Philippe Constant

Associate Professor,
INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier

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  • Postdoc. Biogeochemistry, Biogeochemistry and Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, 2008
  • Doctorate, Biology, Environmental Microbiology, INRS-Institute Armand Frappier, 2004
  • Bachelor's, Biological Sciences, Microbiology and immunology, Université de Montréal


Our research group is interested in the biogeochemical cycle of the trace gases that are either directly or indirectly constraining the Earth’s energy balance. The objective of our research includes the identification of the microorganisms controlling atmospheric trace gas budgets and the analysis of the impact of global change on microbial biogeochemistry. Microorganisms demonstrating the ability to oxidize atmospheric trace gases have evolved unusual metabolic pathways involving enzymes displaying high substrate affinity. In some bacteria, the scavenging of atmospheric trace gases provides an alternative energy source supplying maintenance energy requirements or secondary metabolites synthesis. An assessment of the potential biotechnological applications of these microorganisms is also part of the research agenda of our team. The research is organized to shed light on these questions of fundamental interest:
  • Which microorganisms oxidize atmospheric trace gases? What are the environmental factors influencing their distribution and their activity?
  • Will the microorganisms maintain their role in mitigating anthropogenic trace gas emissions?
  • Are there environmental management strategies to preserve or stimulate the biogeochemical functions?
  • Is the exploitation of microorganisms consuming trace gases an efficient approach to increase the production yield of secondary metabolites, biodegradation and other bioprocesses?

QCBS students

Thibault BOURDIN

Other (co-)supervisor: Eric Déziel, INRS-IAF
(Start: 2018, End: 2022)
Sink environment : A source of nosocomial infections in neonatal intensive care units

Anne de la Porte

(Start: 2017, End: 2021)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Etienne Yergeau
Caractérisation des restructurations taxonomiques et fonctionnelles spécifiquement induites par le statut Hup- du pois Pisum sativum dans la rhizosphère et détermination de l'effet rétroactif du sol a

Xavier Baril

(Start: 2020, End: 2022)
Optimisation des services écosystémiques soutenus par un agroécosystème en appliquant différentes combinaisons d’engrais verts

Josiann Normandeau-Guimond

Other (co-)supervisor: Isabelle Dusfour, Institut Pasteur Guyane
(Start: 2018)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Claude Guertin
Dysbiosis Induction in Aedes aegypti to reduce Virus Transmission Efficacy: from natural microbiome diversity to lab experiments

Previous students (since 2009)

Nejia Lassoued

(Start: 2016, End: 2020)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Claude Guertin
Impact of biotic and abiotic pressures on the microbial community within the larch beetle holobiont, Dendroctonus simplex LeConte

Judith Mogouong

(Start: 2017, End: 2020)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Claude Guertin
Modulation of microbial community associated to a host influenced by biotic and abiotic stresses

Sarah Piché-Choquette

(Start: 2014, End: 2018)
Molecular hydrogen as an ecological stress to soil microbial communities

Asma Jaba

(Start: 2016, End: 2018)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Claude Guertin
Analyse de la fine structure de « l’interactome » des communautés microbiennes associées aux aliments pour améliorer la sécurité et la qualité alimentaire

Examples of species studied

Dendroctonus simplex


44- A genomic catalog of Earth’s microbiomes
Nayfach S , , Roux S , Seshadri R , Udwary D , Varghese N , Schulz F , Wu D , Paez-Espino D , Chen I , Huntemann M , Palaniappan K , Ladau J , Mukherjee S , Reddy T B K , Nielsen T , Kirton E , Faria J P , Edirisinghe J N , Henry C S , Jungbluth S P , Chivian D , Dehal P , Wood-Charlson E M , Arkin A P , Tringe S G , Visel A , Woyke T , Mouncey N J , Ivanova N N , Kyrpides N C , Eloe-Fadrosh E A ,
2020 Nature Biotechnology (Date Added: 2020-11-16)

43- Gut microbiome of the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, and its relationship with insect population density
Mogouong J , Constant P , Lavallée R , Guertin C ,
2020 FEMS microbiology ecology (Date Added: 2020-08-01)

42- Natural Variation in Physicochemical Profiles and Bacterial Communities Associated with Aedes aegypti Breeding Sites and Larvae on Guadeloupe and French Guiana
Hery L , Guidez A , Durand A , Delannay C , Normandeau-Guimond J , Reynaud Y , Issaly J , Goindin D , Legrave G , Gustave J , Raffestin S , Breurec S , Constant P , Dusfour I , Guertin C , Vega-Rúa A ,
2020 Microbial Ecology (Date Added: 2020-07-15)

41- Gamma irradiation triggers a global stress response in Escherichia coli O157:H7 including base and nucleotides excision repair pathways
Gaougaou G , Shankar S , Liot Q , Constant P , Déziel E , Lacroix M ,
2020 Microbial Pathogenesis (Date Added: 2020-06-28)

40- Biological H2 and CO oxidation activities are sensitive to compositional change of soil microbial communities
Saavedra-Lavoie J , de la Porte A , Piché-Choquette S , Guertin C , Constant P ,
2020 Canadian journal of microbiology (Date Added: 2020-04-07)

39- A Gaseous Milieu: Extending the Boundaries of the Rhizosphere
de la Porte A , Schmidt R , Yergeau ,
2020 Trends in Microbiology (Date Added: 2020-03-31)

38- Physiological traits and relative abundance of species as explanatory variables of co-occurrence pattern of cultivable bacteria associated with chia seeds
Jaba A , Dagher F , Hamidi Oskouei A M , Guertin C , Constant P ,
2019 Canadian Journal of Microbiology (Date Added: 2019-09-17)

37- Identification of factors affecting bacterial abundance and community structures in a full-scale chlorinated drinking water distribution system
Dias V , Durand A , Constant P , Prévost M , Bédard E ,
2019 Water (Switzerland) (Date Added: 2019-05-13)

36- Molecular Hydrogen, a Neglected Key Driver of Soil Biogeochemical Processes
Piché-Choquette S , Constant P ,
2019 Applied and environmental microbiology (Date Added: 2019-03-24)

35- The symbiotic complex of Dendroctonus simplex: Implications in the beetle attack and its life cycle
Durand A , Constant P , Déziel E , Guertin C ,
2019 Bulletin of Entomological Research (Date Added: 2019-03-08)

34- Soil bacterial community associated with high potato production and minimal water use
Gumiere T , Gumiere S J , Matteau J , Constant P , Létourneau G , Rousseau A N ,
2019 Frontiers in Environmental Science (Date Added: 2019-01-29)

33- Water stress history and wheat genotype modulate rhizosphere microbial response to drought
Azarbad H , Constant P , Giard-Laliberté C , Bainard L D , Yergeau E ,
2018 Soil Biology and Biochemistry (Date Added: 2018-10-22)

32- Meta-omics survey of [NiFe]-hydrogenase genes fails to capture drastic variations in H2-oxidation activity measured in three soils exposed to H2
Khdhiri M , Piché-Choquette S , Tremblay J , Tringe S G , Constant P ,
2018 Soil Biology and Biochemistry (Date Added: 2018-08-05)

31- Dose-response relationships between environmentally-relevant H2concentrations and the biological sinks of H2, CH4and CO in soil
Piché-Choquette S , Khdhiri M , Constant P ,
2018 Soil Biology and Biochemistry (Date Added: 2018-05-28)

30- Strain-level genetic diversity of Methylophaga nitratireducenticrescens confers plasticity to denitrification capacity in a methylotrophic marine denitrifying biofilm
Geoffroy V , Payette G , Mauffrey F , Lestin L , Constant P , Villemur R ,
2018 PeerJ (Date Added: 2018-05-02)

29- Denitrifying metabolism of the methylotrophic marine bacterium Methylophaga nitratireducenticrescens strain JAM1
Mauffrey F , Cucaita A , Constant P , Villemur R ,
2017 PeerJ (Date Added: 2017-12-13)

28- Survey of High-Affinity H2-Oxidizing Bacteria in Soil Reveals Their Vast Diversity Yet Underrepresentation in Genomic Databases
Piché-Choquette S , Khdhiri M , Constant P ,
2017 Microbial Ecology (Date Added: 2017-06-28)

27- The tale of a neglected energy source: Elevated hydrogen exposure affects both microbial diversity and function in soil
Khdhiri M , Piché-Choquette S , Tremblay J , Tringe S G , Constant P ,
2017 Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-06-12)

26- Detection and isolation of plant-associated bacteria scavenging atmospheric molecular hydrogen
Kanno, M, Constant, P, Tamaki, H, Kamagata, Y
2016 Environmental Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-03-27)

25- H2-saturation of high affinity H2-oxidizing bacteria alters the ecological niche of soil microorganisms unevenly among taxonomic groups
Piché-Choquette, S, Tremblay, J, Tringe, SG, Constant, P
2016 PeerJ (Date Added: 2017-03-27)

24- Towards the development of multifunctional molecular indicators combining soil biogeochemical and microbiological variables to predict the ecological integrity of silvicultural practices
Peck, V, Quiza, L, Buffet, J-P, Khdhiri, M, Durand, A-A, Paquette, A, Thiffault, N, Messier, C, Beaulieu, N, Guertin, C, Constant, P
2016 Microbial Biotechnology (Date Added: 2017-03-27)

21- Surveying the endomicrobiome and ectomicrobiome of bark beetles: The case of Dendroctonus simplex
Durand, A-A, Bergeron, A, Constant, P, Buffet, J-P, Déziel, E, Guertin, C
2015 Scientific Reports (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

20- Soil carbon content and relative abundance of high affinity H2-oxidizing bacteria predict atmospheric H2 soil uptake activity better than soil microbial community composition
Khdhiri, M, Hesse, L, Popa, ME, Quiza, L, Lalonde, I, Meredith, LK, Röckmann, T, Constant, P
2015 Soil Biology and Biochemistry (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

19- Atmospheric hydrogen scavenging: From enzymes to ecosystems
Greening, C, Constant, P, Hards, K, Morales, SE, Oakeshott, JG, Russell, RJ, Taylor, MC, Berney, M, Conrad, R, Cookb, GM
2015 Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

18- Land-use influences the distribution and activity of high affinity CO-oxidizing bacteria associated to type I-coxL genotype in soil
Quiza, L, Lalonde, I, Guertin, C, Constant, P
2014 Frontiers in Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

17- Toxicity survey of Canadian Arctic marine sediments
Canário, J, Poissant, L, Pilote, M, Blaise, C, Constant, P, Férard, J-F, Gagné, F
2014 Journal of Soils and Sediments (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

16- Hydrogenase
Constant, P, Hallenbeck, PC
2013 Biohydrogen (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

15- The fate of mercury in Arctic terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, a review
Douglas, TA, Loseto, LL, MacDonald, RW, Outridge, P, Dommergue, A, Poulain, A, Amyot, M, Barkay, T, Berg, T, Chetelat, J, Constant, P, Evans, M, Ferrari, C, Gantner, N, Johnson, MS, Kirk, J, Kroer, N, Larose, C, Lean, D, Nielsen, TG, Poissant, L, Rognerud, S, Skov, H, Sørensen, S, Wang, F, Wilson, S, Zdanowicz, CM
2012 Environmental Chemistry (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

14- Co-localization of atmospheric H2 oxidation activity and high affinity H2-oxidizing bacteria in non-axenic soil and sterile soil amended with Streptomyces sp. PCB7
Constant, P, Chowdhury, SP, Hesse, L, Conrad, R
2011 Soil Biology and Biochemistry (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

13- Genome data mining and soil survey for the novel group 5 [NiFe]-hydrogenase to explore the diversity and ecological importance of presumptive high-affinity H 2-oxidizing bacteria
Constant, P, Chowdhury, SP, Hesse, L, Pratscher, J, Conrad, R
2011 Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

12- Streptomycetes contributing to atmospheric molecular hydrogen soil uptake are widespread and encode a putative high-affinity [NiFe]-hydrogenase
Constant, P, Chowdhury, SP, Pratscher, J, Conrad, R
2010 Environmental Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

11- Tropospheric H2 budget and the response of its soil uptake under the changing environment
Constant, P, Poissant, L, Villemur, R
2009 Science of the Total Environment (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

10- Isolation of Streptomyces sp. PCB7, the first microorganism demonstrating high-affinity uptake of tropospheric H2
Constant, P, Poissant, L, Villemur, R
2008 ISME Journal (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

9- Critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the arctic tundra ecosystem
Poissant, L, Zhang, HH, Canário, J, Constant, P
2008 Science of the Total Environment (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

8- Annual hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide concentrations and surface to air exchanges in a rural area (Québec, Canada)
Constant, P, Poissant, L, Villemur, R
2008 Atmospheric Environment (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

7- The ebullition of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, carbon dioxide and total gaseous mercury from the Cornwall Area of Concern
Poissant, L, Constant, P, Pilote, M, Canário, J, O'Driscoll, N, Ridal, J, Lean, D
2007 Science of the Total Environment (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

6- Fate of inorganic mercury and methyl mercury within the snow cover in the low arctic tundra on the shore of Hudson Bay (Québec, Canada)
Constant, P, Poissant, L, Villemur, R, Yumvihoze, E, Lean, D
2007 Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

5- Heterogeneity between 16S ribosomal RNA gene copies borne by one Desulfitobacterium strain is caused by different 100-200 bp insertions in the 5′ region
Villemur, R, Constant, P, Gauthier, A, Shareck, M, Beaudet, R
2007 Canadian Journal of Microbiology (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

4- Abiotic source of reactive organic halogens in the sub-arctic atmosphere?
Carpenter, LJ, Hopkins, JR, Jones, CE, Lewis, AC, Parthipan, R, Wevill, DJ, Poissant, L, Pilote, M, Constant, P
2005 Environmental Science and Technology (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

2- A year of continuous measurements of three atmospheric mercury species (GEM, RGM and Hgp) in southern Québec, Canada
Poissant, L, Pilote, M, Beauvais, C, Constant, P, Zhang, HH
2005 Atmospheric Environment (Date Added: 2017-03-29)

1- Mercury gas exchanges over selected bare soil and flooded sites in the bay St. François wetlands (Québec, Canada)
Poissant, L, Pilote, M, Constant, P, Beauvais, C, Zhang, HH, Xu, X
2004 Atmospheric Environment (Date Added: 2017-03-29)