Profile – Catherine Masson-Boivin

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Catherine Masson-Boivin

Job Title:

Research Director at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)


Phone Number:

(33) 05 61 28 54 49



2001 « Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches », Montpellier University
1990 PhD, Microbiology, Toulouse University
1985 Masters degree in Microbiology, Orsay-Paris XI University.
1981 Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud/Fontenay-aux-Roses

2003-present Group leader (Symbiotic functions, genome and evolution of rhizobia), LIPM,
INRA-CNRS, Toulouse. (
1998-2002 Group leader (Symbiotic diversity of rhizobia). Laboratory of Tropical and Mediterranean Symbioses, IRD-INRA-CIRAD-ENSAM, Montpellier, France.
1991-1997 Scientist (Symbiotic diversity of rhizobia). Microbiology Laboratory, IRD, Dakar, Senegal.
1990-1991 Post-doctoral training. LBMRPM, INRA-CNRS Toulouse.
1986-1990 PhD student. LBMRPM INRA-CNRS Toulouse.

40 publications in international journals (including Plant Cell, Nature, PLoS Biology, PNAS, Genome Research, ISME J, Mol Biol Evo, eLifel)
21 invited oral communications in international conferences (including 2 keynote lectures).
13 invited seminars.

Coordination of 15 projects : 3 ANR (REPLAY 2017-2020, SHAPE 2012-2016,SYMPA 2008-2012) , 1 IDEX ATS (2016-2017), Genoscope (Cupriavidus taiwanensis whole genome sequencing 2005-2008), Labex TULIP HYPE (2012-2014), 2 BRG projects (2003-2005 et 2007-2008), 4 SPE projects (2002-2003, 2008-2010,2010-2011 et 2011-2012), 1 AIP Bioressources project (2008) et ACI Microbiologie project (2003-2006).

Deputy-president evaluation committee ANR CES19 (2014) and ANR CES20 (2015)
Member of the INRA evaluation committee CSS BIHASC (2011-present)
Coordination of the French SymbiFix network.
Member of the Labex TULIP scientific committee (2011-).
Organisation committee of the MicrobioToul (2005) and the « Molecular Mechanisms in Nitrogen Fixing Root Endosymbioses » Toulouse (2011, 2017) symposia.
Member of the Ecole Doctorale SEVAB scientific committee (2007-2009).
Member of the LIPM scientific committee (2007-2009).

Research Areas:

  • Symbiotic functions, genome and evolution of rhizobia

Current N-related Projects:


  • Daubech B, Remigi P, Doin de Moura G, Marchetti M, Pouzet C, Auriac MA, Gokhale CS, Masson-Boivin C, and Capela D. Spatio-temporal control of mutualism in legumes helps spread symbiotic nitrogen fixation. eLife 2017;6:e28683 doi: 10.7554/eLife.28683
  • Capela D, Marchetti M, Clérissi C, Guetta D, Castaing JP, Perrier A, Gris C, Valls M, Jauneau A, Cruveiller S, Rocha EPC and C Masson-Boivin. Recruitment of a lineage-specific virulence regulatory pathway promotes intracellular infection by a plant pathogen experimentally evolved into a legume symbiont. 2017. Mol. Biol Evol. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msx165.
  • Remigi R, Capela D, Clerissi C, Tasse L, Torchet R, Bouchez O, Batut J, Cruveiller S, Rocha E PC and Masson-Boivin C. Transient Hypermutagenesis Accelerates the Evolution of Legume Endosymbionts Following Horizontal Gene Transfer. PLoS Biology, 11(9): e1001942. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001942.
  • Guan SH, Gris C, Cruveiller S, Pouzet C, Tasse L, Leur A, Maillard A, Medigue C, Batut J, Masson-Boivin C and D Capela. (2013) Experimental evolution of nodule intracellular infection in legume symbionts. ISME J. 7: 1367-1377. doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.24.
  • Tian CF, Garneronne AM, Mathieu-Demazière C, Masson-Boivin C and J Batut. 2012. Plant-activated Bacterial Receptor Adenylate Cyclases Modulate Epidermal Infection in the Sinorhizobium meliloti-Medicago Symbiosis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.USA 109(17):6751-6.
  • Marchetti M, Capela D, Glew M, Cruveiller S, Chane-Woon-Ming B, Gris C, Timmers T, Poinsot V, Gilbert L B., Heeb P, Médigue C, Batut J and C. Masson-Boivin. (2010) Experimental evolution of a plant pathogen into a legume symbiont, PloS Biology 8(1):e1000280
  • Amadou C, Pascal G, Mangenot S, Glew M, Bontemps C, Capela D, Carrère S, Cruveiller S, Dossat C, Lajus A, Marchetti M, Poinsot V, Rouy Z, Servin B, Saad M, Schenowitz C, Barbe V, Batut J, Médigue C, Masson-Boivin C (2008) Genome sequence of the beta-rhizobium Cupriavidus taiwanensis and comparative genomics of rhizobia. Genome Res. 18(9):1472-83.
  • Moulin L., Munive A., Dreyfus B. and Boivin-Masson C. 2001. Nodulation of legumes by members of the b-subclass of Proteobacteria. Nature 411:948-950.