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Benjamin Brachi

Benjamin Brachi


Agreenskills+
session, year:
2015 2nd

Status:
Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
BIOGECO Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Bordeaux

Country of origin:

United States of America

Country of destination:

France

Last available contact

Email(s):
benjamin.brachi@pierroton.inra.fr
benjamin.brachi@gmail.com
Website(s):
https://scholar.google.fr/citati...
https://scholar.google.fr/citati...

CV:
Download Curriculum Vitae

Mobility project

Natural variation of secondary metabolite production in forest trees: the case of European white oaks.

Trees are major components of the forest ecosystem and are the center of complex interactions with herbivores, microbes and other plants. A major mechanism by which plants interact with this environment is the production of secondary metabolites. Oaks produce a complex blend of secondary metabolites and the ecological effects of these compounds have long been studied. However, the natural variation of secondary metabolites in forest trees has received less attention. In this project I will use high throughput Mass-Spectrometry (MS) in order to measure the variation in the secondary metabolites accumulating in the buds of white oaks. I will investigate natural variation within Quercus petraea (sessile oak) using populations sampled along i/ a broad latitudinal cline and ii/ a local elevation gradient. I will also phenotype a family of Quercus robur (pedunculate oak) full-sibs, and use readily available sequence information to detect the underlying genetics (QTLs). This project will provide new insights into the variability of secondary metabolites in oaks, its relationship with climatic and ecological variation, and identify loci that underlie this variation. My research focuses on within species phenotypic variation and how it has been shaped by natural selection. My overall strategy, both during my PhD in Lille and during my first postdoc at the University of Chicago, has been to (i) gather empirical evidence for local adaptation by relating phenotypic variation to environmental variation and fitness components, (ii) detect the genetic bases underlying adaptive variation using genome-wide association (GWA) mapping, and (iii) look for overlap between genes underlying natural variation and genomic footprints of natural selection at the genome-wide scale. Using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, I have helped pioneer genome-wide association mapping in plants and used it to detect the genetics underlying important adaptive traits including flowering time and herbivore resistance. My research now focuses on unraveling the genetics underlying local adaptation and investigating the role played by biotic interactions in shaping patterns of local adaptation in plants. In my current position, I ask similar questions in forest trees in a team focused on the interaction between ecological and evolutionary processes.

Biography & research interests

My research focuses on within species phenotypic variation and how it has been shaped by natural selection. My overall strategy, both during my PhD in Lille and during my first postdoc at the University of Chicago, has been to (i) gather empirical evidence for local adaptation by relating phenotypic variation to environmental variation and fitness components, (ii) detect the genetic bases underlying adaptive variation using genome-wide association (GWA) mapping, and (iii) look for overlap between genes underlying natural variation and genomic footprints of natural selection at the genome-wide scale. Using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, I have helped pioneer genome-wide association mapping in plants and used it to detect the genetics underlying important adaptive traits including flowering time and herbivore resistance. I then obtained funding from the AgreenSkills program for a 2-year postdoc in the INRA BIOGECO unit. My research focuses on unraveling the genetics underlying variation in leaf secondary metabolites in oak populations. I study both between and within population variation and I’m particularly interested in the ecological role played by this variation, with the aim of better understanding the consequences of reduced within population diversity on the resilience and sustainability of forest ecosystems. In 2017, I was recruited as a permanent researcher at INRA, in the BIOGECO research unit.

Selected publications

Exposito-Alonso M, Becker C, Schuenemann VJ, Reiter E, Setzer C, Slovak R, Brachi B, Hagmann J, et al., 2018. The rate and effect of de novo mutations in a colonizing lineage of Arabidopsis thaliana, PLOS Genet,14(2):1-21.

Brachi B, Meyer CM, Villoutreix R, Platt A, Morton T, Roux F, and Bergelson, 2015. Co-selected genes determine adaptive variation in herbivore resistance throughout the native range of Arabidopsis thaliana. J Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,112(13):4032-4037.

Brachi, B; Meyer, CG; Villoutreix, R; et al., 2015. Coselected genes determine adaptive variation in herbivore resistance throughout the native range of Arabidopsis thaliana. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112, 13, 4032-4037. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421416112.

Brachi B, Villoutreix R, Faure N, Hautekèete N, et al, 2013. Investigation of the geographical scale of adaptive phenological variation and its underlying genetics in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Ecology, 22(16):42224240.

Brachi B, Aimé C, Glorieux C, Cuguen J, and Roux F., 2012. Adaptive value of phenological traits in stressful environments: predictions based on seed production and laboratory natural selection. PloS One, 7(3):e32069.

Talks in annual meetings

Natural Variation of secondary metabolite production in forest trees
2018 / P2 Tissue and Individual,P3 Population and Ecosystems / by Benjamin Brachi / Fellows Speed Presentation

Keywords

white oak, ecological genomics, QTL, secondary metabolites, defense, biotic interactions, adaptation