|Morphogenesis, Signaling, Modeling|
|Dynamics and Expression of plant Genomes|
|Adaptation of Plants to the Environment|
|Reproduction and Seeds|
|Plant cell wall, function and utilization|
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.
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)
For more information, please contact and visit our website Second European Workshop on Plant Chromatin 2011
First European Brachypodium Workshop
October, 19th 20th & 21th,
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.
The Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin partner of the new Labex
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.
Contact : coordinator Loïc Lepiniec
Avril 6th 2011
A new way to clone plants
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.
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”
Contact: Raphaël Mercier
© INRA 2010