Post Doc in biological potential of root/rhizosphere processes for efficient mobilization and acquisition of Contrat : CDI

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Entreprise

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University is an institution dedicated to research and innovation in Africa and aims to position itself among world-renowned universities in its fields

The University is engaged in economic and human development and puts research and innovation at the forefront of African development. A mechanism that enables it to consolidate Morocco's frontline position in these fields, in a unique partnership-based approach and boosting skills training relevant for the future of Africa.

Located in the municipality of Benguerir, in the very heart of the Green City, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University aspires to leave its mark nationally, continentally, and globally.

Adresse

Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid, Ben Guerir 43150

Poste

This project aims to improve phosphorus (P) fertilizer use efficiency in Morocco and African countries. Phosphorus deficiency is one of the major constraints to crop production in African (e.g., Sub-Saharan Africa) agroecosystems owing to (1) low native soil P and (2) high P fixation capacity. Soil acidity has a strong control on P availability, yet 15% of African soils exhibit pH< 5.5 which favours P fixation by aluminium and iron. Moreover, nearly half of all African soils are above pH 8.5. However, most of these alkaline soils tend to occur in North Africa including Morocco where P availability is controlled by precipitation reactions and adsorption on the surface of calcium carbonate and clay minerals. Interestingly, plant P nutrition and acquisition are mainly determined by many processes in the vicinity of the roots; that is, the rhizosphere and soil P bioavailability differ significantly among plant species according to their ability to mobilize P in this (rhizosphere) active and narrow zone where plant root, soil and soil biota interact with each other. Therefore, a better understanding of P dynamics in the soil/ rhizosphere-plant continuum would provide an important basis for optimizing P management to improve P-use efficiency in African and Moroccan crop production systems. Additionally, rhizosphere management provides a unique opportunity to harmonize crop productivity, nutrient efficiency, and environmental impact for sustainable agricultural production. The objectives of this project are:

  1. Understanding the role of soil properties including soil pH, soil texture, and other soil chemical reactions in modulating soil P behavior in the rhizosphere of different crops.
  2. Studying the beneficial effects of intercropping on P mobilization and dynamics in the rhizosphere of different crops.
  3. Investigating how influencing soil C:P ratio by combining inorganic P with organic inputs could affect soil P availability.
  4. Investigate the effect of N and S-based fertilizers on P bioavailability and cycling in calcareous soils.
  5. Studying the effect of soil salinity on P biochemical processes in the rhizosphere of halophytes.
  6. Identify the best management practices that are important to improve P use efficiency.
  7. Evaluate the effects of root-induced pH change and C deposition on the structure of rhizosphere microbial communities.

The most important root/rhizosphere processes that will be targeted in this project are root exudates, enzymes, root morphological and physiological traits, rhizosphere acidification, and microbial associations. A series of lab studies, glasshouse, and rhizotron experiments will be set to tackle each objective. This project will also rely on some existing long-term field trials conducted under different contexts in both Morocco and African countries. Phosphorus dynamics will be assessed using wet chemistry (P sequential extraction) combined with spectroscopic techniques. Different crops of interest including legumes and cereals will be studied. A combination of zymography and colorimetric DGT techniques will be used for a simultaneous 2D visualization of P-related enzymes and labile P in the rhizosphere.

Profile recherché

Criteria of the candidate:

* PhD in the subject discipline

* Proven ability to perform multidisciplinary research and contribute to funded research programs.
* Demonstrated understanding of operational requirements for a successful research project and managing time and resources.
* Proven ability to identify and fulfil the academic writing requirements for development of proposal, reports and scientific publications.
* Good English communication skills, both verbal and writing are important.
* Ability to work both as part of a team and to work independently.

Recherches emploi associées
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