Associate professor, Sorbonne University

Jean Mary

Main scientific interests

I am interested in the adaptation of hydrothermal invertebrates to the temperature conditions of deep hydrothermal vents in the context of the evolutionary history of these species. I use proven methods of protein biochemistry and biophysics to investigate the issue of the evolution of species. My model is the Alvinellidae family.

The Alvinellidae are a family of worms endemic mainly to hydrothermal vents in the Pacific. This family has about fifteen species grouped into two genera, the Alvinella and the Paralvinella.

Among these species, some live closest to the source of hydrothermal fluid emission and therefore withstand high temperatures for metazoans (Alvinella pompejana, Paralvinella sulfincola, etc.) while others stay further away (Paralvinella grasslei, Paralvinella palmiformis…).

We correlate the conformational stability of an organism's proteins to the temperature of its living environment. Some species are more thermophilic than others. We try to understand how this character of thermophilia evolved during the history of this lineage. For this we proceed to the reconstruction of ancestral sequences of proteins at different key nodes of the phylogeny and we test the thermo-stability of these proteins. The final objective is to determine whether the ancestor organism of this lineage was thermophilic or not.



* Oceanographic campaigns:

2019 Chubacarc (May 2019), South West Pacific back-arc basins, leader:  D. Jollivet - NO Atalante / ROV.

2013 BioBaz, Ride Médio-Atlantique, leader: F Lallier – NO Pourquoi Pas / ROV.

2012 MESCAL-2, Eastern Pacific Ride (EPR), leader:  N. Le Bris – NO Atalante / Nautile.

2010 MESCAL-1, Eastern Pacific Ride (EPR), leader: F Lallier – NO l’Atalante / Nautile.


* I am co-responsible for the Biology Modeling and Data Analysis Bachelor in Science course at Sorbonne University and taught at the Roscoff biological station. I teach chemistry, thermodynamics, enzymology and metabolism.



* Bioy A., Le Port A.S., Verheye M., Faure B., Mary J. and Jollivet D. (2022) Balanced  polymorphism at the Pgm-1 locus of the Pompeii worm Alvinella pompejana and its variant adaptability is only governed by two QE mutations at linked sites. Gene, 13 : 206.

* Détrée C., Haddad I., Demey-Thomas E., Vinh J., Lallier F.H., Tanguy A., Mary J. (2019) Global host molecular perturbations upon in situ loss of bacterial endosymbionts in the deep-sea mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus assessed using proteomics and transcriptomics. BMC Genomics, 20. DOI : 10.1186/s12864-019-5456-0.

* Détrée C., Lallier F.H., Tanguy A., Mary J. (2017) Identification and gene expression of multiple peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) in the deep-sea mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus, involvement in symbiosis? Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part B, 207 : 1-8.

* Fontanillas E, Galzitskaya O.V., Lecompte  O., Lobanov M.Y., Tanguy A., Mary J., Girguis P.R., Hourdez S., Jollivet D. (2017) Proteome evolution of deep-sea hydrothermal vent alvinellid polychaetes supports the ancestry of thermophily and subsequent adaptation to cold in some lineages. Genome Biol. Evol. evw298.

* Détrée C., Chabenat A., Lallier FH., Satoh N., Shoguchi E., Tanguy A., Mary J. (2016) Multiple i-type lysozymes in the hydrothermal vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus and their role in symbiotic plasticity. Plos One 11 : e0148988.

* Bruneaux M., Mary J., Verheye M., Lecompte O., Jollivet D., Tanguy A. (2013) Detection and  characterization of mutations responsible for allele-specific protein thermostabilities at the Mn-superoxide dismutase gene in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent polychaete Alvinella pompejana. J. Mol. Evol. 76 :295-310.

* Jollivet D., Mary J., Gagnière N., Tanguy A., Fontanillas E., Boutet I., Hourdez, S., Segurens B., Weissenbach J., Poch O., Lecompte O. (2012) Proteome adaptation to high temperatures in ectothermic vent metazoa Pompeii worm. Plos One 7 : e31150 10.1371.

* Gagnière N., Jollivet D., Bigot Y., Boutet, I., Busso D., Chénais B., Gaill F., Higuet D., Hourdez S., Knoops B., Lallier F., Leize-Wagner E., Mary J., Moras D., Rees J.-F., Shillito B., Segurens B., Tanguy A., Thierry J.-C., Weissenbach J., Zal F., Poch O., Lecompte O. (2010) Insights into metazoan evolution from Alvinella pompejana cDNA libraries. BMC Genomics 11: 634 10.1186/1471-2164-11-634.

* Mary J., Rogniaux H., Rees JF., Zal F. (2010) Response of Alvinella pompejana to variable oxygen stress: a proteomic approach. Proteomics 10, 2250-2258.

* Le HT, Chaffotte A., Demey-Thomas E., Vinh J., Friguet B., Mary J. (2009) Impact of hydrogen peroxide on the activity, structure and conformational stability of the oxidized protein repair enzyme methionine sulfoxide reductase A. J. Mol. Biol. 393, 58-66.