Joske Ruytinx

Joske Ruytinx

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2014

Receiving laboratory: IaM Tree/Microorganism Interactions Nancy, France

Country of origin : Belgium




Mobility project

Ectomycorrhizae (ECM), symbiosis between tree roots and fungal hyphae, are essential for tree health. During ECM symbiosis, fungal effector proteins are induced and secreted to interact with the host plant. The aim of the current project is to identify the transcription factors (TFs) controlling the induction of symbiotic effectors in the ECM fungus Laccaria bicolor. Therefor, I am studying different developmental stages of ECM but also free-living mycelium exposed to plant signal molecules. A transcriptomic approach will be followed and complemented with functional genetics and ChipSeq to identify the TFs crucial for ECM development and to model their gene networks.

Biography & research interests

I joined the “Tree-Microbe Interactions” unit at INRA Nancy as a post-doc in 2014 to study the development of Laccaria-Populus ectomycorrhiza (ECM). I’m amazed and delighted by the evolution of functional innovations in fungi. Functional innovations in fungi are ubiquitous but one of the best-known, high impact innovations is for sure the evolution of ECM. In 2005, as a master student developmental biology at “Vrije Universiteit Brussel” I tasted research life with an internship on the responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to metals. Nevertheless, I became a science teacher. One year later, in a search for a balance between knowledge transfer and research, I started as a teaching assistant at Hasselt University. Here, with a major task in university education I could enjoy both, transferring my knowledge and enthusiasm to students and developing my research project. At Colpaert’s lab, my research focused on metal homeostasis and adaptation to heavy metals in ECM fungi. This research led to a Ph.D. in 2013 and I had the opportunity to be part of the “mycorrhizal genomics initiative” consortium. As a member of the consortium, I met several PI’s working on different aspects of ECM biology and got passionate by the tree-microbe interaction. An exploration of ECM development in my current research is an evident consequence. This career choice is supported by an AgreenSkills fellowship.

Selected publications

Op de Beeck M., Ruytinx J., Vangronsveld J., Colpaert J.V., Rineau F. (2014) Comparison of ectomycorrhizal communities of pioneer Scots pine trees growing on heavy metal polluted and non-polluted soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry DOI : 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.03.007.

Kohler A., Kuo A., Nagy L.G., Morin E., Barry K.W., Buscot F., Canbäch B., Choi C ., Cichocki N., Clum A., Colpaert J., Copeland A., Costa M.D., Doré J., Floudas D., Gay G., Girlanda M., Henrissat B., Herrmann S., Hess J., Högberg N., Johanssn T., Khouja H.R., Labutti K., Lahrmann U., Levasseur A., Lindquist E.A., Lipzen A., Marmeisse R., Martino E., Murat C., Ngan C.Y., Nehls U., Plett J.M., Pringle A., Ohm R., Perotto S., Riley R., Rineau F., Ruytinx J., Salamov A., Shah F., Sun H., Tarkka M., Tritt A., Veneault-Fourrey C., Zuccaro A., Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative Consortium, Tunlid A., Grigoriev I.V., Hibbett D.S., Martin F. (2014). Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists. Nature Genetics 47: 410-415.

Ruytinx J., Nguyen H., Van Hees M., Op De Beeck M., Vangronsveld J., Carleer R., Colpaert J.V., Adriaensen K. (2013) Zinc export results in adaptive zinc tolerance in the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Suillus bovinus. Metallomics 5 :1225-1233.

Ruytinx J., Craciun A.R., Verstraelen K., Vangronsveld J., Colpaert J.V., Verbruggen N. (2011) Transcriptome analysis by cDNA-AFLP on Suillus luteus Cd-tolerant and Cd-sensitive isolates. Mycorrhiza 21:145-154.