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Hatem Rouached

Biochemistry & Plant Molecular Physiology, Inra, Montpellier, France

Phosphorus, zinc, and iron regulatory network

Annual meeting: 2019

Fields-Topics: P2 Tissue and Individual

Type of talk: Fellows Speed Presentation

Phosphorus, zinc, and iron regulatory network


I gained scientific and managerial skills during my PhD (University of Montpellier II, France, 2002-2005), my Postdoc (University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 2005-2009), and as Senior Scientist in Crop Design (BASF Company, Ghent, Belgium, 2010-2012). In 2010, I obtained the academic diploma for the hability to supervise PhD students (HDR University of Bourgogne, France). During my PhD and postdoctoral periods, I acquired expertise in the area of molecular and physiological aspects of plant nutrition. In particular, I studied the molecular mechanisms controlling the sulfate and phosphate transport and signaling in Arabidopsis through the study of the SULTR and PHO1 gene family. In 2012, I was recruited at INRA - Montpellier - FRANCE as permanent research. Since then, I am developing an original research program in the “Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants” (B&PMP) Research Unit, aiming at decoding the genetic and molecular basis of the interaction between the homeostasis of macro-and micronutrients, particularly phosphate and metals, in plants. He got an AgreenSkills fellowship at Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, USA.


Phosphorus, zinc, and iron regulatory network

Phosphate (Pi) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth. Plants acquire Pi through roots, and its deficiency (-Pi) causes a severe reduction in plant development and in particular in primary root growth (PRG). This phenotype appears also to be a result of iron (Fe) excess. But simultaneous Pi and Fe deficiencies (-Pi-Fe) restore the PRG. The role of zinc (Zn) in regulating PRG under -Pi is also emerging, where simultaneous Pi deficiency and excess Zn (-Pi++Zn) restore the PRG, mimicking -Pi-Fe condition. With the established antagonistic interaction between Fe and Zn, these data all point to the existence of a tripartite Pi/Zn/Fe signaling network that cross talks and regulates PRG under -Pi. Despite its fundamental importance, the molecular mechanisms leading to the integration of these three signals to maintain root growth remains unknown. Therefore, this original “PiZnFe-Net” proposal aims at identifying key regulatory genes and pathways involved in the integration of Pi/Zn/Fe signals in Arabidopsis by employing transcriptomics, computational biology, and reverse genetic approaches. Integration of these data will provide a blueprint for discovering new regulatory pathways of Pi nutrition in plants.

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