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Jean Marie FrançoisProfessor

Jean Marie François
Professeur exceptional Class

Microbial Physiology and Functional genomics of yeasts and filamentous fungi–PHYGE-

TBI: 0033 (0) 5 61 55 94 92

TWB : 0033 (0) 5 61 28 57 55

INSA de Toulouse
135 avenue de Rangueil
31077 Toulouse cedex 4 - FRANCE




  • 1983, Engineer in Agronomy and Biological Chemistry , Catholic University Louvain (Belgium)
  • 1988, Ph D in Biochemistry and Agronomy, Catholic University Louvain and Institute Claude de Duve (Belgium) under the supervision of late Prof Henry Gery Hers
  • 1988-1991, Postdoctoral trainings at North Carolina State University (Prof Dr K. Tatchell), Bordeaux University II (Prof M. Aigle)
  • 1991 -1992, Associate professor at University Catholic of Louvain and Invited lecturer at University Sao-Paulo, Brazil (Department of Biological Chemistry)
  • 1992-1993: Associate professor at Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve, department of physiological biochemistry (Prof Andre Goffeau)
  • Since 1993, Professor of Biochemistry, Microbial Physiology and BioNanotechnology at Institut National des Sciences Appliquées and University of Toulouse.
  • Since 2009, I am Professor exceptional class
  • Since 2017, Editor in Chief of BMC Biotechnology & Biofuels
  • Since 2016, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Synthetic biology



The main activity of the ‘PHYGE” team (see more details at http://biopuce.insa-toulouse.fr/jmflab) deals with a systems approach of metabolic, genetic and genomic adaptation of fungal cells (yeast and filamentous fungi) to environmental conditions that are close to industrial constraints, with emphasis on carbon and energy metabolism, cell wall biogenesis and assembly, and genomic instability. In 2011, I was laureate of the 1st project call in ‘Investment of the future, with the a research project in Synthetic biology aiming at reconstructing new biological pathways capable to generate chemicals or synthons from agroressources. This project will be continued with the support of ADEME and industrial partner to reach the demonstration level (TRL7) in 2020. My research activity takes its roots from -and has applications- in Industrial microbiology/white biotechnology (bioethanol, biorefinery, flavours, probiotic /feed additives), agro-nutrition and pharmaceutical industries. Other financial support have been or are currently obtained from Europe commission (EU FP4, 5, 6 & 7), national agencies (CNRS, INRA, ANR), regional agencies (Region Midi-Pyrénées) and several industrial companies in the Agro-bioetch fields.

I was also head of a Bionanobiotechnology network in Toulouse that develops interdisciplinary researches on Biopatterning and integrated Biodetection from 2009 to 2014. This interdisciplinary activity with Bioengineers, physicists and chemists was hosted at the Institute for Advanced Technologies of Life Sciences at the Toulouse Canceropole. This research activity helped me to create DENDRIS (www.dendris.fr), a start-up which is exploiting Nanotechnology tools for molecular diagnostic and nanomedicine and holds several patents in biochips conception for diagnostic purposes.




  • Teaching Microbial Physiology and functional genomics at INSA
  • Teaching of Molecular Biology and Nanobiotechnology at Physical and Mathematical Engineers
  • Teaching Biology and Bioengineering at Bio-process Engineers at Ecoles des Mines Albi –Carmaux
  • Teaching Biochips technology at Master professional in Molecular Diagnostic, University Toulouse,
  • Lecturer at ESPCI (Ecole Supérieure Physique Chimie de Paris) on Systems and Synthetic biology to Master 1 since 2015
  • Invited lecturer at Institute Polytechnic Mexico from 2001 - 2004 : DNA arrays technology and application for functional microbial genomics,
  • Invited lecturer at University of Qingdao, (China) 2001 - 2005 : Lecture in Microbial Physiology and Bioengineering technologies
  • Invited lecturer at University de Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) 2004: lecture on DNA arrays technology and application for functional genomics,
  • Invited lecturer at University de Biotecnologia y Oenologia, Tarragona, (Spain) 2006: DNA arrays technology and application for functional microbial genomics,
  • Invited lecturer at New Sofia University (Bulgaria) (Erasmus school) (2009 -20912 Lecture on Genomics and post-genomics in Microbiology




Author of > de 180 peer-review papers in Scientific Journal, 4 text books, 15 patents , hi index on September 2017= 46

Main publications since 2012


Thematic 1: Fungal cell wall assembly and regulation

  1. Pillet, F., Lemonier, S., Schiavone, M., Formosa, C., Martin-Yken, H., François, J & Dague, E (2014). Uncovering by Atomic Force Microscopy of an original circular structure at the yeast cell surface in response to heat shock. BMC Biology, 12:6
  2. Schiavone, M., Castex, M., Siekowzki, N., Dague, E & François, J. (2015). Atomic force microscopy allows revealing effects of autolysis processes and differences in nanomechanical properties of industrial yeast strains FEMS Yeast Res., 15, (2) 1-9,
  3. Schiavone, M., Elsztein, C., Formosa-Dague, C., Teste, M-A., Martin-Yken, H., Morais, M.A.jr, Dague, E. & François, J. (2016).An Atomic Force Microscopy study of the response of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ethanol stress. Appl.Env Microbiol., 82: 4789-4801
  4. Liu, J., Martin-Yken, H., Bigey, F., Dequin, S., Francois, J. & Capp, JP (2015)Natural yeast promoter variants exhibit different noise levels conferring distinct selective advantages. Genome Biol Evol., 7 (4) 969 -984.
  5. Martin-Yken, H., François, J. & Zerbib, D (2016) Knr4: a disordered hub protein at the heart of fungal cell wall signalling. Cellular Microbiology, 18(9) 1217-1227
  6. Schiavone, M., Déjean, S., Sieczkowski, N., Castex, M., Dague, E. and François J M (2017)Integration of biochemical, biophysical and transcriptomics data for investigating the structural and nanomechanical properties of the yeast cell wall. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8: 1809; DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01806


Thematic 2: Functional genomics and regulation

  1. Walther, T., Baylac, A., Alkim, C., Vax, A., Cordier, H. & François J (2012) The PGM3 gene encodes the major phosphoribomutase in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. FEBS Lett., 586: 4114 -4118
  2. Walther, T., Mtimet, N., Alkim, C., Vax, A., Loret, M-A., Ullah, AZ., Gancedo, G., Smits, G.J & François J (2013) Metabolic phenotypes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with altered trehalose-6-phosphate dynamics. Biochem.J. 454: 227-237
  3. Walther T., Peyriga L., Alkim C., Liu Y., Agrawal U., Bechter, B., Guo, S., Lardenois, A., Loret, M.O., Martin-Yken, H., Letisse, F., Primig, M. and François J.M (2014). Cell cycle associated metabolic regulation during meiotic development in yeast. BMC Biology, 12: 60
  4. Petitjean, M., Teste, MA., François, J & Parrou JL (2015).Yeast tolerance to stress relies on Tps1 protein, not on trehalose. J.Biol.Chem., 290, 16177 -16190.
  5. Yang, DD., ZhangJ-J, Rosenzweig, F., De Billerberck, G  & François, J M. (2017) Deciphering the origin, evolutionary fate and the physiological function of the subtelomeric multi-aryl-alcohol dehydrogenases encoded genes family in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Applied Env Microbiol. DOI


Thematic 3: Construct or redesign metabolic pathways

  1. Cam, Y., Alkim, C., Trichez, D., Vax, A., Bartolo, F., Besse, Ph., François J & Walther, T (2015) Engineering of a synthetic metabolic pathway for the assimilation of (D)-xylose into added-value chemical. ACS Synthetic Biology, DOI10.1021.acssynbio.5b00103
  2. Alkim, C., Cam, Y., Trichez, D., Auriol, C., Vax, A., Spina, L., Bartolo, F., Besse, P., François, J & Walther, T (2015). Optimisation of ethylene glycol production from (D) xylose via a synthetic pathway implemented in Escherichia coli. Microb. Cell Fact. 14 :127 DOI 10.1186/s12934-015-0312-7
  3. Alkim, C., Trichez, D., Cam, Y., François, J & Walther, T (2016). The synthetic xylulose 1-phosphate pathway increases production of glycolic acid from xylose-rich sugar mixtures. BMC Biotechnol. Biofuels, 9:201
  4. Walther Th., Topham, C.M., Irague, R., Auriol, C., Baylac, A., Cordier, H., Dressaire, C., Lozano-Huguet, L., Tarrat, N., Martineau, N., Stodel, M., Malbert, Y., Maestracci, M., Huet, R., André, I., Remaud-Siméon, M & François J M. (2017)Construction of a synthetic metabolic pathway for biosynthesis of the non-natural methionine precursor 2,4-dihydroxybutyric acid. Nature Comm., 8, 15828 doi:10.1038/ncomms15828.