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Marc DELÊTRE (English)

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Marc DELÊTRE Research team
- Ethnoecology and use of natural resources

Research thematics
- ethnobotany
- crop genetic resources
- population genetics
- ecology and evolutionary biology
- folk ecological knowledge
- farmer-plant interactions

Current research
- Seed transmission systems and the social dynamics of crop diversity
- Phylogeography and domestication of a Bolivian root crop, Pachyrhizus ahipa (Wedd.) Parodi, Fabaceae

PhD Thesis

The ins and outs of manioc diversity in Gabon, Central Africa : a pluridisciplinary approach to the dynamics of genetic diversity of Manihot esculenta Crantz (Euphorbiaceae). 2010 PDF

Supervisor : Trevor Hodkinson, Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland.

Examiners : Steve Waldren, Barbara Pickersgill

Abstract : My PhD dissertation was an interdisciplinary approach to the evolutionary dynamics of genetic diversity in crop plants. The general focus was to examine the factors that impinge on the local and regional dynamics of manioc (Manihot esculenta, Euphorbiaceae) diversity in Africa, using a comparative approach that combined evolutionary biology, ethnobotany, history, and population genetics, in different agricultural settings in Gabon, central Africa. I showed that the patterns of manioc diversity in Gabon could only be interpreted in the light of the historical trajectories of the crop’s diffusion in Gabon, and that the modes of manioc spread among populations in Gabon were intricately linked with the progressive economic mutation of Gabon, as pre-colonial trade networks dissolved and Gabon evolved into a French colony during the 19th and 20th centuries.



’What is food to one is to others bitter poison’ : Historical and ecological insights into cultural variations in perception of manioc bitterness in Gabon. Ecological and Anthropological Approaches to Agrobiodiversity and Food systems. Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, UK. 6-7 December, 2012 (invited speaker)

Marriage exchanges, seed exchanges and the dynamics of manioc genetic diversity. NUIG Galway, Ireland. 9 February 2012 (invited speaker)


Delêtre M, Hodkinson T & McKey D Local-scale diversity dynamics of manioc : a case study of traditional farming systems in Gabon, Central Africa. ESEB Meeting, Uppsala, Sweden. 20-25 August 2007

Delêtre M, Hodkinson T & McKey D The ins and outs of manioc genetic diversity in Gabon : an insight into the historical roots of manioc in Africa. Global Cassava Partnership I, Gand, Belgique. 21-25 July 2008 Harlan II, Davis, California, USA. 14-18 September 2008


Delêtre M, Soengas B, Utge J, Lambourdière J, Sørensen M (2013) Microsatellite markers for the yam bean Pachyrhizus DC (Fabaceae). Applications in Plant Sciences 1, 1200551 PDF

Bradbury EJ, Duputié A, Delêtre M, Roullier C, Narváez-Trujillo A, Manu-Aduening JA, Emshwiller E, McKey D. Geographic differences in patterns of genetic differentiation among bitter and sweet cassava (Manihot esculenta : Euphorbiaceae). American Journal of Botany PDF

Pautasso M, Aistara G, Barnaud A, Caillon S, Clouvel P, Coomes O, Delêtre M, Demeulenaere E, De Santis P, Doering T, Eloy L, Emperaire L, Garine E, Goldringer I, Jarvis D, Joly H, Leclerc C, Louafi S, Martin P, Massol F, McGuire S, McKey D, Padoch C, Soler C, Thomas M, Tramontini S. Seed exchange networks for agrobiodiversity conservation. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, DOI 10.1007/s13593-012-0089-6 PDF

McKey D, Elias M, Pujol B, Duputié A, Delêtre M, Renard D. Maintien du potentiel adaptatif chez les plantes domestiquées à propagation clonale. Leçons de gestion par les cultivateurs de manioc amérindiens. Revue d’Ethno-écologie, (in press) [in french] PDF

Delêtre M, McKey D, Hodkinson TR (2011) Marriage exchanges, seed exchanges, and the dynamics of manioc diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, 18249-18254 PDF

Duputié A, Delêtre M, de Granville JJ, McKey D (2009) Population genetics of Manihot esculenta ssp. flabellifolia gives insight into past distribution of xeric vegetation in a postulated forest refugium area in northern Amazonia. Molecular Ecology 18, 2897-2907 PDF

Delêtre M & Measey GJ (2004). Sexual selection vs. ecological causation in a sexually dimorphic caecilian, Schistometopum thomense (Amphibia : Gymnophiona : Caeciliidae). Ethology, Ecology & Evolution, 16, 243-253 PDF


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