Jeanne Ropars

Position: Research Scientist
Detailed position: Research Scientist CNRS

Team: Evolutionary genetics and ecology

Contact details:
Laboratoire Écologie, Systématique et Évolution – IDEEV
Bureau 2316 Bât. 680 – 12, route 128
91190 Gif Sur Yvette

Tel: +33 (0)1 69 15 70 49


Email : jeanne.ropars (at)

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution

Research interests

I am interested in the mechanisms involved in adaptation, including horizontal gene transfer, sexual reproduction, gene flow and genetic diversity. I think that fungi are good models for testing theories and developing new concepts in a unique way. Indeed, fungi are excellent models for studies of evolution and adaptation in eukaryotes, given their many experimental advantages. Some fungi have small genomes, are easy to culture in laboratory conditions, have short generation times, remain alive for long periods in the freezer, are easy to transform genetically and have a rich diversity of lineages and ecological niches.

These characteristics make it possible to address evolutionary biology questions with combinations of complementary approaches, including genomic and experimental methods. In particular, the use of multiple, distantly related lineages, of fungi in the production of certain types of food creates an ideal model system for studying the repeatability of evolution, by providing several independent recent replicates of adaptation to the same ecological niche under strong and recent selection. Since 2018, I am studying the repeatability of evolution using cheese fungi as models, based on genome analyses, historical data and experiments.

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution

Career path

Since February 2018 : Permanent CNRS researcher position (Chargée de recherche CNRS), University of Paris-Sud XI, Orsay
2016-2018 : Post-Doc, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France – C. d’Enfert’s group, working on the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans
2014-2015 :Post-Doc, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada – N. Corradi’s group, working on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
2012-2014 : Post-Doc, University of Paris-Sud XI, Orsay, France – T. Giraud’s group, working on Penicillium cheese fungi
2009-2012 : PhD in evolutionary biology, National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France – Supervision J. Dupont. « Systematics, adaptive mechanisms and sexual reproduction in cheese fungi »
2006-2008 : Master in Systematics and Evolution, National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France

Laboratoire Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution



Ropars J, Didiot E, Rodriguez de la Vega R, Bennetot B, Coton M, Coton E, Snirc A, Le Prieur S and Giraud T. 2020. Domestication of the emblematic white cheese-making fungus Penicillium camemberti and its diversification into two varieties. Current Biology.

Ropars J, Bennetot B, Caron T, Lo YC and Giraud T. 2020. The domestication of Penicillium cheese fungi. Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences.

Dumas E, Feurtey A, Rodríguez de la Vega RC, Le Prieur S, Snirc A, Coton M, Thierry A, Coton E, Le Piver M, Roueyre D, Ropars J, Branca A and Giraud T. 2020. Independent domestication events in the fungus maturing blue cheeses, Penicillium roqueforti. Molecular Ecology 14 : 2639-2660.

Chen, E C, Mathieu S, Hoffrichter A, Ropars J, Dreissig S, Fuchs J, Brachmann A and Corradi N. 2020. More filtering on SNP calling does not remove evidence of inter-nucleus recombination in dikaryotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Front. Plant Sci. 1


Chen, E. C., S. Mathieu, A. Hoffrichter, K. Sedzielewska-Toro, M. Peart, A. Pelin, S. Ndikumana, J. Ropars, S. Dreissig, J. Fuchs, A. Brachmann, and N. Corradi. 2018b. Single nucleus sequencing reveals evidence of inter-nucleus recombination in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. eLife 7:e39813.

Chen, E. C. H., E. Morin, D. Beaudet, J. Noel, G. Yildirir, S. Ndikumana, P. Charron, C. St‐Onge, J. Giorgi, M. Krüger, T. Marton, J. Ropars, I. V. Grigoriev, M. Hainaut, B. Henrissat, C. Roux, F. Martin, and N. Corradi. 2018a. High intraspecific genome diversity in the model arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiont Rhizophagus irregularis. New Phytol. 220:1161–1171.

Ropars, J., C. Maufrais, D. Diogo, M. Marcet-Houben, A. Perin, N. Sertour, K. Mosca, E. Permal, G. Laval, C. Bouchier, L. Ma, K. Schwartz, K. Voelz, R. C. May, J. Poulain, C. Battail, P. Wincker, A. M. Borman, A. Chowdhary, S. Fan, S. H. Kim, P. Pape, O. Romeo, J. H. Shin, T. Gabaldon, G. Sherlock, M.-E. Bougnoux, and C. d’Enfert. 2018. Gene flow contributes to diversification of the major fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Nat. Commun. 9:2253.


Ropars, J., M. López-Villavicencio, A. Snirc, S. Lacoste, and T. Giraud. 2017. Blue cheese-making has shaped the population genetic structure of the mould Penicillium roqueforti. PLOS ONE 12:e0171387.

d’Enfert, C., M.-E. Bougnoux, A. Feri, M. Legrand, R. Loll-Krippleber, T. Marton, C. Maufrais, J. Ropars, N. Sertour, and E. Sitterlé. 2017. Genome Diversity and Dynamics in Candida albicans. Pp. 205–232 in R. Prasad, ed. Candida albicans: Cellular and Molecular Biology. Springer International Publishing, Cham.

Dupont, J., S. Dequin, T. Giraud, F. Le Tacon, S. Marsit, J. Ropars, F. Richard, and M.-A. Selosse. 2017. Fungi as a Source of Food. Microbiol. Spectr. 5.


Ropars, J., Y. Lo, E. Dumas, A. Snirc, D. Begerow, T. Rollnik, S. Lacoste, J. Dupont, T. Giraud, and M. López‐Villavicencio. 2016. Fertility depression among cheese‐making Penicillium roqueforti strains suggests degeneration during domestication. Evolution 70:2099–2109.

Ropars, J.*, K. S. Toro*, J. Noel, A. Pelin, P. Charron, L. Farinelli, T. Marton, M. Krüger, J. Fuchs, A. Brachmann, and N. Corradi. 2016. Evidence for the sexual origin of heterokaryosis in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Nat. Microbiol. 16033.


Ropars, J.*, R. C. Rodríguez de la Vega,* M. López-Villavicencio, J. Gouzy, E. Sallet, É. Dumas, S. Lacoste, R. Debuchy, J. Dupont, A. Branca, and T. Giraud. 2015. Adaptive horizontal gene transfers between multiple cheese-associated Fungi. Curr. Biol. 25:2562–2569.

Ropars, J., and N. Corradi. 2015. Homokaryotic vs heterokaryotic mycelium in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: different techniques, different results? New Phytol. 208:638–641.

Ropars, J., R. C. R. de la Vega, M. López-Villavicencio, J. Gouzy, J. Dupont, D. Swennen, E. Dumas, T. Giraud, and A. Branca. 2015. Diversity and Mechanisms of Genomic Adaptation in Penicillium. P. 210 in Aspergillus and Penicillium in the Post-genomic Era. Ronald P. de Vries, Isabelle Benoit Gelber, Mikael Rordam Andersen.

Pintye, A.*, J. Ropars*, N. Harvey, H.-D. Shin, C. Leyronas, P. C. Nicot, T. Giraud, and L. Kiss. 2015. Host Phenology and Geography as Drivers of Differentiation in Generalist Fungal Mycoparasites. PLOS ONE 10:e0120703.

Cornille, A., A. Feurtey, U. Gélin, J. Ropars, K. Misvanderbrugge, P. Gladieux, and T. Giraud. 2015. Anthropogenic and natural drivers of gene flow in a temperate wild fruit tree: a basis for conservation and breeding programs in apples. Evol. Appl. 8:373–384.

Gillot, G., J.-L. Jany, M. Coton, G. Le Floch, S. Debaets, J. Ropars, M. López-Villavicencio, J. Dupont, A. Branca, T. Giraud, and E. Coton. 2015. Insights into Penicillium roqueforti morphological and genetic diversity. PLOS ONE 10:e0129849.


Ropars, J., M. López-Villavicencio, J. Dupont, A. Snirc, G. Gillot, M. Coton, J.-L. Jany, E. Coton, and T. Giraud. 2014. Induction of sexual reproduction and genetic diversity in the cheese fungus Penicillium roqueforti. Evol. Appl. 7:433–441.

Ropars, J., G. Aguileta, D. M. de Vienne, and T. Giraud. 2014. Massive gene swamping among cheese-making Penicillium fungi. Microb. Cell 1.

Cheeseman, K.*, J. Ropars*, P. Renault, J. Dupont, J. Gouzy, A. Branca, A.-L. Abraham, M. Ceppi, E. Conseiller, R. Debuchy, F. Malagnac, A. Goarin, P. Silar, S. Lacoste, E. Sallet, A. Bensimon, T. Giraud, and Y. Brygoo. 2014. Multiple recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region in cheese making fungi. Nat. Commun. 5:2876.

Gladieux, P., J. Ropars, H. Badouin, A. Branca, G. Aguileta, D. M. de Vienne, R. C. Rodríguez de la Vega, S. Branco, and T. Giraud. 2014. Fungal evolutionary genomics provides insight into the mechanisms of adaptive divergence in eukaryotes. Mol. Ecol. 23:753–773.


Ropars, J., C. Cruaud, S. Lacoste, and J. Dupont. 2012. A taxonomic and ecological overview of cheese fungi. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 155:199–210.

Ropars, J., J. Dupont, E. Fontanillas, R. C. Rodríguez de la Vega, F. Malagnac, M. Coton, T. Giraud, and M. López-Villavicencio. 2012. Sex in cheese: evidence for sexuality in the fungus Penicillium roqueforti. PLoS ONE 7:e49665.


Giraud, F., T. Giraud, G. Aguileta, E. Fournier, R. Samson, C. Cruaud, S. Lacoste, J. Ropars, A. Tellier, and J. Dupont. 2010. Microsatellite loci to recognize species for the cheese starter and contaminating strains associated with cheese manufacturing. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 137:204–213.