Mangrove biology

The team "Biologie de la Mangrove" is mostly composed by people from the University of the French West Indies located in Guadeloupe (excepted one full researcher from CNRS located in UPMC). We study the biology and evolutive adaptations of tropical shallow-water models living in extreme environments (high sulfide concentrations).

We focus on 

  • interactions between thioautotrophic bacteria and marine invertebrates within the frame of chemosynthetic models
  • on the organization and functioning of the mangrove in association with sedentary species. 

This last topic concerns as well eukaryotes (uni or pluricellular) as prokaryotes (Eubacteria and Archae). We try to better understand the mangrove ecosystem focusing on the geochemical cycles involving the complex prokaryotic flora and the flux between various sedentary species living in this marine ecosystem.

More...

  • 1/ Interactions between thioautotrophic bacteria and marine invertebrates: a case of chemosynthetic models.

Various marine organisms, living in sulphidic environments, are associated with symbiotic bacteria. In our lab we completely control the shallow water lucinid (Codakia orbicularis), associated with intracellular bacteria that colonized its gills. Usually, tropical bivalves belonging to the lucinidae family offer interesting perspectives of research like those actually in progress in the lab concerning the cellular and tissular plasticity of the gill during a stress and the evolution of the intracellular bacterial population kept in starvation. This bivalve family, easily maintained in the lab, becomes a unique generic model to understand symbiosis relationships between bacteria and deep-sea organisms like those colonizing hydrothermal vents or cold seeps. We also studied the interaction between sulfur-oxidizing bacteria with other invertebrates (nematodes, protozoan, bryozoans, etc) colonizing sunken organic substrates such as wood falls or whale falls.

  • 2/ Organisation and functioning of the mangrove in association with sedentary species.

This topic concerns vertebrates (Fishes), invertebrates (Molluscs), protists (vorticellids, diatoms, etc.) and microorganisms (eubacteria and archae). We try to better understand the mangrove ecosystem focusing on the geochemical cycles (nitrogen-, sulfur- and carbon-cycle) involving the complex prokaryotic flora found in the mangrove sediment. We also study the flux between various sedentary species living in this marine ecosystem. Thus, it is a multidisciplinary topic (involving chemistry, geochemistry, physics, and biology) which will represent the main axis of our research for the next years. We will focus on microorganisms (especially on giant mesophilic archae (Thaumarchae) recently described by our lab in this ecosystem. Mangrove is an incredible ecosystem to study biodiversity for this kind of archae with huge biomass whose organization and role in the mangrove remains unknown at this time.

  • 3/ Embryonnic and larval development of local species.

Studies focusing on the analysis of the embryonic, larval and post-larval development of bivalves species belonging to Veneridae and Lucinidae and of few gastropods (like the queen conch) can have possible repercussions in the field of Research-Development. Thus, it will be possible to promote a local aquaculture using endogenic species traditionally consumed in Guadeloupe.

Collaborations

Nationales

  • GTSI, Groupe de Technologie des Surfaces et Interfaces, (EA 2432). 
  • UMR CNRS 5119, Ecosystèmes Lagunaires, Université Montpellier II.
  • Service de Microscopie Électronique, IFR 83 Biologie Intégrative. Université Pierre et Marie Curie..
  • Département " Environnement profond " d'IFREMER Brest. 

Internationales

  • Laboratoire "Marine Biology Research Division" (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA).
  • Laboratoire " Symbiosis group " (Max Planck Institute für Microbiology, Brème, Allemagne)
  • Laboratoire de " Biología y Cultivo de Moluscos " (CINVESTAV, Yucatan, Mexique).
  • Laboratoire d'ichtyologie estuarienne (Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Brazil).