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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal MUSE Supagro 3BCar Labex IM2E

Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Diversity, Interactions and Engineering of Microbial Ecosystems (DIIEM)


 ©Picture: G. Cattiau ©INRAE

The DIIEM group brings together scientists from different disciplines (Microbial Ecology, Process Engineering, Microbiological Engineering, Modeling) who share the similar scientific interests, but may work with different model ecosystems.

Our common objective is to identify and apply ecological engineering strategies allowing us to orient microbial community function towards an ecosystem services of (biotechnological) interest, for example:

  • improvement of process performance (transformation of pollutants; production of energy, biomass, or molecules of interest)
  • development of stable, resilient and resistant microbial communities
  • control of health impacts by (1) directing ecosystems towards the degradation of micropollutants and (2) limiting the development or survival of pathogens in transit

We characterize microbial communities using tools from molecular ecology and analyze their structure and dynamics as a function of ecosystem service. Compared to natural ecosystems, engineered environments in bioreactors allow us to control a wide range of environmental conditions. This reduction in environmental complexity present a valuable advantage when attempting to steer ecosystem performance towards a desired function. Numerous engineered ecosystems studied at LBE (e.g., fermentation processes or bioelectrochemical systems) favor the study of interactions in microbial systems because here, we typically use simplified microbial communities, obtained by applying high selection pressure or by reconstituting novel communities. In these simplified communities, interactions are more easily detectable.

More information on some research questions of the DIIEM group is given through the links below:

  •     Anaerobic digestors;
  •     Fermentative ecosystems (biohydrogen, value-added molecules);
  •     Bioelectrochemical systems;
  •     Biofilms;
  •     Microalgae (lagoon, photobioreactors, raceway, pure strain);
  •     Photogranules;
  •     Aerobiome ;
  •     Virome.

We maintain close links and collaborations with researchers in the SAMI group for the development of mathematical models, with the Qual-I group on the impact of pathogens in transit through coupled ecosystems, and to the ICoP group for process engineering.