Research topics

Photosymbioses are a kind of myxotrophy between a heterotrophic (a predator generally) and a photosynthetic species. If the host could be pluri- or uni- cellular, their symbionts are often unicellular microalgae. These microalgae are generally located inside their host during the association, they are often intracellular. Such endo(phyto)symbioses should  lead to mutualistic relationship between both partners, although  this is often very hard to demonstrate.

The parasitism is a non-mutual symbiotic interaction, where one species, the parasite (sometime also call symbiont), is living at the expense of the other, the host. In general, a parasite does not kill its host, but lower its fitness (growth, fertility, longevity, …). In some case, these parasites obligatory kill their host to finalize its life cycle (the so-called parasitoids). Most of parasites of unicellular hosts (such as microalgae) are parasitoids. Parasites and parasitoids could be osmotrophic (they absorb nutrients from solution like fungi). Others are phagotrophic, meaning that they are able to directly ingest particulate matter by phagotrophy.