Our research team seeks to understand the evolution of microbial populations in the wild and their adaptation to the environment.
Our main interest is to track the bacterial evolution in real time, which is of the utmost importance to study the emergence of pathogens. While the search for determinants of pathogenesis is often biased by what is known about human pathogens, our research has shown that environmental bacteria are a source of original molecular mechanisms for virulence, resistance to antimicrobial, biotic interaction and genetic regulation.
Given the abundance of phages and their potential impact on bacterial selection, it is essential to understand the co-evolutionary processes underlying interactions between bacteria and phages. How coevolution in nature shapes genome evolution, drives divergence among populations and maintains diversity within populations is poorly understood and constitutes the goal of our new research project.
To this end we are developing an integrated approach (from ecology to gene, from mathematical modeling to genetics) to understand the evolution and adaptation of pathogens (the Vibrionaceae) threatening animal species (the oyster Crassostreae gigas) which are a major importance for both environmental and socio-economic reasons. Our research will have a positive impact by allowing us to shed light on the key ecological and evolutionary processes underlying phage-bacteria dynamics, with potential applications for phage therapy in aquaculture.