Profile – Claudine Franche

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Claudine Franche

Job Title:

Director of Research IRD, team leader


Phone Number:

33 467416260


Dr. Claudine Franche is the leader of the Rhizogenesis team in the Research Institute for sustainable Development (Montpellier, France). Her carieer has been dedicated to nitrogen fixation in non-legumes (Azospirillum brasilense, Anabaena azollae and Frankia). Her research is currently dedicated to the understanding of the early stages of the symbiotic interaction between the root system of the tropical actinorhizal tree Casuarina glauca and the nitrogen fixing actinobacteria Frankia. A major objective is to isolate key plant genes involved in the perception and transduction of the still unknown symbiotic signaling molecules emitted by the actinobacteria. Claudine Franche is vice-president of the French High Council of Biotechnology and Deputy advisor of the IUFRO working group “Improvement and Culture of nitrogen-fixing trees”.

Research Areas:

  • Biological nitrogen fixation
  • Actinorhizal plants
  • Signaling
  • Casuarina-Frankia symbiosis

Current N-related Projects:


Froussart, E., Zhong, C., Jiang, Q., Bonneau, J., Franche, C., and Bogusz, D. 2016. Biotechnological strategies for studying actinorhizal symbiosis in Casuarinaceae: transgenesis and beyond. Symbiosis, DOI 10.1007/s13199-016-0400-4.

Froussart, E., Bonneau, J., Franche, C., and Bogusz , D. 2016. Recent advances in actinorhizal symbiosis signaling. Plant Mol. Biol. 90 : 613-22.

Chabaud, M., Gherbi, H., Pirolles, E., Vaissayre, V., Fournier, J., Moukouanga, D., Franche, C., Bogusz, D., Tisa, L.S., Barker, D.G., and Svistoonoff, S. 2016. Chitinase-resistant hydrophilic symbiotic factors secreted by Frankia activate both Ca(2+) spiking and NIN gene expression in the actinorhizal plant Casuarina glauca. New Phytol., 209 : 86-93.

Selkesavan RK, Dhanya NN, Thushara P, Abraham SM, Jayaraj RSC, Balasubramanian A, Deeparaj B, Sudha S, Sowmiya Rani KS, Bachpai VKW, Ganesh D, Diagne N, Laplaze L, Gherbi H, Svistoonoff S, Hocher V, Franche C, Bogusz D, Nambiar-Veetil M. 2016. Intraspecies variation in sodium partitioning, potassium and proline accumulation under salt stress in Casuarina equisetifolia Forst. Symbiosis 70 : 117-128.

Franche C, Normand P, Pawlowski K, Tisa LS, Bogusz D. 2016. An update on research on Frankia and actinorhizal plants on the occasion of the 18th meeting of the Frankia-actinorhizal plants symbiosis. Symbiosis 70 : 1-4

Mansour SR, Abdel-lateif K, Bogusz D, Franche C. 2016. Influence of salt stress on inoculated Casuarina glauca seedlings. Symbiosis 70 : 129-138.

Clavijo, F, Diedhiou, I, Vaissayre, V, Brottier, L, Acolatse, J, Moukouanga, D, Crabos, A, Franche, C, Gherbi, H. Champion, A, Hocher, V, Bogusz, D, Tisa, LS and Svistoonoff, S. 2015. Nodule Inception recruited for actinorhizal symbiosis in Casuarina glauca. New Phytol., 208 : 887-903.

Champion, C, Lucas, M, Tromas, A, Vaissayre, V, Crabos, A, Diediou, I, Prodjinoto, H, Moukouanga, D, Pirolles, E, Cissoko, M, Bonneau, J, Gherbi, H, Franche, C, Hocher, V, Svistoonoff, S, Laplaze, L. 2015. Inhibition of auxin signaling in Frankia species-infected cells in Casuarina glauca nodules leads to increased nodulation. Plant Physiol., 167 : 1149-1157.

Jiang, Q, Ma, Y, Zhong, C., Zeng, B., Zhang, Y., Pinyopusarerk, K., Bogusz, D., Franche, C. (2014). Optimization of the conditions for Casuarina cunninghamiana Miq. genetic transformation mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Plant Cell Tiss. Organ. Cult., 121 : 195-204.

Diagne, N, Arumugam K, Ngom M, Nambiar-Veetil M, Franche C, Narayanan KK, Laplaze L. 2013. Use of Frankia and actinorhizal plants for degraded lands reclamation. Biomed Res Int. 2013:948258.

Zhong, C, Mansour S, Nambiar-Veetil M, Bogusz D, Franche C. 2013 Casuarina glauca: a model tree for basic research in actinorhizal symbiosis. J Biosci. 38(4):815-23.

Diagne, N, Diouf D, Svistoonoff S, Kane A, Noba K, Franche C, Bogusz D, Duponnois R. Casuarina in Africa: distribution, role and importance of arbuscular mycorrhizal, ectomycorrhizal fungi and Frankia on plant development. J Environ Manage. 2013 Oct 15;128:204-9.

Svistoonoff, S, Benabdoun, FM, Nambiar-Veetil, M, Imanishi, L, Vaissayre, V, Cesari, S, Diagne, N, Hocher, V, de Billy, F, Bonneau, J, Wall, L, Ykhlef, N, Rosenberg, C, Bogusz, D, Franche, C, Gherbi, H. (2013). The independent acquisition of plant root nitrogen-fixing symbiosis in Fabids recruited the same genetic pathway for nodule organogenesis. PLoS One. 8(5):e645155.

Abdel-Lateif, K, Vaissayre, V, Verries, C, Meudec, E, Gherbi, H., Perrine-Walker F, Cheynier V, Svistoonoff S, Franche C, Bogusz D and Hocher V. (2013) The silencing of the chalcone synthase (CHS) gene in Casuarina glauca highlights the important role of flavonoids during nodulation. New Phytol., 199 : 1012-1021.

Santi, C., Bogusz, D., and Franche, C. (2013). Nitrogen Fixation in non Legumes – Invited review. Ann. Bot., 111: 743-767.

Jiang, Q., Zhang, Y., Zhong, C., Zeng, B., Bogusz, D. and Franche, C. (2012). Establishment of an in vitro regeneration protocol for Casuarina cunninghamiana Miq. via indirect organogenesis. New Forests, 43: 143-154.

Imanishi, L., Vayssières, A., Franche, C., Bogusz, D., Wall, L. and Svistoonoff, S. (2011). Transformed Hairy Roots of Discaria trinervis: A valuable tool for studying actinorhizal symbiosis in the context of intercellular infection. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact., 24: 1317-1324.

Svistoonoff, S., Sy, M-O., Diagne, N., Barker, D., Bogusz, D., and Franche, C. (2010). Infection-specific activation of the Medicago 1 truncatula Enod11 early nodulin gene during actinorhizal root nodulation. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact., 23: 740-747.

Bonaldi, K., Gherbi, H., Franche, C., Bastien, G., Fardoux, J., Barker, D., Giraud, E., and Cartieaux, F. (2010). The Nod Factor–Independent Symbiotic Signaling Pathway: Development of Agrobacterium rhizogenes–Mediated Transformation for the Legume Aeschynomene indica. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact., 23 (12) : 1537–1544.

Svistoonoff, S., Gherbi, H., Nambiar-Veetil, M., Zhong, C., Michalak, Z., Laplaze, L., Vaissayre, V., Auguy, F., Hocher, V., Doumas, P., Bonneau, J., Bogusz, D., and Franche, C. (2010). Contribution of transgenic Casuarinaceae to our knowledge of the actinorhizal symbioses. Symbiosis, 1: 3-11.

Zhong, C., Zhang, Y ., Chen, Y., Jiang, Q., Chen, Z., Liang, J., Pinyopusarerk, K., Franche, C. and Bogusz, D. (2010). Casuarina research in China. Symbiosis, 1: 107-114.

Franche, C., Lindström, K., and Elmerich, C. (2009). Nitrogen-fixing bacteria associated with leguminous and non-leguminous plants. Plant Soil, 321: 35-59.

Huang, G.H., Zhong, C., Su, X.H., Zhang, Y., Pinyopusarek, K., Franche, C., and Bogusz, D. (2008). Genetic varaition and structure of native and introduced Casuarina equisetifolia (L. Johnson) provenances. Silvae Genetica, 58: 79-85.

Gherbi, H., Nambiar-Veetil, M., Zhong, C., Félix, J., Autran, D., Girardin, R., Vaissayre, V., Auguy, F., Bogusz, D. and Franche, C. (2008). Post-transcriptional gene silencing in the root system of the actinorhizal tree Allocasuarina verticillata. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interact., 21: 518-524.

Gherbi, H., Markmann, K., Svistoonoff, S., Estevan, J., Autran, D., Giczey, G., Auguy, F., Péret, B., Laplaze, L., Franche, C., Parniske, M., and Bogusz, D. (2008). SymRK defines a common genetic basis for plant root endosymbioses with AM fungi, rhizobia and Frankia bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 105: 4928–4932.

Péret, B., Swarup, R., Jansen, L., Devos, G., Auguy, F., Collin, M., Santi, C., Hocher, V., Franche, C., Bogusz, D., Bennett, M., and Laplaze, L. (2007). Auxin influx activity is associated with Frankia infection during actinorhizal nodule formation in Casuarina glauca. Plant Physiol. 144: 1852-1862.

Obertello, M., Wall , L., Laplaze, L., Nicole, M., Auguy, F., Gherbi, H., Bogusz, D., and Franche, C. (2007). Functional analysis of the metallothionein gene cgMT1 isolated from the actinorhizal tree Casuarina glauca. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interact., 10: 1231-1240.

Sy, M-O., Hocher, V., Gherbi, H., Laplaze, L., Auguy, F., Bogusz, D., and Franche, C. (2007). The cell-cycle promoter cdc2aAt from Arabidopsis thaliana is induced in the lateral roots of the actinorhizal tree Allocasuarina verticillata during the early stages of the symbiotic interaction with Frankia. Physiol. Plant. 130: 409-417.

Sy, M.O., Constans, L., Obertello, M., Geney C., Laplaze, L., Auguy, F., Bogusz, D. and Franche, C. (2006). The PsEnod12B promoter from the early nodulin gene of Pisum sativum does not drive gene expression during the early stages of actinorhizal nodule development in transgenic Casuarinaceae. Plant Soil 281: 279-287.

Hocher, V., Auguy, F., Argout, X., Laplaze, L., Franche, C., and Bogusz, D. (2006). Expressed sequence –tag analysis in Casuarina glauca actinorhizal nodule and root. New Phytol. 169: 681-688.