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Fabrice Roux - junior chair 2013

A new "junior" operation of attractiveness for TULIP

Fabrice Roux
Working on A.thaliana, a model plant well-known to molecular biologists, while being an ecologist: this is the story of Fabrice Roux, future 2013 LabEx TULIP recruit.

“I work on the ecological genomics of adaptation in A.thaliana" begins F. Roux. To understand his story and what lies behind these words, we must go back to his past career... From Dijon to Montpellier, and since his original training in Ecology / Evolution, this researcher has undoubtedly diversified his fields of studies.

As a result, the large-scale study of plants doesn’t fully satisfy F .Roux: for him, it is only one step within the scientific Research process. “I have always been interested in understanding phenotypic diversity within plant species, firstly by dealing with ecology and evolution concepts. However, we do not precisely determine the genes underlying this diversity nor the levers acting on it. That is why I wanted to go further in explaining these mechanisms, always minding A. thaliana back in a realistic ecological context.”

During his thesis at Dijon INRA, he had the opportunity to work on A. thaliana. Altogether with molecular biologists, and was therefore able to complete his training. “With ecologists they use identical concepts but not the same vocabulary.” motivation helped to get to this additional step. “It is also what is interesting: succeed in building bridges with people who have complementary skills.”

Upon his arrival in Toulouse, scheduled for July 2013 at the LIPM laboratory, F. Roux will work on the ecological genomics of adaptation within plant species, and will focus on approximately ten plant species coexisting with A. thaliana. He will first study plant-microorganisms interactions, then on the long term on plant / plant interactions. The goal of this study is to determine if these plants use a similar gene or, on the contrary, different kinds of genetic solutions. Regarding A. thaliana, it seems that this plant has very different reactions in front of its natural competitors... If not, does species-specific life history has any influence on the recruitment of mutations associated with these natural phenotypic variations?