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Last update: May 2021

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Dynamics of Bacteriophages Genomes




The Phage team was launched in 2010 and has around 10 members, among which 6 have permanent positions (2 technicians, 1 research engineer, 2 senior researchers and 1 research director). We study phage genome dynamics by a combination of molecular, ecological and bio-informatics approaches.

Three senior researchers lead complementary and interconnected projects within the team:


François Lecointe leads projects aiming at deciphering phage recombination mechanisms able to repair DNA  double strand breaks, a source of toxicity but also of evolution.

He focuses his research on end joining pathways and characterizes cross-talks between bacterial and phage recombination  pathways.


Marianne De Paepe leads projects related to the impact of temperate phages on bacterial ecology, mainly by characterizing phage and bacterial population dynamics in simplified environments mimicking the gut microbiota, with Escherichia coli, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and Roseburia intestinalis.

She is interested in deciphering the evolutionary pressures and mechanisms that drive temperate phage evolution in the gut environment.


Marie-Agnès Petit leads phage culturomics projects starting from viromes on genera such as Escherichia, Roseburia, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus.

She also develops tools to annotate phage genomes and perform comparative genomics analyzes. She is interested in improving existing bio-informatics tools to make them fit for phages. 




TEAM viewer (2017)




Phage team, bat 442, INRA, domaine de Vilvert, 78350 Jouy en Josas


01 34 65 20 77 (MAP) or 01 34 65 20 81 (FL and MDP)


marie-agnes.petit, francois.lecointe, or marianne.depaepe followed by


  • ANR Persist3R (2019-2021)
  • JPI Earlyvir (2015-2018)
  • Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, J. Cornuault PhD's 4th year  (2017-2018)
  • ANR ASTRID ResisPhage (2014-2016)
  • Fondation François Aupetit (2015-2016)
  • ANR BLANC Dynamophage (2011-2014)
  • Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (2010-2012)

See also

  • Visit the web site Phagonaute, to browse phage genomes and visualize distant homologies within a genomic window
  • Also, have a look at the VIRFAM web site of our collaborator Raphaël Guerois to classify phages by their connector module, and to predict phage-encoded recombinases.