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Thursday 23th March 2017


14/00 PM
Grande salle de réunion Bât.7
Visitor IJPB

Dr. Mireille BETERMIER
(Réarrangements programmés du génome, Institut de Biologie Intégrative de la Cellule (I2BC), CNRS, Gif/Yvette)

Developmentally programmed dynamics of the somatic genome in the ciliate Paramecium

Invited by Mathilde Grelon
Contact :
Registation up to 22/03/17
except for people belonging to INRA Versailles

Seminars location except other indications

Amphithéâtre de Versailles, Bât. 10
INRA Centre de Versailles-Grignon
Route de St Cyr (RD10)
F-78026 Versailles Cedex

Page Intranet séminaires



Raphaël Mercier, INRA award "Scientific challenge" 2016

Raphaël Mercier, young Senior Scientist of his team « Meiosis mechanisms and apomixis », in the group « Meiosis and recombination », the Department « Dynamics and Expression of the Genome »,specialized very early on meiosis (the universal mechanism allowing to shuffle and distribute chromosomes during the formation of sexual cells). His interest in science began in ninth grade, and since 2003 he contributed in the group to the characterization of no less than sixty genes involved in meiosis, these results having heavy impact in the plant’s field. Axel Kahn, President of the « Comité d'éthique » Inra-Cirad-Ifremer, presented the INRA award "Scientific challenge ( « Défi scientifique 2016 ») during the 11th ceremony the 13th december 2016.

Raphaël Mercier explains us: « The genes involved in meiosis are remarkably well conserved among organisms as different as yeasts, plants, mice, and humans. Therefore, identifying such genes in the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana should help us identify their homologs in other species, but working with Arabidopsis is much easier. »
Step by step, to switch off genes in plant and to observe the consequences in offspring allow to understand the role of these genes during meiosis, the heart of heredity and a key issue in biology. To better understand how chromosomes mix up and control their distribution have direct applications in the field of plant breeding. His work and the work of the MeioRec group have greatly contributed to better reach fundamental mechanisms of meiosis being also attached to transfer knowledge to field plants as for example to potatoe plant. His fundamental research leads to discoveries with crucial applications, outskirts of a revolution in plant breeding.

The stimulating context of a cohesive research group of around thirty people with the unique facilities of IJPB to grow and study plants (green houses, culture chambers and platforms of the Plant Observatory) are in favor of a top-level research. Raphaël’s scientific works has been awarded of several scientific prices, the first one as earlier as for is PhD thesis. His research results on apomixis (see IJPB news «A new way to clone plants») were one of the 10 discoveries of the year 2011 of the journal « La Recherche ». A « Starting Grant » of the European Council (ERC) with a financial support of 5 years (2012-16) allowed the development of is work and his team.

In the future, his dream is to understand meiosis mysteries still unraveled. One question continues to haunt Raphaël Mercier: what controls the number of crossing-over events that take place during meiosis? Why this number is highly constrained and with an average of about two per chromosome and per meiotic cycle in most species, considering that a cell is perfectly healthy when 10 crossing occur ?

More informations:
Video at IJPB: Raphaël Mercier—unraveling the mysteries of plant genetics
Portrait of Raphaël Mercier: Delving into the heart of cell division

2016 INRA Awards: speeches of Axel Kahn and Raphaël Mercier following his portrait
Actualities IJPB:
A new way to clone plants
A main scientific progress: MiMe, mitosis instead of meiosis

December 2016

6th European Workshop on Leaf Senescence
14 -18 october 2013, Versailles, INRA

In plant, the senescence of leaves, petals and pods is characterized by a large set of macroscopic and microscopic phenotypes, which result from highly controlled sequential molecular events. Essential to nutrient management, nitrogen remobilisation and more globally to the adaptation of plants to their environment, senescence is a trait of interest in agriculture.
The 6th European Workshop on Leaf Senescence will be interested in providing an overview on the:
- Signals and regulatory pathways triggering senescence onset and involved in senescence progression
- Metabolic features linked to senescence
- Role of proteolysis and autophagy on senescence control and effects
- Impact of senescence on plant productivity and nitrogen remobilisation
- Senescence and programmed cell death


Organizers :
Céline Masclaux-Daubresse (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin (IJPB), INRA, Versailles)
Karin Krupinska (Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany)
Michèle Reisdorf-Cren (
UVSQ, IJPB, INRA, Versailles) 
Pr. Jean-Christophe Avice (
Université de Caen Basse Normandie, INRA, France)
Kohki Yoshimoto (
IJPB, INRA, Versailles) 
Fabien Chardon (
IJPB, INRA, Versailles) 

More information:
Visit the:
6th European Workshop on Leaf Senescence

October 2013

European students research training
Initial Training Network Croplife
Nitrogen remobilization and proteolysis during leaf senescence
June 4th-15th 2012, Versailles, INRA

In the frame of the ITN (Initial Training Network) project Croplife, 9 students were hosted for two weeks by the research group "Signalisation and nutritional recycling" of the scientific pole "Adaptation of Plants to the Environment" at INRA in Versailles from the 4th to the 15th of June 2012. This programme involves 9 research laboratories. During these 3 years, a large choice of training courses, summer schools, meeting and workshops is provided. The oppotunity to exchange experiences, ideas and friendship. In the course of these 2 weeks in Versailles, students had benefit of the laboratory and teaching structures of IJPB, particularly the microscopy platform (PCIV) and plant chemistry platform (PFCV).




Programme and list of the students (pdf file)


Contacts :
Michèle Reisdorf-Cren :
Céline Masclaux-Daubresse :

June 2012

Workshop "The TOR kinase signalling pathway in plants"

Versailles, 5 & 6 december 2011, INRA, France

TOR (Target of Rapamycin, an antibiotic) is a conserved protein kinase present in animals, yeast and plants which controls cell growth and a wide range of metabolic processes. The plant TOR field is still in its infancy but is now growing rapidly thanks to recent and important contributions. Therefore we thought that it was time to gather the teams involved in this field of research for informal exchanges and discussions in this year marking the 20th anniversary of the discovery of TOR. We hope that this meeting will help in building a research community around this exciting and central regulatory pathway.

Programme (file) Organizers:
Christian Meyer (IJPB)
Christophe Robaglia (CNRS-CEA-Université de la Mediterranée, Marseille)


Local Commitee:
Christian Meyer (IJPB)
Corine Enard
Marie Lacruz (IJPB)

Jocelyne Picard (IJPB)
Philippe Porée (INRA, Versailles)
Marie Lacruz (IJPB)


Department of Plant Biology


December 2011

Second European Workshop on Plant Chromatin 2011:
Versailles, September 1st and 2nd

The main goal of the « European Workshop on Plant Chromatin » is to bring together the small scientific community working on Plant Chromatin for discussing recent progress in the field and supporting the development of new ideas and collaborations. The focus is on chromatin as a biochemical entity, histone post-translational modifications as well as chromatin dynamics and nuclear architecture.

Chromatin is the structure organizing the genetic information in the nucleus of higher organisms. The dynamics of this structure allows a fine-tuning of gene expression and control of genome integrity. Chromatin is therefore essential for various cellular and developmental processes and participates to responses to environmental cues.

Fifty five participants from 12 European countries joined the 2011 EWPC edition. This year, studies on other plant models such as rice and moss enriched the discussion besides Arabidopsis thaliana. A new research topic initiated from a collaboration established during the first EWPC, which was held in Zürich in 2009, was presented. The next meeting will be held in 2013, in Madrid.

During the EWPC2011, the participants discovered the King’s Vegetable Garden in Versailles and tasted delicious fruit juices. Many thanks to M. Pierre-Henri Duée, the President of the INRA Versailles-Grignon center, who made this visit possible and to all who did contribute to the success of the workshop.

Program (.pdf file)

Organizers :
Valérie Gaudin (IJPB)
Lars Hennig (SLU, Uppsala, Suède)
Claudia Köhler (SLU, Uppsala, Suède)

For more information, please contact and visit our website Second European Workshop on Plant Chromatin 2011


September 2011

First European Brachypodium Workshop

October, 19th 20th & 21th, 2011
Versailles, INRA, France

Brachypodium is now widely recognized as a new model system in numerous American, Asian and European laboratories interested for instance in cereal genomics, bioenergy and evo-devo. Despite the active contribution of these laboratories to the development of genomics tools, some scientific advances remain poorly visible at least in Europe. The goal of the first European Brachypodium workshop is to bring together the Brachypodium community, to communicate on research, results, problems and bottlenecks encountered with this new model plant. The meeting would cover a large panel of plant biology, genetic variability of wild populations, biotic and abiotic stresses and recently developed genomic tools. The workshop will be open but limited to 150 people. Preliminary program and registration instructions will be communicated later.
Registrations and abstract submissions will start May 1st 2011.



Oumaya Bouchabké-Coussa (IJPB)
Martine Gonneau (IJPB)
Thierry Marcel (BIOGER)
Lise Jouanin (IJPB)
Richard Sibout (IJPB)

For more information:
or visit the website First European Brachypodium Workshop


May 2011

The Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin partner of the new Labex SPS :
"Laboratoire d'excellence" Saclay Plant Science

The SPS Labex (Sciences des Plantes de Saclay) was selected by the international jury for financial support as part of "Thes investissements d’avenir" (investments for the future). It gathers the four laboratories: the Institut of Plant Biology (IBP), the Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin (IJPB), the Institut of Plant Sciences (ISV) and the URGV - Plant Genomics Research (URGV). In the current context of population growth, limited natural resources, climate change and facing the need to better protect the environment and biodiversity, three strategic, complementary, interconnected scientific challenges: 1) moving from a descriptive towards a more predictive biology, 2) understanding basic mechanisms that control plant development and physiology, and 3) developing tools and biotechnology for research, innovation and valorisation. To address these challenges, the strategy of the SPS Labex will be to support the best academic research, teaching and training that will be necessary for innovations over the long term, and to ensure dissemination and valorisation of results. These studies extend from the cell to the entire plant, and use the concepts and tools of biochemistry, biophysics, imaging, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, modelling and bioinformatics. The SPS Labex will implement an international Masters program dedicated to plant biology. The SPS Labex benefits from the strong support of the five institutions involved (AgroParisTech, CNRS, INRA, U Evry, U Paris 11) as well as of the coordinating partner, the FCS-Saclay.

The current research activities of the Labex concern the essential genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms that control plant physiology and development, as well as their interactions with fluctuating biotic or abiotic environments. These studies extend from the cell to the entire plant, and use the concepts and tools of biochemistry, biophysics, imaging, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, modelling and bioinformatics. The four laboratories of the SPS Labex (IBP, IJPB, ISV, URGV) include about 400 permanent staff members and 150 PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. The members of the SPS Labex provide around 7500 hours of teaching and training per year. SPS laboratories host several internationally renowned leaders and talented young investigators.

The strategy described above will be implemented by different types of initiatives and cross-cutting actions. This will include a few strategic and integrative flagship projects headed by internationally recognized leaders. These projects will be evaluated after 4 years by an international scientific advisory board. A grant program will be launched on a yearly basis, in the areas of four relevant thematic priorities, to support the valorisation of results, the emergence of new topics and the starting phase of new researchers/faculty. The four thematic priorities relevant to the socio-economic and scientific contexts will be: 1) the sustainable intensification of plant productivity in a fluctuating environment; 2) plants as factories: improving plant quality for food, feed, health, environment and industry; 3) plants to understand fundamental biological mechanisms; and 4) developing new resources and biotechnologies for research, innovation, and technology transfer.

In addition, the Labex will implement an international Masters program dedicated to plant biology, which will be coordinated with key European universities involved in plant sciences. Fellowships for post-doctoral trainees or PhD students will be associated with flagship projects and grant programs.

For more information :
on Labex
The Labex SPS

Contact : coordinator Loïc Lepiniec


Avril 6th 2011

A new way to clone plants

The research team “Meiosis and recombination”, working with colleagues from the U.S. and India, has proven for the first time that a sexual plant can produce clonal seeds which are genetically identical to the mother plant. Most plants – cultivated species in particular – reproduce sexually. Certain plant species, however, produce seeds differently through an asexual process called apomixis. Progeny obtained this way are identical clones to their mother. Introducing apomixis in cultivated plant species would be revolutionary, making it possible to clone and propagate any plant of agricultural interest. The results of this study were published 18 February in the advance online edition of the journal SCIENCE.

The most interesting plants, that combine a large number of traits, often have a complex genetic composition. Because sexual reproduction mixes genetic information at each generation, their progeny do not retain targeted traits. However, the progeny of these same plants obtained by apomixis could conserve these traits and be reproduced and distributed endlessly. Apomixis has not yet been introduced in species of major agricultural interest. Apomixis – the cloning of plants through seeds – results from changes to two steps in the process of sexual reproduction: the formation of gametes which carry all the genetic information of the mother plant instead of half (2n chromosomes rather than n), and the initiation of embryogenesis without pollination (i.e. without the genetic information of the father plant).

The first component of apomixis can be introduced in Arabidopsis using MiMe or dyad mutants, previously obtained by the teams of Raphaël Mercier (INRA, France) and Imran Siddiqi (CSIR, India). The 2n-chromosome gametes produced by these mutants normally play a role in sexual reproduction. The progeny thus obtained by fertilisation carry double the number of chromosomes (4n instead of 2n) and are therefore different to the mother plant which has 2n chromosomes.
Producing progeny that is wholly identical to the mother plant requires the second component of apomixis: embryonic development without contribution of paternal genetic information. This process was recently identified in a GEM (1) line of Arabidopsis by the team of Simon Chan (University of California, Davis, United States). GEM chromosomes are usually eliminated when crossed. When GEM is crossed as male, a part of the progeny carry only maternal chromosomes; when crossed as female, a part of the progeny carry only paternal chromosomes.

INRA Versailles-Grignon and CSIR researchers combined both components of apomixis (MiMe or dyad on one hand, GEM on the other). This work demonstrated that clonal seeds wholly identical to the mother or father plant can effectively be obtained by crossing MiMe and dyad plants to the GEM line.

These results demonstrate that clonal reproduction can be introduced in a sexual plant by modifying just a few genes, and constitute a proof of principle for the development of apomixis in cultivated plants.

(1) GEM stands for “Genome Elimination induced by a Mix of CENH3 variants”

Sylvie Jolivet et al. (2011) Synthetic clonal reproduction through seeds. Science 876. DOI:10.1126/science.1199682 (pubmed)

For more information on the GEM and MiMe line, see the press info items : Can plants give up sex? and MIME, a plant line producing pollen grains and ovules that are genetically identical to the parent plant

Associated patent:
Synthetic clonal reproduction through seeds. INRA et UC Davis,USA 61/418,792, 1st december 2010


February 2011

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