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OSUG - Terre Univers Environnement

Scientific topics

12 November 2013 ( last update : 27 November 2013 )

Polluted environments provide ideal testing grounds for investigations mechanism and process of adaptation. Much of our understanding of the acclimatization to pollution comes from short term (1 generation) study of xenobiotic impacts on individual native from unpolluted areas. Such studies indicate whether phenotypic plasticity plays a role in the short-term response to this new environment but lacks in information on how this phenomenon may facilitate or impede adaptation (during several generation of exposure) to pollution. On the over side, studies at the population level on individuals living in polluted environment or not offer several important advantages for identifying genetic mechanism of adaptation and loci playing a role in pollution tolerance. After candidate loci have been identified, it is then possible to conduct experiment for evaluating their phenotypic plasticity in different environmental conditions.

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In France and Europe, many teams are interesting in ecotoxicology. The particularity of our team is to be leader in the development and application of innovative tools to go beyond classical descriptive ecotoxicological studies. Moreover, we continuously make efforts to evaluate the potential applications of the findings highlighted by our research. In term of direct application, we develop innovative tools for optimizing 1) preventive actions (biomarkers) 2) expertise, especially concerning “hot topics” such as the control of vector insects such as mosquitoes and 3) new methods and strategies for the restoration of ecosystems (ecoremediation).


Given these objectives, our research is organized into two main, interrelated axes:
Axe 1- Study the organism response to pollution pressure at different levels of biological integration (genes, transcriptome, biochemical, physiological, immunological and histological parameters, fitness, community modification….) over short (acclimatization) and long term (adaptation) periods.
Axe 2- Apply findings from the axe 1 for preventing and expertise actions and develop innovative tools to go beyond classical descriptive ecotoxicological studies.

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