Dr Marie-Mathilde Perrineau

        Head and shoulder photo of researcher

Postdoctoral Researcher in Macroalgal Genomics

I am a molecular algae researcher with a background in population genetics, microbiology and parasitology. 

My research interests focus on the driving forces of evolution, i.e. natural selection, environmental adaptation, interactions between species, horizonal gene transfer, genome evolution...

I am also the module leader for the 'Managing Biological Lifecycles - Micro and Macroalgae' module on the Erasmus Mundus MSc in Aquaculture, Environment and Society. 

Contact details:

Originally trained as a microbiologist and parasitologist and amazed by the evolution of life, I discovered the huge potential of algae during my first postdoctoral position at Debashish Bhattacharya laboratory (Rutgers University, US) when I was working with the microalgae Chlamydomonas and Porphyridium, experimental evolution and -omics.

During my second postdoc - at the Station Biologique de Roscoff in France - I established a brown alga mutant population (Ectocarpus) and validated the mutation screening method.

At SAMS I now work on the H2020-BG1 GENIALG project by sampling, characterizing and biobanking Saccharina latissima genetic diversity across Europe. I am also developing and improving high-throughput assays to quantify disease resistance and organize a disease monitoring program across the seaweed production line. 


Current research projects

Genetic diversity exploitation for innovative macro-algal biorefinery (GENIALG): GENIALG will demonstrate the economic feasibility and environmental sustainability of cultivating and refining seaweed biomass in multiple use demanded products of marine renewable origin. The consortium integrates available knowledge in algal biotechnology and ready to use reliable eco-friendly tools and methods for selecting and producing high yielding strains in economically feasible quantities and qualities. In a larger frame, conservation and biosafety issues will be addressed as well as more social aspects such as acceptability and competition for space and water regarding other maritime activities. To achieve these objectives, GENIALG will foster a transsectorial and complementary consortium of scientists and private companies.  Funded by EU H2020, 2017-20. 

ASSEMBLE+: Since 2021, in collaboration with the Station Biologique de Roscoff (France), I am developing a protocol for genetic transformation of the brown alga Ectocarpus using CRISPR/Cas9 technology

Peer-reviewed publications

21. Fort A, McHale M, Cascella K, Potin P, Perrineau MM, Kerrison P, da Costa E, Calado R, do Rosário Domingues M, Costa Azevedo I, Sousa‐Pinto I, Gachon C, van der Werf A, de Visser W, Beniers J, Jansen H, Guiry M, Sulpice R. Exhaustive reanalysis of barcode sequences from public repositories highlights ongoing misidentifications and impacts taxa diversity and distribution. Molecular Ecology Resources. https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13453

20. Calmes B, Strittmatter M, Jacquemin B, Perrineau MM, Rousseau C, Badis Y, Cock JM, Destombe C, Valero M, Gachon CMM. Parallelisable non-invasive biomass, fitness and growth measurement of macroalgae and other protists with nephelometry. Algal Research 46, 101762. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2019.101762                                        

19. Dittami SM, Corre E, Brillet-Gueguen L, Pontoizeau N, Aite M, Avia K, […] Perrineau MM, […], Boyen C, Tonon T. The genome of Ectocarpus subulatus –a highly stress-tolerant brown alga. Marine Genomics https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2020.100740                             

18. Monteiro JP, Rey F, Melo T, Moreira ASP, Arbona JF, Skjermo J, Forbord S, Funderud J, Raposo D, Kerrison P, Perrineau MM, Gachon C, Domingues P, Calado R and Domingues R. The Unique Lipidomic Signatures of Saccharina latissima Can Be Used to Pinpoint Their Geographic Origin. Biomolecules 10 (1), 107 https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10010107           

17. Garvetto A*, Perrineau MM*, Dressler‐Allame M, Bresnan E, Gachon CMM. “Ectrogella” Parasitoids of the Diatom Licmophora sp. are Polyphyletic. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology 67 (1), 18-27 https://doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12750 *co-first author

16. Mignerot L, Nagasato C, Peters AF, Perrineau MM, Scornet D, Pontheaux F, Djema W, Badis Y, Motomura T, Coelho SM, Cock JM. Unusual patterns of mitochondrial inheritance in the brown alga Ectocarpus. Mol Biol Evol. 2019 Aug 27. pii: msz186. https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msz186

15. Garvetto A, Badis Y, Perrineau MM, Rad-Menéndez C, Bresnan E, Gachon CMM. Chytrid infecting the bloom-forming marine diatom Skeletonema sp.: Morphology, phylogeny and distribution of a novel species within the Rhizophydiales. Fungal Biol. 2019 Jun;123(6):471-480. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2019.04.004

14. Macaisne N, Liu F, Scornet D, Peters AF, Lipinska A, Perrineau MM, Henry A, Strittmatter M, Coelho S, Cock M. The Ectocarpus IMMEDIATE UPRIGHT gene encodes a member of a novel family of cysteine-rich proteins that have an unusual distribution across the eukaryotes. Development. 2017 Feb 1;144(3):409-418. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.141523

13. Cormier A, Avia K, Sterck L, Derrien T, Wucher V, Andres G, Monsoor M, Godfroy, Lipinska A, Perrineau MM, Van de Peer Y, Hitte C, Corre E, Coelho S, Cock M. Reannotation, improved large-scale assembly and establishment of a catalogue of noncoding loci for the genome of the model brown alga Ectocarpus. New Phytologist. 2017 Apr;214(1):219-232. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14321

12. Perrineau MM, Price D, Mohr G, and Bhattacharya D. Recent mobility of plastid encoded group II introns and twintrons in five strains of the unicellular red alga Porphyridium. PeerJ 2015 Jun 18;3:e1017. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1017

11. Perrineau MM, Le Roux C, Galiana A, Faye A, Duponnois R, Goh D, Prin Y and Béna G. Differing courses of genetic evolution of Bradyrhizobium inoculants as revealed by long-term molecular tracing in Acacia mangium plantations. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2014, 80(18):5709. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02007-14                                 

10. Perrineau MM, Gross J, Zelzion E, Price DC, Levitan O, Boyd J and Bhattacharya D. Using natural selection to explore the adaptive potential of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92533. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0092533

9. Perrineau MM, Gross J, Zelzion E, Price DC, Boyd J and Bhattacharya D. Evolution of salt tolerance in a laboratory reared population of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Environmental Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.12372                                        

8. Bhattacharya D, Price D, Chan CX, Qiu H, Rose N, Ball S, Weber A, Arias MC, Henrissat B, Coutinho P, Krishnan A, Zauner S, Morath S, Hilliou F, Egizi A, Perrineau MM and Yoon HS. Genome of the red alga Porphyridium purpureum. Nature Communication. 4: 1941. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2931                        

7. Perrineau MM, Galiana A, De Faria SM, Béna G, Duponnois R, Reddell P and Prin Y. Monoxenic nodulation process of Acacia mangium (Mimosoideae, Phyllodinae) by Bradyrhizobium sp. Symbiosis. 56:87-95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13199-012-0163

6. Perrineau MM, Le Roux C, De Faria SM, De Carvalho Balieiro F, Galiana A, Prin Y and Béna G. Genetic diversity of symbiotic Bradyrhizobium elkanii populations recovered from inoculated and non-inoculated Acacia mangium field trials in Brazil. Systematic and Applied Microbiology 34(5):376-384. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2011.03.003  

5. Bakkali Yakhlef SE, Abbas Y, Prin Y, Abourouh M, Perrineau MM and Duponnois R. Effective arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the roots of Tetraclinis articulata and Lavandula multifida in Moroccan Tetraclinis woodlands. Mycology 2(2):79-86. https://doi.org/10.1080/21501203.2011.565486

4. Bakkali Yakhlef SE, Mousain D, Duponnois R, Ducousso M, Belkouri A, Kerdouh B, Perrineau MM and Abourouh M. Molecular phylogeny of Pisolithus species from Moroccan forest woodlands. Symbiosis 49(3):157-162. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13199-009-0043-9

3. Le Roux C, Tentchev D, Prin Y, Goh D, Japarudin Y, Perrineau MM, Duponnois R, Domergue O, De Lajudie P and Galiana A. Bradyrhizobia nodulating the Acacia mangium x A. auriculiformis interspecific hybrid are specific and differ from those associated with both parental species. Applied and environmental microbiology 75(24):7752. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01887-09

2. Rangin C, Brunel B, Cleyet-Marel JC, Perrineau MM and Bena G. Effects of Medicago truncatula genetic diversity, rhizobial competition, and strain effectiveness on the diversity of a natural Sinorhizobium species community. Applied and environmental microbiology 74(18):5653. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01107-08

Richer W, Kengne P, Cortez MR, Perrineau MM, Cohuet A, Fontenille D and Noireau F. Active dispersal by wild Triatoma infestans in the Bolivian Andes. Tropical Medicine & International Health 12(6):759-764. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01846.x


Other publications

From the beginning of my career until the end of 2021, I was involved in 22 oral communications including 11 as first author and 9 as speaker.

Likewise, I participated in 15 posters at international conferences including 3 as first author and speaker.

Teaching experience

MSc in Aquaculture, Environment and Society: Module leader for 'Managing Biological Lifecycles – Micro- and Macroalgae'. I also contribute lectures to the module 'Professional and Entrepreneurial Skills'

MSc Industrial Biotechnology: Lectures for the 'Blue Biotechnology' module

BSc Marine Science: Lectures, practical and marking for 2nd year 'Biochemistry and Molecular Biology' module

BSc Marine Science: Marker third year 'Literature Review' module

CPD training course by CCAP 'Algaculture for Biotechnoloy': demonstrator 

2009-10 Providing lectures and practicals at Engineering school in Water Science and Technology and in Agronomy. Polytechnic, Montpellier, France


Current research students

Alberto Rock: Engineering metabolic pathways in microalgae for high value lipid production. MRes Algal Biotechnology, Biology and Ecology. UHI. 2021-22 

Maryam MacCorquodale: Kelp gametophyte bio-reactors for metabolite extraction. PhD. UHI. 2021-2024


Alumni research students

Melina Dressler-Allame: Molecular characterisation and monitoring survey of pathogens infecting diatoms and the kelp Saccharina latissima. MSc Erasmus 2017-18. University of Rostock, Germany

Noah Bruderer: Histological, molecular and physiological investigation of a novel species of pathogen green alga with biotechnological potential. MRes 2017-18. UHI

Elisa Taschen: Rhizobium: nitrogen fixation bacteria isolations, genetic diversity and nitrogen fixation measurements. MSc 2009. Montpellier II University, France


Outreach / public engagement

2007-11 PhD students' representative at the Education and Research University Council. University of Montpellier II, France

2007-11 PhD students' and postdoctoral researchers representative at the Tropical and Mediterranean Symbiosis Laboratory. Montpellier, France

Employment history

Since 2021 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Macroalgal Genomics. SAMS (UK)

2017-21 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Macroalgal Breeding. SAMS (UK)

2015-17 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ectocarpus-TILLING. CNRS/SBR (France)

2012-14 Postdoctoral Research Associate in Microalgae Evolution. Rutgers University (USA)

2007-11 PhD student in 'Nitrogen fixation bacteria evolution'. CIRAD / Montpellier II University (France)



2011 PhD Parasitology and Microbiology. Montpellier II University (France)

2007 MSc Bacterial, Parasitic Biodiversity and Interactions. Montpellier II University (France)

2005 Master Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution. Montpellier II University (France)

2002 BTEC Higher National Diploma Biological and Biochemical Analyses. Faculty of Sciences and Technology; Toulon University (France)