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Researchers Database

You have entered the IISP: Interactive Information System on Pathogenomics


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Here you will find information about Research groups in the PathoGenoMics fields from the ERA-NET partner countries (Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain).
This information is supposed to support cooperation between researchers from different European countries
and thus enhance the development of a European Research Area for PathoGenoMics .


The following information is available and can be searched for:

  • researcher names
  • Institution of the respective researcher, city and country of his/her institution
  • Contact data of the researcher (address, phone, email)
  • Research topics and studied microorganisms of the researcher
  • Special techniques applied by the researcher
  • Potential cooperation topics suggested by the researcher

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Name: Dr. El-Karoui, Meriem
Institution: INRAUnité des bactéries lactique et pathogène opportunistes (UBLO). INRA Domaine de Vilvert
City: Jouy en Josas Zip: 78352
Country: France Phone: 01 34 65 28 67
    Fax: 00-33-1-34-65-20-65


Research Topics:
The availability of hundreds of complete bacterial genomes opens the door to totally new approaches for understanding the evolution of genome structure, starting from complete genome alignments. Such alignments are now possible for strains belonging to the same species, and also for closely related species. Comparisons using Escherichia coli strains have led to the conclusion that these genomes have a "mosaic" structure, comprising a common "backbone" shared by all strains, and a large number of "loops" that are strain-specific. The backbone is likely to be inherited vertically from the common ancestor of all strains of the species, while the loops are probably, for the most part, recently acquired by horizontal transfer. We have shown that analysis revealing mosaic segmentation between backbone and loops is feasible systematically, on 24 bacterial species for which total genomic sequences are available. The data have been stored in a publicly available database, called MOSAIC ( Two main questions are addressed in our current work: i) Analysis of the different loop categories, and their associated functions (for instance, some are pathogenicity islands, others are bacteriophages), and the mechanisms that may have led to their formation. ii) As the backbone corresponds to the more conserved part of the genome, it may be enriched with short sequences that participate in genome structure and stability. We are particularly interested in motifs involved in DNA repair and replication, or implicated in the three-dimensional organisation of the chromosome. To achieve these goals, we combine a bioinformatic approach and an experimental validation of our predictions. Our bioinformatic approach is generic and we focus on the genomes of Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli for experimental validation.


Organisms studied:
  • Escherichia coli
  • Staphylococcus


Special methods / technologies:
bioinformatics : complete genome alignments, database molcaular microbiology


Suggestions for potential research cooperations:
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