Agricultural microbiology: the origin of our food supply.
The fundamental and applied questions addressed by our research program include:
How do anthropogenic inputs (antibiotics and their alternatives in animal feeds, fertilizers and pesticides in crop production) influence the phylogenetic and functional biodiversity of Bacteria and Archaea in agricultural ecosystems, as well as the occurrence, distribution and dissemination of resistance to antibiotics in animal production?
Which taxa and mobile genetic elements (plasmids, transposons, integrons) are involved in the dissemination of ecologically advantageous antibiotic resistance genes in animal production?
How can alternatives to antibiotics be used to maintain or improve animal performance, as well as mitigate the occurrence, distribution and dissemination of resistance to antibiotics in animal production?
The Chénier laboratory hosts projects in three areas of agricultural microbiology: animal, food and soil microbiology. We are interested in better understanding the ecology of antibiotic resistance, functional biodiversity and phylogenetic biodiversity of Bacteria and Archaea in animal and crop production ecosystems, with a focus of commensal anaerobes. The theoretical approach of our research activities lies in the application of whole-community investigations to elucidate the ecology of complex Prokaryotic communities in agricultural ecosystems. This is sustained by an experimental approach integrating complementary classical and molecular microbiological techniques, including ‘omics approaches.