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Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms
UMR 7232

In the GENOPHY team we study algal host - virus interactions. We are particularly interested in the biology, ecology and evolution of the Mamiellophyceae, which are unicellular picoeukaryotic marine green algae. These picoalgae serve as models for diverse research projects, ranging from their physiology to their evolutionary history, including their interactions with the environment, and their relationships with large DNA viruses.

Many of our analyses are based on genomic approaches. Using microbiological and molecular techniques we are isolating new strains of picoalgae and viruses to compare their physiology and how it relates to their molecular signatures. Knowledge acquired about these species may then be used as a tool to capture relevant information from environmental sample databases in silico (usually DNA sequence data, either amplified from marker genes or from metagenomes produced by Next Generation Sequencing, and other sources).

We combine experimental and bioinformatic analyses to address evolutionary and environmental genomics questions about phytoplankton. Our main research questions are focused on :
(1)    understanding the origin and evolution of genetic diversity [1], and its relation with biotic [2] and abiotic factors [3].
(2)    host - virus coevolution over long evolutionary timescales using phylogenetically divergent microalga-prasinovirus genomes [4], and over short evolutionary timescales using experimental evolution [5][[6]

[1] Krasovec et al. 2017 Mol Biol Evol PMID: 28379581
[2] Abby et al. 2014 Front. Microbiol. PMID: 25426102
[3] Blanc-Mathieu et al. 2017 Science Adv. PMID : 28695208
[4] Michely et al. 2013 Genome Biol Evol PMID: 23563969
[5] Yau et al. 2016 PLoS Pathog. PMID: 2778827
[6] Yau et al. 2020 Science Adv. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay2587


Gwenael Piganeau (gwenael.piganeau @ obs-banyuls.fr) - 10/04/20

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