Dr Marie-Mathilde Perrineau

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Macroalgal Breeding PDRA

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

My main interests are the driving forces of evolution i.e. natural selection, environment adaptation, interactions between species, horizontal gene transfer, genome evolution…

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. 

Peer-reviewed publications

Garvetto A, Perrineau M-M, Dressler-Allame M, Bresnan E and Gachon CMM (2019) 'Ectrogella' parasitoids of the diatom Licmophora sp are polypheletic. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiologyhttps://doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12750

Macaisne N, Liu F, Scornet D, Peters AF, Lipinska A, Perrineau MM, Henry A, Strittmatter M, Coelho S, Cock M. 2017. 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 : doi: 10.1242/dev.141523.

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. 2017. Reannotation, improved large-scale assembly and establishment of a catalogue of noncoding loci for the genome of the model brown alga. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.14321

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

Perrineau MM, Goh D, Galiana A, Duponnois R, Le Roux C, Prin Y and Béna G. Contrasted fate of Bradyrhizobium strains inoculated to Acacia mangium. The utopia of genetic stability of inoculant rhizobia prediction. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 80(18):5709. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.02007-14.

Perrineau MM, Gross J, Zelzion E, Price DC, Levitan O, Boyd J and Bhattacharya D. 2014. Using natural selection to explore the adaptive potential of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92533. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092533

Perrineau MM, Gross J, Zelzion E, Price DC, Boyd J and Bhattacharya D. 2014. Evolution of salt tolerance in a laboratory reared population of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Environmental Microbiology. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12372

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. 2013. Genome of the red alga Porphyridium purpureum. Nature Communication. 4: 1941.

Perrineau MM, Galiana A, De Faria SM, Béna G, Duponnois R, Reddell P and Prin Y. 2012. Monoxenic nodulation process of Acacia mangium (Mimosoideae, Phyllodinae) by Bradyrhizobium. Symbiosis. 56:87-95.

Perrineau MM, Le Roux C, De Faria SM, De Carvalho Balieiro F, Galiana A, Prin Y and Béna G. 2011. 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.

Bakkali Yakhlef SE, Abbas Y, Prin Y, Abourouh M, Perrineau MM and Duponnois R. 2011. Effective arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the roots of Tetraclinis articulata and Lavandula multifida in Moroccan Tetraclinis. Mycology 2(2):79-86.

Bakkali Yakhlef SE, Mousain D, Duponnois R, Ducousso M, Belkouri A, Kerdouh B, Perrineau MM and Abourouh M. 2009. Molecular phylogeny of Pisolithus species from Moroccan forest woodlands. Symbiosis 49(3):157-162.

Le Roux C, Tentchev D, Prin Y, Goh D, Japarudin Y, Perrineau MM, Duponnois R, Domergue O, De Lajudie P and Galiana A. 2009. Bradyrhizobia nodulating the Acacia mangium x auriculiformis interspecific hybrid are specific and differ from those associated with both parental species. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75(24):7752.

Rangin C, Brunel B, Cleyet-Marel JC, Perrineau MM and Bena G. 2008. 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.

Richer W, Kengne P, Cortez MR, Perrineau MM, Cohuet A, Fontenille D and Noireau F. 2007. Active dispersal by wild Triatoma infestans in the Bolivian Andes. Tropical Medicine & International Health 12(6):759-764.

Teaching experience

2009-11 Teaching microbiological water quality (1 wk practical) and phylogeny (1 week practical at Engineer School

MSc in Aquaculture, Environment and Society: Module leader for 'Managing Biological Lifecycles – Micro- and Macroalgae'


Current research students


Alumni research students

Melina Dressler-Allame: GENIALG. MSc Erasmus 2017-18. University of Rostock, Germany

Noah Bruderer: Investigation of a novel species of green alga pathogen. MSc 2017-18. UHI

Elisa Taschen: Geographical and temporal variations of the diversity of symbiotic nitrogen fixation bacteria associated with Acacia mangium. 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

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

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

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

2007-11 PhD student in parasitology and microbiology. CIRAD / Montpellier II University (France)



2011 PhD Evolution of nitrogen fixation bacteria. Montpellier II University

2007 MSc Bacterial, Parasitic Biodiversity and Interactions.

2005 Master Ecology, Biodiversity and Evolution

2002 BTEC Higher National Diploma Biological and Biochemical Analyses.