Postdoctoral position OT-22137

Post-doctoral position in population genomics (24 months) Genome evolution and adaptive landscape of a major agricultural pathogen


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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

We are looking for a highly motivated post-doctoral scientist to study genetic determinism and evolutionary dynamics mediating host-pathogen quantitative interactions. The project focuses on the major crop pathogen Plasmopara viticola that causes grapevine downy mildew. The position is open for 24 months at INRAE Bordeaux and will remain open until filled.

Plant genetic resistances are used in crops to confer complete or partial host immunity. However, resistance genes can be defeated by pathogens leading to a loss of efficiency. If breakdown of total resistance has been widely examined, it is not clear how this knowledge can translate to predominantly quantitative interactions between host and pathogen. P. viticola is a biotrophic oomycetes that is involve in a quantitative interaction with partial resistances of grapevine. The aim of the project is to elucidate the genetic architecture, the mode of inheritance and the temporal evolution of virulence factors that drive P. viticola host adaptation.

Using a quantitative genetic cross-breeding approach, you will describe the genomic regions (QTL) involved in the genetic determinism of pathogenicity (number of loci, dominance/additivity, pleiotropy/epistasis, candidate genes). Molecular tools will be developed to monitor virulence alleles using a collection of > 3,000 P. viticola strains available at the lab thanks to a long-term sampling effort build over 10 years in European vineyards.

The successful applicant will develop skills in genomics, quantitative genetics, bioinformatics to test hypotheses on how pathogens interact with their host plants. The project can be adapted depending on the interests and strengths of the selected candidate. Large genomics ressources are available at the lab that have produced the first complete genome sequence and the first high density genetic map of this pathogen. It has also produced chromosome-level assemblies of diploids genomes for several P. viticola strains with very high contiguity and a high degree of gene completeness.

For questions about the position, please contact François Delmotte at INRAE Bordeaux (

References of the host lab. [1] Paineau, M., Minio, A., Mestre, P., Fabre, F., Mazet, I. D., Couture, C., ... & Delmotte, F. (2024). New Phytologist, in press ; [2] Paineau, M., Mazet, I. D., Wiedemann-Merdinoglu, S., Fabre, F., & Delmotte, F. (2022). Phytopathology, 112(11), 2329-2340. [3] Dussert, Y., Legrand, L., Mazet, I. D., Couture, C., Piron, M. C., Serre, R. F., ... & Delmotte, F. (2020). Identification of the first oomycete mating-type locus sequence in the grapevine downy mildew pathogen, Plasmopara viticola. Current Biology, 30(20), 3897-3907. [4] Dussert, Y., Mazet, I. D., Couture, C., Gouzy, J., Piron, M. C., Kuchly, C., ... & Delmotte, F. (2019). A high-quality grapevine downy mildew genome assembly reveals rapidly evolving and lineage-specific putative host adaptation genes. Genome biology and evolution, 11(3), 954-969.

Training and skills


 PhD in population biology or related fields, strong interest in genetics and genome evolution, experience in data analyses and/or programming.

 Skills: Motivation and enthusiasm for research are key. Proven skills in writing scientific publications.

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: trainingcareer 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

I send my CV and my motivation letter

Offer reference

  • Contract: Postdoctoral position
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Beginning: 01/09/2024
  • Remuneration: Gross salary from 3 135,81 to 4 543,73 €
  • Reference: OT-22137
  • Deadline: 31/07/2024


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