Justine Laoué

Diversité et Fonctionnement : des Molécules aux Ecosystèmes (DFME)
Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Écologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE)
UMR IMBE | Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, Avignon Université

Campus Saint Charles
Aix Marseille Université
Equipe DFME IMBE - case 4
3, place Victor Hugo - CS 80249
13331 Marseille Cedex 03 - France



Doctorante en écologie chimique et écophysiologie
spécialisée dans l’impact des changements climatiques sur l’écophysiologie des forêts méditerranéennes

Sujet de thèse :
Stratégies physico-chimiques des forêts méditerranéennes face aux restrictions de précipitations en milieu naturel : exemple du chêne pubescent (Quercus pubescens)

Codirection : Elena Ormeño & Catherine Fernandez

Key words : climate change, drought, metabolism, ecophysiology, Quercus pubescens


Formations :
October 2020 - today : PhD student, “Physico-chemical defense strategies of Mediterranean forests under restricted raining in the field : example of pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens)” (IMBE, Marseille, FRANCE).
2017-2020 : Master degree in forest genomics, “ Combining QTL mapping and RNA-Seq to gain insights into the genomic architecture and transcriptional control of phenolic compounds production in white spruce” (Université Laval, Québec, CANADA).
2014-2016 : Master degree in “Biology and Biotechnology of Plants” (Université de Bordeaux, FRANCE).
2011-2014 : Bachelor degree in “Biology of Organisms and Ecosystems” (Université de Bordeaux, FRANCE).

Skills :
Laboratory : GC-MS, microscopy (SEM, optical), RNA extraction, PCR, ecophysiology (cavitron, EFM, fluorometer, Li-Cor), enzymatic assays, treatments in greenhouse.
Field : Forest sampling for RNA-Seq, ecophysiology (Li-Cor).
Data processing : ChemStation, ImageJ, Software R, Blast2GO.

Professional experiences :
June – August 2020 : Laboratory technician at Goëmar – Saint-Malo, Bretagne, FRANCE. Dr A. Guiboileau.
Phytosanitary assays in greenhouse on crop plants ; report writing.
January 2017 – March 2020 : Research student at University Laval – Québec, CANADA. Dr J. Bousquet and Dr N. Isabel.
Research project : project conception, laboratory, data analysis and writing scientific article.
January – July 2016 : Research internship at University of California of Los Angeles – Los Angeles, USA. Dr L. Sack.
Ecophysiological measurement of hydraulic conductance of plant leaves.
July – August 2015 : Research technician at INRA, UMR Biogeco – Talence, FRANCE. Dr S. Delzon.
Measurement of the vulnerability of plants to cavitation (cavitron) and anatomical cut of wood.
May – June 2015 : Research internship at INRA, UMR Biogeco – Cestas, FRANCE. Dr A. Porté.
Measurement of photosynthesic parameters.

Thématiques de recherches

Physico-chemical defenses of Mediterranean forests to cope with climate change : example of (Quercus pubescens)

Current forecasts predict that global warming will modify the physiology of trees, impacting their growth and therefore their survival. In the Mediterranean region, climate models predict a reduction of about 30% in annual precipitation by the end of the twenty-first century, with longer drought periods and a recurrence of dry years. These rapid changes may therefore impact forests by limiting their ecosystem and societal services.

My PhD thesis is part of this context and aims to evaluate the physiological stress of downy oaks (Quercus pubescens) exposed to restrictions of precipitation (-30%) and the different defenses (physical and metabolic) that take place at the leaf level to cope with water stress (see “research area" section)

The project

The METAPHORES project (METAbolomic and MorPHOlogical adaptations of a Downy oak forest to long-term rain REStriction in natura) aims to identify leaf physico-chemical strategies of downy oaks to adapt to recurrent water deficit after 8-9 years of restriction of precipitations in natural environment under Mediterranean climate.
The PhD is funded by the MITI-CNRS (Mission pour les Initiatives Transverses et Interdisciplinaires) grant of 200K € and brings together several scientific actors from various fields such as radical chemistry, optical physics, plant physiology, metabolomic and ecology.
As listed below, several scientific partners and collaborators contribute to the interdisciplinarity of this project :
Partners :
  Dr Michel HAVAUX and Brigitte KSAS (CEA, BIAM, Cadarache)
  Dr Sophie BRASSELET (Institut Fresnel, Marseille)
  Dr Béatrice TUCCIO-LAURICELLA (Institut de Chimie Radicalaire, Marseille)
Collaborators :
  Dr Guillermo GEA IZQUIERDO (INIA, CIFOR, Madrid)
  Dr Guillaume LEDUC (Cerege, Aix-en-Provence)

The experimental site

Leaf sampling is done in the Quercus pubescens forest at the O3HP (Oak Observatory at the OHP) experimental site located 100 km north of Marseille (https://www.eccorev.fr/spip.php?rubrique8). On this site, an experimental rain exclusion system allows to change, on a given plot of land comprising several dozen trees, the precipitation regime by modifying the summer drought period.
The plot subjected to restriction of precipitations is thus compared to an adjacent « control » plot. The aim is to reduce the total annual precipitation by 30% simulating an aggravated and recurrent water stress (see pictures). The whole area is equipped with a network of sensors (temperature and humidity at ground level and in the canopy, sap flow, etc.).

Reasearch area of METAPHORES project


Publications :
 Laoué, J., Fernandez, C., & Ormeño, E. (2022). Plant Flavonoids in Mediterranean Species : A Focus on Flavonols as Protective Metabolites under Climate Stress. Plants, 11(2), 172. doi:10.3390/plants11020172.
 Laoué, J., Depardieu, C., Gérardi, S., Lamothe, M., Bomal, C., Azaiez, A., et al. (2021). Combining QTL Mapping and Transcriptomics to Decipher the Genetic Architecture of Phenolic Compounds Metabolism in the Conifer White Spruce. Frontiers in Plant Science 12, 793. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.675108.

Oral communications :
 Laoué J., Havaux M., Ksas B., Dupouyet S., Orts J.P.,Tonetto A., Boularand S., Fernandez C., Ormeno E. Physico-chemical defenses of Quercus pubescens to recurrent drought conditions in natura. Journée du GDR MediaTEC en écologie chimique, Octobre 2021, Toulouse, France.

Posters :
 Laoué J., Havaux M., Ksas B., Gea Izquierdo G., Leduc G., Dupouyet S., Orts J.P.,Tonetto A., Boularand S., Fernandez C., Ormeno. Défenses physico-chimiques du chêne pubescent face à la sécheresse en région méditerranéenne. Colloque 204 du 89ème congrès de l’Acfas : « La forêt face aux changements climatiques : des solutions innovantes pour une gestion durable » , colloque virtuel, Mai 2022, Québec, Canada.
 Laoué J., Havaux M., Ksas B., Dupouyet S., Orts J.P.,Tonetto A., Boularand S., Fernandez C., Ormeno E. Physico-chemical defenses of Quercus pubescens to recurrent drought conditions in natura. Congrès de l’école doctorale Sciences de l’Environnement d’Aix Marseille Université, Avril 2021, Marseille, France.
 de Miguel M., Lagraulet H., Laoué J., Segura R., Burlett R., Bartholomé J., Bouffier L., Le Provost G., Aranda I., Cervera M.T., Marguerit E., Brendel O., Gion J.M., Plomion C., Porté A. Genomics and Forest Tree Genetics Conference, Mai 2016, Arcachon, France.