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One-year postdoctoral position (population genomics) - INRA Angers (France)

One-year postdoctoral position in population genomics at INRA Angers, France
Did host domestication promote pathogen diversification?

Since the beginning of agriculture, hybridization of wild plant with their relatives has led to a generation of new crops with higher agronomic and economic added values. For instance, the dessert apple Malus x domestica is a hybrid between its main contributor, Malus sieversii, endemic in Central Asia and Malus orientalis and Malus sylvestris, respectively endemic in Caucasus and Europe. Alongside the main fungal disease on Malus species caused by the ascomycete Venturia inaequalis also originates Central Asia on M. sieversii and has followed its newly domesticated host toward Europe. V. inaequalis has therefore experienced the many hybridization events of its hosts. Our lab conducts research on the interaction between the scab fungus Venturia inaequalis and its host plants, including domesticated and wild apple trees. Here, we aim at understanding how successive hybridization events between Malus species during apple domestication have modified the pathogenicity determinants of V. inaequalis. Indeed, Although V. inaequalis can infect each Malus species, isolates obtained from the different hosts differ in their virulence. Secreted effector proteins are known to be key determinants of the virulence of fungal pathogens, we will thus focus on the polymorphism of the secretome of V. inaequalis isolated on different Malus species. The polymorphism (including absence/presence) of expressed genes in V. inaequalis populations will then be determined using the 50 genome sequences already available. Coalescence-based analyses will permit to determine the origin of effector alleles that are segregating in strains that infect domestic apple trees. We will test whether new alleles involved in pathogenicity were either introgressed from standing variation preexisting in populations of V. inaequalis on different European and Caucasian wild Malus trees or originated from de novo adaptation. The research will employ interdisciplinary approaches, including pathogenicity data, genomic and RNA-seq analyses. Thanks to the well described evolutionary histories of both V. inaequalis and Malus species, this project will provide new insights into how new fungal pathogens emerge.

Job requirements

Candidates should have obtained a PhD in Biology, genetics, evolutionary ecology, populations genomic. Skills in Next Generation Sequencing data analysis are highly desirable. Experience in coalescent analysis and practical knowledge in bioinformatics are advantageous. Candidates must have proficiency in oral and written English.

Job details

The position is full-time for 12 months.Net salary on appointment will start from €2,100 to €2,500 per month depending on experience. The applicant will have the possibility to obtain an additional mobility allowance from the AgreenSkills+ scheme ranging from €1,300 to €1,700 per month depending on experience. The applicant will be also encouraged to apply to agreenskills to extend their stay by up to 24 months (


The position is available to start as soon as possible up to January 2017. Applications should include a cover letter summarizing your experience and describing your research interests, curriculum vitae, and two references. Applications should be emailed to For further information, please contact Dr. B. Le Cam (email: tel.: +33(0)2-41-22-57-35) or Dr. C. Lemaire (email:

Organization description

Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences (IRHS) UMR1345 INRA – Université d’Angers – Agro Campus Ouest Evolutionary Ecology of Fungi (EcoFun) 42 rue Georges Morel 49071 Beaucouzé Cedex

The candidate will be located in IRHS, Angers, which leads research on ornamentals, fruit trees and seeds in France, including research on fungi that are pathogenic on Rosaceae plants (apple, pear, rose). The candidate will have the opportunity to interact with other research teams within the institute; and will interact with scientists with knowledge in functional genomics, molecular plant pathology, epidemiology and modelling within the EcoFun team.

Life in the Loire Valley

The laboratory is located near Angers, in the Loire Valley. This region is often called the garden of France because of fruits and vegetables production, and green calm landscapes. It is also famous for a gentle way of life, high quality regional food and wines. The banks of the Loire River are very touristic in summer. They offer diverse outdoor activities, from biking to walking in rose gardens and visiting the numerous châteaux.

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