IHPE – Team MIMM english

Mechanisms of Adaptation and Interaction in the Marine Environment

In a context of global change, environmental stressors are increasingly affecting marine invertebrates, which are the subject of mortality outbreaks of multiple origins. Species living in marine costal habitats and lagoons are particularly affected as they are exposed to microorganisms brought by rainfalls along the catchment areas, pathogens present in the coastal environment and occasional toxic algal blooms. Moreover, in those ecosystems characterized by shallow waters, marine invertebrates have to face rapid shifts in temperature and salinity and exposure to xenobiotics of anthropogenic origin. Because of the diversity of biotic and abiotic stressors and because their impact and possible synergies on invertebrate physiology and fitness are still unknown, ecological collapses affecting marine invertebrates are still difficult to predict. In this context, we are developing integrative studies to decipher multifactoral diseases affecting Crassostrea gigas oysters, as a species of interest in aquaculture, and Pocillopora damicornis corals, as a species of ecological interest.
Our objectives are on the one hand, to describe the mechanisms that govern host-pathogen-environment interactions coming into play in marine environments, in particular during disease outbreaks, and on the other hand, to characterize the physiological and adaptive responses of invertebrates and their pathogens subjected to environmental stressors. We will study the mechanisms of interaction, their diversity and their dynamics under environmental pressure.

Host Adaptability
(Animator: Jérémie Vidal-Dupiol)

(Animator: Guillaume Charrière)


Illustration of the models and ecosystems studied.
Copyright picture: Caroline Montagnani


The virulent vibrio, LGP32 (green), invade and replicate within oyster immune cells (Red: cytoplasm, Blue: nucleus).
Copyright picture: Tristan Rubio

Under the pressure of global changes numerous ecologically, economically or sociologically import species need to adapt in order to persist in the Anthropocene epoch. Study their adaptability (e.g the capability of an organism, a population or a species to adapt itself to an environmental change) is therefore crucial to comprehend the future of the earth system. In this context our project aims to understand and quantify the adaptability of our model species (oyster and coral) through the development of integrative (phenotypic, transcriptomic, epi-meta-genomic) and multi-scale (from molecule to populations) approaches to embrace all the subtlety of this adaptability

One of the two main axes of the research activity of our team concerns pathogens characterization, the study of their virulence mechanisms, and the identification of processes involved in the emergence of pathogens in marine environments. Our approaches incorporated different levels of analysis ranging from i) identification and understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of virulence; ii) the in vivo integrated study of factors involved in colonization, transmission and pathogenicity iii) up to the study of the role of biotic interactions in the environment in the regulation and acquisition of virulence during the emergence of pathogens. The team masters different biological models to address these issues in different ecological and economic contexts (aquaculture) and develops exploratory approaches (Barcoding 16S / 18S), deep phenotyping (high-throughput functional assays, RNAseq and Single-Cell RNAseq) and high-throughput functional screening (such as INseq approaches) to carry out integrated studies. These aims are addressed in the various projects already obtained (ANR, Ec2co INSU, Labex Cemeb, MUSE i-Site, Ifremer, H2020 Vivaldi).

On Feb 28th 2019, Delphine Destoumieux-Garzón and Gerard Wong were elected Vice Chairs for the Gordon Research Conference on Antimicrobial Peptides for 2021 and Chairs for 2023
A postdoctoral position for 2016 (closed) : Hemomicrobiota of the oyster: microbial diversity and dynamics during experimental pathogenesis in Crassostrea gigas.  informations


A part of MIMM team, october 2017

DESTOUMIEUX-GARZÓN Delphine Researcher CNRS (90%)
Assistant Professor University of Montpellier (100%)
Researcher Ifremer (100%)
ESCOUBAS Jean-Michel
Researcher CNRS (100%)
Researcher Ifremer (100%)
HAFFNER Philippe
Technician Ifremer (100%)
Assistant Professor University of Perpignan (100%)
- LEROY Marc
Technician CNRS (100%)
MITTA Guillaume
Professor University of Perpignan (100%)
Researcher Ifremer (90%)
NOËL Thierry
Researcher Ifremer (10%)
Researcher Ifremer (100%)
Researcher Ifremer (100%)
DELMOTTE Jean, Ph.D student, University of Montpellier
GWARA Janan, Ph.D student, University of Perpignan
HAMMEL Maurine, Ph.D student, University of Montpellier
NADIR-MARASCO Sofia, student in management
OYANEDEL TRIGO Daniel, Ph.D student, University of Chili
ROBINO Etienne, Ph.D student, University of Montpellier
STENGER Pierre-Louis, Ph.D student, University of French Polynesia
- VEGA HEREDIA Sarahi, postdoctoral fellowship CONACYT-MEXICO
- NADIR MARASCO Sofia, technician (student in Management)
SACCAS Mathilde, technician (professionnal bachelor’s degree in Analytical and experimental biology)
TEANINIURAITEMOANA Vaihiti, postdoctoral fellowship, Ifremer Tahiti
LUCASSON Aude, Ph.D student, University of Montpellier
- VERGNES Agnès Technician Ifremer (100%)
CLERISSI Camille (postdoctoral fellowship, Ifremer) Researcher EPHE
PERRET Angélique, student in biology
- BACHÈRE Evelyne Researcher Ifremer (100%) retired
(PhD Student 2013-2016) Pharmacy Consultant and Medical devices at Alispharm
(PhD Student 2013-2017) thesis in november 2017
- DA ROSA Rafael
(PhD Student 2008-2011) Professor, Laboratory of Applied Immunology in Aquaculture, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil after a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratoroy of  Professor Sirley Daffre in San Paulo, Brasil
–  DUPERTHY Marylise
(PhD Student 2007-2010) Associate Professor in  Department of microbiology, infectiology and immunology of  Montréal University, Canada after a post-doctoral fellowship in  Department of Molecular Biology, The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Umeå University, Umeå, Sueden
(Post-doctoral fellowship Ifremer 2014-2016) Manager of the company Bioceanor, Cagnes-sur-mer, France
(PhD Student 2002-2005) Researcher in Instituto Antartico Chileno,  Laboratorio de Biorrecursos Antárticos – Punta Arenas Chili
(post-doctoral fellowship 2012-2013) Vancouver Island University (tenure track position)
- LAFONT Maxime
(PhD Student 2014-2017) thesis in november 2017
(post-doctoral fellowship 2013-2015) Postdoctoral fellowship, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chili   @
MELLO Danielle F.
(PhD Student 2013) Post-doctoral associate, Meyer Lab, Duke University, NC, USA @
- POIRIER Aurore
(PhD Student 2012-2015) Postdoctoral fellowship, Institute for Liver & Digestive Health, University College, London, England @
RONDON Rodolfo
(PhD Student 2013-2015) Post-doctoral fellowship, Laboratory of Biotechnology and Aquatic Genomics, Department of Oceanography, Interdisciplinary Center for Aquaculture Research (INCAR), University of Concepción, Concepción, Chili
RUBIO Tristan
(PhD Student 2014-2017) thesis in november 2017
- SCHMITT Paulina
(PhD Student 2007-2010) Researcher in the laboratory « Genética e Inmunología Molecular », Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso », Valparaíso, Chili   @ after a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of  Professor Andrew Ouelette, University of South California, USA.
- VANHOVE Audrey
(PhD Student 2011-2014) Post-doctoral fellowship, Polytechnical Federal School of Lausanne (Dept of Professor Mélanie Blokesch), Switzerland after a postdoctoral fellowship at the Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Dept of Professor Paula Watnick), USA
(PhD Student 2007-2011) Researcher at Ifremer, IHPE
(PhD STudent 2008-2012) Engineer, Department of Molecular Genetics , Universitary Hospital of Montpellier, France

- Frédérique LE ROUX, Ifremer, PFOM, Roscoff Biological Station
– Agnès TRAVERS, Ifremer, La Tremblade
– Bruno PETTON & Pierre BOUDRY, Ifremer, PFOM, Brest
– Annick JACQ, University of Orsay
– Claudine MEDIGUE, Génoscope, Ivry
– Farida AKCHA, Ifremer, Laboratory of Ecotoxicology, Nantes
– David PIQUEMAL, ACOBIOM, Montpellier
– Alain GIVAUDAN & Sophie GAUDRIAULT, INRA, Montpellier
– Hervé COTTET, Institut Max Mousseron, Montpellier  
- Sun NYUNT WAI & Marylise DUPERTHUY, The laboratory for molecular infection and medicine, University of Umea, Sweden
– Mélanie BLOKESCH & Charles VAN DER HENST, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
– Hans-Georg SAHL, University of Bonn, Germany
- Rafael DA ROSA, University of Florianopolis, Brazil
– Marcelo GONZALEZ, Institut Antarctique Chilien (INACH), Chili
– Timothy GREEN, Macquarie University, Australia
– Paulina SCHMITT, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chili

Host Adaptability
(Animator: Jérémie Vidal-Dupiol)

(Animator: Guillaume Charrière)


Molecular engineering of antimicrobial peptides inspired by ancestral marine biodiversity

* GEM:
Genetic and epigenetic basis of the resistance of the juvenile oyster Crassostrea gigas to the massive mortality syndrom

Assessing climate change impacts on Eilat's coral reef of tomorrow

Antiviral protection in oyster Crassostrea gigas

Preventing and migrating farmed bivalve diseases

Influence of a toxic microalgae Alexandrium pacificum (catenella) on the virulence of a oyster pathogenic bacteria strain, Vibrio tasmaniensis LGP32

Exploring marine AMoebae and their endosymbionts as an environmental intracellular ADAPTive niche for pathogen emergence

Study of the apoptotic effects induced by the neurotoxins of the dinoflagellate Alexandrium pacificum (catenella) on the oyster Crassostrea gigas: consequences on the susceptibility of oysters to pathogens

Cellular and evolutionary biology of transmissible cancer of the blue mussel

Characterizing a novel vibriosis associated to oyster juvenile mass mortalities in the Thau Lagoon, South of France

* EN3VI:
Characterization of the virulence of the pathogenic for oyster, Vibrio tasmaniensis LGP32 induced by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium pacificum (catenella)

Composition and dynamics of Crassostrea gigas hemo-microbiota: microbial diversity, relationship with the oyster genetic background and the environment

Interaction of viral haplotypes and oysters hemocytes during OsHV-1 μVar infection

Environmental reservoirs of vibrios pathogenic oysters and planktonic species affecting their dynamics in the Thau Lagoon, South of France

Exploring the paradox of holobionts: how microbicidal interfaces host stable interactions with bacteria

Studying the role of Vibrio-Amoeba interactions in the emergence of pathogens in marine environments

Preventing and migrating farmed bivalve diseases

Awards of MIMM’s students

Maxime Lafont
Best oral presentation
Immuninv 2017, june 2017, Lyon, France
Laura Chapelet
Best poster by French Society of Antimicrobial Peptides
Antimicrobial Peptide Symposium, AMP2016, june 2016, Montpellier, France
Tristan Rubio
Winner French Region Languedoc-Roussillon National oral contest « Ma thèse en 180 secondes », 2016
Tristan Rubio
Doctoriales cross-border France-Spain, 2015
Aurore Poirier
First poster prize
EMBO / ESF Research conference on integrated insect immunology, September 2013, Pultusk, Poland