CNRS Group Leader in Chemistry at EcoFoG (Chargé de Recherche CR1)
Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR)
Scientific affiliate at the Field Museum of Chicago in Corrie Moreau Lab
Organic Chemistry / Green Catalysis
I am a chemical engineer who studied for 7 years organometallic chemistry, catalysis and cross-coupling reactions under the supervision of outstanding mentors : undergraduate project in the lab of Pr. Paul Knochel (LMU, Munich), Ph.D. with Gérard Cahiez (DR CNRS, Chimie ParisTech, Paris), and postdoctoral studies with Pr. Bruce Lipshutz (UC Santa Barbara, California). In Cahiez’s lab I contributed to the field of green chemistry by using non-toxic manganese and iron salts to develop green metal-catalyzed coupling reactions. In Lisphutz’s lab we co-developed with Dr. Arkady Krasovskiy (Dow Chemicals, Michigan) a modification of the Nobel Prize Wining reaction named Negishi cross-coupling, where for the first time this reaction was completed in water at room temperature in a one-pot reaction by using safe and inexpensive surfactants as micelle nano-reactors.
Natural Products Chemistry / Analytical Chemistry / Biochemistry / Chemical Ecology / Evolution
In 2012 I joined EcoFoG lab in French Guiana to develop interdisciplinary research studies at the frontier between natural products chemistry, chemical ecology, and analytical chemistry. This has permitted me to gain knowledge in pharmacology, microbiology, parasitology, entomology, molecular biology, ecology and evolution in the context of Amazonian forests. I am co-leading the group “Functional Chemodiversity and Applications” at EcoFoG with Nadine Amusant (Cirad) and our team includes Emeline Houël (Research Engineer, CNRS), Yannick Estevez (Research Engineer, CNRS) and Cyrielle Sophie (Technician, CNRS).
Currently I am attempting to combine methods in analytical chemistry and molecular ecology to decipher the biosynthetic pathways of natural products in an evolutionary context. Our research in evolutionary chemistry focuses on (1) the mechanism of heartwood formation in tropical woods, (2) community ecology of ants cuticular bacteria, (3) the impact of latex in plant evolution.
1- What are the chemical markers of heartwood formation ?
Natural products biosynthesized in the wood transition zone provide a chemical defense against external stresses but they can also influence the physico-mechanical properties of heartwood i.e. hygroscopicity, sweeling, dimensional stability and vibrational behavior. These properties are determinant for woods used in construction, furniture or musical instruments.
We evaluate the chemical diversity of secondary metabolites in sapwood and heartwood of different Amazonian tree species used in construction. We use NMR spectrometry (qNMR, 2D NMR) and MS spectroscopy (metabolomics, molecular networking) on wood to identify main constituents and investigate when possible the biosynthesis pathways of wood metabolites within specific cellular compartments. Correlations between quantitative/qualitative chemical analysis and natural durability bioassays or mechanical properties are tested in order to, in fine, improve statistical models used in agroforestry. Main objectives consist in identifying chemical markers and revealing new insights in wood properties and ecology in oder to assist agroforestry and construction industries to optimize the evaluation of wood forest products.
Collaborators : Jacques Beauchêne (Cirad-EcoFoG, Kourou), Bruno Clair (CNRS-EcoFoG, Kourou), Alain Brunelle & David Touboul (CNRS-ICSN, Gif-sur-Yvette), Grégory Genta-Jouve (COMETE, Université Paris V), Gérald Remaud & Richard Robins (UMR CEISAM, Nantes)
Ph.D. student : Claudiane Flora (Fellowship 2014-2017 : Université de Guyane)
Undergraduate students :
L3 : Stéphanie Chou Ket Kime (2015, Université de Guyane)
M2 : Gaël Frédéric (2016, Université de Strasbourg)
Grant : CEBA (2013-2015)
Biosynthetic investigation of secondary metabolite Rubrynolide in the durable Amazonian wood Sextonia rubra assisted by TOF-SIMS imaging and molecular networking. In preparation for Scientific Reports
Bossu J, Beauchêne J, Estevez Y, Duplais C, Clair B (2016). New Insights on Wood Dimensional Stability Influenced by Secondary Metabolites : The Case of a Fast-Growing Tropical Species Bagassa guianensis Aubl. PLoS ONE 11(3) : e0150777. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150777
2- Cuticular bacterial communities of ant species
Collaborators : Lucie Zinger (CNRS-EDB, Université de Toulouse), Grégory Genta-Jouve (COMETE, Université Paris V), Alexandre Maciuk & Bruno Figadère (CNRS-BioCIS, Université ParisSud), Niklas Tysklind (INRA-EcoFoG, Kourou), Corrie Moreau (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago)
Ph.D. student :
Caroline Birer (Fellowship 2013-2016 : CNRS and CEBA)
Undergraduate students :
M2 : Marie-Hélène Soba (2015, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardennes)
L3 : Marie-Claire Izeros (2014, Université de Guyane), Sacha Cataldo (2015, Université de Guyane), Franciscar Bien-Aimé (2016, Université de Guyane).
Grant : CNRS Mission pour l’Interdisciplinarité - PEPS EXOMOD (2014-2016)
C. Birer, N. Tysklind, L. Zinger, C. Duplais. Comparative analysis of DNA extraction methods to study the body surface microbiota of insects : a case study with ant cuticular bacteria. Submitted to Molecular Ecology Ressources
3- Evolutionary aspects of latex chemical composition in Amazonian trees
Collaborators : Chris Baraloto & Diego Salazar (Florida International University), Frédéric Péruch & Stéphane Carlotti (LPCO, Université de Bordeaux)
Undergraduate student : M1 : Joan Balmot (2016, Université de Montpellier)
Grant : CEBA (2015-2016)
A-M Cortesero, M. Profitt, C. Duplais, F. Viard, "Chemical ecology : an integrative and experimental science". In : A. G. Bagnères, M. Hossaert-McKey, editors, New Advances in Chemical Ecology. Coll. ISTE-WILEY. 2016 asap.
Other project - Medicinal chemistry against Malaria
The search for safe antimalarial compounds, acting against asexual symptom-responsible stage and sexual transmission-responsible forms of Plasmodium species, is one of the major challenges in malaria elimination programs. So far, among current drugs approved for human use, only primaquine fulfills this objective.
In collaboration with the parasitology unit of the Pasteur Institute of French Guiana, we have successfully settled transmission-blocking biossays based on the inhibition of male gametocytes exflagellation using P. falciparum reference strains and field isolates from French Guiana. We are interested in antimalarial and transmission-blocking activities of safe and inexpensive dyes and additionally we investigate their use as coupling partner in covalent biotherapy strategy.
Collaborators : Lise Musset & Stéphane Pelleau (Institut Pasteur de la Guyane), Eric Legrand, (Pasteur Paris), Jean Popovici (Institut Pasteur du Cambodge), Louis-Jérôme Leba (UMR QualiSud, Université de Guyane)
Undergraduate student :
L3 : Giovany Marie-Rose (2016, Université de Guyane)
Grant : Institut Pasteur - ACIP (2012-2014)
L-J. Leba, J. Popovici, Y. Estevez, S. Pelleau, E. Legrand, L. Musset, C Duplais. Antiplasmodial activities of dyes against Plasmodium falciparum asexual and sexual stages and triarylmethanes uptake by erythrocytes. Submitted.
L-J. Leba, L. Musset, S. Pelleau, Y. Estevez, C. Birer, S. Briolant, B. Witkowski, D. Menard, M. Delves, E. Legrand, C Duplais, J. Popovici (2015). Use of Plasmodium falciparum culture-adapted field isolates for in vitro exflagellation-blocking assay. Malaria J. 14, 214.
Check out our review with my colleague Romain Duval (IRD, UMR MERIT-Paris Descartes) just published in Natural Product Reports
R. Duval, C. Duplais (2017). Fluorescent natural products as tracers and probes in biology. Nat. Prod. Rep, 34:161-193.
AND congrats to Romain who made the beautiful Inside Front Cover
Want to apply for a Ph.D co-supervised by C. Duplais & C. Moreau ? Interested in Evolution & Chemical Biology ? Interested in Ants/Bacteria/Biosynthetic Gene Clusters/Nonribosomal Peptides ? Please email me NOW