Website Institut Jean Pierre Bourguin

“New targets to select and improve maize digestibility under different pedoclimatic conditions”

The Plant2Pro® Carnot Institute proposes an integrated and multidisciplinary research and development offer “from laboratory to field”, and does so to support innovative partner-oriented research. Within that frame, the Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin (IJPB, Versailles, France), a research unit from INRAE and AgroParisTech, and the agricultural technical institute ARVALIS-Institut du Végétal are looking for a highly motivated doctoral candidate for the MAMMA MIA project.

MAMMA MIA focuses on the identification of biochemical and histological targets, as well as driver genes, to select and improve maize digestibility, while ensuring the maintenance of yield, under different pedoclimatic conditions and particularly under water limitations.

Overall aim
Maize is a pillar of French forage system and its silage feeding value is one of the criterion used for the registration of maize hybrids varieties in the official French catalogue. To improve this criterion, it is necessary to improve maize cell wall digestibility. As maize used for cattle feeding is mainly cultivated under rainfed conditions, its yield is put in jeopardy by climate change. We have already shown that a strong water deficit induces an increase in maize cell wall digestibility associated with changes in cell wall composition and histological profiles within the maize stem.

In the framework of MAMMA MIA, the PhD candidate will
(1) investigate the effect of different pedoclimatic conditions on both yield and digestibility,
(2) characterize the composition and tissue distribution of cell wall components in response to these pedoclimatic conditions and (3) characterize the co-expression networks involved in tissue distribution of cell wall-related traits under different pedoclimatic conditions. With this exciting project, the PhD candidate will provide fine and robust predictive tools related to cell wall digestibility and tissue distribution, which will be of interest to breeders in the context of climate change.

The PhD position will be at IJPB (INRAE, Versailles, France), but will involve constant interactions with ARVALIS-Institut du Végétal.

How to apply
Enthusiastic candidates should email a complete application package as a single PDF file
before 12 May, 2021.

The application package should include:
• A detailed curriculum vitae including contact details for two references.
• A motivation letter of no more than one page expressing interest in and suitability for the project.

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