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  Morphogenesis, Signaling, Modeling
  Dynamics and Expression of plant Genomes
  Adaptation of Plants to the Environment
  Reproduction and Seeds
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The RG “reproduction and seeds” thematic pole is interested in the sexual part of the plant life cycle; gametophyte development, seed formation and quality. Our groups combine approaches of forward and reverse genetics, functional genomics, biochemistry and structural biology. They aim to identify the genes implicated in these different processes, to elucidate the structure and biological function of proteins and metabolites produced, and to explore network interactions. These questions are addressed essentially in Brassicacea species, either model (Arabidopsis thaliana) or cultivated (Oilseed rape, Brassica napus). We are looking to improved our basic knowledge of sexual reproduction, seed composition and germination capacity in order to provide solutions for the improvement of seed quality for agriculture, the food industry and “green chemistry” (notably the production of hydrid seeds, assuring germination vigour, oil, protein and secondary metabolite contents, improving reserve extraction…).

 

Groups

The « Development and seed quality » team investigates the genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the biosynthesis and accumulation of seed storage compounds (lipids and proteins) or secondary metabolites. These compounds are important for animal and human nutrition or health, and for green chemistry. The analyses are performed in different tissues (embryo, endosperm or seed coat) of developing and mature seeds. Our studies currently focus on regulatory networks (mainly at the transcriptional level), transport and storage of the metabolites (e.g. oil bodies).

The « Dynamic and structure of lipid bodies » team aims to increase the knowledge on the proteins (identity, structure, organisation, interactions, and role) of lipid storage organelles (lipid bodies) in plants and in yeasts. In accordance with the principles of “Green Chemistry”, our research aims to modulate amounts and tailor the
nature of lipids produced, as well as to facilitate storage lipid extraction. Our expertise in the field of half-membrane protein solubilization, and structure determination using spectroscopic (synchrotron radiation circular dichroism, dynamic light scattering) and crystallographic techniques is available to the scientific community.

The « Lipid-Protein Homeostasis in Seed » team aims to identify the main factors (genetic, physiological and environmental) that determine the partitioning between different types of reserves (mainly oil and protein) in Arabidopsis. This model plant is also representative of the European oleaginous plants (rapessed, sunflower) which will allow the transposition of Arabidopsis acquired knowledge’s on crop plants. Moreover, in order to substitute petroleum-derived products by molecules produced by “green chemistry” (i.e synthons), quality production and yield of industrially important crops need to be improved.

The « Organelles and reproduction » team investigates the functional and evolutionary relationships between the plant cell nucleus and two types of organelles, the mitochondria and the chloroplasts. More specifically, the group studies the control of organelle gene expression by nuclear encoded factors, notably the PPR (Pentatrico Peptide Repeat) motif containing proteins. The group is also interested in the evolutionary co-adaptation between these genetic compartments and the effects of these interactions on plant reproduction, in particular in nucleo-cytoplasmic male sterility.

The « Germination physiology » team studies the control of seed germination quality by diverse factors, in particular abscisic acid (ABA), nitric oxide (NO°), the protein L-isoapartyl methyltransferase (PIMT), flavonoids and the release of polysaccharidic mucilage. Our research aims to analyse the basic mechanisms regulating dormancy, longevity and the response of the seed to the environment.

 

 

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