Senior researcher CNRS

Molecular Biologist

My aim is to understand how brown algae develop their body during their growth. In other words: "what are the underlying mechanisms that control the acquisition of shapes, from the formation of the zygote to the adult stage?" I am currently working on the brown alga Ectocarpus, and initiate research on the kelp Saccharina.

PI of the MMA team


Present position

Research Director at the CNRS, Principal Investigator of the team Morphogenesis of Macroalgae ( Roscoff Marine Station, France.

Past research positions 

  • 2005-2011: Permanent scientist (CR1) CNRS  : Station Biologique de Roscoff (France) . “Morphogenesis of brown algae”, France.
  • 2000-2004: Permanent scientist (CR2 CNRS): Institut de Biotechnologie des Plantes, Orsay University (France). “Shaggy-kinases involved in Arabidopsis and Physcomitrella development and stress responses”  (M. Kreis' group), France.
  • 1996-1999:  Post-doctoral fellow (BBSRC): School of Biology, University of Leeds. “Gene silencing in tobacco and Arabidopsis” (P. Meyer's group), United-Kingdom.
  • 1992-1995:   PhD: (Univ Orsay) Institut des Sciences Végétales, C.N.R.S., Gif/Yvette (France).“Rhizobium-alfalfa symbiosis (A. Kondorosi's group), France.


Position in the international community

  • Chair of the European COST Action “Phycomorph: Advancing knowledge on seaweed growth & development” (2014-2018)  ( (
  • Associate Editor of BMC Evolutionary Biology
  • Scientific Expert for the journals Nature Plants, Science, The Plant Cell, Trends in Plant Sciences, J. Phycol, BMC series, BioTechniques, Plant Mol Biol, J Exp Bot, J Phycol, Biochem & Biophys Acta, Water Research.
  • Scientific Expert for National Research funding Agencies: DFG, BMBF, NWO, UEFISCDI.



  • French Society of Phycology (SPF)
  • French Society of Plant Biology (SFBV)
  • French Society of Developmental Biology (SFBD)




Coudert Y, Harris S, Charrier B. Design Principles of Branching Morphogenesis in Filamentous Organisms. Curr Biol, in press, 2019

Rabillé H, Torode T, Tesson B, Le Bail A, Billoud B, Rolland E, Le Panse S, Jam M, Charrier B. Alginates along the filament of the brown alga Ectocarpus help cells cope with stress,  Sci Rep, 9:12956 |, 2019

Rabillé H, Billoud B, Tesson B, Le Panse S, Rolland É, Charrier B. The brown algal mode of tip growth: Keeping stress under control. PLoS Biol 17(1): e2005258. 2019

Charrier B, Rabillé H, Billoud B. Gazing at Cell Wall Expansion under a Golden Light. Trends Plant Sci. Nov 21. pii: S1360-1385(18)30246-2. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.10.013 2018

De Clerck O, Kao SM, Bogaert KA, Blomme J, Foflonker F, Kwantes M, Vancaester E, Vanderstraeten L, Aydogdu E, Boesger J, Califano G, Charrier B, Clewes R, Del Cortona A, D'Hondt S, Fernandez-Pozo N, Gachon CM, Hanikenne M, Lattermann L, Leliaert F, Liu X, Maggs CA, Popper ZA, Raven JA, Van Bel M, Wilhelmsson PKI, Bhattacharya D, Coates JC, Rensing SA, Van Der Straeten D, Vardi A, Sterck L, Vandepoele K, Van de Peer Y, Wichard T, Bothwell JH. Insights into the Evolution of Multicellularity from the Sea Lettuce Genome. Curr Biol. 28(18):2921-2933.e5. 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.015

Charrier B, Abreu MH, Araujo R, Bruhn A, Coates JC, De Clerck O, Katsaros C, Robaina RR, Wichard T. Furthering knowledge on seaweed growth and development to facilitate sustainable aquaculture. New Phytologist 2017; 216(4):967-975. doi: 10.1111/nph.14728.

Rabillé H, Billoud B, Charrier B. Dynamic and microscale mapping of cell growth: case of Ectocarpus filaments. In “Protocol Book on Macroalgae”, CRC Press, Francis & Taylor Group, 2017  ISBN-10: 1498796427. ISBN-13: 978-1498796422

Rabillé H, Koutalianou M, Charrier B, Katsaros C. Actin fluorescent staining in the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. In “Protocol Book on Macroalgae”, CRC Press, Francis & Taylor Group, 2017 ISBN-10: 1498796427. ISBN-13: 978-1498796422

Jia F, Ben Amar M, Billoud B, Charrier B. Morphoelasticity in the development of brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus: from cell rounding to branching. J. R. Soc. Interface 14 : 20160596., 2017

Charrier B, Coates J.C., Stavridou I. Surfing amongst oil-tankers: Developing under-represented fields in the current landscape. Trends Plant Sci, 22(1) : 1-3, 2017

Charrier B, Rolland E, Gupta V and Reddy RC. Production of genetically and developmentally modified seaweeds: Exploiting the potential of artificial selection techniques. Front. Plant Sci. 6:127. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00127, 2015

Wichard T, Charrier B, Mineur F, Bothwell JH, De Clerck O and Coates JC. The green seaweed Ulva: A model system to study morphogenesis. Front. Plant Sci. 6:72. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00072, 2015

Billoud B, Jouanno É, Nehr Z, Carton B, Rolland É, Chenivesse S and Charrier B. Localisation of causal locus in the genome of the brown macroalga Ectocarpus: NGS-based mapping and positional cloning approaches. Front. Plant Sci. 6:68. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00068, 2015

Saint-Marcoux D, Billoud B, Langdale JA and Charrier B.  Laser capture microdissection in Ectocarpus siliculosus: the pathway to cell-specific transcriptomics in brown algae. Front. Plant Sci. 6:54. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00054, 2015

Coates J , Umm- E-Aiman, Charrier B. Understanding “green” multicellularity: do seaweeds hold the key? Front. Plant Sci. 5:737. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00737, 2015

Tesson B, Charrier B. Brown algal morphogenesis: Atomic Force Microscopy as a tool to study the role of mechanical forces. Front. Plant Sci. 5:471. doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00471, 2014

Billoud B, Nehr Z, Le Bail A, Charrier B. Computational prediction and experimental validation of microRNAs in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(1):417-29,  doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt856, 2013

Collén J, Porcel B, Carré W, Ball SG, Chaparro C, Tonon T, Barbeyron T, Michel G, Noel B, Valentin K, Elias M, Artiguenave F, Arun A, Aury JM, Barbosa-Neto JF, Bothwell JH, Bouget FY, Brillet L, Cabello-Hurtado F, Capella-Gutiérrez S, Charrier B, Cladière L, Cock JM, Coelho SM, Colleoni C, Czjzek M, Da Silva C, Delage L, Denoeud F, Deschamps P, Dittami SM, Gabaldón T, Gachon CM, Groisillier A, Hervé C, Jabbari K, Katinka M, Kloareg B, Kowalczyk N, Labadie K, Leblanc C, Lopez PJ, McLachlan DH, Meslet-Cladiere 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. Genome structure and metabolic features in the red seaweed Chondrus crispus shed light on evolution of the Archaeplastida. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110(13):5247-52, 2013

Charrier B, Le Bail A, de Reviers B : « Plant Proteus: Brown algae morphological plasticity and underlying developmental mechanisms”, Trends in Plant Science, 17(8): 468-477, 2012

Nehr Z, Billoud B, Le Bail A, Charrier B. Space-time decoupling in the branching process in the mutant etoile of the filamentous brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus, Plant Signaling & Behavior, 6 (12): 1889 - 1892, 2011

Le Bail A, Billoud B, Le Panse S, Chenivesse S, Charrier B. ETOILE Regulates Developmental Patterning in the Filamentous Brown Alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. The Plant Cell, 23(4): 1666-1678, 2011 doi:10.1105/tpc.110.081919 

Cock JM, Sterck L, Rouzé P, Scornet D, Allen AE, Amoutzias G, Anthouard V, Artiguenave F, J-M Aury, JH. Badger, B Beszteri, K Billiau, E Bonnet, JHF Bothwell, C Bowler, C Boyen, C Brownlee, CJ Carrano, B Charrier, GY Cho, SM Coelho, J Collén, E Corre, C Da Silva, L Delage, N Delaroque, SM Dittami, S Doulbeau, M Elias, G Farnham, CMM Gachon, B Gschloessl, S Heesch, K Jabbari, C Jubin, HKawai, K Kimura, B Kloareg, FC Küpper, D Lang, A Le Bail, C Leblanc, P Lerouge, M Lohr, PJ Lopez, C Martens, F Maumus, G Michel, D Miranda-Saavedra, J Morales, H Moreau, T Motomura, C Nagasato, CA Napoli, DR Nelson, P Nyvall- Collén, AF Peters, C Pommier, P Potin, J Poulain, H Quesneville, B Read, SA Rensing, A Ritter, S Rousvoal, M Samanta, G Samson, DC Schroeder, B Ségurens, M Strittmatter, T Tonon, J Tregear, K Valentin, P von Dassow, T Yamagishi, Y Van de Peer & P Wincker: The Ectocarpus genome and the independent evolution of multicellularity in the brown algae, Nature, 465(7298):617-21, 2010

Le Bail A, Billoud B, Kowalczyk N, Kowalczyk M, Gicquel M, Le Panse S, Stewart S,  Scornet D, Cock JM, Ljung K and Charrier B. Auxin metabolism and function in the multicellular brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Plant Physiology, 153(1):128-144, 2010

Billoud B, Le Bail A and Charrier B. A stochastic 1D nearest-neighbour automaton models the early development of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Functional Plant Biology, 35: 1014-1024, 2008

Le Bail A, Dittami S, De Franco P-O, Rousvoal S, Cock JM, Tonon T, Charrier B. Normalisation genes for expression analyses in the brown alga model Ectocarpus siliculosus. BMC Molecular Biology 9(1):75, 2008

Le Bail A, Billoud B, Maisonneuve C, Peters A, Cock JM, Charrier B. Initial pattern of development of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus (Ectocarpales, Phaeophyceae) sporophyte. Journal of Phycology 44: 1269-81, 2008

A. F. Peters, D. Scornet, M. Ratin, B. Charrier, A. Monnier, Y. Merrien, E. Corre, S.M. Coelho, J. M. Cock. Life-cycle-generation-specific developmental processes are modified in the immediate upright mutant of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus. Development 135(8):1503-12, 2008

B. Charrier, S. Coelho, A. Le Bail, T. Tonon, G. Michel, P. Potin, B. Kloareg, C. Boyen, A.F. Peters,  J. M. Cock. “Development and physiology of the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus: two centuries of research”. New Phytologist 177(2): 319-332, 2008

S. Coelho, A.F. Peters, B. Charrier, D. Roze, C. Destombe, M. Valero, J.M. Cock : Complex life cycles of multicellular eukaryotes: new approaches based on the use of model organisms. Gene 406(1-2):152-170, 2007

G. Claisse, B. Charrier, M. Kreis : The R96 residue of the GSK3/shaggy kinase AtSK32 regulates cell elongation in floral organs of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Molecular Biology, 64(1-2):113-24, 2007

O. Richard, N. Paquet, E. Haudecoeur, B. Charrier: Organization and expression of the GSK3/Shaggy kinase gene family in the moss Physcomitrella patens suggest a unique ancestral gene in land plants involved in osmotic stress response. Journal of Molecular Evolution 61:99-113, 2005

C. Gachon, A. Mingam, B. Charrier: Real-time PCR: What relevance to plant studies? Journal of Experimental Botany 55 (402): 1445-54, 2004

B. Charrier, A Champion., Y. Henry, M. Kreis : Expression profiling of the whole Arabidopsis SHAGGY-like kinase multigene family by real-time RT-PCR. Plant Physiology 130 : 577-590, 2002

B. Charrier, C. Scollan, S. Ross, E. Zubko, P. Meyer: Co-silencing of homologous transgenes in tobacco. Molecular Breeding 6: 407-419, 2000

R Ingram*, B Charrier*, C Scollan et P Meyer (* contribution égale): Expression of the Drosophila Polycomb chromodomain causes developmental alterations in transgenic tobacco: An indication for a role of chromodomain proteins in chromatin-mediated gene regulation in plants. The Plant Cell, 11(6) 1047-1060, 1999

B. Charrier, F. Foucher, E. Kondorosi, Y. d’Aubenton-Carafa, C. Thermes, A. Kondorosi et P. Ratet: Bigfoot: A new class of transposons in alfalfa. The Plant Journal, 18(4) 431-441, 1999

B. Charrier, H. Trinh, S. Poirier, A. Kondorosi et P. Ratet: F3H expression studies and flavonoid localisation in legume nodules reveal distinct tissues specificity and a new pattern of nodule specific gene expression. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 11(9): 924-932, 1998

B. Charrier, C. Leroux, A. Kondorosi, P. Ratet: The expression pattern of alfalfa f3h promoter-gus fusion in Nicotiana benthamiana D. correlates with the presence of flavonoids detected in situ. Plant Molecular Biology 30: 1153-1168, 1996

B. Charrier, C. Coronado, A. Kondorosi, P. Ratet: Molecular characterization and expression of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) flavanone 3-hydroxylase and dihydroflavonol 4-reductase encoding genes. Plant Molecular Biology 29: 773-786, 1995

L. Szabados, B. Charrier, A. Kondorosi, F.J. de Bruijn, P. Ratet: New plant promoter and enhancer testing vectors. Molecular Breeding 1: 419-423, 1995