Junior research scientist on host (plant and insect vector)-phytoplasmas interactions


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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 joint Research Unit 1332 Fruit Biology and Pathology (BFP) constitutes a major pillar of plant biology research in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Research at BFP revolves around three main transversal themes, each involving several teams: the response of plants to climate change and pathogens (bacteria and viruses); genomics, genetics, and metabolism during plant development; organization, structure, and synthetic biology of minimal micro-organisms (viruses and bacteria). Within BFP, you will join the Mollicutes team comprising 13 researchers, professors, assistant professors and engineers, 9 technicians, and around 9 PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. The team's work is devoted in particular to the study of phytoplasmas, which are pathogenic bacteria of the elaborated sap transmitted by insect vectors with a high impact on perennial crops. These strict parasites can only multiply in the cells of their vectors and the phloem sieve tubes. The metabolism inferred from their genome raises questions about the mechanisms of physiological adaptation to such different hosts. The understanding of this metabolic plasticity can now be addressed by combining systems biology and synthetic biology approaches. You will develop metabolomic/fluxomic/transcriptomic approaches to study the metabolism of grapevine Flavescence Dorée phytoplasma.

To evaluate the impact of variations in carbon metabolites, you will study the metabolic plasticity of the phytoplasma during the infection of grapevines of contrasting susceptibility, during the colonization of leafhopper vectors, and in cell-free environments for the survival of the bacteria. The synthetic biology strategies developed by the team will enable the function of specific enzymes and transporters to be validated by genomic engineering. You will rely on the skills of the META team of the BFP unit and will have privileged access to the Metabolome platform that is part of the unit. In the longer term, the impact of the bacterium's genetic background and its ability to interact with leafhopper vector symbionts will also be taken into account. Your work will facilitate the selection of grapevines that are less susceptible to phytoplasma and will feed the efforts of the team and the international community for the development of culture media and the genetic engineering of phytoplasmas.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
Training in bacterial metabolic biochemistry is recommended and experience in metabolomics, fluxomics, and systems biology would be desirable.
Candidates should have a good command of English (both written and spoken), and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).

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[in French]

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.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2023-SPE-2
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 31
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