Our research goals
(1) Decipher the molecular dialogue governing the mutualistic interaction between intestinal bacteria and their host. To this end, we are using an animal model, Drosophila melanogaster and one of its natural commensals, Lactobacillus plantarum. We are developing a multiscale functional approach to identify of the basic regulatory and effector mechanisms that underlie their mutualistic relationship by initially focusing on L.plantarum mediated host juvenile growth promotion. Our approaches couple a host and a bacteria centred-view of this beneficial interaction to identify the bacterial and host genetic networks required to sustain a mutualistic relationship.
(2) Identify and characterize new potential Lactobacilli probiotic strains beneficial to host intestinal biology. In this light, we focus our analysis on the impact of Lactobacilli association on intestinal barrier and immune functions upon enteric infection using Drosophila as a host model.
Using Lactobacilli species and an animal host model with evolutionary conserved molecular and physiological features, our approach is relevant to most lactobacilli/host interactions including those occurring in humans. This research program provides fresh and unbiased insight into the fundamental biological question of host/microbe mutualism and open applied research avenues on new Lactobacilli probiotic strains with a beneficial impact on intestinal physiology.