Biosciences and Biotechnology Institute of Aix-Marseille
Environmental resources for sustainable energy and development
The production and use of fossil or nuclear energy consume resources and induce environmental impact, by the presence of heavy metals or radionuclides in the environment, while developing new forms of energy involves use of nanomaterials, whose environmental consequences remain to be analyzed.
Part of our research concerns the response of microorganisms and plants to the presence of these toxic compounds in the environment. Deciphering the molecular and redox mechanisms involved in the response of plants and bacteria to exposure to metals, radionuclides, or nanoparticles aims at a better understanding of factors that determine toxicity, accumulation, biotransformation and transfer of these elements in trophic chains. This research is conducted in parallel with the study of mechanisms for management and processing of biologic metals by bacteria -like iron metabolism in magnetotactic bacteria- or by plants. This dual approach allows better understanding of the interactions between biological metals and toxic metals or radionuclides. These studies aim to develop approaches for the biodetection or environmental remediation of toxic metals as well as for the ecoconception of nanoparticles.
In addition, the study of plant-bacteria interactions in the rhizosphere aims at a better understanding of their role in the speciation and transfer of toxic metals, and of the role of plant-beneficial bacteria as alternative agents for plants protection.
Science fronts in this area concern metallomes characterization and molecular mechanisms of transfer and toxicity in organisms and ecosystems.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.