Evolution and genomes

Team Leaders: Nicolas Pollet and Aurélie Hua-Van

Keywords:Symbiotic and holobiotic interactions, Processes of genome evolution, Selfish genetic elements, Gene network modelling, Molecular evolution, Genotype-phenotype interactions


Genomes are by nature highly polymorphic. The results from genomics have highlighted the natural variability between genomes and their component parts at different levels: cells, organisms, populations and species. This variability shows the clear evolutionary impact of the dynamic nature of the various genetic elements, and many projects aim to provide new knowledge about the underlying processes.

We are interested in the evolution of the genome and of its components, in particular genes, selfish DNA, viruses, polyploidisation. We aim to decipher how interactions between them can shape the genome, and participate to species adaptation. To answer these questions , we develop and combine a wide range of approaches that are both traditional and very recent in molecular, genomic and transcriptomic genetics, bioinformatics, mathematics and experimental evolution.

  • Dynamics and evolution of the genomes: Evolution and impact of selfish DNA (Transposable elements, meiotic distorter), horizontal transfers, polyploidization.
  • Evolution of the hologenome: Diversity and impact of the microbiome, symbiotic interactions
  • Interactions within genomes: Evolvability of gene networks, impact on phenotype realisation and set up of developmental, physiological or cellular processes.
  • Interactions between genomes : host-parasites and host-symbiont evolution
  • Role of genetic and epigenetic factors in evolution and adaptation.
  • Molecular evolution : evolution of genes and gene families


  • Experimental work
    • Field collections (France, French Guiana, Africa,…)
    • Lab rearing
      • Insectarium
      • Vertebrate aquarium
    • Molecular biology
  • Genomics and transcriptomics (NGS)
    • Genome assemblies
    • Illumina, MinION sequencing
    • RNAseq and small RNA seq
    • Comparative analysis
    • Phylogeny
    • Bioinformatic pipelines
  • Transgenesis
    • Various species of Drosophila
  • Theoretical approaches
    • Modelling
    • Computer simulations
    • Population Genetics

Team members

Former members




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