Alumni groups

Xavier Perret

Xavier Perret has led a research group as senior lecturer at the Department of Plant Sciences until 2022.


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Microbial Genetics

Research Interests

In many soils, low nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) levels limit plant growth and crop yields. Seed legumes such as bean, cowpea, lentils and soybean can overcome N and P limitations by forming symbiotic associations with soil microorganisms. Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms used by soil bacteria, collectively known as rhizobia, to form nitrogen-fixing nodules on roots of legume crops. In particular, the broad host-range Sinorhizobium fredii strain NGR234 is used as a model to identify molecular keys essential to symbiotic promiscuity. We also probe the diversity of rhizobia in fields and pastures, to identify the most proficient symbionts susceptible to foster growth of legumes crops. Targeted legumes include pigeon pea in Côte d'Ivoire, chickpea and fenugreek in Tunisia and Lotus corniculatus in Switzerland.


Key publications

Cherni A.E. & Perret X.:
Deletion of rRNA operons of Sinorhizobium fredii strain NGR234 and impact on symbiosis with legumes.
Front Microbiol 2019, 10:154. PMID: 30814981.

Saad M.M., Michalet S., Fossou R., Putnik-Delić M., Crèvecoeur M., Meyer J., de Malézieux C., Hopfgartner G., Maksimović I. & Perret X.:
Loss of NifQ leads to accumulation of porphyrins and altered metal-homeostasis in nitrogen-fixing symbioses.
Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2019, 32(2):208-216. PMID: 30070615.

Fossou R.K., Ziegler D., Zézé A., Barja F. & Perret X.:
Two major clades of bradyrhizobia dominate symbiotic interactions with pigeonpea in fields of Côte d'Ivoire.
Front Microbiol 2016, 7:1793. PMID: 27891120.


Further reading

Teulet A., Camuel A., Perret X. & Giraud E.:
The Versatile Roles of Type III Secretion Systems in Rhizobium-Legume Symbioses.
Annu Rev Microbiol 2022, 76:45-65. PMID: 35395168. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-micro-041020-032624.

Unay J. & Perret X.:
Synthetic plasmids to challenge symbiotic nitrogen fixation between rhizobia and legumes.
In: Methods in Rhizosphere Biology Research 2019, 3-18. Rhizosphere Biology. Reinhardt D., Sharma A. (eds) Springer, Singapore. DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-5767-1_1.

Ziegler D., Pothier J.F., Ardley J., Fossou R.K., Pflüger V., de Meyer S., Vogel G., Tonolla M., Howieson J., Reeve W. & Perret X.:
Ribosomal protein biomarkers provide root nodule bacterial identification by MALDI-TOF MS.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2015, 99(13):5547-62. PMID: 25776061.



Alumni groups

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