|Morphogenesis, Signaling, Modeling|
|Dynamics and Expression of plant Genomes|
|Adaptation of Plants to the Environment|
|Reproduction and Seeds|
|Plant cell wall, function and utilization|
In the framework of a program aiming at developing dedicated feedstocks for second generation ligno-cellulosic biofuel production and green chemistry, scientists at the Institute Jean-Pierre Bourgin have adopted Brachypodium distachyon as a novel model species for temperate grasses.
To cope with dwindling fossil oil reserves and greenhouse warming, a major effort is being developed worldwide to use the plant’s capacity to capture and store solar energy as a replacement for fossil oil. In France, cars are already fueled for 5.7 % with first generation biofuel, which is either ethanol produced from wheat or sugarbeet or diesel produced from oilseed rape or sunflower seeds. INRA has started several research programs aiming at developing second generation biofuels, in which the whole ligno-cellulosic biomass of dedicated crops is used rather than only the edible parts of a crop. This should dramatically improve the energy efficiency and limit the environmental impact of the biofuel.
The most promising candidates for dedicated bioenergy feedstocks can be found among the highly productive C4 grasses such as sugarcane, maize, sorgho and not edible perennial grasses such as Miscanthus and switchgrass. Adapting such grass species for the production of biofuel or building blocks for green chemistry will involve maximizing lignocellulosic biomass yield while minimizing environmental impact. In addition, the composition of the biomass should be adapted for the industrial conversion processes. Since the anatomy and biomass composition of grasses is very different from that of dicot species, Arabidopsis has its limitations as a model species and an efficient grass model species is needed.
The First French Brachypodium Workshop has been organized on September 28th 2009 in Versailles as a first step to coordinate the research on this species in France (see program). From this meeting, it became clear that Brachypodium is not only an excellent model for biofuel research but also for seed development, comparative genomics with other cereals, interactions with pathogens and symbionts, evo-devo studies etc.
Brachypodium distachyon is a member of the same botanical
subfamily as wheat and barley and has all the attributes of an excellent
Brachypodium distachyon projects and ressources are being developed at the Institute Jean-Pierre Bourgin (IJPB). IJPB is involved in the INRA project “ALICE”, "Amélioration de la LIgno-CEllulose des graminées" (improvement of the ligno-cellulose of grasses), the european FP7 project “RENEWALL” and the trilateral KBBE project “CELLWALL”. In this framework, IJPB is spearheading the constitution of a Brachypodium Tilling and ecoTilling resource of respectively 10000 families and 160 natural accessions. The first screens for tilling mutants will start early 2010 and the platform will be fully operational and open to the public towards the end of 2010.
Program (.pdf file)
Plant Genomes to Sustainable Agriculture
Plant biology laboratories from PLANTnet PARIS organize their second symposium: From Plant Genomes to Sustainable Agriculture. Conferences will cover last scientific developments concerning structures/functions links in plant related to its environment. All the biological ressources (genetics and molecular tools,...) and technological plateforms (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, cell biology,...) existing within PLANTnet PARIS will be illustrated by posters.
Registration deadline : October
Programme (.pdf file)
The European Workshop on Plant Chromatin will cover exciting developments in research on plant chromatin.
focus will be on chromatin as a biochemical entity, and the two major
topics will be:
For more information, please contact
group of Olivier Loudet have just shown that duplication and translocation
of a gene in Arabidopsis thaliana genome can generate strains
incompatibilities. These new results will have significant impact on the
way to consider mechanisms of appearance of new species in plants (speciation).
This work has been published in Science (30 janvier 2008) together with
a group from the University of Nottingham.
The rapidity and diversity
of natural evolution of these genes is to be noticed. Having the possibility
to observe these incompatibilities between individuals of a same species
can help to understand how these genes are then fixed and participate
to establish barriers of reproduction with recurrence of this mechanism,
consequently confining population and leading eventually to speciation.
Contact : Olivier
30 janvier 2009
© INRA 2010