Postdoctoral position in Plant-Microbe Interactions

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One-year postdoctoral research position in Plant-Microbe Interactions

A one-year postdoctoral fellowship is available at the INRA Nancy-Lorraine Center (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) in France. This position is being offered within the framework of the BLACKSECRET project funded by LabEx ARBRE and conducted in partnership with researchers from INRA (Nancy), the University of Lorraine (Nancy) and WSL in Switwerland.

Context — In nature, soil-born fungi associate with roots of trees to form ectomycorrhizas (ECM). In exchange for carbohydrates, ECM fungi improve mineral supply of host trees, protect them against stresses such as drought and directly contribute to the exclusion of competitive microbes. In order for mycorrhizal fungi to form intimate intracellular contacts with living plant cells, they manipulate host defenses and metabolism. Recent studies have highlighted the fact that mycorrhizal fungi, similar to pathogens, use small secreted proteins (SSPs) as molecular keys to promote symbiosis.

Objectives —The main goal of this project is to elucidate the role of effector-like SSPs in the mycorrhiza formation and functioning of the ecologically important species Cenococcum geophilum by using available genomic and transcriptomic resources.

The successful candidate will be expected to conduct the following :

  • carry out a genome-wide survey of SSPs in C. Ceophilum and to select candidate genes for functional analysis,
  • assess the intra- and inter-specific diversity of these SSPs, and
  • perform functional analysis of two selected candidates by qPCR, in lanta sub-cellular localization and construction of null-mutants.

Candidates should hold a PhD in Microbiology or Molecular Biology or related science. Experience in molecular genetics as well as knowledge of plant-microbe interactions will be an advantage. The successful applicant should have a good command of English to communicate with other members of the lab and colleagues working on the same project.

The deadline to apply is November 15, 2015.
The position will begin on January 1, 2016.

To apply, please contact Annegret Kohler ( and Martina Peter ( by email and include the following :

  • A cover letter describing your research interests and background,
  • A detailed CV, and
  • Contact information for three references.