Integrative host-microorganism-environment approaches


In a context of climate change, the emergence of diseases significantly modifies the dynamics of host and pathogenic populations, but also the networks of more complex interactions at different scales in the ecosystem

Marine ecosystems are made up of complex interaction networks integrating different levels of temporal and spatial scales. However, global changes can modify these networks by increasing the intensity and virulence of infectious diseases. It is now essential to have a detailed understanding of host-microorganism-environment systems, which requires integrative approaches including the study of all symbiotic organisms (viruses, prokaryotes or eukaryotes) and more broadly of host-associated microbiota, as well as the physiology of host or vector organisms (e.g. immune system and inflammation, metabolism and nutrition), all within a global environmental approach. This integrative approach, which is a growing strength within LEMAR, will focus on understanding these associations by calling on multiple skills (“omics”, genetics, epigenetics, cellular functional analyses), allowing us to integrate new concepts of evolutionary ecology and health (“One Health”) into our research, which will disrupt our paradigms on host-microorganism-environment systems.

Adaptive physiological and behavioural responses of organisms to multiple environmental stresses


observation, experimentation and modelling

One of the great strengths of the PANORAMA team lies in the study of the physiological and behavioural responses of marine organisms to environmental constraints, whether of biotic or abiotic origin. The team strives to understand the effects of factors related to climate change (warming, acidification, hypoxia, nutritional constraints) and/or emerging pollutants on different species present mainly in coastal areas, in a monofactorial or multistress manner. In particular, it is developing approaches in ecotoxicology aimed at studying, on different models, the impact of micro- and nanoplastics, for which our laboratory is a precursor, or that of toxic microalgae, which also represents one of the laboratory’s strengths, or even that of diffuse pollution. We have exceptional structures and experimental and observation means that allow us to monitor the effect of these disturbances and contaminants, in large volumes and over the entire life cycle of the organisms: gametes, embryos, larvae, juveniles and adults. Thanks to this, we also understand the inter- and trans-generational effects of contaminants, pollutants, toxic microalgae and their toxins. Our experimental approaches are complemented by parallel studies in the natural environment where observational monitoring (e.g. monitoring of toxic microalgae blooms) and in situ experiments (e.g. caging experiments) are carried out. Our laboratory is very present in Brest, in the framework of sustained collaborations with CEDRE and ANSES, but also at the national level, with active participation in the GdR Aquatic Ecotoxicology, and the animation of the GdR PHYCOTOX and the GdR “Polymers and Oceans”. Our approach integrates all levels of biological organisation thanks to the new “omics” approaches in ecotoxicology, in association with cell biology, histology and eco-physiology measurements. We complete this coupling of observation and experimentation with modelling in conjunction with the “Coupling” Transverse Axis and the modellers of the DISCOVERY team.

Identification, study and development of molecules and ingredients of marine origin for health and biotechnology


Marine environments are home to a wide variety of organisms whose physiology has adapted to the biotic and abiotic constraints of their environment, adapting their cellular functioning and producing original primary and/or secondary metabolites. These cellular mechanisms and these compounds, whether they are involved in vital processes or in inter-organism interactions, represent a reservoir of potentially valuable molecules in human, animal and plant health, in cosmetics, in agri-food and more generally in biotechnology. The aim is to take advantage of the knowledge acquired on marine biodiversity, chemical ecology and the cellular mechanisms of marine organisms, to isolate, characterise and develop mechanisms and bioactive substances that can be used to combat certain diseases, families of compounds that are beneficial to human and animal health, or of interest in biotechnology. It is also a question of imagining tomorrow’s biotechnological developments in innovative fields such as biomimetic approaches for the development of biocompatible materials, the emergence of natural products from sustainable approaches, or the fight against biofouling. The identification of fundamental, ancestral and original mechanisms present in marine organisms represents a source of inspiration for mimicking these processes in human health, in the fight against certain metabolic pathologies or cellular disorders, thus accelerating our interface perspectives towards clinical research.