Ecophysiology of marine invertebrates (6 ECTS)
François Lallier (francois.lallier @ upmc.fr (francois.lallier @ upmc.fr))
This course will take place at the Station Biologique de Roscoff of the Université de Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris 6. It is designed as a hands-on experience in environmental physiology and ecophysiology using marine invertebrates as model organisms. Major functions, such as respiration, osmoregulation, nutrition or excretion, will be illustrated through the adaptation of various invertebrate models (crustaceans, annelids, mollusks) subjected to variable environmental conditions (salinity, oxygenation, temperature). Two, one-week mini-research projects will be conducted by the students from the acclimation of the animals to the analysis of integrated parameters in body fluids, tissular and cellular processes, structural and functional studies of proteins, expression of some key genes, and finally the writing and presentation of a short report during the third week.
Marine invertebrates living in the coastal areas often experience wide variations in their environment, whether abiotic – salinity and temperature – or biotic – oxygenation, food resource –. The responses of marine invertebrates to these changes are species-specific and must be studied within an integrative and comparative framework:
- Integrative, because organisms show different responses to these changes at different biological scales (i.e. the systemic, tissular, cellular and molecular levels).
- Comparative, because the diversity of body plans and metabolic capacities in marine invertebrates may lead to convergent and/or specific responses.
Small groups of students will be offered the opportunity to conduct mini-research projects encompassing all facets of an investigation on these topics, from acclimation of the organisms to analysis and presentation of results. Students will use a wide array of analytical techniques to address the different biological scales of integration, from the measurement of integrated parameters in body fluids (e.g. pH) to the analysis of gene expression, including biochemical and histological approaches.
The course focuses on major functions (respiration, osmoregulation, nutrition or excretion), emphasizing the aquatic/marine constraint, and using well known model marine invertebrates such as the shore crab, Carcinus maenas, the lugworm, Arenicola marina, and the mussel, Mytilus edulis. Additional species may also be used, depending on the available opportunities.
Topics are introduced by short lectures on background topics and illustrated by research seminars about contemporary research projects throughout the course.
Evaluation is based upon (i) the writing of a short-note style report on one of the mini-research projects, (ii) the oral presentation of these results, (iii) a bibliographic search and synopsis on a broader topic, and (iv) a formal individual exercise based on real research data.
Teaching team: A. Andersen, S. Egee, S. Hourdez, F. Lallier, A. Tanguy, J.Y. Toullec
Master Biologie intégrative et physiologie
9 quai Saint Bernard
75252 Paris cedex 05
Bât. B - 3e étage
Porte 314 - BC 118