Our work deals with some aspects of bacteria’s impressive capacities to acquire and exchange genes… which enable bacteria to evolve very fast and efficiently !
We study the mechanisms responsible of the bacterial genome variability, with a special interest for those involved in exogenous gene acquisition – the horizontal gene transfer. Our model system is the integron, a natural genetic engineering system involved in the development and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes among Gram-negative species. We are also investigating other factors playing a role in the plasticity of the Vibrio species genomes, which are all constituted of two circular chromosomes with distinct dynamic characteristics. Our last but not least topic of interest, we are working on the evolutionary constrains which are exerted at the gene level by the host codon usage.