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Pole « Bacterial Adaptation and Pathogenesis »

Microorganisms contribute to and interact with their environment. The microbial state and balance in a complex environment depends on, and varies with the conditions. As such, outgrowth of certain subpopulations is influenced by inter-organism competition or synergies that are established. Changes in the environment (e.g., in nutrient, metabolite and oxygen availability, or in temperature) can provoke radical changes in the expression, genetic stability, and survival of a population.

Environmental changes can cause radical reprogramming in microbial expression and survival. For example, under stress or in the absence of cooperative microbes, an ordinarily harmless microbe can change its expression and may attempt to weaken or destroy its host. Microbial reprogramming in this way also provokes changes in the host defense system. The dissection of these interactions and events is central to the objectives of the “Bacterial Adaptation and Pathogenesis ” teams.

Our projects seek to understand the cause, and address concrete problems due to opportunist microorganisms, especially those incriminated in nutrition and health. We benefit from teams having a broad and complementary knowledge of different aspects of microbiology. The physical and scientific space created by Micalis and the creation of new INRA teams will be the impetus for closer interactions within the unit, and for a concerted effort in addressing scientific challenges with socioeconomic impact.

Scientific objectives

- Define the factors that facilitate establishment of a microbial population in food  and in animal host (mammals - insects) environments.

- Identify and characterize the reprogramming mechanisms used by microbes in response to their environment, and conversely, examine reprogramming by the host in response to microbial infection.

- Monitor and characterize the factors that lead to the emergence of microbial sub-populations or variants in food reservoirs and in the host mucosa.

The thematic departement "Bacterial Adapation and Pathogenesis" is animated by Romain Briandet.