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Profil de Cécile BEN

BEN Cécile

Email : benSPAMFILTER@ensat.fr

Téléphone / phone: +33 5 34 32 38 92

Bureau / office : n° 18

Institution : INPT

Statut / status: Enseignant chercheur

Adresse professionnelle / address:

18 Chemin de Borde Rouge
Pole de Biotechnologie Végétale
31326 CASTANET-TOLOSAN
FRANCE

Site perso / personal website :

Assistant Professor in Plant Genetics & Functional Ecology

Engineer in Agronomy

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2008-Present Assistant Professor, Laboratory ECOLAB (UMR5245 CNRS/INPT/UPS), INP-ENSAT, University of Toulouse, France
May. -Oct. 2014

6-month Visiting Research Scholar, Sergey Nuzdhin’s Lab, Molecular and Computational Biology Program, College of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

'Consulting for USAid Program ‘A reverse-introgression and community genomics strategy to enrich and characterize legume germplasm for climate-resilience’

Oct. 2006 – Jan. 2008

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Laboratory of Plant Symbiosis and Pathology, INP-ENSAT, University of Toulouse, France

'Positional cloning of a QTL of resistance to the root pathogenRalstonia solanacearum in Medicago truncatula'

Oct. 2005 – Sept. 2006

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Laboratory 'Development, Morphogenesis and Evolution' UMR 8080 CNRS/Paris XI University, Paris, France

'Study of the role for microRNAs during embryogenesis and metamorphosis in Xenopus tropicalis'

HIGHER EDUCATION

 

2005

PhD. in Plant Genomics & Development, INP-ENSAT (National Polytechnic Institute-National Institute of Agronomy), University of Toulouse, France

'Transcriptome analysis of early embryogenesis in sunflower (Helianthus annuus)"

2001 Master of Science in Plant AgroBioSciences, University of Toulouse, France
2001 Engineer in Agronomy, INP-ENSAT (National Polytechnic Institute-National Institute of Agronomy), University of Toulouse, France

 AWARDS

-‘Research and Ph.D Supervision’ (PEDR and PIR) since 2014 (national promotion)

- 'Léopold Escande' Award, from ‘National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (INP)’ awarding the 10% best PhD theses of the year

- 'Picot de Lapeyrouse' Award from the'Académie des Sciences de Toulouse' awarding each year one PhD thesis in biology

FELLOWSHIPS:

-Participation to the BLÅTAND Program 2015 (organized bythe French Embassy in Denmark)

 Scientific trip to visit Danish research institutes to initiate collaborations.

-Participation to the EGIDE Zhang Heng Program 2011 on ‘Biodiversity & Sustainability’(co-organized by the French Embassy in China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences)

 Scientific trip to visit CAS institutes to initiate collaborations. 7 young French researchers selected by French scientific experts and the French Embassy in China.

-CNRS Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2006)

-PhD Fellowship from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (2001-2005)

I am a plant geneticist from the University of Toulouse in France. With my colleagues in the ECOLAB laboratory, I study plant adaptation to environmental stresses (either biotic or abiotic) using the wild legume Medicago truncatula as a model.

By making use of the wide biodiversity existing within this plant species and based on whole genome re-sequencing data of natural accessions, we aim at identifying key genetic factors (genes and small non-coding RNAs) involved in adaptive process to changing environment.

By combining biogeography with population genomics, we intend to understand population structure and history as well as the contribution of micro-evolution in adaptation to environmental stresses.

Major Current Research Topics

'Genetic and molecular analyses of the natural biodiversity in legumes to identify adaptation mechanisms to environmental stresses'

  • Biotic stresses: Root diseases caused by the soil-borne pathogens Ralstonia solanacearum & Verticillium sp.,
  • Abiotic stresses: heavy metals (cadmium), salinity, drought
  • Micro-evolution & Plasticity

‘Study of the adaptive contribution of small RNAs to legume root biotic interactions'

‘Biogeography analysis using patterns of genetic variation within modern plant accessions to reveal ancestral genome admixture and to infer population adaptation in the wild legume species Medicago truncatula'

PhD student co-supervision and training

June 2016-Present Co-supervision of Manel Chaouachi, PhD student in cotutelle between INPT/EcoLab (France) and FST El Manar/CBBC (Tunisia) studying the ‘Plant immunization by biological elicitors: Study of mechanisms and characterization of molecules.’(Chaouachi et al., In preparation)
Sept-Nov. 2018 Supervision of Souhir Kabtni, PhD student at the FST El Manar, Tunis (Tunisia) for a 3-months internship at ECOLAB supported by an Alternance fellowship from the FST El Manar, studying the ‘Genetic diversity in Medicago minima Tunisian populations and molecular responses to abiotic stresses’.
Oct. 2013-Apr. 2018 Co-supervision of Mélanie Mazurier, PhD student at ECOLAB studying the ‘Biodiversity and adaptation of the tolerance to root pathogens in Medicago truncatula. Importance of the micro-evolution’. (Gentzbittel et al., Genome Biol., 2019; Sbeiti et al., Pending submission to Plant Pathol.; Mazurier et al., in preparation)
Oct. 2010-Nov. 2014 Co-supervision of Maoulida Toueni, PhD student at ECOLAB studying the 'Mechanisms involved in the interaction between Verticillium alfalfae and Medicago truncatula'.(Ben et al., 2013; Toueni et al., 2016)
Feb. – May 2016 Supervision of Terry Mun, PhD student at the MBG, Aarhus Univ. (Denmark) for a 3.5-month internship at ECOLAB supported by an EMBO Short Term Fellowship, studying the ‘Dissection of early molecular responses of the model legume Lotus japonicus towards rhizospheric microorganisms’.(Kelly et al.,Front. Pl. Sci., 2018)
Oct. 2013-2016 Involvement in the supervision of MS Yanis Amokrane & Adel Kadri, PhD students at the ENSA Alger (Algeria), in the frame of a PHC Tassili bilateral collaborative project, studying the ‘Characterization of the genetic diversity among the Algerian collections of Medicago truncatula’ & ‘Identification of QTLs for resistance to drought in the model legume Medicago truncatula’ respectively.(Kadri et al., 2017; Amokrane et al., Pending Submission)
Oct. – Dec. 2013 Supervision of Saoussen Mahfoud, PhD student at the CBBC (Tunisia) for a 3-month internship at ECOLAB in the frame of a PHC Utique bilateral collaborative project, studying the ‘Genetic bases and physiological mechanisms of the interaction salinity/pathogens in Medicago truncatula
Nov. 2012 Training of Maroua Gharbi & Nadia Zitouna, visiting PhD students from the Univ. of Tunis (Tunisia) at EcoLab supported by Alternance fellowships from the FST El Manar studying the ‘Genetic biodiversity inSullaplant species’ for genetic analyses (use of molecular markers, genetic mapping, QTL detection).
2010-2012 Training of Azam Negahi, PhD student at ECOLAB studying the 'Genetic basis of resistance to Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula' for genetic analyses aspects (use of molecular markers, genetic mapping, QTL detection).(Negahi et al., 2013; Negahi et al., 2014; Ben et al., 2013)
2008-2011 Involvement in the supervision of Sondes Rahoui, a visiting PhD student from the Univ. of Bizerte (Tunisia) studying the 'tolerance to cadmium in Medicago truncatula'. Training on bioinformatics and molecular biology.(Rahoui et al., ESPR, 2014; Rahoui et al., Phytochemistry, 2015, Rahoui et al., Protoplasma, 2016)

Administrative charges

- Elected member to the ‘Conseil des Etudes et de la Vie Etudiante’ at the INP-ENSAT since 2014.

- Elected Secretary of the Board for Recruitment at the INP-ENSAT from Jan. 2015.

  Member of a selection jury for the recruitment of an assistant professor at the INP-ENSAT in 2012.

 

Scientific animation and charges

            Scientific expertise and contributions to scientific community

-Scientific reviewer for BMC Plant Biology, Frontiers in Plant Sci., BMC Genetics, Scientific Reports.

-Independent expert for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research 2016.

-Member of the Steering Committee of the “Permanent workshop: numerical methods, data, signal processing” at the Observatory Midi-Pyrénées (OMP), Toulouse, France.

- Member of the PhD Thesis Scientific Advisory Board:

            Amir Fartash on the ‘Search for new sources of genetic resistance to Verticillium wilt in Medicago sp.’, supervisor: M. Rickauer (EcoLab), Toulouse, France (July 2017 – 2020)

            Clarisse Liné on the ‘Study of the interactions between plants and carbon nanotubes’, co-supervisors: C. Larue (EcoLab) & E. Flahaut (CIRIMAT), Toulouse, France (Janv. 2016 – Dec. 2019)

            Ghazanfar Abbas Khan on the ‘Study of the role of miR396 in the root meristem activity in the legumeMedicago truncatula’,co-supervisors: C. Lelandais-Brière & Martin Crespi, ISV, Gif/Yvette, France (Feb. 2010).

 

            Scientific event organization

- Member of the organization committee of the international mini-symposium on ‘Mediterranean agro-ecosystems health’, EcoLab/INP-ENSAT, Toulouse, France, 1st-3rd Oct. 2019 (Algerian, Egyptian, French, Iranian, Spanish & Tunisian participants).

- Member of the organization committee of the workshop on ‘Biogeography-Ecology of Oasis cultivated plants and their associated pathogens and pests’, Zarzis, Tunisia, 18th Dec 2018 (8 Tunisian & French participants from IRA Medenine, CBBC & EcoLab).

- Member of the organization committee of the workshop on ‘Biogeography-Ecology of Medicago and their associated symbiotic and pathogenic micro-organisms’, Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria (CBBC), Borj Cedria, Tunisia, 4th Dec 2017 (25 Tunisian & French participants).

- Member of the organization committee of the workshop on ‘Modulation of plant responses to diseases as a function of abiotic stress and climate change’, Borj Cedria, Tunisia, 6th April 2017 (22 Tunisian & French participants).

- Member of the organization committee of the international mini-symposium on ‘Medicago Genetics & Genomics’, Port-La-Nouvelle, France, 14th-16th Sept. 2015 (17 participants from 4 nationalities).

- Member of the organization committee of the International Model Legume Congress 2011, Sainte-Maxime, France, 15th-19th May 2011 (150 participants from 23 nationalities).

 

            Vulgarization & Public outreach

- Publication of a vulgarization articlein the ‘Magazine du CNRS en Chine n°19 – Printemps/Eté 2015’. Ben C. ‘Adaptation des plantes aux stress environnementaux : le projet MeToliCa’, French and Chinese versions, http://www.cnrs.fr/derci/IMG/pdf/cnrsenchine_19_print-ete2015.pdf,19 :33-35.

- Speaker in a round table on ‘Research and Sustainable development’, for engineer students at ENSIACET, 17th of Jan. 2019.

- Member of the organization committee of ‘Prof. In Lab Day’, ECOLAB, 10th of May 2016. Scientific conferences and workshops for teachers from High Schools.

- Supervision of high school students for the scientific challenge ‘Faites de la Science 2006’ for a project on ‘Universality of the genetic code’ (Univ. Paris Sud XI, Jan-May 2006). ‘Biotechnologies’ Prize.

Main/Recent publications

Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Mazurier M, Min-Gyoung S, Lorenz T, Rickauer M, Marjoram P, Nuzhdin S, Tatarinova T. (2019) WhoGEM: an admixture-based prediction machine accurately predicts quantitative functional traits in plants. Genome Biol., Accepted for publication.

Toueni M, Ben C, Leru A, Gentzbittel L, Rickauer M. (2016) Quantitative resistance to Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula involves eradication of the fungus from roots and is associated to transcriptional responses related to innate immunity. Frontiers in Plant Sci.,Frontiers in Plant Sci., http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01431

Gentzbittel L, Andersen SU, Ben C, Rickauer M, Stougaard J, Cook DR, Young ND. Naturally occuring diversity helps to reveal genes of adaptive importance in legumes. Front. Plant Sci. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpls.2015.00269/abstract

Formey D*, Sallet E*, Lelandais-Brière C*, Ben C*, Bustos-Sanmamed P, Niebel A, Frugier F, Combier JP, Hartmann C, Wincker P, Roux C, Gentzbittel L, Gouzy J, Crespi M. (2014) Diversity, conservation and plasticity of the miRNAome from Medicago truncatula roots under symbiotic and pathogenic interactions, Genome Biology,15:457. (*These authors contributed equally to the work - Research highlight by Huan Wang & Nam-Hai Chua,Genome Biology 2014, 15:475)

Ben C, Toueni M, Montanari S, Tardin MC, Fervel M, Negahi A, Saint-Pierre L, Mathieu G, Gras MC, Noël D, Prospéri JM, Pilet-Nayel ML, Baranger A, Huguet T, Julier B, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. (2013) Natural diversity in the model legume Medicago truncatula allows identifying distinct genetic mechanisms conferring partial resistance to Verticillium wilt. J Exp Bot. 64(1):317-32.

Branca A, Paape T, Zhou P, Briskine R, Farmer A, Mudge J, Bharti A, Woodward J, May G, Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Denny R, Sadowsky M, Ronfort J, Bataillon T, Young N, Tiffin P (2011) Whole-genome nucleotide diversity, recombination, and linkage-disequilibrium in the model legume Medicago truncatula. PNAS 108(42):E864-70.

INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCES

Invited conferences

Ben C, Mazurier M, Rickauer M. and Gentzbittel L. (Oct. 22, 2018) Genome wide analysis of quantitative disease resistance against Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula: From quantitative genetics to candidate gene validation.  Centre de Biotechnologies de Borj Cedria (CBBC), Tunisia

Ben C., Toueni M., Rickauer M., MIRMED consortium, Andersen S.U., Kelly S. and Gentzbittel L.(2018) Omics approaches to help decipher molecular control of root biotic interactions in legumes. 11th International Multiconference “Bioinformatics of Genome Regulation and Structure\Systems Biology” -BGRS\SB-2018-, Section «Genomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics», 21 August 2018, Novosibirsk, Russia

Mazurier M., Toueni M., Sbeiti A., Tardin M.C., Gras M.C., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. and Ben C. (2018) Genome wide analysis of quantitative disease resistance against Verticillium wilt in the model legume Medicago truncatula. 11th International Multiconference “Bioinformatics of Genome Regulation and Structure\Systems Biology” -BGRS\SB-2018-, Section « Bioinformatics and systems biology of plants», 22 August 2018, Novosibirsk, Russia

Tatarinova T.V., Gentzbittel L. and Ben C. (2018) Whole-Genome Approach to Plant Phenotype Prediction. 11th International Multiconference “Bioinformatics of Genome Regulation and Structure\Systems Biology” -BGRS\SB-2018-, Section « Single-cell genomics: Neuroscience, Biodiversity and Evolution; BioGenEvo-2018», 23 August 2018, Novosibirsk, Russia

Ben C, Toueni M, Rickauer M., MIRMED consortium, Gentzbittel L. (April 12, 2017) “-Omics to help in identifying breeding targets for quantitative resistances to root pathogens in legumes”. Vavilov Institute for Plant Genetic Resources, St Petersburg, Russia

Ben C, Toueni M, Rickauer M., MIRMED consortium, Gentzbittel L. (April 6, 2017) “-omics approaches to help in deciphering molecular regulations of quantitative resistances to soil-borne pathogens in M. truncatula”. Workshop on ‘Modulation of plant responses to diseases as a function of abiotic stress and climate change’, Centre de Biotechnologies de Borj Cedria (CBBC), Tunisia

Ben C,Mazurier M, Tatarinova. T, Gentzbittel L. (Nov. 16 & 17, 2016) “Could an integrative approach merging whole-genome and bio-climatic data help in developing innovative biodiversity-based cropping systems to mitigate global climate change impacts?”, IVème Journées Scientifiques Internationales de l’INAT, Tunis, Tunisia

Ben C, Toueni M, Mazurier M, Negahi A, Sbeiti A, Tatarinova T, Turner M, Shamandi N., Vailleau F, Nuzhdin S, Marjoram P, Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. (Nov. 15, 2016) “Genetics & Genomics of Quantitative Disease Resistance against root pathogens in Medicago truncatula”. Centre de Biotechnologies de Borj Cedria (CBBC), Tunisia

Ben C, Toueni M, Mazurier M, Negahi A, Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. (Sept. 15, 2015) “Genetics & Genomics of Quantitative Disease Resistance against root pathogens inMedicago truncatula”.'Medicago genetics & genomics’ mini-symposium, Port-La-Nouvelle, France

Ben C, Toueni M, Mazurier M, Negahi A, Sbeiti A, Tatarinova T, Turner M, Shamandi N., Vailleau F, Nuzhdin S, Marjoram P, Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. (Aug. 31, Sept. 1 & 4, 2015 – Conferences cycle in the frame of the BLÅTAND Program 2015 organized by the French Embassy in Denmark) “Genetics & Genomics of Quantitative Disease Resistance against root pathogens in Medicago truncatula”. Department of  Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG), in Aarhus Univ., AU-Foulum & AU-Flakkebjerg, Denmark

Ben C, Tatarinova T, Triska M, Mazurier M, Nuzhdin S, Gentzbittel L. (Jan. 17, 2015) “Using patterns of genetic variation within modern plant accessions to reveal ancestral genome admixture and to infer population adaptation in the wild legume species Medicago truncatula”. OIST Ancient DNA Symposium, Okinawa, Japan

Ben C, Formey D, Sallet E, Lelandais-Brière C, Shamandi N, , Bustos-Sanmamed P, Niebel A, Frugier F, Combier JP, Hartmann C, Wincker P, Roux C, Gouzy J, Crespi M, Gentzbittel L. (Dec. 19, 2014) “microRNAs as key regulators of symbiotic and pathogenic root interactome in the model legume Medicago truncatulaXishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden CAS, Kunming, China

Ben C, Shamandi N, Lelandais C, Hartmann C, Sallet E, Gouzy J, Rickauer M, Crespi M and Gentzbittel L. (Nov. 07, 2012) “MicroRNA regulation of the root response to stress in the model legume Medicago truncatula- Salt Stress and Root Diseases as Paradigms” Seminars of the Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany CAS, China

 

International Congresses

 

Active participation to 11 international congresses in the 5 past years, where contributions include 12 talks (5 as the speaker including 3 invited talks at the 11th International Multiconference “Bioinformatics of Genome Regulation and Structure\Systems Biology” -BGRS\SB-2018-August 2018, Novosibirsk, Russia - as mentionned above) and 11 posters selected by scientific advisory boards.

 

Selected oral presentations as the speaker

Ben C., Toueni M., Kelly S., Mun T., MIRMED consortium, Rickauer M., Stougaard J., Andersen S. U., Gentzbittel L. (2019) -Omics approaches to unravel molecular responses to root microbes in legumes. Moscow Conference on Computational Molecular Biology (MCCMB), 27-30 July 2019, Moscow, Russia

Ben C.,Gentzbittel L., Mazurier M., Rickauer M., Nuzdhin S., Tatarinova T. (2019) Mieux prédire l’adaptation des plantes et de leurs microorganismes associés au changement global en combinant génomique des populations et biogéographie ? ECOVEG 14, 24-26 Apr. 2019, Toulouse, France

Ben C, Lelandais C, Sallet E, Shamandi N, Gouzy J, Rickauer M, Crespi M and Gentzbittel L. (2010) Are microRNAs involved in the root response to stress in the model legume Medicago truncatula?. Conference on "miRNAs in plant and animal development", Nov. 2010, Paris, France

Ben C, Lelandais C, Hartmann C, Sallet E, Gouzy J, Rickauer M, Crespi M and Gentzbittel L.(2010) microRNAs regulation of biotic and abiotic stress responses: common and specific pathways? International Congress on Legumes Genetics & Genomics, Satellite Workshop on 'MicroRNAs in Legumes', July 4-10, 2010, Asilomar Conference Grounds, California, USA

 

Conference rapporteur at the VIth International Meeting on Oasis Agriculture and Sustainable Development "OASuD 2018”. 19-21 December 2018, Zarzis (Tunisia) for the 1st session dedicated to “Agro-diversity in Oasis Environment: Specific and intra-specific diversity of cultivated plants and agrosystems, management of phytogenetic resources, plant breeding and genetic improvement”.

LIST OF PUBLICATIONS IN ISI JOURNALS

 24 articles published in ISI Journals, h-index=11, # of citations: 428 (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Cecile_Ben)

Submitted, under review & in revisions

Grigoreva E, Ulianich P, Ben C, Gentzbittel L, Potokina E. First insights into the guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba(L.) Taub.) genome of the ‘Vavilovskij 130’ accession, using second and third-generation sequencing technologies. Russian Journal of Genetics, under review.

Final preparation

Sbeiti A, Mazurier M, Ben C, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. Global warming modifies root antagonistic interactions, promotes pathogen virulence and aggressiveness and may indirectly affect the distribution of resistant plant populations. Pending Submission.

Amokrane MSY, Laouar M, Ben C, Kadri A, Julier B, Abdelguerfi A, Gentzbittel L. Functional traits diversity and fitness evaluation in response to salt stress in some Medicago spp wild populations. Pending Submission.

Chaouachi M, Marzouk T, Hajri S, Fridhi W, Werghimi F, Ben Slimene I, Jallouli S, Elkahoui S, Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Djébali N. Collection, screening and evaluation of endophytic bacteria for biological control of Botrytis cinerea on tomato fruits. Final preparation.

Mazurier M, Ben C, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. MtSEC14, a factor of susceptibility putatively implicated in vesicule trafficking, is involved in quantitative resistance to Verticillium wilt in the legume Medicago truncatula. In preparation.

Mabrouk Y, Ameline-Torregrosa C, Ben C, San Clemente H, Rotter B, Winter P, Gentzbittel L, Rickauer M. Global gene expression changes in the model legume plant Medicago truncatula in response to infection with the fungal pathogen Ascochyta pisi assessed by deep SuperSAGE. In preparation.

2019

Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Mazurier M, Min-Gyoung S, Lorenz T, Rickauer M, Marjoram P, Nuzhdin S, Tatarinova T. (2019) WhoGEM: an admixture-based prediction machine accurately predicts quantitative functional traits in plants. Genome Biol., Accepted for publication.

2018

Kelly S, Mun T, Stougaard J, Ben C, Andersen SU. (2018) Distinct Lotus japonicus transcriptomic responses to a spectrum of microbes ranging from pathogenic to symbiotic. Front. Plant Sci., DOI 10.3389/fpls.2018.01218

Yamchi A, Ben C, Rossignol M, Zareie SR, Mirlohi A, Sayed‐Tabatabaei BE, Pichereaux C, Sarrafi A, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. (2018) Proteomics analysis of Medicago truncatula response to infection by the phytopathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum points to jasmonate and salicylate defence pathways. Cellular Microbiology, e12796. DOI 10.1111/cmi.12796

2017

Cai F, Watson BS, Meek D, Huhman DV, Wherritt DJ, Ben C, Gentzbittel L, Driscoll BT, Sumner LW, Bede J. (2017) Medicago truncatula haemolytic saponin level is potentially correlated with caterpillar antixenosis resistance. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 43(7):712-724, DOI 10.1007/s10886-017-0863-7

Kadri A, Julier B, Laouar M, Ben C, Badri M, Chedded J, Mouhouche B, Gentzbittel L, Abdelguerfi A. (2017) Genetic determinism of reproductive fitness traits under drought stress in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 39:227, DOI 0.1007/s11738-017-2527-1

2016

Toueni M, Ben C, Leru A, Gentzbittel L, Rickauer M. (2016) Quantitative resistance to Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula involves eradication of the fungus from roots and is associated to transcriptional responses related to innate immunity. Frontiers in Plant Sci.,Frontiers in Plant Sci., http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01431

Youssef C., Aubry C., Montrichard F., Beucher D., Juchaux M., Ben C., Prosperi J.M., Béatrice Teulat. (2016) Cell length instead cell number becomes the predominant factor contributing to hypocotyl length genotypic differences under abiotic stress in Medicago truncatula. Physiologia Plantarum, 156: 108–124.

Rahoui S, Martinez Y, Sakouhi L,  Chaoui A, Ben C, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L, El Ferjani M. (2016) Cadmium-induced changes in antioxidative systems and differentiation in roots of contrasted Medicago truncatula lines. Protoplasma, doi: 10.1007/s00709-016-0968-9

2015

Gentzbittel L., Andersen S.U., Ben C., Rickauer M., Stougaard J., Cook D.R., Young N.D. Naturally occuring diversity helps to reveal genes of adaptive importance in legumes. Front. Plant Sci. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpls.2015.00269/abstract

Rahoui S, Chaoui A, Ben C, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L, El Ferjani E. (2015) Effect of cadmium pollution on mobilization of embryo reserves in seedlings of six contrasted Medicago truncatula lines. Phytochemistry, pii: S0031-9422(14)00534-2. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.12.002. [Epub ahead of print]

 2014

Formey D*, Sallet E*, Lelandais-Brière C*, Ben C*, Bustos-Sanmamed P, Niebel A, Frugier F, Combier JP, Hartmann C, Wincker P, Roux C, Gentzbittel L, Gouzy J, Crespi M. (2014) Diversity, conservation and plasticity of the miRNAome from Medicago truncatula roots under symbiotic and pathogenic interactions, Genome Biology,15:457. (*These authors contributed equally to the work - Research highlight by Huan Wang & Nam-Hai Chua,Genome Biology 2014, 15:475)

Foroozanfar M, Exbrayat S, Gentzbittel L,  Bertoni G, Maury P, Naghavie M, Peyghambari A, Badri M, Ben C, Debellé F, Sarrafi A. (2014) Genetic variability and identification of QTL affecting plant growth and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in the model legume Medicago truncatula under control and salt conditions,Functional Plant Biology,41(9):983-1001.

Rahoui S, Ben C, Martinez Y, Chaoui A, Yamchi A, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L, El Ferjani Ezzeddine. (2014) Oxidative injury and antioxidant genes regulation in six Medicago truncatula genotypes in response to cadmium treatment. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 21(13): 8070.

Negahi A, Ben C, Gentzbittel L, Maury P, Nabipour AR, Ebrahimi A,  Sarrafi  A,  Rickauer M.Quantitative trait loci associated with resistance to a potato isolate of Verticillium albo-atrum in Medicago truncatula. (2014) Plant Pathol., 63(2): 308–315.

 2013

Ben C, Debellé F, Berges H, Bellec A, Jardinaud MF, Anson P, Huguet T, Gentzbittel L, Vailleau F. (2013)  MtQRRS1, a R-locus required for Medicago truncatula Quantitative Resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum. New Phytol.199(3):758-72.

Ben C, Toueni M, Montanari S, Tardin MC, Fervel M, Negahi A, Saint-Pierre L, Mathieu G, Gras MC, Noël D, Prospéri JM, Pilet-Nayel ML, Baranger A, Huguet T, Julier B, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. (2013) Natural diversity in the model legume Medicago truncatula allows identifying distinct genetic mechanisms conferring partial resistance to Verticillium wilt. J Exp Bot. 64(1):317-32.

Negahi A, Sarrafi A, Ebrahimi A, Maury P, Prospéri JM, Ben C, Rickauer M. (2013). Genetic variability of tolerance to Verticillium albo-atrum and Verticillium dahliae in Medicago truncatula, Eur. J Plant Pathol., 136:135–143.

2012

Yang Y, Chen J, Liu Q, Ben C, Todd CD, Shi J, Yang Y, Hu X. (2012) Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Thermotolerant Plant Portulaca oleracea Acclimation to Combined High Temperature and Humidity Stress. J Proteome Res. 11(7):3605-23.

Moreau D, Burstin J, Aubert G, Huguet T, Ben C, Prosperi JM, Salon C, Munier-Jolain N. (2012) Using a physiological framework for improving the detection of quantitative trait loci related to nitrogen nutrition in Medicago truncatula.Theor Appl Genet. 124(4):755-68.

 2011

Branca A, Paape T, Zhou P, Briskine R, Farmer A, Mudge J, Bharti A, Woodward J, May G, Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Denny R, Sadowsky M, Ronfort J, Bataillon T, Young N, Tiffin P (2011) Whole-genome nucleotide diversity, recombination, and linkage-disequilibrium in the model legume Medicago truncatula. PNAS 108(42):E864-70.

 2005-2010

Stewart S, Hodge S, Mansfield J, Prosperi JM, Huguet T, Ben C, Gentzbittel L, Powell G. (2009) The RAP1 gene confers extreme resistance to the pea aphid in Medicago truncatula without engaging the hypersensitive reaction. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 12, 1645-1655.

Ben C, Hewezi T, Jardinaud MF, Bena F, Ladouce N, Moretti S, Tamborindeguy C, Liboz T, Petitprez M, Gentzbittel L. (2005) Comparative analysis of early embryonic sunflower cDNA libraries. Plant Mol Biol. 57(2):255-70.

Tamborindeguy C, Ben C, Liboz T, Gentzbittel L. (2004) Sequence evaluation of four specific cDNA libraries for developmental genomics of sunflower. Mol Genet Genomics. 271(3):367-75.

Tamborindeguy C, Ben C, Jardinaud F, Gentzbittel L, Liboz T. (2004) Mass cloning of differential and non differential transcript-derived fragments from cDNA-AFLP experiments in sunflower. Plant Mol. Biol. Rep. 22(2):165-171.

Involvement in national and international funded collaborative research programs

2019-2020

French leader of PHC Imhotep French-Egyptian Program, funded by Campus France Agency (French PI: C. Ben, ECOLAB; Egyptian PI: N. Ashry, FCRI/ARC)

‘Biodiversity of the response to the parasitic plant Cuscuta spp. in wild and cultivated legumes and search for genetic sources of resistance’

2018-2020

Member of PHC Tassili French-Algerian Program, funded by Campus France Agency (French PI: L. Gentzbittel, ECOLAB; Algerian PI: M. Lazali, Univ. de Khemis Miliana)

‘Ecological services of legumes in agro-ecosystems of the Mediterranean Basin’

2017-2019

French leader of PHC Utique French-Tunisian Program, funded byCampus France Agency (French PI: C. Ben, ECOLAB; Tunisian PI: N. Djebali, CBBC)

‘Plant immunization by biological elicitors: Study of mechanisms and characterization of molecules.’(Chaouachi et al., in preparation)

2017-2018

Member of PHC Gundishapur French-Iranian Program, funded by Campus France Agency (French PI: M. Rickauer, ECOLAB; Iranian PI: A. Ebrahimi, Dept. Agricultural Biotechnology, Azad University, Teheran)

‘Research of new genetic sources of resistance to Verticillium wilt in legumes.’

2014-2016

French leader of the MeToliCa PICS project (International Project for Scientific Cooperation) funded by the CNRS (French PI: C. BEN, ECOLAB; and Chinese PI: XY Hu, KIB/CAS)

'Towards an integrative approach to unravel the biodiversity and molecular response to cadmium stress in the wild legume Medicago truncatula'

2013-2015

Member of PHC Utique and CoopIntEer CNRS/DGRS French-Tunisian Programs, funded by Campus France Agency and CNRS respectively (French PI: M. Rickauer & L. Gentzbittel, ECOLAB; Tunisian PI: Y. Mabrouk, CNSTN & M. Badri, CBBC)

‘Potential of Rhizobium strains for biological control of Verticillium wilt in Legumes’

‘Analysis of the genetic basis and physiological mechanisms of the interaction Salinity/Pathogens in Medicago truncatula(Djébali et al., in preparation)

2013-2015

Member of PHC Tassili French-Algerian Program, funded by Campus France Agency (French co-PIs: B. Julier, INRA Lusignan, L. Gentzbittel, ECOLAB; and Algerian PI: A. Abdelguerfi, ENSA Alger)

 ‘Genetics of tolerance to drought in lucerne’(Kadri et al., Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 2017)

2012

French leader of PHC Xu Guangqi 2012 French-Chinese Program funded by the French Embassy in China (French PI: C. BEN, ECOLAB; and Chinese PI: XY Hu, KIB/CAS)

‘Analysis of the molecular response to cadmium in the model legumeMedicago truncatula.’

(Yang et al., J Proteome Res., 2012 as a side project)

2011-2014

Member of the NodON/NodOFF ANR national Project, funded by the French Agency for Research ANR (PI: F. Debellé, LIPM)

‘New genetic approaches to analyse the host spectrum in the symbiosis Rhizobium-Legumes’(Foroozanfar et al., Funct. Plant Biol., 2014 as a side project)

2008-2011

Member of the 'MIRMED' national collaborative project funded by the Genoscope (PI: M. Crespi, ISV)

‘High throughput sequencing of small RNAs in Medicago truncatula(Formey D*, Sallet E*, Lelandais-Brière C*, Ben C* et al., Genome Biology, 2014)

2008-2011

Member of the national 'Contrat de Branche' Project on 'Resistance to Bio-agressors', funded by the French Ministry of Agriculture and involving private seed companies and public research institutes

‘Genetics of resistance to pathogens in Legumes’ (Ben et al., J. Exp. Bot, 2013)

2008-2011

Member of the NSF Plant Genome Research Project 'Medicago truncatula HapMap'(PI: N.D. Young, University of Minnesota, USA)

(Branca et al., PNAS, 2011)

2008-2011

Participation to the NSF Plant Genome Research Project ‘GEPR: Community Genomics of Local Adaptation in Medicago truncatula’ (PI: Sergey Nuzhdin, USC Los Angeles, USA)

(Website: http://nlab.usc.edu/dokuwiki/doku.php/mtr_public:pgrp_public)

Informal current collaborations

-Dr T. Tatarinova, University of La Verne, USA ‘Medicago truncatula Population Genomics’(Gentzbittel et al., Genome Biol., 2019)

-Pr E. Potokina, Vice-Director of the N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, St Petersburg, Russia ‘Genetic analysis of guar Cyamopsis tetragonoloba(Grigoreva et al., submitted to Russian J. of Genetics).

- M. Bekkay & Dr K. Nagaz, Institute of Arid Regions, Medenine, Tunisia ‘Biogeography of plants and associated pathogens and pests in Southern-Tunisia oases’.

-Dr S. Andersen & Pr J. Stougaard, Molecular Biology & Genetics Dpt, Aarhus University, Denmark ‘Root diseases in Lotus japonicus’ (Kelly et al., Front. Pl. Sci., 2018)            

-Dr S. Rahoui & Pr E. Elferjani, F.S.B, Université de Carthage, Tunisia ‘Genetics of Cadmium tolerance inM. truncatula’ (Rahoui et al., ESPR, 2014; Rahoui et al., Phytochemistry, 2015; Rahoui et al., Protoplasma, 2016)

-Dr J. Bede, Univ. McGill, Canada ‘Tolerance to caterpillar herbivory inM. truncatula’ (Cai et al., J. Chemical Ecol., 2017)

-Dr J.J. Drevon & Dr G. Carlson, INRA Montpellier, France ‘Genetics of tolerance to phosphorus deficiency in M. truncatula

Research Grants:

-PHC Imhotep 2019-2020 (French-Egyptian bilateral cooperation)

Research grant from the French Embassy in Egypt and from the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) to help to the development of a starting collaboration on the study of '‘Biodiversity of the response to the parasitic plant Cuscuta spp. in wild and cultivated legumes and search for genetic sources of resistance’ with Pr Naglaa ASHRY, Field Crops Research Institute (FCRI) - Agriculture Research Center (ARC), Cairo, Egypt.

-PHC Utique 2017-2019 (French-Tunisian bilateral cooperation)

Research grant from the French Embassy in Tunisia to help to the development of a starting collaboration on the study of ‘‘Plant immunization by biological elicitors: Study of mechanisms and characterization of molecules.’’ with Dr Naceur DJEBALI, Laboratory of Bioactive Substances (LSBA), Center of Biotechnologies of Borj Cedria, Tunisia.

-PICS CNRS 2014-2016 (International Project for Scientific Cooperation)

Research grant from the CNRS to strengthen and formalize the established collaboration on the study of ‘cadmium tolerance in plants’ with Pr Xiang Yang HU, Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany CAS, China.

 - Xu Guangqi Program 2012 (French-Chinese bilateral cooperation)

Research grant from the French Embassy in China to help to the development of a starting collaboration on the study of ‘cadmium tolerance in plants’ with Pr Xiang Yang HU, Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany CAS, China.

2006-Present

Assistant Professor

'Genetics and Plant Breeding' (>200h/year)

for Engineer students in Agronomy (INP-ENSAT) and for Graduate students of the International AgroFood Chain Master (Univ. of Toulouse – Courses performed in english).

  • Head of teaching units:‘Mathematics and Genetics for Plant and Animal Species Improvement’ (M1 level, INP-ENSAT) gathering 3 teaching modules (Statistics, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Genetics and Animal Breeding), ‘Tutored Individual Project’ (M1 level, AFC Master)
  • Head of modules within teaching units:‘Genetics and Plant Breeding’ (M1 level, INP-ENSAT), ‘Seeds and Plant improvement’ (M1 level, INP-ENSAT), ‘Genetics for Plant Breeding and Protection’ (M2 level), ‘Plant breeding towards sustainability’ (M2 level)
2001-2005

Temporary Assistant Professor

'Plant Nutrition’and‘Statistics (experimental designs)'(96h/year)

for Engineer students in Agronomy (University of Toulouse, INP-ENSAT).

Organization of International Courses

- ‘Experimental design & biostatistics with R applied to plant protection’, 8-10 July 2019, Field Crops Research Institute / Agricultural Research Center (FCRI/ARC), Cairo, Egypt.

- ‘Plans expérimentaux et bio-statistiques appliqués aux essais d’agronomie’, 15-17 Dec. 2018, Institut des Régions Arides (IRA) Médenine, Tunisie.

-'Using whole-genome data in plant breeding: GWAS and Genomic Selection to genetically characterize key traits in large germplasm collections', 23-27 July 2018, Vavilov Institute for Plant Genetic Resources (VIR), St Petersburg, Russia.

-I'Experimental designs and biostatistics applied to phytopathology: theory and practice', 3-6 July 2018, Center of Biotechnology of Borj Cedria (CBBC), Tunisia

-'Using whole-genome data in plant breeding: GWAS & Genomic Selection',17-21 July 2017, CBBC, Tunisia

-'Quantitative genetics of agronomical traits of interest',8-11 June 2015, CBBC, Tunisia

Participation to teaching workshops

-‘Séminaire sur l’approche par compétences’ (Feb. 16, 2018 – P. Arnault, DGESIP-MIPNES ; Y. Pigeonnat, CTI) organized by INP-ENSAT.

-'Approche par compétences' (Sept. 23, 2015 - J. Tardif, Univ. Sherbrook)  organized by INP-ENSAT.

- ‘Apprentissage Par Problèmes et Apprentissage Par Projets’ (Oct. 24, 2013) organized by the Service inter Universitaire de Pédagogie, Univ. of Toulouse.

- Member of the International Legume Society (ILS), of the French Society of Genetics (SFG), of the French Society of Phytopathology (SFP), of the French Society of Plant Biotechnology (AFBV), of theAssociation of Tunisian Genetic Resources (ATGR).

-Member of “Historical Vegetation Ecology” Working Group of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS).

-Member of the scientific advisory board of F1 genomics, a private company in the field of agrogenomics (http://www.f1genomics.com/about2.html).

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