"Hormones, Nutrients and Development" Team

Principal investigator: Benoît Lacombe
Senior Scientist INRA
Tel: +33 4 99 61 25 18
Mail: benoit.lacombe@supagro.fr


The mineral nutrition of most terrestrial organisms (bacteria, fungi, plants) relies on the uptake of inorganic ions from the soil. However, the availability of these ions dramatically fluctuates in both time and space. To face this constraint, all organisms are able to develop a wide range of adaptive responses triggered by sensing systems that perceive the external nutrient availability. The identification of these sensing systems has a strategic importance at both fundamental and applied levels to unravel and manipulate the molecular mechanisms involved in tolerance to nutrient stress. Flexible modulation of the postembryonic organogenesis in response to nutrient availability is one of the most prominent adaptation strategies, and a major determinant of the plant body architecture.  This plant ability to respond to environmental conditions is mediated through signalling molecules called plant hormones.

Thus, the current insights into hormone and nutrition interplay indicate existence of complex network in which hormones act as endogenous mediators in response to nutrient fluctuation and at the same time fine tune plant capacity for nutrient acquisition.

The current data support the concept of nutrient – hormonal regulatory network control plant behavior in response to fluctuating nitrogen environments and feedback on the nutrition acquisition capacity. Together with the influence of nitrogen on hormonal status of the plant this builds the conceptual cycle where nutrients control growth, which in turn control nutrient use and perception. However, molecular mechanisms underlying this nutrient – hormones regulated plant development are still scarcely understood.

We develop complementary approaches to understand the molecular basis of development regulated by the hormone-nutrient interactions (nitrate and urea). We focus on interactions during root development with different approaches taking advantage of our skills in biophysics, molecular and cellular biology, physiology and systems biology. 

The project uses an approach at the interface between biology and modeling to reveal the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between nutritional and hormonal signals in plants. Our goal is to identify the mechanisms through which plants perceive their mineral environment and modify their development to adapt to nutritional constraints by using complementary approaches: targeted approaches on different nitrate, auxin, ABA and cytokinins transporters, and approaches without preconceptions using systems biology.

 Main publications  

Claire Corratgé-Faillie, Benoît Lacombe (2017) Substrate (un)specificity of Arabidopsis NRT1/PTR FAMILY (NPF) proteins.
J. Exp. Bot. (in press)

David Secco, James Whelan, Hatem Rouached, Ryan Lister (Oct 2017) Nutrient stress-induced chromatin changes in plants.
Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 39:1-7

Sandrine Ruffel, Alain Gojon (Mar 2017) Systemic nutrient signalling: On the road for nitrate.
Nature Plants 3:17040

Benoît Lacombe, Patrick Achard (Dec 2016) Long-distance transport of phytohormones through the plant vascular system.
Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 34:1-8

Daniela Ristova, Clément Carré, Marjorie Pervent, Anna Medici, Grace Jaeyoon Kim, Domenica Scalia, Sandrine Ruffel, Kenneth D. Birnbaum, Benoît Lacombe, Wolfgang Busch, Gloria M. Coruzzi, Gabriel Krouk (Oct 2016) Combinatorial interaction network of transcriptomic and phenotypic responses to nitrogen and hormones in the Arabidopsis thaliana root.
Sci. Signal. 9(451):rs13

Mélanie Noguéro, Benoît Lacombe (Sep 2016) Transporters involved in root nitrate uptake and sensing by Arabidopsis.
Front. Plant Sci. 7:1391

Gabriel Krouk (Aug 2016) Hormones and nitrate: a two-way connection.
Plant Mol. Biol. 91(6):599-606

Sandrine Ruffel, Arthur Poitout, Gabriel Krouk, Gloria M. Coruzzi, Benoît Lacombe (Mar 2016) Long-distance nitrate signaling displays cytokinin dependent and independent branches.
J. Integr. Plant Biol. 58(3):226-229

More publications >>


Permanent staff
Anna Medici
Supagro - EC
Gabriel Krouk
Chantal Brachet
Hatem Rouached
Graduate students and postdocs
Mélanie Noguero
Eleonore Bouguyon
Nadia Bouain
Alaeddine Safi
Graduate student
Arthur Poitout
Graduate student
Mushtak Kisko
Graduate student
Malgorzata Krysiak
Erasmus student
Amélie Emanuel