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Chris Bowler

Plant and Algal Genomics

To understand the influence of the environment on genomes of plants and marine diatoms.

The ability to respond appropriately to a variable environment is essential for the survival of photosynthetic organisms in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. The mechanisms by which the environment can influence genome structure and dynamics are also likely to be important in driving evolution. In order to investigate these processes, we use Arabidopsis thaliana as a higher plant model, and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum as a model marine phytoplankton. In Arabidopsis, we are examining the influence of light on chromatin-level regulation. We are exploring the changes in genome structure mediated by morphogenic light signals during the dark to light transition in young seedlings. In parallel we are using Phaeodactylum to explore the role of epigenetic phenomena in regulating phytoplankton life histories, in particular during the rise and fall of seasonal blooms.

Research highlights
Major advances in diatom biology are represented by the development of methodologies for gene manipulation, including RNAi, as well as the complete sequencing of diatom genomes. We are now using these resources to explore the role of epigenetic phenomena in Phaeodactylum.
 Epigenomics. Most recently, we have generated epi-genome maps of this diatom that include DNA methylation data as well as selected histone mark distributions. Over recent years, we have also used genome-enabled approaches to better understand diatom responses to other environmental signals, such as light and nutrients, including nitrogen and iron.
 The Tara Oceans expedition. We are now testing the relevance of these findings in natural environments as part of the Tara Oceans expedition, a four-year circumnavigation of the world’s oceans to explore the functional biodiversity of marine microscopic life.
To know more about our Diatom research

Our work on Arabidopsis is aimed to determine the role of chromatin-based mechanisms in plant adaptive responses to environmental cues, with a specific emphasis on light conditions.
 In this research axis, the team investigates the impact of chromatin organization and composition dynamics on plant adaptive responses to environmental changes. We also explore how light signaling components control chromatin and nucleus higher-order reorganization events, and their functional impact on the cell transcriptional status .
To know more about our Arabidopsis research

Selected publications from 2015

• RG. Dorrell, A Villain,B Perez-Lamarque, G Audren de Kerdrel, G McCallum, AK Watson, O Ait-Mohamed, A Alberti, E Corre, K R. Frischkorn, JJ Pierella Karlusich, E Pelletier, H Morlon, C Bowler, G Blanc. (2021) PNAS 118 (4) e2009974118

• Ibarbalz FM, Henry N, Brandão MC, Martini S, Busseni G, Byrne H, Coelho LP, Endo H, Gasol JM, Gregory AC, Mahé F, Rigonato J, Royo-Llonch M, Salazar G, Sanz-Sáez I, Scalco E, Soviadan D, Zayed AA, Zingone A, Labadie K, Ferland J, Marec C, Kandels S, Picheral M, Dimier C, Poulain J, Pisarev S, Carmichael M, Pesant S; Tara Oceans Coordinators, Babin M, Boss E, Iudicone D, Jaillon O, Acinas SG, Ogata H, Pelletier E, Stemmann L, Sullivan MB, Sunagawa S, Bopp L, de Vargas C, Karp-Boss L, Wincker P, Lombard F, Bowler C, Zinger L. (2019) Global Trends in Marine Plankton Diversity across Kingdoms of Life. Cell 179(5):1084-1097.

• Dorrell, R.G., Azuma, T., Nomura, M., Audren de Kerdrel, G.,
Paoli, L., Yang, S. Bowler, C., Ishii, K-I., Miyashita, H., Gile, G.H.,
Kamikawa, R. (2019) Principles of plastid reductive evolution illuminated by nonphotosynthetic chrysophytes. PNAS 116 : 6914-6923

• Fiorucci AS, Bourbousse C, Concia L, Rougée M, Deton-Cabanillas AF, Zabulon G, Layat E, Latrasse D, Kim SK, Chaumont N, Lombard B, Stroebel D, Lemoine S, Mohammad A, Blugeon C, Loew D, Bailly C, Bowler C, Benhamed M, Barneche F. (2019) Arabidopsis S2Lb links AtCOMPASS-like and SDG2 activity in H3K4me3 independently from histone H2B monoubiquitination. Genome Biology 20(1):100. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1705-4.

• Carradec, Q., Pelletier, E., Da Silva, C., Alberti, A., Seeleuthner, Y., Blanc-Mathieu, R., Lima-Mendez, G., Rocha, F., Tirichine, L., Labadie, K., Kirilovsky, A., Bertrand, A., Engelen, S., Madoui, M. A., Méheust, R., Poulain, J., Romac, S., Richter, D. J., Yoshikawa, G., Dimier, C., Kandels-Lewis, S., Picheral, M., Searson, S. Tara Oceans Coordinators, Jaillon, O., Aury, J. M., Karsenti, E., Sullivan, M. B., Sunagawa, S., Bork, P., Not, F., Hingamp, P., Raes, J., Guidi, L., Ogata, H., de Vargas, C., Iudicone, D., Bowler, C. and Wincker, P. (2018) A global ocean atlas of eukaryotic genes. Nat. Commun. 9: 373

• Leblanc, K., Quéguiner, B., Diaz, F., Cornet, V., Michel-Rodriguez, M., Durrieu de Madron, X., Bowler, C., Malviya, S., Thyssen, M., Grégori, G., Rembauville, M., Grosso, O., Poulain, J., de Vargas, C., Pujo-Pay, M. and Conan, P. (2018) Nanoplanktonic diatoms are globally overlooked but play a role in spring blooms and carbon export. Nat. Commun. 9: 953

• Kazamia, E., Sutak, R., Paz-Yepes, J., Dorrell, R. G., Rocha Jimenez Vieira, F., Mach, J., Morrissey, J., Leon, S., Lam, F., Pelletier, E., Camadro, J.-M., Bowler, C. and Lesuisse, E. (2018) Endocytosis-mediated siderophore uptake as a strategy for Fe acquisition in diatoms. Sci. Adv. 4: eaar4536

• *Nassrallah A, *Rougee M, Bourbousse C, Drevensek S, Fonseca S, Iniesto E, Ait-Mohamed O, Deton-Cabanillas AF, Zabulon G, Ahmed I, Stroebel D, Masson V, Lombard B, Eeckhout D, Gevaert K, Loew D, Genovesio A, Breyton C, de Jaeger G, Bowler C, Rubio V and F Barneche. (2018) DET1-mediated degradation of a SAGA-like deubiquitination module controls H2Bub homeostasis. eLife e37892.

• Vincent, F. J., Colin, S., Romac, S., Scalco, E., Bittner, L., Garcia, Y., Lopes, R. M., Dolan, J. R., Zingone, A., de Vargas, C. and Bowler, C. (2018) The epibiotic life of the cosmopolitan diatom Fragilariopsis doliolus on heterotrophic ciliates in the open ocean. ISME J. 12: 1094-1108

• Dorrell, R.G., Klinger, C.M., Newby, R.J., Richardson, E., Butterfield, E.R., Dacks, J.B., Howe, C.J., Nisbet, R.E.R., Bowler, C. (2017) Progressive and biased divergent evolution underpins the origin and diversification of peridinin dinoflagellate plastids. MBE 34: 361-379.

• Dorrell, R.G., Gile, G.H., Méheust, R., Bapteste, E.P., McCallum, G., Klinger, C.M., Brillet-Gueguén, L., Freeman, K., Richter, D.J., Bowler, C. (2017) Chimeric origins of ochrophyte and haptophyte plastids revealed through an ancient plastid proteome. ELife 6: 23717

• Malviya, S., Scalco, E., Audic, S., Vincent, F., Veluchamy, A., Poulain, J., Wincker, P., Iudicone, D., de Vargas, C., Bittner, L., Zingone, A. and Bowler, C. (2016) Insights into global diatom distribution and diversity in the world’s ocean. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 113: E1516-25

• Bork, P., Bowler, C., de Vargas, C., Gorsky, G., Karsenti, E. and Wincker, P. (2015) Tara Oceans studies plankton at planetary scale. Science 348: 873

• Bailleul, B., Berne, N., Murik, O., Petroutsos, D., Prihoda, J, Tanaka, A., Villanova, V., Bligny, R., Flori, S., Falconet, D., Krieger-Liszkay, A., Santabarbara, S., Rappaport, F., Joliot, P., Tirichine, L., Falkowski, P. G., Cardol, P., Bowler, C. and Finazzi, G. (2015) Energetic coupling between plastids and mitochondria drives CO2 assimilation in diatoms. Nature. 524: 366-369.

• Bourbousse C, Mestiri I, Zabulon G, Bourge M, Formiggini F, Koini MA, Brown SC, Fransz P, Bowler C, Barneche F. (2015) Light signaling controls nuclear architecture reorganization during seedling establishment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. May 11.

• Morrissey J, Sutak R, Paz-Yepes J, Tanaka A, Moustafa A, Veluchamy A, Thomas Y, Botebol H, Bouget FY, McQuaid JB, Tirichine L, Allen AE, Lesuisse E, Bowler C. A novel protein, ubiquitous in marine phytoplankton, concentrates iron at the cell surface and facilitates uptake. Curr. Biol.. (2015) 25: 364-71.

Tara sailing boat
Tara sailing boat