Lucas Villard


My main interests in biology are related to soil microbial ecology in the field of plant - soil interactions. Indeed, soils host an enormous diversity of micro-organisms that are usually poorly-understood but play a undeniable role in ecosystem. In this context, studying arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) is of great interest because they are known to form symbiosis with the majority of land plants around the world to improve plant nutrient status, plant growth and to enhance plant protection against pathogens. They were also suggested for long time to contribute to plant community biodiversity, soil nutrient cycling and soil stability . So far, AMF communities diversity, structure and dynamic were mainly assessed by spore extraction and morphological identification, which does not necessarily reflect the true AMF community hiding in the soil. As new high-throughput sequencing technologies are getting more and more available, we are now able to use metagenomic analysis to investigate soil biota structure at an unprecedented depth . The aim of my PhD is then to study AMF community assembly and dynamic in relation with different biotic and abiotic factors in greenhouse assays or directly in the field. Outcomes could lead to a better understanding of soil dynamic for agricultural field management or biodiversity restoration.

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