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Arrival of Bénédicte Charrier at IGFL

Welcome Bénédicte

It is a great pleasure for us to welcome Bénédicte Charrier and her team for the next academic year. Bénédicte works on the early development of brown algae, an original biological system for the comparative study of the multiple modalities of 3D tissue growth during the evolution of this little-studied branch of life. Her research project, entitled "ALTER-eGROWTH", is supported by an AdG ERC. She comes to us with a great ambition and a strong energy.

An overview of her research projects:

By joining the IGFL, I am further extending the range of biological models that enable us to study the evolution of biological mechanisms. It is with brown algae, which are not phylogenetically close to land plants despite their appearance, that my team and I will be studying the cellular mechanisms that control the establishment of three-dimensional tissues during their development. Brown algae have the particularity of being able to maintain their growth in one, then two spatial axes for several days during embryogenesis, before switching their growth orientation to the third dimension to develop giant organisms, some of which can be up to 50 m long (kelp forest). Moreover, these organisms achieve this in different ways, demonstrating the diversity of 3D growth strategies that have been selected over a short period of a few million years during evolution. Our main approach is to model cell growth and division, mainly using mechanical models based mostly on the cell wall visco-plasticity that controls cell growth, and the dynamics of microtubules that impacts the position of centrosomes during mitosis. Using 3D imaging (light-sheet, bi-photon) and the development of microinjection, we hope to be able to identify the factors that control the orientation of cell division planes during embryogenesis in these algae, and thus compare them with those of their multicellular contemporaries of the eukaryotic tree of life, the metazoans and plants.