Senior researcher CNRS

Marine microbiologist

Frédéric Partensky is a specialist of marine picocyanobacteria, the smallest and most abundant microorganisms of the marine phytoplankton



Senior scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)



2000      Habilitation to supervise students (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches)
1989      PhD University of Paris VI in Biological Oceanography. Station Biologique de Roscoff, France. Advisor: D. Vaulot. (French Research & Education Ministry grant)



1989-1990 Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Dartmouth, Canada). Advisor: W.K.W Li (NSERC grant)    



2009  Ocean Sciences Award ("Prix des Sciences de la Mer"), attributed by the French Academy of Sciences



    Ecological distribution and diversity of marine picocyanobacteria
    Genomics and evolution of light-harvesting complexes in marine picocyanobacteria





  • Partensky F., Mella-Flores D., Six C., Garczarek L., Czjzek M., Marie D., Kotabova E., Prasil O, (2018). Oxygen production rates of marine picocyanobacteria with different configurations of the oxygen evolution complex. Photosynthesis Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11120-018-0539-3


  • Partensky F., Six C., Ratin M., Garczarek L., Vaulot D., Probert I., Calteau A., Gourvil P., Marie D., Grébert T., Bouchier, Le Panse S., Gachenot M.., Rodríguez F. & Garrido J.L. (2018). A novel species of the marine cyanobacterium Acaryochloris with a unique pigment content and lifestyle. Scientific Reports. 8; 9152. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27542-7


  • Grébert T., Doré H., Partensky F., Farrant G.K., Boss E., Picheral M., Guidi L., Pesant S., Scanlan D.J., Wincker P., Acinas S.G., Kehoe D.M. & Garczarek L. (2018). Light color acclimation: a key process in the global ocean distribution of Synechococcus cyanobacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 115(9): E2010-E2019


  • Pittera J., Jouhet J., Breton S., Garczarek L., Partensky F., Maréchal E., Nguyen N.A., Doré H., Ratin M., Pitt F.D., Scanlan D.J. & Six C (2018). Thermoacclimation and genome adaptation of the membrane lipidome in marine Synechococcus. Environmental Microbiology. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13985.


  • Cuvelier M.L., Guo J., Ortiz A.C., van Baren M.J., Tariq M.A., Partensky F. & Worden A.Z (2017). Responses of the picoprasinophyte Micromonas commoda to light and ultraviolet stress. PLoS One. 12(3):e0172135. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172135


  • Mahmoud RM., Sanfilippo J.E, Nguyen A.A., Strnat J.A., Partensky F., Garczarek L., El-Kassem N.A. Kehoe D.M. & Schluchter M. (2017) Adaptation to blue light in marine Synechococcus requires MpeU, an enzyme with similarity to phycoerythrobilin lyase isomerases. Frontiers in Microbiology (section Microbial Physiology and Metabolism). 8:243. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.00243


  • Xia X., Partensky F., Garczarek L., Suzuki K., Guo C., Cheung SY, Liu H (2017). Phylogeography and pigment type diversity of Synechococcus cyanobacteria in surface waters of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Environmental Microbiology. 19(1) 142-158.


  • Farrant GK, Doré D, Cornejo-Castillo FM, Partensky F, Ratin M, Ostrowski M, Pitt F, Wincker P, Scanlan DJ, Iudicone D, Acinas, SG & Garczarek, L (2016). Delineating ecologically significant taxonomic units from global patterns of marine picocyanobacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 113(24):E3365-74


  • Hess WR, Garczarek L, Pfreundt U & Partensky F (2016). Chapter 3. Phototrophic microorganisms: The basis of the marine food web. In: The marine microbiome. Stal LJ and Cretoiu MS (eds.). Springer International Publishing Switzerland. pp 57-97.


  • Pittera J, Partensky F & Six C (2016). Adaptive thermostability of light-harvesting complexes in marine picocyanobacteria. The ISME Journal. 11, 112–124


  • Sanfilippo JE, Nguyen AA, Karty JA, Shukla A, Schluchter WM, Garczarek L, Partensky F & Kehoe DM (2016). Self-regulating genomic island encoding tandem regulators confers chromatic acclimation to marine Synechococcus Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 113(21):6077-6082


  •  Farrant GK, Hoebeke M., Partensky F, Andres G & Garczarek L (2015). WiseScaffolder: an algorithm for the semi-automatic scaffolding of Next Generation Sequencing data. BMC Bioinformatics 16:281.


  • Humily F, Farrant GK, Marie D, Partensky F, Mazard S, Perennou M, Labadie K, Aury JM, Wincker P, Nicolas Segui A, Scanlan DJ & Garczarek L (2014). Development of a targeted metagenomic approach to study a genomic region involved in light harvesting in marine Synechococcus. FEMS Microbiology and Ecology 88: 231–249.


  • Bretaudeau A, Coste F, Humily F, Garczarek L, Le Corguillé G, Six L, Ratin M, Collin O, Schluchter W & Partensky F (2013) CyanoLyase: a database of phycobilin lyase sequences, motifs and functions. Nucleic Acids Research. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1091 (2013 Database issue).


  • Coelho SM, Simon N, Ahmed S, J Cock M & Partensky F (2013) Ecological and evolutionary genomics of marine photosynthetic organisms. Molecular Ecology 22: 867-907.


  • Collén J, Porcel B, Carré W, Ball S, Chaparro C, Tonon T, Barbeyron T, Michel G, Noel B, Valentin K, Elias M, Artiguenave F, Arun A, Aury J-M, Barbosa-Neto JF, Bothwell JH, Bouget F-Y, Brillet L, Cabello-Hurtado F, Capella-Gutíerrez S, Charrier B, Cladière L, Cock JM, Coelho SM, Colleoni ., Czjzek M, Da Silva C, Delage L, Denoeud F, Deschamps P, Dittami SM., Gabaldón T, Gachon CMM, Groisillier A, Hervé C, Jabbari K, Katinka M, Kloareg B, Kowalczyk N, Labadie K, Leblanc C, Lopez PJ, McLachlan D, Meslet-Cladière L, Moustafa A, Nehr Z, Nyvall-Collén P, Panaud O, Partensky F, Poulain J, Rensing SA, Rousvoal S, Samson G, Symeonidi A, Weissenbach J, Zambounis A, Wincker P & Boyen C (2013) Genome structure and metabolic features in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus shed light on evolution of the Archaeplastida. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 110: 5247-5252


  • Humily F, Partensky F, Six C, Farrant GK, Ratin M, Marie D & Garczarek L (2013). A gene island with two possible configurations is involved in chromatic acclimation in marine Synechococcus. PLOS One 8: e84459.


  • Buitenhuis ET, Li WKW, Vaulot D, Lomas MW, Landry MR, Partensky F, Karl DM, Ulloa O, Campbell L., Jacquet S, Lantoine F, Chavez F, Macias D, Gosselin M & McManus GB (2012) Picophytoplankton biomass distribution in the global ocean. Earth System Science Data. 4: 37-46.


  • Mazard S, Ostrowski M, Partensky F & Scanlan DJ (2012) Multilocus sequence analysis, taxonomic resolution and biogeography of marine Synechococcus. Environmental Microbiology. 14: 372–386 


  • Mella-Flores D, Six C, Ratin M, Partensky  F, Boutte C, Le Corguillé G, Marie D, Blot N, Gourvil P, Kolowrat C & Garczarek L (2012). Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus have evolved different adaptive mechanisms to cope with light and UV stress. Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology 3:285.


  • Shukla A, Biswas A, Blot N, Partensky F, Karty JA, Hammad LA, Garczarek L, Gutu A, Schluchter WM & Kehoe, D.M. (2012). A blue-light regulated bilin lyase-isomerase controls blue-green chromatic acclimation in marine Synechococcus cyanobacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109:20136-41.


  • Donia MS, Fricke WF, Partensky F, Cox J, Elshahawi SI, White JR, Phillippy AM, Schatz MC, Piel J, Haygood MG, Ravel J & Schmidt EW (2011) A complex microbiome underlying secondary and primary metabolism in the tunicate-Prochloron symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108: E1423-1432.


  • Mella-Flores D, Mazard S, Humily S, Partensky F, Mahé F, Bariat L, Courties C, Marie D, Ras J, Mauriac R, Jeanthon C, Bendif EM, Ostrowski M, Scanlan DJ & Garczarek  L (2011). Is the distribution of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea affected by global warming? Biogeosciences 8, 2785–2804


  • Partensky F & Garczarek L (2011) Arms race in a drop of sea water. Nature 474:582-583. (commentary in the section "News and Views")


  • Feingersch R, Suzuki MT, Shmoish M, Sharon I, Sabehi G, Partensky F & Béjà O (2010) Microbial community genomics in Eastern Mediterranean Sea surface waters. The ISME Journal. 4: 78-87


  • Kolowrat C, Partensky F, Le Corguillé G, Mella-Flores D, Boutte C, Blot N, Ferréol M, Lecomte X, Gourvil P, Lennon J-F., Kehoe D & Garczarek L (2010). A specific gene cluster is involved in Type IV chromatic adaptation in marine Synechococcus cyanobacteria. BMC Microbiology 10:204.


  •  Partensky F. & Garczarek L. (2010). Prochlorococcus: Advantages and limits of minimalism. Annual review of Marine Science 2:305–31.


  • Blot N, Wu X-J, Thomas J-C, Zhang J, Garczarek L, Böhm S, Tu JM, Zhou M, Plöscher M, Eichacker L, Partensky F, Scheer H & Zhao.KH (2009). Phycourobilin in a unique trichromatic phycobiliprotein is formed post-translationally by a novel phycoerythrobilin lyase-isomerase. Journal of Biological Chemistry.  284: 9290-9298


  • Scanlan DJ, Ostrowski M, Mazard S, Dufresne A, Garczarek L, Hess WR, Post AF, Hagemann M, Paulsen I & Partensky F (2009). Ecological genomics of marine picocyanobacteria. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 73: 249-299.


  • Sharon I, Alperovitch A, Rohwer F, Haynes F, Glaser F, Atamna-Ismaeel N, Pinter RY, Partensky F, Koonin EV, Wolf YI, Nelson N & Béjà O (2009) Photosystem-I gene cassettes in marine viruses. Nature 461:258-262


  • Dufresne A, Ostrowski M, Scanlan DJ, Garczarek L, Mazard S., Palenik BP, Paulsen IT, Tandeau de Marsac N, Wincker P, Dossat C, Ferriera S, Johnson J, Post A F, Hess W R & Partensky F (2008). Unraveling the genomic mosaic of a ubiquitous genus of marine cyanobacteria. Genome Biology 9:R90. 16pp


  • Holtzendorff J, Partensky F, Mella D, Lennon J-F, Hess WR & Garczarek L (2008). Genome streamlining results in loss of robustness of the circadian clock in the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus PCC9511. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 23: 187-199


  • Six C, Finkel ZV, Rodriguez F, Marie D., Partensky F & Campbell DA (2008). Contrasting photoacclimation strategies in ecotypes of the eukayotic picoplankter Ostreococcus. Limnology and Oceanography. 53: 255-265


  • Garczarek, L., Dufresne, A., Rousvoal, S., West, N. J., Mazard, S., Marie, D., Claustre, H., Raimbault, P., Post, A. F., Scanlan, D. J. & Partensky, F. (2007). High vertical and low horizontal diversity of Prochlorococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea in summer. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 60: 189-206


  • Six C, Joubin L, Partensky F, Holtzendorff J & Garczarek L (2007). UV-induced phycobilisome dismantling in the marine picocyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. WH8102. Photosynthesis Research 92: 75-86


  • Six C, Thomas JC, Garczarek L, Ostrowski M, Dufresne A, Blot N, Scanlan DJ & Partensky F. (2007). Diversity and evolution of phycobilisomes in marine Synechococcus spp.: a comparative genomics study. Genome Biology 8: R259