I joined the team Ecology of forest pathogenic fungi to work on the poplar rust fungus, Melampsora larici-populina. The selection of poplar cultivars expressing qualitative resistance has led to repeated failures since 1980, due to the emergence of new virulence factors resulting in the breakdown of all resistance types. The search for more durable resistance has led breeders to focus on quantitative resistance. Meanwhile, pathologists have focused on the potential for rapid evolution of several fungal quantitative traits related to aggressiveness and dispersal potential.
My study aim to use a quantitative genetics approach to determine to what extent aggressiveness and dispersal traits are heritable and whether they directly impact the fitness of the pathogen. Mapping the traits of interest requires the construction of a high-resolution genetic map of the fungus and the measurement of segregating traits in progeny. The objectives of my PhD project are to map several qualitative and quantitative traits of M. larici-populina and to study the evolutionary trade-offs between those traits, which can condition the adaptation of the fungus to poplar resistances.
2015 – 6-month internship: The relative weight of agricultural practices on the structuring and functioning of plant parasitic nematodes’ communities, INRA Rennes (UMR IGEPP) and Anses.
2014-2015 – MSc Functional, behavioural and evolutionary ecology, Université de Rennes 1, France.
2012-2015 – VetAgro Sup Clermont-Ferrand, National College of higher education specialising in agronomy (Food processing, Rural development, Animal and plant science), leading to a master’s degree of sciences.