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Christopher Sauvage


Christopher Sauvage (PhD) - Permanent Staff Researcher



INRA Centre de recherche PACA

67 allée des chênes

CS 60094

84143 MONTFAVET Cedex

Tél : +33 (0)4 32 72 27 54

Research Interests

Comparative population genomics of the domestication process in the Solanaceae

Understanding the evolution of the genome of a species is essential to investigate the genetic basis of adaptation both in the wild relatives and in domesticated lineage of species. Using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), eggplant (Solanum melongena) and pepper (Capsicum spp) as models, my research interest is to investigate the consequences of the domestication process onto the nucleotide and expression patterns and look for past and recent footprints of selection.

Genome-wide Association for fruit quality in tomato

With the aim of understanding relationship between genetic and phenotypic variations in cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), my research interest aims atunravelling the genetic architecture of traits determining the fruit quality such as weight or composition by exploring the genetic resources and performing GWAS analyses.


2008 – 2011       Post-doctoral Experience, Laval University, Québec city (Canada)

The overall project objective was to provide innovative development tools for the aquaculture industry and at the forefront of scientific advances to improve the quality of their products, optimize the procedures for genetic marker-assisted selection and develop sustainable alternatives to fight against the disease. Using the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) as experimental model, our main objective was to identify genes associated with the expression of phenotypic traits of interest through the development of markers, the construction of a map binding and the detection of QTLs.

2004 – 2008        PhD “Development of molecular markers linked to summer mortaliy resitance in the Pacific cupped oyster, Crassostrea gigas

                  Ifremer –  (with honours from the jury)

Through the European project “Aquafirst - Combined genetic and functional genomic approaches for stress and disease resistance marker assisted selection in fish and shellfish”, my PhD work investigates the detection of Quantitative Traits Locus (QTL) of aquacultural importance in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas. Once markers associated with the resistance to the summer mortality will be revealed, my work has opened the way to a selection program of resistant oysters. Markers assisted selection could improve the sustainability of oyster aquaculture through the transfer of knowledge from the research institute to the aquaculture domain.

List of Publications:


Sauvage, C., Segura, V. Bauchet, G. Stevens, R., Thi Do, P., Nikoloski, Z, Fernie, A.R., Causse, M. (2014) Genome-Wide Association in Tomato Reveals 44 Candidate Loci for Fruit Metabolic Traits Plant Physiology 165: 1120-1132.

Boutin, S., Sauvage, C., Bernatchez, L., Audet, C., Derome, N. (2014) Inter Individual Variations of the Fish Skin Microbiota: Host Genetics Basis of Mutualism? PlosOne (9)7 e102649.


Causse, M., Desplat, N., Pascual-Banuls, L., Le Paslier, M-C., Sauvage, C., Bauchet, G., Bédard, A., Bounon, R., Tchoumakov, M., Brunel, D. Bouchet, J.P. (2013) Whole genome resequencing in tomato reveals variation associated with introgression and breeding events. BMC Genomics 14(1): 791.

Chakrabarti, M., Zhang, N., Sauvage, C., Muños, S., Blanca, J., Cañizares, J., Diez, M.J., Schneider, R., Mazourek, M., McClead, J., Causse, M., van der Knaap, E. (2013) A cytochrome P450 regulates a domestication trait in cultivated tomato. P.N.A.S:Proceedings of the National American Society 110(42): 17125-30.


Sauvage, C., Vagner, M., Derôme, N., Audet, C., and Bernatchez, L. (2012a) Coding gene SNP mapping and QTL detection for physiological reproductive traits in brook charr, Salvelinus fontinalis. Genes | Genomes | Genetics (Bethesda) 2: 379-392.

Sauvage, C., Vagner, M., Derôme, N., Audet, C., and Bernatchez, L. (2012b) Coding gene SNP mapping reveals QTL linked to growth and stress response in brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis). Genes | Genomes | Genetics (Bethesda) 2: 707-720.

Lamaze, F., Sauvage, C., Marie, A., Garant, D., and Bernatchez, L. (2012) Dynamics of introgressive hybridization assessed by SNP population genomics of coding genes in stocked brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) Molecular Ecology 21(12): 2877-2895

Renaut, S., Maillet, N., Normandeau, E., Sauvage, C., Derome, N., Rogers, S.M., and Bernatchez, L. (2011) Genome-wide patterns of divergence during speciation: the lake whitefish case study. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 367, 354-363.


Sauvage, C., Renaut, S., Normandeau, E., Derome, N. and L. Bernatchez (2011) Investigating the role of natural selection on coding sequence evolution in salmonids through NGS data mining. Molecular Biology and Evolution (doi:10.1093/molbev/msr062).


Sauvage, C., Derôme, N., Normandeau, E., St-Cyr, J., Audet, C. (2010) Fast transcriptional responses to domestication in the brook charr Salvelinus fontinalis. Genetics 185:105-112.

Sauvage, C., Boudry, P., Haley, C.S., de Koning, DJ., Heurtebise, S. and Lapègue, S. Quantitative Trait Loci for resistance to summer mortality and OsHV1 load in the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) (2010) Animal Genetics 41(4): 390-399.


Fleury, E., Huvet, A., Lelong, C., de Lorgeril, J., Boulo, V., Gueguen, Y., Bachere, E., Tanguy, A., Moraga, D., Fabioux, C., Lindeque, P., Shaw, J., Reinhardt, R., Prunet, P., Davey, G., Lapegue, S., Sauvage, C., Corporeau, C., Moal, J., Gavory, F., Wincker, P., Moreews, F., Klopp, C., Mathieu, M., Boudry, P. and Favrel, P. (2009). Generation and analysis of a 29,745 unique Expressed Sequence Tags from the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) assembled into a publicly accessible database: the GigasDatabase. BMC Genomics 10(1): 341

Sauvage, C., Pépin, J.F, Lapègue, S., Boudry, P. and T. Renault (2009) Ostreid herpesvirus infection in families of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, during a summer mortality outbreak: differences in viral DNA detection and quantification using real time-PCR. Virus research 142: 181-187

Sauvage, C., Boudry, P and S. Lapègue (2009) Identification and characterization of 18 novel polymorphic microsatellite markers derived from expressed sequence tags in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. Molecular Ecology Ressources 9(3): 853-855


Sauvage, C., Bierne, N., Lapegue, S. and P. Boudry (2007) Single nucleotide polymorphisms and their relationship to codon usage bias in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. Gene 406, 13-22.


Referring activities:


California Sea Grant College Program, University of California, San Diego (USA)

Peer reviewed Journal:

Animal Genetics, Bioinformatics, Evolutionary Applications, Genome, Heredity, Molecular Breeding, Molecular Ecology Notes, Molecular Ecology, Marine Biotechnology, Molecular Breeding, Plant Molecular Biology Reporter and Euphytica.

Awards and Fundings

2012 – INRA fellowship, Metaprogram ‘SELGEN’ (2 yrs – 30 000€)

2012 – EU FP7-CIG Marie-Curie Fellowship (#PCIG10-GA-2011-304164 ; 4 yrs - 100 000€)

2010 – Postdoctoral fellowship funded by the RAQ (Réseau Aquaculture du Québec - 20 000 Ca$)

2009 – Postdoctoral fellowship funded by the RAQ (Réseau Aquaculture du Québec - 20 000 Ca$)

2008 – Postdoctoral fellowship funded by NSERC (40 000 Ca$)

2008 – ‘Aquaculture Travel Award’, Plant and Animal Genome Conference (USA – 1000US$)

2008 – Mobility grants of young researchers - European program ‘Aquagenome’ (3500€)

2004 – PhD fellowship funded by Ifremer and the Région Poitou-Charentes (40 000€)

2003 – Third Cycle Academic Award funded by the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur (2000€)

Professional memberships

2010-present: Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE)

INRA UR 1052 GAFL Written by: C. Sauvage
Last update: December 02, 2013