The Functional Physiology of Marine Organisms (Physiologie Fonctionnelle des Organismes Marins — PFOM) research unit of the RBE Department strives to understand the effects of environmental factors on the main physiological functions of marine organisms living in a changing environment.
The PFOM unit is made up of two laboratories and one research team:
- The Invertebrate Physiology Laboratory (Physiologie des Invertébrés — LPI) is located at the IFREMER Brittany Centre at Plouzané and at the experimental station in Argenton;
- The Fish Adaptation, Reproduction and Nutrition (Adaptation, Reproduction et Nutrition des poissons — ARN) is located at the IFREMER Brittany Centre in Plouzané;
- The Vibrio Genomics (Génomique des Vibrio — GV) team operates at the Roscoff Biological Station.
The LPI and ARN laboratories became part of the Joint Research Unit (UBO/CNRS/IRD/IFREMER) UMR 6539 LEMAR (Marine Environmental Sciences Laboratory) at the IUEM on 1 January 2012.
The GV team became part of the UMR 8227 LBI2M (Integrative Biology of Marine Models Laboratory), CNRS/UPMC on 1 January 2014.
All of the expertise developed at the PFOM unit focuses on improving the understanding of the effects of biotic environmental factors (forage or toxic phytoplankton; commensal, prebiotic, probiotic or pathogenic microbial flora; predators and prey) and abiotic factors (temperature, contaminants, salinity, pH) on the main physiological functions of marine organisms living in a fluctuating environment. These questions are addressed using experimental approaches in situ and in controlled conditions in the laboratory and using models. The unit seeks to determine:
- The effects of environmental factors on the early developmental phase (larval phase) and the impacts on the medium- and long-term on the physiology of later stages (juvenile and adult phases);
- The results of these interactions on recruitment, growth and survival of species in natural or harvested ecosystems;
- The factors behind the virulence and emergence of pathogenic bacteria from the genus Vibrio.
The main study organisms are oysters and fish. The obtained results contribute in particular to the sustainable development of French and European aquaculture and provide useful knowledge for the management of fish stocks.