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Microbiology Department

Director : Jean-Luc Pernodet
Deputy Director : Yves Dessaux

The Department of Microbiology consists of 13 research groups interested in various aspects of the biology of microorganisms, with special emphases on the study of microbial metabolism, microbial envelopes, and the interactions of microbes with their hosts and the environment.

Microorganisms are the dominant form of life on Earth in terms of abundance and biodiversity. They orchestrate life through their involvement in the planet’s biogeochemical and elemental cycles and have important impacts on our environment and living conditions. Some microorganisms constitute a threat to the health of humans, animals or plants, others are essential for our well-being and that of other living organisms. The exploration of the remarkably diverse features, functions and activities of microorganisms is an exciting area of 21st century biology. It is also essential to improve our health and for the sustainable management of our environment.

The Department of Microbiology consists of 13 research groups. The research of these groups covers a wide range of topics that include microbial ecology, evolution, physiology, genetics, symbiosis and pathogenesis. They study a broad array of organisms (archaea, bacteria, and their viruses) originating from various microbial biotopes (e.g. soils, water, extreme environments, human, animal and plant microbiomes). They are united by their interest in answering fundamental questions related to the biology of microorganisms at the molecular, cellular and population levels. A major specificity of the activity of the Department’s research groups is that they study the biology of micro-organisms, including their interactions with the environment, and are not only using micro-organisms as models to characterize fundamental biological mechanisms.

Three main themes emerge from the research carried out by the different groups in the department: microbial metabolism, microbial envelopes, and the interactions of microbes with their hosts and the environment. The positioning of the various groups relative to these three themes is represented in the figure below, which shows that a given group may often be connected to two or all three of these themes.

Microbiology Teams

One important feature of the department concerns the development of innovative and applied outcomes of the fundamental research carried out. These applications concern three major fields of economic and social importance: health, the environment and bioenergies. In addition, several of our groups are developing approaches for modifying microorganisms and improving their performance as cell factories, and three groups are studying bacteria of major industrial importance (i.e. Corynebacteria and Streptomycetes).
The permanent staff members from the department are widely involved in teaching microbiology and molecular biology at all academic levels. Moreover, the department will welcome Master and Ph.D. students and contribute to the development of microbiology as a discipline within Paris-Saclay University.


Jean-Luc Pernodet 33 (0)1 69 15 46 41
Yves Dessaux 33 (0)1 69 82 36 90
Catherine Drouet 33 (0)1 69 15 57 16

List of the groups

N. Bayan : Molecular Biology of corynebacteria and Mycobacteria
P. Tissières : Endotoxins, Structures and Host responses
F. Chauvat : Biology and Biotechnology of Cyanobacteria
M. Dubow : Functional Genomics Approaches to elucidate the Role of Bacteriophages in Bacteria Biofilms
D. Faure & P. Mergaert : Plant-Bacteria Interactions
M. Gondry : Enzymology and non ribosomal peptide biosynthesis
D. Mengin Lecreulx : Bacterial Enveloppes and Antibiotics
J. Oberto : Cell Biology of Archae
S. Ouchane : bacterial Adaptation to Environnemental Changes
J.L. Pernodet : Molecular Microbiology of Actinomycetes
C. Sola : Infection Genetics Emerging Pathogens Evolution
O. Soutourina : Regulatory RNAs in Clostridia
M. J. Virolle : Energetic Metabolism of Streptomyces

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