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Pierre- Nicolas BOULC'H - NMR & MRI evaluation of the effect of limb structure changes on leaf hydraulics and drought response in Brassicaceae.

Pierre- Nicolas BOULC'H  - NMR & MRI evaluation of the effect of limb structure
Supervisors : Maja Musse et Laurent Leport - UR IGEPP, INRAE Rennes.

The ability to accurately measure water fluxes within leaf tissues in order to better understand water management mechanisms at the leaf and whole plant level is a challenge in the context of global warming and the prediction of increased drought occurrences.

The objective of the LEAFIRMN thesis project is to develop a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) approach to characterise the adjustments of water fluxes in response to water stress, notably by measuring the transverse relaxation signal (T2). A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) approach will also be evaluated to study the spatial variations of T2 over the entire leaf surface and thus characterise the propagation of water stress. The study will be carried out on Brassica napus and Arabidopsis thaliana, two of the most widespread models in Brassicaceae.

By exploiting their natural genotypic diversity coupled with mutants which have specific structural or functional response to drought, the expected results will contribute to the association of changes in water status and hydraulic conductivity with variations in the structural characteristics of the leaf mesophyll.

At the end of the project, it should be possible to understand which structural changes in leaf tissue can improve the regulation of water flow by the plant under drought, but also to obtain more in-depth knowledge in the understanding of the transverse relaxation signal obtained from leaves.