Plant microbiome in the context of the devasting grapevine trunk disease, Esca: Grapevine Trunk Diseases (GTDs) have become in the two last decades a subject of major concern for the wine industry. For 2014-2017 alone, the estimated losses are colossal: nearly 12% of French vineyards are unproductive due to GTDs, mainly Esca, causing one billion euros in shortfall.

Esca disease is considered as the result of the pathogenic activity of several fungal species, notably the basidiomycete species Fomitiporia mediterranea, which causes the white-rot necrosis. The development of this pathogenic fungi is under the control of synergistic or antagonistic bacteria that are normally present in the plant (endomicrobiome).

A variety of cultural, pruning, and training practices, qualified as beneficial to plant health and production, are being implemented in vineyards to reduce GTDs spreading and development. These practices induce modifications on the microbiome colonizing the wood of grapevines.

In a previous project, we showed that intense pruning producing big pruning wounds close to the trunk head, were more often affected by GTDs. The experiments are still ongoing for 5 years in the Hennessy vineyard with 2 contrasting pruning methods.

The aim of this PhD project is to identify the key stage when the Fungal and bacterial dynamics changes in the wood tissues, i.e. fungal/bacterial biodiversity changes in favour of pathogen development. The PhD student will assess the microbial diversity and functions using metagenomics tools (amplicon/shotgun sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities) then analyzed using network analysis and bioinformatics. omics and network analysis).

Requirements; Specific Requirements:

  • Master 2 diploma allowing to apply for a PhD.
  • Being ranked in the first half in the Master 2 is recommended.
  • Expected skills and knowledge:
  • Knowledge about microbial ecology and bioinformatics is required. Knowledge of plant science will be appreciated.
  • Ability to work with various disciplines and different types of actors is recommended.
  • Expression and organizational skills are required.

Application Deadline: 6 Jul 2023 – 22:00 (UTC)


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