

    Jean-Christophe Billeter

    14/02/201923/03/2019

    1 item of media coverage, 1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

  2. Brains, not biochemistry, speed up hot flies

    Jean-Christophe Billeter

    24/05/2018

    1 item of media coverage

    Press/Media: ResearchPopular

  3. All hail the fruit fly

    Jean-Christophe Billeter

    11/09/2017

    1 media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert CommentPopular

View all (6) »

View graph of relations

ID: 403089