Université de Bretagne Occidentale
The Université de Bretagne Occidentale or University of Western Brittany (UBO) is a multidisciplinary university that currently teaches around 17,000 students and located in western Brittany, France. UBO with its associated research partners (Ifremer, CNRS) is a major player in marine sciences including ocean exploration, particularly in the microbial diversity of deepsea oceans. The LM2E “Microbiology of Extreme Environments” (UMR6197; Director Pr. Mohamed Jebbar) is a joint unit research (UBO, Ifremer, CNRS). LM2E has developed research programs to explore the microbial diversity of marine extreme environments such as hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, deep sea brines and deep-sea subterranean environments. Based on previous experience and expertise in these unique extreme ecosystems the LM2E holds a key position to clarify a number of important issues ranging from molecular adaptation to physiology and ecology of these ecosystems and is involved in two majors complementary research topics 1) study the diversity and function of microbial communities of deep-sea extreme ecosystems and 2) analysis of specific “adaptive” mechanisms to high pressure and high temperature in some model organisms.
Role in the Project
The LM2E has the expertise and skills to select and process environmental samples from extreme deep-sea environments in order to perform molecular analysis (diversity, phylogeny, omics) and enrichment cultures using innovative culture media with the aim to cultivate new microorganisms (e.g. those involved in Sulfur, Nitrogen and Carbon cycles). The LM2E is equipped with four units of the high pressure apparatus “hot bucket” for cultivating at high temperature (up to 200°C) and pressure (up to 80 MPa). Though it has allowed the isolation of piezophiles, this apparatus allows only discontinuous low volume cultures and analyses. The LM2E has developed recently a HP/HT bioreactor (120 MPa max, 150°C max), to perform continuous cultures of prokaryotes without depressurization allowing continuous cultures and observations with a transfer and recovery of matter which could allow culturing up to 0.333 litre volume under high pressure up to at least 120 MPa, a pressure observed in the greater depths of the terrestrial oceans.
The UBO-LM2E partner will provide to the consortium its expertise and skills in Biology of microorganisms from deep biosphere ecosystems using culture dependent and independent methodologies and approaches, and gives access to HP/HT bioreactors.
Pr Mohamed Jebbar microbiologist (ResearcherID: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/F-8597-2015) who aims to decipher the mechanisms and molecular signatures of the adaptation of Extremophiles (Archaea and Bacteria) from the deep ocean to high hydrostatic pressure.
Dr Lois Maignien Microbial ecologist who will conduct (meta)genomic approaches in order to identify key microbial clades in the studied environments and reconstruct their genome from metagenomic dataset.
Dr. Stéphane L’Haridon has skills and expertise to study the microbial diversity by the cultural approach. He is specialized in the techniques of cultivation of autotrophic and heterotrophic extremophiles associated with deep hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.