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Universite Paul Sabatier
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Accueil du site > Equipes de recherche > Symbiose mycorhizienne et Signalisation cellulaire > Thèmes de recherche > Research interest

Research interest

Most plants are associated with symbiotic fungi beneficial for their growth, the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. This widespread association involves an exchange of nutrients via specialized structures called arbuscules, produced by the fungus in root cortical cells. In exchange for sugars provided by the plant, the fungus brings to its host water and minerals, thus improving its nutrition and growth.

Our main objective is to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the establishment of the symbiosis : from spore germination to the formation of arbuscules. We study both the fungal partner and the plant partner for an integrated view of these mechanisms. We believe that the study of this ancient symbiosis can lead to the discovery of ancestral mechanisms governing the development of plants and their interactions with microorganisms. Our research also aims to promote the use of AM fungi in sustainable agriculture and thus reduce the need for irrigation and chemical inputs.


Current projects :

We contributed to the discovery of important molecular signals produced by plant roots, the strigolactones (Besserer et al 2006 ;. 2008 ; Gomez-Roldan et al. 2008) and by the AM fungi, the Myc-LCO / CO (Maillet et al 2011 ;. Genre et al 2013). We study more precisely their roles at different stages of the AM symbiosis.

We seek to discover new regulatory factors controlling the development and homeostasis of the symbiosis. To this end, we combine genetic, transcriptomic, micro-transcriptomic, metabolomic, molecular, cellular and biochemical approaches, to study the physiology of both partners and their molecular communication at different stages of the interaction. More specifically we seek to identify new genes, microRNAs, metabolites and protein effectors, playing an important role in the AM symbiosis.

Finally, we actively contribute to several R & D projects with industrial partners to identify genetic traits of AM fungi that affect their agronomic effectiveness, to better understand the mycorrhizal dependency of plants, and ultimately to promote the use of AM fungi in plant production.

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