The « Adaptation, Intégration, Réticulation et Evolution » team studies evolution, and develops new methods based on forests of trees and evolutionary networks to represent and analyze the plurality of evolutionary processes at play in prokaryotes, eukaryotes and mobile genetic elements.
Our studies rest on a few basic hypotheses :
(i)the analysis of the genetic content of chromosomes alone is not sufficient to study the evolution of all genetic diversity. A large part – possibly the majority – of genetic diversity is carried on mobile genetic elements, moving between cells ;
(ii)DNA molecules are exchanged and transformed due to interactions between genetic partners that are not necessarily closely related but belong to a larger genetic community;
(iii)Because combinatory events such as lateral genetic exchanges happen in addition to vertical inheritance and replication, we expect numerous genetic chimeras in nature, at all levels of biological organisation;
(iv)To complement and expand traditional approaches of phylogenetics and phylogenomics, as many environmental data (from metagenomic and metatranscriptomic projects) and as many sequences from mobile genetic elements (viruses, plasmids) as possible should be included in evolutionary analyses.