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

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Website UMR SPO - INRA Montpellier

Delphine Sicard

Evolutionary genetics and ecology of domesticated yeasts

Research Director INRA
Adress :
UMR 1083, Lab. 28
INRA, 2 place Pierre Viala, 34060 Montpellier cedex

Contact :
Tél: +33 (0)4 99 61 25 05
Fax: +33 (0)4 99 61 28 57


Research Interests

I am interested in eco-evolutionary processes and how they can shape adaptation and interactions between different entities (genes, proteins, life-history traits, individuals, species). I have been working with several species (beans, lettuce, swallow, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, a filamentous fungus, Bremia lactucae, an oomycete, ..) but I am now focuzing on yeasts. I am looking at yeasts diversity, ecology and adaptation in bakery environements.

Keywords: yeasts species and genetic diversity, yeasts speciation, domestication, dynamic of adaptation, life-history traits, experimental evolution, convergence, microbial interaction and community, Kazachstania, Saccharomyces, bakers, farmers-bakers, wheat, strategies for conservation of microbial genetic resource, participatory research.

Main project web site :


  • 2018-2020: Gluten: Mythe ou réalité 2 (Coord K. Moinet & D. Desclaux) (
  • 2014-2018: ANR ‘BAKERY’ (Coord. D. Sicard) Diversity and interactions in a low-input ‘ Wheat/Human/Sourdough’ agro-food ecosystem: toward a better understanding of bakery sustainability ( )
  • 2015-2019: ANR ‘PeakYeast’ (Coord. JL Legras): Moving the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae up its adaptive peak in grape musts
  • 2016: METABAR-FOOD, “Meta-omic and Microbial Ecosystem” program, INRA funding (Coord. D. Sicard) : Testing and improving methods for metabarcoding and shot-gun of microeukaryotes in food microbiota
  • 2011-2014:  “Ile de France” funding (Coord. D. Sicard) : Diversity of bread making practices and microbial communities in sourdoughs of French bakers 
  • 2012-13 : Institute for the Diversity, Ecology and Evolution of the Living World  (Coord. C. Fairhead/D. Sicard) : Evolution of fermentation in Nakaseomycetes
  • 2011:  CNRS  (Coord. D. Sicard): Next Generation Sequencing for studying genome changes underlying adaptation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • 2009-2011: ANR ALIA ‘HETEROSYEAST‘ (Coord. D. de Vienne) : Exploiting heterosis for improving wine yeast
  • 2006-2008:  ANR Blanche ‘ADAPTALEVURE’ (Coord. D. de Vienne) : Proteom variation, glycolytic flux and adaptation in yeast 
  • 2004-2006:  European exchanges fundings, Barande project, Egide (Coord. D. Sicard in France/ Z. Palkova, in Czech Republic) : Yeast domestication syndrome
  • 2002-2004: European Science Foundation (Coord. D. Sicard) : Risks associated with GMOs: Testing introgression between two bean species
  • 2000: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development : Beans landraces diversity in Italy

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2011 Accreditation to supervise research (HDR), University Paris 11      
  • 1996 Ph.D. in Evolutionary Genetics, University Paris 11
  • 1992 Master degree in Genetics and Cell biology, University Paris 6
  • 2014- Research Director, UMR 1083 (INRA, Univ. Montpellier 1, SupAgro Montpellier), Montpellier France
    • Keywords: Yeast, adaptation, domestication, bakery, winery, metagenomic, microbial communities, microbial interactions.
  • 2002–2013 Assistant professor, UMR 8120 (Univ. Paris 11/INRA/CNRS/INAPG), France
    • Keywords: Yeast, adaptation, life-history traits, experimental evolution, natural variation
    • Teaching (192h/year): Population genetics, quantitative genetics, biostatistics
  • 2000–2002 Post-doctoral fellow, with Roberto Papa, Genetics Department, University of Ancona, Italy
    • Keywords: Speciation, gene flow, genetic resources, natural variation, beans
  • 1999–2000 Lecturer, University Paris 11, research with Jacqui Shykoff and Thierry Langin, France
    • Keywords: Specialization, adaptation, host-parasite interaction, coevolution
    • Teaching: Life cycle, Genetics
  • 1996–1999 Post-doctoral fellow, with Richard Michelmore, UC Davis, USA and Eviatar Nevo, Institut of Evolution, University of Haifa, Israel
    • Keywords: Molecular evolution, gene family, genetic map, virulence, resistance, Lactuca species, Oomycete, Bremia lactucae
  • 1992–1996     PhD with Claire Neema and Michel Dron, Agro Paris Tech and University Paris 11, France
    • Keywords: Host-parasite coevolution, evolutionary history, domestication, Deuteromycete, Colletotrichum, beans

Selected Publications

Urien, C., Legrand, J., Montalent, P., Casaregola, S., and Sicard, D. 2019. Fungal Species Diversity in French Bread Sourdoughs Made of Organic Wheat Flour. Front Microbiol 10:201. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.00201

Carbonetto, B., Ramsayer, J., Nidelet, T., Legrand, J., and Sicard, D. 2018. Bakery yeasts, a new model for studies in ecology and evolution. Yeast 35:591-603. doi:10.1002/yea.3350

Collot, D., Nidelet, T., Ramsayer, J., Martin, O. C., Méléard, S., Dillmann, C., et al. 2018. Feedback between environment and traits under selection in a seasonal environment: consequences for experimental evolution. Proc. R. Soc. B 285, 20180284. doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.0284.

Jacques N., Sarilar V., Urien C., Lopes M.R. , Morais C.G., Uetanabaro A.P.T., Tinsley, C.R., Rosa C.A., Sicard D., Casaregola, S. 2016. Three novel ascomycetous yeast species of the Kazachstania clade, Kazachstania saulgeensis sp. nov., Kazachstania serrabonitensis sp. nov. and Kazachstania australis sp. nov. Reassignement of Candida humilis to Kazachastania humilis f. a. comb nov and Candida pseudohumilis to Kazachstania pseudohumilis f. a. comb. nov. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001495

Michel E., Monfort C., Deffrasnes M., Guezenec S., Lhomme E., Barret M., Sicard D., Dousset X. and B. Onno. 2016. Characterization of relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria species in French organic sourdough by cultural, qPCR and MiSeq high-throughput sequencing methods, International Journal of Food Microbiology,

Lhomme E., Urien C., Legrand J, Dousset X, Onno B., and Sicard D. 2016. Sourdough microbial community dynamics: An analysis during French organic bread-making processes. Food Microbiology. 53, 41-50,

Legrand J., Bolotin-Fukuhara M., Bourgais A., Fairhead C., and  Sicard D. 2015. Life-history strategies and carbon metabolism gene dosage in the Nakaseomyces yeasts , FEMS Yeast Research 2015; doi: 10.1093/femsyr/fov112

Blein-Nicolas M., Albertin W., Da Silva T., Balliau T., Valot B., Marullo P., Sicard D., Bely M., Masneuf-Pomarède I., Dillmann C., de Vienne D., and Zivy M. 2015. A systems approach to elucidate heterosis of protein abundances in yeast, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, 14, 2056-2071

da Silva T., Albertin W., Dillmann C., Bely M., la Guerche S., Giraud C., Huet S. , Sicard D., Masneuf-Pomarede I, de Vienne, D., and Marullo P., 2015. Hybridization within Saccharomyces genus results in homoeostasis and phenotypic novelty in winemaking conditions. PLoS One. 10(5): e0123834

Spor A., Kvitek D.J., Nidelet T., Martin J., Legrand J. Dillmann C., Bourgais A., de Vienne D., Sherlock G., and Sicard D. 2014. Phenotypic and genotypic convergences are influenced by historical contingency and environment in yeast. Evolution, 68, 772-790, DOI: 10.1111/evo.12302

Albertin W. da Silva T., Rigoulet M., Salin, B., Masneuf-Pomarede I., de Vienne D., Sicard D., Bely M., and Marullo P. 2013. The mitochondrial genome impacts respiration but not fermentation in interspecific Saccharomyces hybrids. PLoS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075121

Albertin W., Marullo P., Bely M., Aigle M., Bourgais A., Langella O., Balliau T., Chevret D., Valot B., da Silva T., Dillmann C., de Vienne D., and Sicard D. 2013. Linking post-translational modifications and variation of phenotypic traits, Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, doi:10.1074/mcp.M112.024349

Blein-Nicolas M, Albertin W, Valot B, Marullo P, SicardD, Giraud C, Huet S, Bourgais A, Dillmann C, de Vienne D, and Zivy M. 2013. Yeast Proteome Variations Reveal Different Adaptive Responses to Grape Must Fermentation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, doi: 10.1093/molbev/mst050

Sicard D. & Jean-Luc Legras. 2011. Pain, bière et vin: domestication des levures du complexe d’espèces Saccharomyces sensu stricto. "Sur les traces de la domestication et des migrations en agriculture à l'heure de la génomique", Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences, France.

Albertin W., Marullo P., Aigle M., Dillmann C., de Vienne D., Bely M., and Sicard D. 2011. Population size drives the industrial yeast alcoholic fermentation and is under genetic control, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77(8):2772-84

Wang S., Spor A., Nidelet T., Montalent P., Dillmann C., de Vienne D., and Sicard D. 2011. Changing Glycolytic Genes Dosage Results in a Switch between Life-History Strategies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77: 517 - 523.

Spor A., Dillmann C., Wang S., de Vienne D., Sicard D. & Parent E. 2010. Hierarchical bayesian modeling for Saccharomyces cerevisiae population dynamics. Int. J. Food Microbiol.142:25-35.

Spor A., Nidelet T., Simon J, Bourgais A., de Vienne D., and Sicard D. 2009. Niche-driven evolution of metabolic and life-history strategies in natural and domesticated populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, BMC Evol. Biol. 9:296.

Albertin W., Marullo P., Aigle M., Bourgais A., Bely M., Dillmann C., de Vienne D., and Sicard D. 2009. Evidence for autotetraploidy associated with reproductive isolation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: towards a new domesticated species. J. Evol. Biol. 22: 2157-2170.