Caroline MONTEIL

Caroline MONTEIL

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2013

Receiving laboratory: Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases group, Swansea University, United Kingdom

Country of origin : France




Mobility project

Inferring the role of environmental reservoirs in the emergence of Pseudomonas syringae crop pathogens

In this project, I aim to shed light into the role environmental reservoirs play in the emergence of Pseudomonas syringae crop pathogens by using a comparative functional genomics approach. I m currently analysing the genetic variation in the genome of hundreds of isolates from diverse habitats to infer population structure, gene flow and the genes associated with adaptation to P. syringae niches. I’m addressing these questions in the laboratory of Pr. S.K. Sheppard in the College of Medicine of Swansea University UK. Findings from this project will contribute to develop and improve targeted strategies for crop protection by identifying genetic markers associated with pathogen emergence.

Biography & research interests

The research projects I develop are dedicated to the improvement of crop protection by understanding how bacterial pathogens emerge, adapt to crop hosts and disseminate. My objective in fine is to provide advice to crop breeders, growers, and governmental institutions for limiting disease emergence and spread. I graduated with a master in microbial ecology from Montpellier University in 2008. Then I put my acquired skills at the service of epidemiology of plant disease during my PhD that I defended in 2011 at the University of Avignon in France. I am currently engaged in research on the ecology and evolution of the plant pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae.

My approaches are interdisciplinary and combine environmental sciences, microbial ecology and plant pathology, and they integrate population genomics and molecular biology as well. I perform field investigation, lab experiments and bioinformatics in an integrative way to unravel the ecological and evolutionary processes controlling population dynamics. What makes my research stand out is that I study the plant-pathogen systems in a larger scale than usually considered in plant pathology. I take into account all of the diversity of habitats where pathogens may evolve and disseminate: crops and the environment sensu stricto as well, such as the soil, rain, snow and river systems.

Since 2012, I aim to understand how environmental populations participate in the emergence and evolution of crop pathogens via comparative and functional genomics in a population framework. I began this work at Virginia Tech (USA) that I am now pursing it at Swansea University (UK).

Selected publications
  • Monteil CL, Bardin M, Morris CE (in press). Features of air masses associated with the deposition of Pseudomomas syringae and Botrytis cinerea by rain and snowfall. ISME J.
  • Bartoli C, Berge O, Monteil CL, Guilbaud C, Balestra GM, Varvaro L, Jones C, Dangl JL, Baltrus, DA, Sands DC, Morris CE (2014) The Pseudomonas viridiflava phylogroups in the P. syringae species complex are characterized by genetic variability and phenotypic plasticity of pathogenicity-related traits. Environ Microbiol. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12433
  • Vinatzer BA, Monteil CL, Clarke CR (2014). Harnessing population genomics to understand how bacterial pathogens emerge, adapt to crop hosts and disseminate. Annu Rev Phytopathol. Vol 52 DOI: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-102313-045907
  • Monteil CL, Lafolie F, Laurent J, Clement JC, Simler R, Travi Y, Morris CE (2014). Soil water flow is a source of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae in subalpine headwaters. Environ Microbiol. DOI:10.1111/1462-2920.12296
  • Monteil CL, Cai R, Liu H, Mechan Llontop ME, Leman S, Studholme DJ, Morris CE, Vinatzer BA (2013). Non-agricultural reservoirs contribute to emergence and evolution of Pseudomonas syringae crop pathogens. New Phytol 199: 800–811
  • Morris CE, Monteil CL, Berge O (2013). The life history of Pseudomonas syringae: linking agriculture and Earth system processes. Annu Rev Phytopathol 51: 85-104.
  • Monteil CL, Guilbaud C, Glaux C, Lafolie F, Soubeyrand S, Morris CE (2012). Emigration of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae from leaf litter contributes to its population dynamics in alpine snowpack. Environ Microbiol 14: 2099-2112.
Awards & patents
  • 2010 Jean & Marie-Louise DUFRENOY Research Grant from the French Academy of Agriculture
  • 2008 Fellowship for 3 years of Ph.D. plus 3 years of postdoc from INRA, Department of Plant Health and Environment, France