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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018


Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Interactions - LIPM

Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Interactions

Members - Rhizobia Legumes and Environment

Claude Bruand, Directeur de Recherches INRAE


After a Master degree obtained at Institut Pasteur-Université Paris 7, Claude started his thesis at the Institut Jacques Monod (Paris) with L. Jannière and S.D. Ehrlich, on the relationship between DNA structural stability and DNA replication. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry-Microbiology at in 1991, and was then recruited as Chargé de Recherche at INRA (Jouy-en-Josas) where he characterized plasmid DNA replication in gram positive bacteria. In 1996, he took with P. Polard the joint supervision of a research group focusing on proteins involved in DNA replication in Bacillus subtilis. In 2001, he moved to the LIPM in J. Batut’s group to contribute to the development of Sinorhizobium meliloti transcriptomics, and its use to analyse global changes of bacterial gene expression during symbiosis with Medicago plants. In 2005, he joined F. de Bruijn and his interests shifted to stress responses in rhizobia, which are now the main topics of the group he is supervising since 2006. From 2016 to 2020 Claude Bruand has been the head of the LIPM.


Eliane Meilhoc, Maître de Conférences INSA


Eliane did her PhD at the “Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires” (CEN-CEA), in Grenoble, France, where she worked on the differentiation of mouse erythroleukemia cells (Dr. M. Chabre’s group). She spent 2 years as a post-doc in Pr. J.E Bailey’s group in the Biochemical Engineering Department at CalTech (California Institute of Technology –Pasadena-USA) initiating a work on mammalian cell culture in bioreactors. In 1988, she was recruited as an Assistant Professor at the “Institut National des Sciences Appliquées” (INSA) in Toulouse where she is still teaching genetic engineering and cell culture technology. Her research work was carried out in Pr. J.M. Masson’s group (Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, IPBS, Toulouse and focused on production of recombinant proteins in Yeasts: i.e. human mu-opioid receptor expression and characterization in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, development of a new non-Saccharomyces yeast host system (Schwanniomyces occidentalis). She joined the LIPM in 2001 to work on genomics of nitrogen fixation in the model Rhizobium: Sinorhizobium meliloti. More recently (2006) she focused on the bacterial response to nitric oxide (NO) and on the role of this response in the symbiosis between S. meliloti and the model legume M. truncatula.


Frans J. de Bruijn,  Directeur de Recherches INRAE


Frans did his thesis work at Harvard University with Prof. Fred Ausubel on the regulation of nitrogen-fixation and nitrogen assimilation in Klebsiella pneumoniae, and in 1983 obtained an EMBO Fellowship to carry out Postdoctoral work in the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Koeln with the late Prof. Jeff Schell on nitrogen assimilation in various alphaproteobacteria. After two years he was appointed Group leader and while continuing his rhizobial studies, he started to work on Legumes genetics. He was also involved in the elucidation of the S. meliloti rhizopine synthesis and catabolism genes: the biased rhizosphere concept. He became Assistant Director to Jeff Schell in 1986. In 1990 he moved to the Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the NSF Center for Microbial Ecology (CME) at Michigan State University and he became MSU Professor of Microbiology in 1995. At MSU he continued and developed various lines of research on the model Legume Lotus japonicus, and in the area of molecular microbial ecology, including bacterial fingerprinting, marker and reporter genes, rhizosphere colonization and stress-induced gene expression in S. meliloti. In 2000 hired by INRA, he took the head of LIPM for two years and then returned to research. He has continued his interests in the response of S. meliloti to stress conditions and in the role aminoacids play in Legume nodulation and nitrogen fixation. Since 2009 he has served as Editor for books on Molecular Microbial Ecology and Metagenomics (2009), Molecular Microbial Ecology of the Rhizosphere (2011) and Biological Nitrogen Fixation (2015). Those books include many contributions from LIPM members. This is also true for a new book dedicated to the model legume Medicago truncatula.


Benjamin Gourion, Chargé de Recherches CNRS

GOURION Benjamin

Benjamin Gourion is microbiologist by education. During a Master II he became specialized in Plant-Microbe Interactions and joined for a Master thesis the group of Julia Vorholt in the LIPM. He continued his work in the Vorholt lab during a PhD thesis in the LIPM and then in the Institute for Microbiology (ETH Zurich). During his PhD work, Benjamin studied a phyllospheric bacterium and identified the PhyR protein as a key regulator required for the bacterial fitness in the phyllosphere and for the general stress response. After his PhD defense, in the frame of a collaborative work together with the group of Hauke Hennecke and Hans-Martin Fischer (ETH Zurich), Benjamin showed that the PhyR signaling cascade is important for efficient symbiotic interaction between the soybean and its bacterial symbiotic partner. In 2008 Benjamin obtained an EMBO fellowship to join the group of Eric Giraud (LSTM, IRD, Montpellier). There Benjamin studied metabolic aspects of the rhizobium/legume symbiosis. He got hired by the CNRS in 2010, joined the group of Pascal Ratet (ISV, Gif sur Yvette), switched his focus from rhizobia to legume and studied the plant tolerance to rhizobia. In 2015, Benjamin joined Claude Bruand group in the LIPM and is now comparing the defense and senescence processes in legume nodules. In addition, Benjamin projects to identify some bacterial traits delaying, or preventing, defenses and senescence in the nodules.


Laurent Sauviac, Ingénieur d'Études INRAE

Photo site web Laurent 150x111

Laurent joined the LIPM in 1999. He worked during five years on plant –pathogenic bacteria interactions before joining Claude Bruand’s group in 2005 where he is now working on the general stress response of S. meliloti. Laurent is mainly involved in the study of ECF sigma factors and signaling cascades leading to bacterial stress responses.


Bryan Ruiz, PhD Student


Bryan Ruiz joined the Bruand's group in January 2018 to prepare his master thesis. He is now preparing a PhD thesis. His project aims at unravelling the origin and the role of nitric oxide in the nodules triggered by Sinorhizobium meliloti on Medicago tuncatula.


Thomas Prévitali, PhD Student

After an internship at the BRC in the group of Attila Kereszt (Szeged, Hungary), Thomas joined the RLE group to work on the Trolesinfidels project.