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b Biomass quality and interactions with drought
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 research groups

Keywords : Maize, Arabidopsis thaliana, lignocellulosic biomass, cell wall quality, Drought, Xylem, QTL

Doctoral school affiliation : ED567"Sciences du Végétal" Université Paris-Sud, Orsay

Contacts :

Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, UMR1318 INRA-AgroParisTech-ERL3559 CNRS
Bâtiment 2
INRA Centre de Versailles-Grignon
Route de St-Cyr (RD10)
78026 Versailles Cedex France

tél : +33 (0)1 30 83 30 00 - fax : +33 (0)1 30 83 33 19

Group leader
Matthieu Reymond

Research Scientist

Valérie Méchin (50%)
Senior Scientist

Yves Griveau

Lucy Botran
Technician Assistant

Bastien Arnaud
Assistant Engineer



Paul-Louis Lopez Marnet
PhD Student


Christine Horlow
Research Scientist

Sylvie Coursol
Research Scientist

Mylène Durand-Tardif (20%)
Senior Scientist

Marie-Pierre Jacquemot

Fadi El-Hage
PhD Student

Summary :

Biomass quality and drought responses

This research group was founded in 2012. The objective is to identify the parameters that impact the establishment of lignocellulosic biomass and that are decisive for its valorization, whether or not plants undergo drought stress.

Issues and biological context
Lignocellulosic biomass is located in cell wall. Secondary cell wall is set up inside a primary cell wall mostly constituted of pectins and hemicelluloses. This secondary wall is made of polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicelluloses) and of phenolic compounds (lignins and p-hydroxycinnamic acids). Lignins allow plant integrity but make difficult the access of enzymes to the polysaccharides during degradation of biomass to biofuel or fooder. The goal of our studies is then to tailor lignocellulosic biomass quality for better valorization when used in biorefinery processes or in animal feeding. On the other hand, in the global warming context, there is nowadays a growing concern about water availability for plant cultivation. Then, the issue is now to maintain plant yield and quality in a sustainable manner in order to meet the demand for a growing human population. Our research team aims at understanding the relationships between plant development, cell wall quality, water availability and water flux within plants. In the long term, the aim is to identify the key parameters that allow plant performance to be maintained under drought stress conditions.

Complementary skills from the different members of the team are utilized to tackle questions about the different cell wall compounds establishment:

    • Genetics, genomics and proteomics; QTL (for Quantitative Trait Loci) detection, identification of candidate genes and/or proteins and their polymorphisms involved in variation of biomass quality and its response to drought.
    • Mutant (natural, mu, tilling, ect…) and transgenic plants phenotyping for functional characterization of the selected candidate genes.
    • Biochemistry and histology; Establishment of the different cell wall compounds and their distribution in different plant tissues. Identification of key parameters involved in biomass degradability.

Main Results :

Selected Publications :

El-Hage F, Legland D, Borrega N, Jacquemot MP, Griveau Y, Coursol S, Méchin V, Reymond M. (2018). Tissues lignification, cell wall p-coumaroylation and degradability of maize stems depend on water status. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 66 : 4800-4808

Legland D, El-Hage F, Méchin V, Reymond M., 2017. Histological quantification of maize stem sections from FASGA-stained images. Plant Methods, 13: 1-11

Baldy A, Jacquemot MP, Griveau Y, Bauland C, Reymond M, Mechin V., 2017. Energy values of registered corn forage hybrids in France over the last 20 years rose in a context of maintained yield increase. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 08 (06): 1449-1461

Bensussan M, Lefebvre V, Ducamp A, Trouverie J, Emilie G, Fortabat MN, Guillebaux A, Baldy A, Naquin D, Herbette S, Lapierre C, Mouille G, Horlow C, Durand-Tardif M, 2015. Suppression of dwarf and irregular xylem phenotype generates low-acetylated biomass lines in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology 168: 452-463

Courtial A, Méchin V, Reymond M, Grima-Pettenati J, Barrière Y., 2014. Colocalizations between several QTLs for cell wall degradability and composition in the F288 x F271 early maize RIL progeny raise the question of the nature of the possible underlying determinants and breeding targets for biofuel capacity. BioEnergy Research, 7 (1) : 142-156

Zhang Y, Legay S, Barrière Y, Méchin V, Legland D, 2013. Color Quantification of Stained Maize Stem Section Describes Lignin Spatial Distribution within the Whole Stem. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61:3186 - 3192

Barrière Y., Méchin V., Lefèvre B., Maltèse S., 2012. QTLs for agronomic and cell wall traits in a maize RIL progeny from a cross between an old Minnesota13 line and a modern Iodent line. TAG, Online first 22 march 2012.

Chavigneau H., Goué N., Delaunay S., Courtial A., Jouanin L., Reymond M., Méchin V., Barrière Y., 2012. QTL for floral stem lignin content and degradability in three recombinant inbred line (RIL) progenies of Arabidopsis thaliana and search for candidate genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis and degradability. Open Journal of Genetics 2 : 7-30.

Courtial A, Jourda C, Arribat S, Balzergue S, Huguet S, Reymond M, Grima-Pettenati J, Barrière Y., 2012. Comparative expression of cell wall related genes in four maize RILs and one parental line of variable lignin content and cell wall degradability. Maydica 57

Culhaoglu T., Zheng D., Méchin V., Baumberger S., 2011. Adaptation of the Carrez procedure for the purification of ferulic and p-coumaric acids released from lignocellulosic biomass prior to LC/MS analysis. J. Chrom. B 879 : 3017-3022.

Lefebvre, V., Fortabat, M.N., Ducamp, A., North, H.M., Maia-Grondard, A., Trouverie, J., Boursiac, Y., Mouille, G., and Durand-Tardif, M. 2011. ESKIMO1 Disruption in Arabidopsis Alters Vascular Tissue and Impairs Water Transport. PLoS ONE 6, e16645.

Méchin V., Riboulet C., Guillaumie S., and Barrière Y., 2011. Investigating maize cell wall traits for improvement of silage and biofuel production in Europe. In Advances in maize, Prioul JL (Ed).

Prioul J.L., Damerval C., Manicacci D., Méchin V. 2011. Proteomics in identifying new regulatory mechanisms involved in seed development and ultimately seed quality. In SEED DEVELOPMENT: OMICS Technologies toward Improvement of Seed Quality and Crop Yield,  Agrawal GK and Rakwa R (Eds). Springer (The Netherlands).

Zhang Y., Culhaoglu T., Pollet B., Melin C., Denoue D., Barriere Y., Baumberger S., and Méchin V. 2011. Impact of lignin structure and cell wall reticulation on maize cell wall degradability. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59 : 10129–10135.

Barrière Y., Méchin V., Denoue D., Bauland C., and Laborde J., 2010. QTL for Yield, Earliness, and Cell Wall Quality Traits in Topcross Experiments of the F838 x F286 Early Maize RIL Progeny. Crop Sci. 50 (1) : 1761-1772.

Demont-Caulet N., Lapierre C., Jouanin L., Baumberger S., and Méchin V., 2010. Peroxidase-catalyzed copolymerization of coniferyl and sinapyl alcohols: a kinetic approach of an endwise process. Phytochemistry 71 (14-15) : 1673-1683.

Barrière Y., Méchin V., Lafarguette F., Manicacci D., Guillon F., Wang H., Lauressergues D., Pichon M., Bosio M., and Tatout C., 2009. Toward the discovery of maize cell wall genes involved in silage quality and capacity to biofuel production. Maydica 54 (2-3) : 161-198.

Barrière Y., Méchin V., Riboulet C., Guillaumie S., Bosio M., Fabre F., Lapierre C., Pichon M., and MartinantJ.P., 2009. Genetic and genomic approaches for improving biofuel production from maize. Euphytica 170 (1-2) : 183-202.

Lefebvre, V., Kiani, S.P., Durand-Tardif, M. 2009. A Focus on Natural Variation for Abiotic Constraints Response in the Model Species Arabidopsis thaliana. Int J Mol Sci 10, 3547-3582.

Manicacci D., Camus-Kulandaivelu L., Fourmann M., Arar C., Barrault S., Rousselet A., Feminias N., Consoli L., Frances L., Méchin V., Murigneux A., Prioul J.L., Charcosset A., and Damerval C., 2009. Epistatic interactions between Opaque2 transcriptional activator and its target gene CyPPDK1 control kernel trait variation in maize. Plant Physiol. 150 (1) : 506-520.

Riboulet C., Guillaumie S., Méchin V., Bosio M., Pichon M., Goffner D., Lapierre C., Martinant J.P., and Barrière Y., 2009. Kinetic of phenylpropanoid gene expression in maize ear growing internodes : relationships with cell wall deposition. Crop Science 49 (1) : 211-223.


Previous Publications :

Vetter MM, Kronholm I, He F, Häweker H, Reymond M, Bergelson J, Robatzek S, de Meaux J. 2012 Flagellin perception varies quantitatively in Arabidopsis thaliana and its relatives. Mol Biol Evol. 29 1655-67

Alcázar R, Reymond M, Schmitz G, de Meaux J. 2011 Genetic and evolutionary perspectives on the interplay between plant immunity and development. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 14 378-84.

Silady RA, Effgen S, Koornneef M, Reymond M. 2011 Variation in seed dormancy quantitative trait loci in Arabidopsis thaliana originating from one site. PlosOne 6 e20886

Alcázar R., García A.V., Kronholm I., de Meaux J., Koornneef M., Parker J.E., Reymond M. 2010. Natural variation at Strubbelig Receptor Kinase 3 drives immune-triggered incompatibilities between A. thaliana accessions. Nature Genetics 42 1135-1139

Alcázar R., Altabella T., Marco F, Bortolotti C, Reymond M., Koncz C., Carrasco P., Tiburcio A.F. 2010. Polyamines: molecules with regulatory functions in plant abiotic stress tolerance. Planta 231 1237-1249

Bentsink L., Hanson J., Hanhart C., Blankestijn-de Vries H., Coltrane C., Keizer P., El-Lithy M., Alonso-Blanco C., Andrés M.T., Reymond M., van Eeuwijk F., Smeekens S., Koornneef M. 2010. Natural variation for seed dormancy is regulated by additive genetic and molecular pathways. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107 4264-4269

El-Lithy M.E, Stich B., Reymond M., Koornneef M., Vreugdenhil D. 2010. Relation among plant growth, carbohydrates and flowering time in the Arabidopsis Landsberg erecta x Kondara recombinant inbred line population Plant Cell and Environment 33 1369-1382

Galpaz N, Reymond M. 2010. Natural variation in Arabidopsis thaliana revealed a genetic network controlling germination under salt stress. PloSOne 5  e15198

Giakountis A., Cremer F., Sim S., Reymond M., Schmitt J., Coupland G. 2010. Distinct patterns of genetic variation alter flowering responses of arabidopsis accessions to different daylengths. Plant Physiology. 152 177-191

Guillaumie S., Mzid R., Méchin V., Leon C., Hichri I., Destrac-Irvine A., Trossat-Magnin C., Delrot S., and Lauvergeat V., 2010. The grapevine transcription factor WRKY2 influences the lignin pathway and xylem development in tobacco. PMB 72 (1-2) : 215-234.

Prinzenberg A.E., Barbier H., Salt D.E., Stich B., Reymond M. 2010. Relationships between growth, growth response to nutrient supply and ion content using a recombinant inbred line population in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant physiology 154  1361–1371

Tisné S., Schmalenbach I., Reymond M., Dauzat M., Pervent M., Vile D., Granier C. 2010. Keep on growing under drought: genetic and developmental bases of the response of rosette area using a recombinant inbred line population Plant Cell and Environment  33 1875-1887

Alcázar R., García A.V., Parker J.E., Reymond M. 2009. Incremental steps towards incompatibility revealed by Arabidopsis epistatic interactions modulating salicylic acid pathway activation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106 334–339

Alonso-Blanco C., Aarts M.G.M., Bentsink L, Keurentjes J.J.B., Reymond M., Vreugdenhil D., Koornneef M. 2009. What has natural variation taught us about plant development and physiology? Plant Cell 21 1877-1896.

Birker D., Heidrich K., Takahara H., Deslandes L., Narusaka M., Reymond M., Parker J.E. and O’Connell R. 2009. A locus conferring recessive resistance to Colletotrichum higginsianum is shared by four geographically distinct Arabidopsis accessions. Plant J. 60 602-613

Ghandilyan A., Ilk N., Hanhart C., Mbengue M., Barboza L., Schat H., Koornneef M., El-Lithy M., Vreugdenhil D., Reymond M., Aarts MGM. 2009. A strong effect of growth medium and organ type on the identification of QTLs for phytate and mineral concentrations in three Arabidopsis thaliana RIL populations. Journal of Experimental Botany. 60 1409-1425

Ghandilyan A., Barboza L., Tisné S., Granier C., Reymond M., Koornneef M., Schat H., Aarts M.G.M. 2009.Genetic analysis identifies quantitative trait loci controlling rosette mineral concentrations in Arabidopsis thaliana under drought. New Phytologist, 184 180-192

Ainsworth, E.A., Beier, C., Calfapietra, C., Ceulemans, R., Durand-Tardif, M., Farquhar, G.D., Godbold, D.L., Hendrey, G.R., Hickler, T., Kaduk, J., et al. 2008. Next generation of elevated [CO2] experiments with crops: a critical investment for feeding the future world. Plant Cell Environ 31, 1317-1324.

Bouchabke, O., Chang, F., Simon, M., Voisin, R., Pelletier, G., Durand-Tardif, M. 2008. Natural Variation in Arabidopsis thaliana as a Tool for Highlighting Differential Drought Responses. PLoS ONE 3, e1705.

Bouchabke-Coussa, O., Quashie, M.L., Seoane-Redondo, J., Fortabat, M.N., Gery, C., Yu, A., Linderme, D., Trouverie, J., Granier, F., Teoule, E., et al. 2008. ESKIMO1 is a key gene involved in water economy as well as cold acclimation and salt tolerance. BMC Plant Biol 8, 125.

Simon, M., Loudet, O., Durand, S., Berard, A., Brunel, D., Sennesal, F.X., Durand-Tardif, M., Pelletier, G.,Camilleri, C. 2008. Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping in Five New Large Recombinant Inbred Line Populations of Arabidopsis thaliana Genotyped With Consensus Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Markers. Genetics 178, 2253-2264.

Prioul JL., Méchin V., Lessard P., Thévenot C., Damerval C., Grimmer M., Chateau-Joubert S., Coates S., Maitz M., Edwards KJ., 2008. A joint transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic analysis of maize endosperm development and starch filling. Plant Biotechnology Journal 6 (9) : 855-869.

Prioul J.L., Méchin V., and Damerval C., 2008. molecular and biochemical mechanisms in maize development : the role of pyruvate-Pi-dikinase and Opaque-2 in the control of C/N ratio. Comptes Rendus Biologies 331 (10): 772-779.

Tisné S., Reymond M., Vile D., Fabre J., Dauzat M., Koornneef M., Granier C. 2008. Combined genetic and modelling approaches reveal that epidermal cell area and number in leaves are controlled by leaf and plant developmental processes in A. thaliana. Plant Physiology 148 1117–1127

Ungru A., Nowack M.K., Reymond M., Shirzadi R., Kumar M., Biewers S., Grini P.E., Schnittger A. 2008. Natural variation in the degree of autonomous endosperm formation reveals independence and constraints of embryo growth during seed development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics 179 829–841

Méchin V., Baumberger S., Pollet B., and Lapierre C., 2007. Peroxidase activity can dictate the in vitro lignin dehydrogenative polymer structure. Phytochemistry 68, 571-579.

Méchin V., Thévenot C., Le Guilloux M., Prioul J.L., and Damerval C., 2007. Developmental analysis of maize endosperm proteome suggests a pivotal role for PPDK. Plant Physiol 143 (3): 1203-1219 .

Thiellement H., Zivy M., Damerval C., and Méchin V. (Eds.), 2007. Plant Proteomics: Methods and Protocols. Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey, U.S.A. 390 pp.

Méchin V., Damerval C., and Zivy M., 2007. Total protein extraction with TCA-acetone. In Plant Proteomics: Methods and Protocols, Thiellement H., Zivy M., Damerval C. and Méchin V. (Eds.), 355: 1-8.

Barrière Y., Riboulet C., Méchin V., Maltese S., Pichon M., Cardinal A., Lapierre C., Lübberstedt T., and Martinant J.P., 2007. Genetics and Genomics of Lignification in Grass Cell Walls Based on Maize as Model Species. Genes, Genomes and Genomics 1(2), 133-156.

Svistoonoff S., Creff A., Reymond M., Sigoillot-Claude C., Ricaud L., Blanchet A., Nussaume L., Desnos T. 2007. Root tip contact with low-phosphate media reprograms plant root architecture. Nature Genetics 39 792-796

Barriere, Y., Denoue, D., Briand, M., Simon, M., Jouanin, L., Durand-Tardif, M. 2006. Genetic variations of cell wall digestibility related traits in floral stems of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions as a basis for the improvement of the feeding value in maize and forage plants. Theor Appl Genet 113, 163-175.

Reymond M., Svistoonoff S., Loudet O., Nussaume L., Desnos T. 2006. Identification of QTL controlling root growth response to phosphate starvation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant, Cell and Environment 29, 115–125

Méchin V., Argillier O., Rocher F., Hébert Y., Mila I., Pollet B., Barrière Y. and Lapierre C., 2005. In search of a maize ideotype for cell wall enzymatic degradability using histological and biochemical lignin characterization. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53 : 5872-5881

Tardieu F., Reymond M., Muller B., Granier C., Simonneau T., Sadok W., Welcker C. 2005. Linking physiological and genetic analyses of the control of leaf growth under changing environmental conditions. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56 937 – 946

Barrière Y., Ralph J., Méchin V., Guillaumie S., Grabber JH., Argillier O., Chabbert B., LapierreC., 2004. Genetic and molecular basis of grass cell wall biosynthesis and degradability. II. Lessons from brown-midrib mutants. Comptes Rendus Biologies 327 (9-10) : 847-860.

Durand-Tardif, M., and Candresse, T. 2004. Contribution of genetics to plant protection. Biofutur, 16-23.

Méchin V., Balliau T., Château-Joubert S., Davanture M., Langella O., Négroni L., Prioul JL., Thevenot C., Zivy M., Damerval C., 2004. A two-dimensional proteome map of maize endosperm. Phytochemistry 65 (11) : 1609-1618.

Reymond M., Muller B., Tardieu F. 2004. Dealing with the genetic analysis of adaptive traits via a modeling approach: A comparison of QTLs of maize leaf length or width and of parameters of the response of leaf elongation rate to water deficit. Journal of Experimental Botany 55 2461-72

Durand-Tardif, M., and Pelletier, G. 2003. Contribution of cell and molecular biology and genetics to plant protection. C R Biol 326, 23-35.

Méchin V., Consoli L., Le Guilloux M., Damerval C., 2003. An efficient solubilization buffer for plant proteins focused in immobilized pH gradients. Proteomics 3 (7) : 1299-1302.

Reymond M., Muller B., Leonardi A., Charcosset A., Tardieu F. 2003. Combining Quantitative Trait Loci Analysis and an Ecophysiological Model to Analyse the Genetic Variability of the Responses of Maize Leaf Growth to Temperature and Water Deficit. Plant Physiology 131 664-675

Barrière Y., Gibelin C., Argillier O., Méchin V., 2001. Genetic analysis in recombinant inbred lines of early dent forage maize. I – QTL mapping for yield, earliness, starch and crude protein contents from per se value and top cross experiments. Maydica 46 : 253-266.

Méchin V., Argillier O., Hébert Y., Guingo E., Moreau L., Charcosset A., Barrière Y., 2001. Genetic analysis and QTL mapping of cell wall digestibility and lignification in silage maize. Crop Sci. 41 : 690-697.

Muller B., Reymond M., Tardieu F. 2001. The elongation rate at the base of a maize leaf shows an invariant pattern during both the steady-stage elongation and the establishment of the elongation zone. Journal of Experimental Botany 52 1259-1268

Argillier O., Méchin V., Barrière Y., 2000. Inbred line evaluation and breeding for digestibility-related traits in forage maize. Crop Sci. 40 : 1596-1600.

Méchin V., Argillier O., Barrière Y., Mila I., Pollet B., Lapierre C., 2000. Relationships of cell wall composition to in vitro cell wall digestibility of maize inbred line stems.  J. Sci. Food Agric. 80 : 574-580.

Méchin V., Argillier O., Melin Decamp C., Allerit S., Barrière Y., 2000. Estimation de la digestibilité de paroi chez des tiges de lignées de maïs. Fourrages 161 : 83-92.

Tardieu F., Reymond M., Hamard P., Granier C., Muller B. 2000. Spatial distributions of expansion rate, cell division rate and cell size in maize leaves. A synthesis of effect of soil water status, evaporative demand and temperature. Journal of Experimental Botany 51 1505-1514

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Barrière Y., Argillier O., Méchin V., 1998. In vivo digestibilities and biomass yield in normal and bm3 hybrids made from crossing between early and medium late lines of maize. Maydica 43 : 131-136.

Méchin V., Argillier O., Barrière Y., Menanteau V., 1998. Genetic variation in stems of normal and brown-midrib 3 maize inbred lines. Towards similarity for in vitro digestibility and cell wall composition. Maydica 43 : 205-210.

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