Junior Research Scientist on Genetic variability of apple metabolites to explore the trade-off ‘multipests resistance/growth’


Back to campaign's jobs listing

INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The UMR IRHS (Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences) conducts research on specialized species and seeds to work towards the development of efficient, healthy and sustainable production systems. It brings together geneticists/genomicists, plant pathologists, (eco)physiologists, biochemists, modelers, bioinformaticians and biophysicists belonging to INRAE, Institut Agro and University of Angers authorities.

The ResPom team (Pome fruit resistance to diseases and pests; 12 scientists in genetics and phytopathology) is working on apple and pear resistance to pests by genetic control and elicitation of defences by plant resistance inducers (PRI), by seeking to elucidate the genetic and molecular bases of the resistance mechanisms involved. This fundamental research directly feeds more applied programs (creation of resistant varieties, orchard management). In particular, we are seeking to mobilize apple tree immunity in an optimal way by combining resistance genes/QTLs, PRI action, nitrogen management and genetic engineering, with a multipests resistance perspective (scab, fire blight, butterfly aphid, canker, etc.) in low phytosanitary input situation. A major scientific challenge for us is to identify the downstream defences actually involved in broad-spectrum plant immunity ('effectors' of resistance) and to evaluate their possible metabolic cost for the plant.

Your mission will be to explore the genetic variability of primary and secondary metabolites of apple, in the basal state and after induction (by pests and/or PRI) in order to (i) search for these effectors among all the defences deployed by the plant, and (ii) evaluate their potential impact on production and fruit quality. To do so, you will combine metabolomics, quantitative genetics, and even genetic/functional genomics tools to analyze the available germplasm collections and progenies already pheno-genotyped. You will thus contribute to the development of "metabolic ideotypes" aiming at a trade-off between mobilization of defences by genetics and/or PRIs and quality/production in the orchard. You will benefit from the growing importance of metabolomics-fluxomics at IRHS, from the Biogenouest "Corsaire" platform, and from the dynamics of the 'Cap 0 Phyto' project recently accepted as part of the PPR-ANR 'Cultivate and protect differently'. Links between secondary metabolism, biocontrol and genetics will be addressed in consultation with the other teams of the BAP division working on this topic.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Competition open to candidates with a doctorate (or equivalent).
The candidate should have a good scientific basis in both plant physiology and genetics and demonstrate very good skills in defensive metabolism (host-pathogen interactions). Experience in plant quantitative genetics is highly desirable. He/she should have a good knowledge of basic statistical and bioinformatics tools and be able to work with very large datasets.
He/she should be fluent enough in oral and written English to allow him/her to work in an international environment. Long-term international experience is desirable: laureates who have not yet had international experience will have to go abroad at the end of the internship year.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 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.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-BAP-6
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 14

Learn more