Diatoms are, along with bacteria, the first organisms to colonize submerged structures, causing fouling problems. Latest works on the design of new non-toxic antifoulings are based on strategies that modify the coatings. Our approach, which breaks with these previous studies, proposes to determine whether diatoms have adhesion mechanisms that adapt to the substrate encountered.
Our project will focus on highlighting potential variability in the metabolome of the diatoms: Phaeodactylum tricornutum, Cylindrotheca closterium and Amphora coffaeformis, depending on their ability to adhere to three different substrates (glass, polystyrene, polydimethylsiloxane). Two complementary approaches will be developed using modern and innovative methods such as genetics with transcriptomic analyses and metabolomics (mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and multivariate statistical analyses) with the study of molecular networks, in order to identify the genes and the molecules produced on specific coatings, respectively.
This work will permit us to describe and understand the molecular mechanisms of diatom adhesion, to define the characteristics of antifouling surfaces, and to identify the metabolites involved in adhesive phenomena. This study will contribute to the innovation in the design of antifouling materials by considering the reality of the diatom adhesion process.