Root legume symbioses signalling


Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are major macronutrients for plant productivity. They are essentials for all aspect of plant growth, and they help converting solar radiation into carbohydrates that drive crop yields. They are thus required in large quantities for crop maturity and seed production. As a paradox, P and N are poorly available in soils, leading to extensive and costly fertiliser applications to sustain these crop yields.

Since the early 20th century, the use of N and P fertilizers has gradually increased to fulfil the demand of a growing population. Paradoxically, it has been estimated that 50-70% of the nitrogen provided to the soil is lost, giving rise to soil and water pollution as well as global warming through emissions of nitrous oxide. Lowering fertilizer input and breeding crops with better nitrogen use efficiency is one of the main goals of plant nutrition research.

This project will define how the signal transduction pathway leading to root legume symbioses can be regulated. The student will use a combination of in vivo imaging analyses, genetics, molecular biology to study how symbiotic signal is regulated to activate endosymbioses. The student will be part of an enthusiastic team within an international and vibrant scientific environment and will have access both to cutting-edge research facilities and training opportunities.