Junior Research Scientist on the functional biology of root symbiosis

21065 DIJON

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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 Agroecology unit it made of four research departments, including the IPM department (Mechanisms and Management of Plant-Microorganism Interactions) and four platforms (Greenhouse-4PMI, Genosol, Microscopy and the Biological Resource Center). The research unit turns around two main scientific axes, (i) biodiversity and biotic interactions, and (ii) agroecological transitions towards sustainable and multi-performing agricultural systems.
Within the unit, you will integrate the MycoMemb team of the IPM department. This team is particularly interested in the mechanisms involved in the establishment and the functioning of beneficial plant-microorganism interactions, as well as in applied science to promote the primary production and protection of crops of interest such as legumes using agro-ecological management practices.
Legumes form two types of root symbiosis with soil micro-organisms. Rhizobial symbiosis (RS), exclusive to legumes, is established with diazotrophic soil bacteria, allows to fix atmospheric nitrogen and contributes to the nitrogen cycle. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis (AMS) is established between the majority of terrestrial vascular plants, including legumes, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) of the Glomeromycota phylum. The paradigm shift considering the SMA and SR as an extension of the root system and its functioning will enable us to reconsider the functional biology of legumes.
Mostly, RS and AMS are studied separately. You will bring and develop new knowledges to contribute to study the efficiency of these two root symbioses by developing experimental approaches ranging from the laboratory to the greenhouse. You will study the effects (synergistic or antagonistic) of these two root symbioses on the hydromineral nutrition, with or without biotic or abiotic stress, of a legume of agronomic interest, the pea. Finally, you will explore the functional diversity of the AMF collection by considering the association with different diazotrophic SR-forming bacteria on an existing pea collection available in the unit. Finally, you will study plant-plant interactions through these co-occurring root symbioses in legumes. Your skills will strengthen the team's research potential on (i) studying the taxonomic and functional diversity of AMF in soils and in legume root systems, (ii) understanding the functioning and resilience of the AMS in interaction with the RS of pea and (iii) promoting interactions between pea and other crops (i.e. cash plants).

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

The competition is opened to candidates with a PhD (or equivalent) in plant sciences and who have an expertise in plant-microorganism interactions at the root level.
Methods related to the study of plant physiology (response to biotic and/or abiotic stresses) and/or biostatistics to analyze complex data sets (functional genomics, transcriptomics) must be mastered. Knowledges on plant ecophysiology would be of interest.

Fluency, both written and oral, in English is desired. An international experience is also required: successful candidate who does not yet have this experience will spend a year abroad after the tenure training period.

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-2024-SPE-5
  • Corps: CR
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 38
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