PhD offer: role of putrescine and 3-hydroxybutyrate in the pathogenicity of R. solanacearum:
INRAE presentation: The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) is a major player in research and innovation. It is a community of 12,000 people with 272 research, experimental research, and support units located in 18 regional centres throughout France. Internationally, INRAE is among the top research organisations in the agricultural and food sciences, plant and animal sciences, as well as in ecology and environmental science. It is the world’s leading research organisation specialising in agriculture, food and the environment.
INRAE’s goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. Faced with a growing world population, climate change, resource scarcity, and declining biodiversity, the Institute has a major role to play in building solutions and supporting the necessary acceleration of agricultural, food and environmental transitions.
Work environment, missions and activities: Plant pathogens have a significant impact on agricultural crop losses. Understanding fundamental pathogenicity mechanisms is essential to find sustainable solutions against them. At the loci of the infection, a chemical warfare occurs, which can be partially monitored using metabolomics.
Two recent metabolomic studies have shown that putrescine and 3-hydroxybutyrate are present in the infection loci in tomato plants when infected by R. solanacearum, a devastating bacterial plant pathogen present throughout the world. To date, no precise role was found for each molecule. This PhD aims at finding their role using an interdisciplinary approach combining metabolomics, reverse genetics and mathematical modelling.
The laboratory: The Laboratory of Plants Microbes and Environment Interactions (LIPME) focuses its research on the interactions between plants and either symbiotic or pathogenic microbes, with a focus on both plant and microbial partners. Key biological questions such as the key factors controlling pathogenic/symbiotic associations, the mechanisms behind host infection, the mechanisms behind host adaptation and the mechanisms behind metabolic adaptation are addressed.
Bacterial and plant genome organization is also studied using both bioinformatic and genomic approaches. LIPME research studies aims to have a major impact on agriculture and the environment by increasing the knowledge on bio-aggressors and plant symbiotic partners.
Scientific context of the PhD subject: Plant pathogens have a significant impact on agricultural crop losses. Understanding fundamental pathogenicity mechanisms is essential to find sustainable solutions against them.
At the loci of the infection, a chemical warfare occurs, which can be partially monitored using metabolomics. Recent metabolomic studies have shown that putrescine and 3-hydroxybutyrate are present in the infection loci in tomato plants when infected by R. solanacearum, a devastating bacterial plant pathogen present throughout the world. Some recent studies have investigated the role of putrescine in virulence, but to date, no role was found.
Concerning, 3-hydroxybutyrate, no studies have investigated its role. This project aims at finding the role of both putrescine and 3-hydroxybutyrate in the virulence of R. solanacearum using an interdisciplinary approach combining metabolomics, reverse genetics and mathematical modelling.
PhD objectives: The PhD student will be in charge of:i) better annotate the synthesis, transport and degradation metabolic pathways involving putrescine and 3-hydroxybutyrate for several strains of R. solanacearum ii) use a reverse genetic approach both in the plant and in the pathogen to understand the role of these metabolites iii) assess the role of these metabolites in the infection dynamics using the generated mutants both experimentally and with mathematical modelling. The plant model organism used will be the agronomical plant tomato.
Skills required: MSc or equivalent in molecular biology or systems biology. It will be a plus if the PhD candidate has both skills. If wished, a short-term stay at UC Davis will be possible during the PhD.
Training and skills: Master’s degree/Engineering degree
INRAE’s life quality: By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):
– up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days “Reduction of Working Time” (for a full time);
– parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
– skills development systems: training, career advise;
– social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
– holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
– sports and cultural activities;
– collective catering.
How to apply:
- Contract: PhD position
- Duration: 3 ans
- Beginning: 01/12/2023
- Remuneration: 2 044,12 € Brut mensuel
- Reference: OT-18984
- Deadline: 30/09/2023
LIPME – Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes-Microbes-Environnement 31320 CASTANET TOLOSAN
Contact : BAROUKH Caroline firstname.lastname@example.org