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Breton, Sophie

Associate Professor


  • Telephone 514-343-7460 Pav. PAVILLON MARIE-VICTORIN \ Ext. F-208-10
Breton, Sophie

Research expertise

My research program integrates various approaches including molecular biology, physiology, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and evolutionary biology to address how new species form and how organisms adapt to their environment. My team is particularly interested in investigating the role of mitochondria and their genomes in adaptation and speciation. From this perspective, the goal of my research is to enhance our understanding of the function, structure, expression, evolution and inheritance of mitochondrial genomes, the co-adaptation of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, and the physiological mechanisms of animal adaptation to environmental conditions.

Areas of expertise


  • Stewart, D.T., Jha, M., Breton, S., Hoeh, W.R., and Blier, P.U. The effects of sperm competition and chemo-attractants on sperm velocity in Mytilus edulis (Bivalvia: Mytilidae). (Accepté dans Can. J. Zool.).
  • Shepardson, S., Heard, W.H., Breton, S., and Hoeh, W.R. Light and transmission electron microscopy of two spermatogenic pathways and unimorphic sperm in Venustaconcha ellipsiformis (Conrad, 1836) (Bivalvia: Unionoida) (Accepté dans Malacologia).
  • Moreira, S., Breton, S., and Burger, G. (2012) Unscrambling genetic information at the RNA level. WIREs RNA 3: 213-228.
  • Breton, S., Ghiselli, F., Passamonti, M., Milani, L., Stewart, D.T., and Hoeh, W.R. (2011) Evidence for a fourteenth mtDNA-encoded protein in the female-transmitted mtDNA of marine mussels (Bivalvia: Mytilidae). PLoS ONE 6: 19365.
  • Breton, S., Stewart, D.T., Shepardson, S., Trdan, R.J., Bogan, A.E., Chapman, E.G., Ruminas, A.J., Piontkivska, H., and Hoeh, W.R. (2011) Novel protein genes in animal mtDNA: a new sex determination system in freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida)? Mol. Biol. Evol. 28: 1645-1659.
  • Breton, S., Stewart, D.T., and Hoeh, W.R. (2010) Characterization of a mitochondrial ORF from the gender-associated mtDNAs of Mytilus spp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae): identification of the "missing" ATPase 8 gene. Mar. Genomics 3: 11-18.
  • Doucet Beaupré, H., Breton, S., Chapman, E.G., Blier, P.U., Bogan, A.E., Stewart, D.T., and Hoeh, W.R. (2010) Mitochondrial Phylogenomics of the Bivalvia (Mollusca): Searching for the Origin and Mitogenomic Correlates of Doubly Uniparental Inheritance of mtDNA. BMC Evol. Biol. 10: 50.
  • Doucet Beaupré, H., Dubé, C., Breton, S., Portner H.O., and Blier, P.U. (2010) Thermal sensitivity of metabolism in subarctic and temperate freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Uniononida). J. Therm. Biol. 35: 11-20.
  • Breton, S., Doucet Beaupré, H., Stewart, D.T., Piontkivska, H., Karmakar, M., Bogan, A.E., Blier, P.U., and Hoeh, W.R. (2009) Comparative mitochondrial genomics of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida) with Doubly Uniparental Inheritance of mtDNA: gender-specific Open Reading Frames (ORFs) and putative origins of replication. Genetics 183: 1575-1589.
  • Breton, S., Stewart, D.T., and Blier, P.U. (2009) Role-reversal of gender-associated mitochondrial DNA affects mitochondrial function in Mytilus edulis (Bivalvia: Mytilidae). J. Exp. Zool. B 312: 108-117.
  • Hébert Chatelain, E., Breton, S., Lemieux, H., and Blier, P.U. (2008) Epitoky in Nereis (Neanthes) virens (Polychaeta : Nereididae): a story about sex and death. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B 149: 202-208.
  • Breton, S., and Doucet Beaupré, H. (2008) Un système de transmission de l’ADN mitochondrial sexuellement équitable. Médecine Sciences. 23: 138-140.
  • Breton, S., Doucet Beaupré, H., Stewart, D.T., Hoeh, W.R., and Blier, P.U. (2007) The unusual system of doubly uniparental inheritance of mtDNA: isn’t one enough? Trends Genet. 23: 465-474.
  • Breton, S., Burger, G., Stewart, D.T., and Blier, P.U. (2006) Comparative analysis of gender-associated, complete mitochondrial genomes in marine mussels (Mytilus spp.). Genetics 172: 1107-1119.
  • Blier, P.U., Breton, S., Desrosiers, V., and Lemieux, H. (2006) Functional conservatism in mitochondrial evolution: insight from hybridization of arctic and brook charr. J. Exp. Zool. B 306: 425-432.
  • Breton, S., Dufresne, F., Desrosiers, G., and Blier, P.U. (2004) Morphological variation in Nereis (Neanthes) virens (Polychaeta: Nereididae) populations. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK 84: 983-985.
  • Breton, S., Dufresne, F., Desrosiers, G., and Blier, P.U. (2003) Population structure of two northern hemisphere polychaetes, Neanthes virens and Hediste diversicolor (Nereididae), with different life-history traits. Mar. Biol. 142: 707-715.

Courses given in the Department this term