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Jean Philippe COMBIER

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Tél : +33 (0)5 34 32 38 11

Team : Endomycorrhizal symbiosis and Cell signaling
Grade : Researcher CNRS


I focus my work on two main research topics : the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the Arbuscular Mycorrhiza (AM) symbiosis, and, secondly, on the regulation of the expression of miRNAs.

Firstly, we have identified small RNAs of Medicago truncatula differentially regulated during the AM symbiosis (Formey et al., 2014). Among those analyzed, the miR171h targets the transcription factor NSP2 and is involved on the control by the plant of the fungal colonization (Lauressergues et al., 2012). The miR396 plays a key role in root developement and I have shown that it is involved in mycorrhiza (Bazin et al., 2013). The miR393 targets the auxin receptor genes. Overexpression of miR393 in different species leads to a strong defect in arbuscule formation, proving for the first time the requirement of auxin for AM symbiosis (Etemadi et al., 2014).

In parallel to the work on mycorrhization, I am working on the regulation of the expression of miRNAs and the biological role of small peptides. In this framework, we have demonstrated that the primary transcripts of miRNAs encode for small regulatory peptides called miPEPs (Lauressergues et al., 2015). These peptides activate transcription of corresponding miRNAs. Furthermore, exogenous treatment plants with low concentrations of peptides induces an increase in the expression of miRNAs and corresponding modification of plant development, opening new avenues in organic farming.