Abstract : Gyárfás et al. and Zaker have proven that the Grundy number of a graph $G$ satisfies $\Gamma(G)\ge t$ if and only if $G$ contains an induced subgraph called a $t$-atom.
The family of $t$-atoms has bounded order and contains a finite number of graphs.
In this article, we introduce equivalents of $t$-atoms for b-coloring and partial Grundy coloring.
This concept is used to prove that determining if $\varphi(G)\ge t$ and $\partial\Gamma(G)\ge t$ (under conditions for the b-coloring), for a graph $G$, is in XP with parameter $t$.
We illustrate the utility of the concept of $t$-atoms by giving results on b-critical vertices and edges, on b-perfect graphs and on graphs of girth at least $7$.