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Laboratoire d'Océanographie Microbienne
UMR 7621

Workshop "When genetics meets oceanography" (14-16 October 2013 Banyuls-sur-Mer France)

Scientific Committee

Kathy Barbeau Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego, USA. Stéphane Blain, Laboratoire d’Océanographie MIcrobienne, CNRS-Univ Paris06, Banyuls-sur-Mer France, François-Yves Bouget Laboratoire d’Océanographie MIcrobienne, CNRS-Univ Paris06, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France. Chris Bowler Département de Biologie, Ecole Normal Supérieure, Paris, France. Christel Hassler, Institut F.-A. Forel, Université de Genève, Switzerland. Julie Laroche, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University Halifax, Canada, Thomas Mock, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Rafael Simo, Institu de Ciencies de Mar-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain. Assaf Vardi Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institut of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


Biogeochemical fluxes in the ocean are tightly linked to the activity of the microbial community.  The diversity and the functions of microbes have been largely revealed by Omic’s approaches applied both in field and experimental studies. Comparative genomics is also a powerful tool to identify genes and biological processes that are responsible for the adaptation and acclimation of microbes to specific ecological niches. However, there are still gaps in our knowledge and methodologies that need to be filled in order to understand the molecular basis for the biological activities and ecological fitness of microbes in the ocean.


In this context, genetic tools are a promising approach that merits further investigation. Microbial model organisms such as the yeast Sacharomyces cerevisiaeor the bacterium Escherichia Coli have been used for a long time by cell biologists and physiologists to study biological processes such as the cell division cycle and the underlying gene regulatory networks. Genetic tools and genetic resources are already available for a few marine model microorganisms such as diatoms (Phaeodactylum, Thalassosira), Prasinophytes (Ostreococcus) and cyanobacteria (Synechococcus).The objective of this workshop is to bring together oceanographers, ecologists and cell biologists/geneticists to promote the development and use of genetic tools for marine prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. The development of genetic tools is a huge investment, it is therefore important to optimize the use of existing resources as well as to coordinate and mutualize the development of new model species that are suitable to address environmental questions.  The type of resources and techniques will also be discussed, with an overwiew of methods that can be used to target a gene (gene silencing, knock out by homologous recombination) in marine microbes.  Reporter genes such as luciferase or the Green Fluorescent Protein have also a great potential to monitor gene expression, physiological processes or redox stress under multiple environmental conditions.


Contacts : François-Yves Bouget (francois-yves.bouget @ / Stéphane Blain (blain @



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