Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO)

3 ubo

The 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) 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 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 an complementary research topics 1) study the diversity and function of microbial communities of deep-sea extreme ecosystems and 2) analysis of specific "adaptive" mechanisms in some model organisms. LUBEM “Biodiversity and Microbial Ecology” (EA3882) is an UBO lab developing research on Biodiversity and Ecology of Microorganisms of food, health or environmental interest. One group of this lab works on filamentous fungi and develops in this frame a research axis devoted to marine mycology in the oceanic domain in close collaboration with LM2E. Until now, very few data are available concerning presence and role of fungi in the ocean. Consequently ongoing programs intend to describe i) fungal communities present in extreme marine environments (deep-sea vents, deep marine sediments) using cultivation and genomic approaches, ii) taxonomic specificities when existing, iii) functions of those microorganisms related to their ecological and/or industrial interest and iv) spatial structuring of communities and circulation of their members. Another group works on antimicrobial metabolites produced by marine microorganisms mainly bacteria isolated from marine invertebrates. Ongoing programs are devoted to (i) screening marine micro-organisms for antimicrobial activity, (ii) structural characterization of antimicrobial compounds (iii) structure/activity relationships and mechanisms of action studies and finally (iv) grasping their role in the microbial ecosystem and their potential as active ingredient for industrial applications such as pharmaceutics, cosmetic or food industries.


Contact person: Gwenaelle LeBlay (gwenaelle.leblay@univ-brest.fr)

Website: www.univ-brest.fr


Role of UBO in MaCuMBA:

LM2E main objectives in the MaCuMBA project are i) to select and process environmental samples from extreme deep-sea environments (in order to perform enrichment cultures using innovative culture media with the aim to cultivate new microorganisms with promising properties); ii) to increase the isolation capacity of prokaryotic extremophiles using a high throughput microbial culturing platform, called Cocagne (WP2); iii) to develop new tools and to improve existing facilities for the cultivation of deep-sea microbial communities or strains in bioreactors (culture media formulation for a closer simulation of environment, mimicking the “attached life style” and impact of high hydrostatic pressure) (WP3). LM2E will coordinate WP3.


LUBEM main objectives in the MaCuMBA project are: i) isolation and description of deepsea fungi from deep marine sediment samples using different technical approaches (hydrostatic pressure, anaerobiosis, oligotrophy), ii) improvement of culture efficiency for already isolated microorganisms (culture media and cultivation conditions), iii) culture collection of deep-sea fungi (optimization of storage conditions), iv) metagenomic analyses of samples to infer hypothesis concerning culture conditions, v) screening for industrial targets: enzymes and bioactive compounds.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:


Anne Godfroy

Dr Anne Godfroy is an Ifremer senior researcher and current director of LM2E since September 2010. She is the coordinator of the “Diversity and Microbial Interactions” project at Ifremer. She has worked for the last 22 years in microbiology of deep-sea ecosystems and has expertise in hyperthermophiles cultivation (isolation and description of new strains), physiology, culture in bioreactor and in microbial ecology. She participated in 13 deep sea research cruises (2 as chief scientist). She was co-responsible of a WP in the VENTOX European program.
Mohamed Jebbar Pr Mohamed Jebbar has a strong background in genetics and microbial physiology with more than 15 years of experience. Since 2007, he has redirected his research activity towards the adaptation of hyper/thermophilic microorganisms from the deep ocean to high hydrostatic pressure. He is a coordinator of the “Living deep” ANR Project and he is involved in the Mamba European project (2009-2013).
Gwenaelle Le Blay Pr Gwenaelle LeBlay has a Professor position at the University of Brest (UBO). During the 16 years she spent in different laboratories in Europe (Switzerland, Germany, France) and Canada, she acquired a strong expertise in microbial physiology and ecology in different ecosystems. She recently directed her research to work on marine extreme environments, with the development of immobilized microbial communities from deep sea ecosystems to study microbial interactions during continuous cultures in bioreactors.
Stphane LHaridon Stéphane l’Haridon is an Engineer at the UBO. He is specialized in the cultivable approach of extremophilic microorganisms from different extreme environments. He is developing the Cocagne platform with the goal of high throughput isolation of the microorganisms.
Laurent Toffin Dr Laurent Toffin (Marine sediments).



Georges Barbier

Pr Georges Barbier teaches at UBO and is head of LUBEM (staff around 60). He was previously working at Ifremer where his research activities concerned taxonomy and ecology of deep-sea vent microorganisms. He moved in 2002 on a professor position at UBO and began at that time to work on fungi.
Gaetan Burgaud Dr Gaetan Burgaud, senior lecturer at UBO.
Vanessa Redou Mrs Vanessa Redou, PhD Student (marine mycology). As part of the MaCuMBA project Vanessa is interested in the genetic and functional diversity of fungal communities occurring in the deep biosphere. The aims of her research are to develop a metabarcoding approach for different deep-sea ecosystems in order to evaluate the distribution of extreme fungal communities and to establish a culture collection of endemic deep-sea fungal strains using methods mimicking in situ conditions.
  Dr Yannick Fleury is a senior lecturer at UBO (bioactive metabolites).
  Dr Patrick Lechevalier is a senior lecturer at UBO (bioactive metabolites).
  Dr Benjamin Brillet is a senior lecturer at UBO (bioactive metabolites).

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