Yohann Petit

Postdoctoral Scientist
Sophien Kamoun Group

During plant infection, pathogens secrete an arsenal of effectors, key elements of pathogenesis which modulate innate immunity of the plant and facilitate infection. Fungal effector genes typically encode small proteins, predicted to be secreted (SSPs, Small Secreted Proteins), with no homology in databases, and absence of known motif. As such their function or role in pathogenesis is mostly unknown.

I’m interested in molecular plant-microbes’ interaction, and particularly in deciphering the molecular function of pathogen effectors. The objective of my PhD project has been to elucidate the involvement of Leptosphaeria maculans – a fungal pathogen of oilseed rapeeffectors into pathogenicity through their structural and functional characterization and identification of their interactants.

In addition to my skills in functional characterization, during my postdoc I’m going to acquire a new expertise in bioinformatics studies to better understand the biology of Magnaporthe oryzae effectors.


Lorrain C, Gervais J, Petit Y, Plett JM (2017)

New insights into plant–microbe interactions through advances in fungal genetics. New Phytol. 2017 Nov;216(3):647-650. doi: 10.1111/nph.14825.

Petit-Houdenot Y, Fudal I (2017)

Complex Interactions between Fungal Avirulence Genes and Their Corresponding Plant Resistance Genes and Consequences for Disease Resistance Management. Front Plant Sci. 2017 Jun 16;8:1072. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01072.

Job History

2018 – Present Postdoctoral Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK

2014 – 2017 PhD Student, BIOGER unit (National Institute for Agronomical Research), Grignon, France

2013 – 2014 Master student, BIOGER unit (National Institute for Agronomical Research), Grignon, France

2013 – 2013 Internship, Genetic and Microbiology Institute, Orsay, France

2013 – 2013 Internship, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France

2012 – 2012 Laboratory Assistant, French National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France