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PhD root architecture modelling at INRA Avignon-Grignon

POST-DOCTORAL POSITION (24 months) at INRA UMR ECOSYS (Grignon) et PSH (Avignon)

Functional x structural modeling of the root system

of oilseed rape genotypes


Issues and scientific context

To develop sustainable agriculture with low nitrogen inputs, improving the ability of plants to use available nitrogen effectively becomes a major issue. For winter oilseed rape (WOSR), which shows high nitrogen requirements, the improvement of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is one of the current breeding challenges. One key improvement levers relies on the root system whose size and architecture may modulate nitrogen uptake (Svecnjak and Rengel 2006, Garnett et al., 2009, Ulas et al. 2012, Henke et al., 2014).

Work program

The work will include experiments and modeling. The candidate will have the following missions:

1/ Implement a root architecture model for rapeseed, based on the modeling base provided by the ArchiSimple model (duration 6 months, January - June 2018).

2/ Analyze the genetic variability of the model parameters in response to nitrogen availability (duration 6 months, July 2018 - December 2018)

3/ Integrate nitrogen and carbon functioning into the root architecture model (duration 12 months, January - December 2019)

Practical aspects

The post-doctoral position will take place from the 1st of January 2018 to the 31th December 2019 (24 months). It will be held in part in the UMR ECOSYS at INRA Grignon and in the UMR PSH at INRA Avignon. It will be co-supervised by Céline Richard-Molard and Loïc Pagès. The salary is of 2510 € gross per month.

Required skills

The candidate must hold a PhD in plant ecophysiology. Prior experience in root studies will be appreciated. Good skills in modeling, image analysis (Image J, Smart Root, Winrhizo ...) and statistics (R software) are required. Expertise in plant culture under controlled conditions is also expected. Concerning personal abilities, the candidate must demonstrate autonomy, precision and a good sense of organization. Excellent communication skills and a taste for teamwork are required.

Contact us!

To apply, send detailed CV + cover letter + two letters of recommendation to Céline Richard-Molard ( and Loïc Pagès ( before November 15, 2017.

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