Cycle phagique et métabolisme bactérien
Keywords : site specific recombinaison, bacterial physiology, molecular virology, host-phage interactions, genome evolution
Key Research Interests
We are Molecular Microbiologists and our primary research interests relate to the evolution of microbial genomes through the acquisition of prophage genes. We are particular interested in dissecting the interconnexions between prophages and bacterial genomes from evolutionary as well as mechanistic point of views.
Current Research Projects
Relationships between prophages and host metabolism
In prokaryotic genomes, genomic islands can represent up to 10% of the total genome, and most of these islands are prophage remnants that are no longer infectious. Two important questions that drive our current research are : (i) why are these prophages maintained into the host genome, and (ii) how are they maintained ?
Cell regulated site-specific recombination
The fact that the heat shock-regulated molecular chaperone DnaJ interacts with the TorI excisionase and strongly stimulates KplE1 excision suggests a link between the heat-shock (HS) response and prophage excision. Our research focuses on the links between stress response and site-specific recombination, the involvement of DnaJ in other recombination systems and the localization and identification of host factor involved in site-specific recombination
“Phagosensor” : a phage based biosensor
This project is developed in collaboration with J.R. Fantino and G. Gregori from the “biosensor” (LCB) and the PRECYM (Cytometry for Microbiology) facilities and is fully described in the “Biosensor” Lab section.
Life in our research group
Our research group uses a powerful combination of genetics, functional genomics, basic biochemistry and phage infection models to understand the mechanisms of prophage driven bacterial genome evolution. We use the excellent facilities available at the Mediterranean Institute of Microbiology (IMM-ifr88) that include biophotonic and electronic microscopy, transcriptomic analysis, proteomic and fermentation, NMR and EPR. We meet on a regular basis for lab meetings and journal presentations and we make sure that each group member goes to conferences relevant to our work every year. In 2010, group members presented ongoing work at the Viruses of Microbes International conference and at the Site-specific recombination workshop. Members of the group were fully involved in the organization of the Molecular Microbiology School (CNRS-INRA-I. Pasteur-AVIESAN).
P. Genevaux (LMGM, Toulouse) « Chapex : involvement of the cochaperon DnaJ (HSP40) into prophage excision » ANR « Blanche » (2008-2011).
T. Mdzinarashvili (Tbilisi State University, Georgia) « Bacterial development in biologically active materials : a turbidity approach » Programme Franco-Géorgien CNRS-GNSF (2009-2010).
J.R. Fantino (Biosensor facility, LCB UPR9043), G. Grégori (Cytometry facility, LMGEM, CNRS UMR 6117) « Phagosensor : a phage based biosensor » Région PACA appel à projet exploratoire (2009-2010).
C. Aubert, L. Pieulle (IMR, IFR88) “Operonic structures of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough genes”.
Postdocs & Fellows
Feel free to email me to discuss projects and alternative sources of funding. .Possible funding routes include applying for fellowships, e.g. EU Marie Curie, with me acting as sponsor, or grant applications with you as a named postdoc.