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Department of Plant Sciences


Research group



I hold a master's degree in Functional Biology in Plants and PhD in Microbiology and Parasitology in 2012 from the University of Montpellier (France). How each protagonist senses and adapts to the other in plant-microbe interactions is a question that seized me from my first steps in the laboratory.
From 2009 to 2012, I was awarded a PhD grant from CIRAD research center (Montpellier, France). Under the supervision of Dr. Lionel Moulin and Dr. Yves Prin, I have studied the biodiversity and symbiotic affinity of rhizobia associated with Brazilian legume tree species.
I have then obtained a mobility postdoctoral grant "Science without Borders" from 2013 to 2017 to conduct researches at Embrapa in the laboratory of Prof. Maria Fatima Grossi de Sa (Brasilia, Brazil). The project was to identify by interactomic approaches effector proteins from the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita capable of modifying the plant's immune system. I have then investigated one year more the intriguing question about how do plant-parasitic nematodes adapt to the host plant's immune response.
I have joined in 2018 the team of Dr. Fabrice Rebeillé at the IRIG institute (Grenoble, France) to initiate the genome edition of the marine protist Aurantiochytrium limacinum based on CRISPR / Cas9 in vitro system. My involvement consisted of developing metabolic engineering to boost the production of lipids of interest for human health, green chemistry or bioenergy.
I am now glad and thrilled to move to the laboratory of Dr. Sebastian Eves van-den Akker and work in collaboration with Dr. Etienne Danchin from the INRAE institute (Sophia-Antipolis, France). As Marie Curie fellow, I pursue the question about the upstream molecular mechanisms that coordinate the expression of effectors in M. incognita.


Key publications: 

Basso M.F., Lourenço-Tessutti I.T., Mendes Godinho R. A., Pinto Moreira C. E., Bournaud C., Gillet F.-X., Togawa Coiti R., de Almeida Engler J., Grossi-de-SA M.F. (2020). MiDaf16- and MiSkn1-like gene families are reliable targets to develop biotechnological tools for the control and management of Meloidogyne incognita Sc Rep 2020 (in press, Scientific Reports) 

Bournaud C, Gillet FX, Murad AM, Bresso E, Albuquerque EVS, Grossi-de-Sá MF. Meloidogyne incognita PASSE-MURAILLE (MiPM) gene encodes a cell-penetrating protein that interacts with the CSN5 subunit of the COP9 signalosome. Front Plant Sci. 2018; 9:904.

Bournaud C., James E.K., de Faria S.M., Lebrun M., Melkonian R., Duponnois R., Tisseyre P., Moulin L and Prin Y. Interdependency of efficient nodulation and arbuscular mycorrhization in Piptadenia gonoacantha, a Brazilian legume tree Plant Cell Env 2017 doi:10.1111/pce.13095

Gillet F-X., Bournaud C., de Souza Junior J.D.A., Grossi-de-Sa F.M. Plant-parasitic nematodes: towards understanding molecular players in stress responses. Invited Review, Ann Bot 2017, 119(5):775-789. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcw260

Bournaud C., de Faria S. M., dos Santos J.M.F., Tisseyre P., Silva M., Chaintreuil C., Gross E., James E.K., Prin Y., Moulin L. Burkholderia species are the most common and preferred nodulating symbionts of the Piptadenia Group (tribe Mimoseae). Plos One 2013 8(5):e63478

Marie Curie Research Fellow
Dr Caroline  Bournaud

Contact Details

Department of Plant Sciences,
University of Cambridge,
Downing Street,
01223 748969