Ecology and evolution of transmissible cancers


Leader project : Frédéric Thomas – UMR MIVEGEC
French ANR 2019-2022
One of the most enigmatic host-pathogen system concerns directly transmissible cancers, in which the pathogen is a clonal infectious malignant cell line. By an integration of molecular, ecological and evolutionary approaches, including modelling, the project TRANSCAN proposes to decipher the biology of 2 emblematic transmissible cancers: the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) and their two facial tumors and the recently discovered horizontally transmitted leukemia in mussels (Mytilus spp). TRANSCAN is organized around 4 questions: 1) why do transmissible cancers emerge ? 2) How do they evolve? 3) what are their ecological and evolution impacts ? and 4) How to manage them ? Not only TRANSCAN will provide novel and unprecedented information on the biology of transmissible cancers it will also provide a conceptual and theoretical framework that explain and predict the evolution of transmissible cancers, and how to prevent victim wildlife populations from potential extinction
National collaborators
Delphine Destoumieux-Garzon – UMR IHPE
Nicolas Bierne – UMR ISEM
Benjamin Roche – UMR UMMISCO
International collaborators
Beata UJVARI – Deakin University – Australia
Rodrigo HAMEDE – University of Tasmania – Australia
Michael METZGER – Columbia University – USA