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Université de CAEN Normandie (UCN)



+33 2 31 56 56 87


+ 33 2 31 56 53 46


Université de Caen Normandie (UCN)


Team 2: Reproduction and development of aquatic organisms: evolution, adaptation, regulations
Histologie testiculaire de la roussette

Research topics

Key words: Marine Mollusks -Elasmobranchs - Spermatogenesis – Sexual differentiation - Steroidogenesis - Aromatase - Spermatogonial stem cells – Cellular biology

Identification of early markers of spermatogenesis in the small spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula L.).

Spermatogenesis start with the multiplication and differentiation of diploid spermatogonia and ends with the production of highly specialized haploid cells, spermatozoa. Continuous production of male gametes is dependent on the ability of spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) to renew while maintaining their stemness. This takes place within a specific microenvironment called the "niche" and involving autocrine and paracrine factors, these last ones secreted from the surrounding somatic cells. Our studies focus on the identification and functional characterization of the SSC and of the molecular players that control their self-renewal and differentiation using a Chondrichthyans model, the small spotted catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula). The identification of molecular markers is performed through proteomic and transcriptomic approaches on purified cells or testicular areas. Our studies also address the evolution of the niche of germline stem cells in Gnathostomes.

Study of sex determination in the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas).

This theme is of fundamental interest for the understanding of the gonadal differentiation in the oyster during its development and the adult gametogenesis cycles. The oyster is an irregular successive protandric hermaphrodite and poor information is available about the first development of the gonads or sexual reversion occurring sometime from one cycle to another. One of our objectives is to identify conserved factors of the molecular sex determination cascade. Knowledge of an early marker will allow us to define, if present, the time-window where gonadal differentiation could be under environmental influence.


  • Co-leader (with P. Gandolfo, University of Rouen) the degree in Biomedical Sciences, cohabilitated between the Universities of Caen and Rouen (CQD 2012-2016) and comprising 4 specialties: "Valuation of Biological Innovations" (UCBN, person in charge: E. Petit); "Imaging" (UCBN & UR, persons in charge: D.Burel, A. Manrique); "Neuroscience and behavioral sciences (UCBN & UR, persons in charge: P. Gandolfo, C. Ali); "Physiology Immunity, Differentiation, Genetics (UCBN & UR, persons in charge: A. Ouvrard-Pascaud, C. Delalande).
  • Person in charge of the teaching units "Reproduction and Development" (L2 IBFA), "Introduction to biotherapy" (M1 GIC) and "Student Professional Project" (M1 Biomedical Sciences and M1 AquaCaen).

Administrative responsibilities

  • Assistant director of the joint research unit BOREA, person in charge of the site of Caen.
  • Member of the Regional Ethics Committee on Animal Experiments (CENOMEXA).
  • Elected member of the National Council of Universities, 68th section, biology of organisms.