Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal Institut Agro Rennes Angers Rennes 1 University Logo Igepp

Home page



Context and issues


The IGEPP potato program focuses on the preservation, evaluation and use of French potato genetic resources, as well as on disease resistance and on the development of diagnostic tools for potato pathogens.

With a world production of about 325 million tons in 2010 (FAOSTAT, 2012), potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the third world crop for human consumption after wheat (696 Mt) and rice (653 Mt). Potato has one of the highest yields amongst crops (in tons of fresh weight per ha) and its short life cycle enables up to three harvests per year under optimal climate conditions. Potato is therefore a key crop to help solve problems related to world population growth and hunger, particularly because potato is grown under many latitudes and under almost all climatic conditions (the low altitude equatorial and tropical zones being the exception).

In addition to the need for varieties that fit various market segments (e.g., fresh market, chips, French fries, dehydrated products), the main problems facing potato breeders and growers are related to diseases. Over 60 potato pathogens (including 27 that are on the quarantine list) are of considerable economic importance, and their transmission is favored by the vegetative propagation method of the potato. Therefore, INRAE dedicates major research efforts to elaborate control measures against diseases and pests, in particular:

  • Phytophthora infestans, that causes under wet conditions. the serious potato disease known as late blight, and is currently controlled primarily through massive fungicide  applications (up to 15-20 sprays per crop under oceanic conditions);
  • Nematodes (Globodera pallida,Meloidogyne sp.);
  • Some viruses (PVY);
  • Several bacteria (Pectobacterium,Dickeya,Ralstonia).

 Most INRAE research efforts on potato are located within IGEPP, on the sites of Le Rheu and Ploudaniel.

Main activities

  1. To develop new potato genotypes with increased resistance to pathogens and/or pests (Phytophthora infestans, nematodes, bacteria, viruses) and characterize the main genetic determinants of plant/pathogens interactions.
  2. To develop sustainable control strategies against pathogens or pests (identification of pathogens or pests, better understanding of pathogens and pests biology and population genetics, analysis of the durability of disease resistance).
  3. To conceive competitive and sustainable crop production systems (development of multi-resistant varieties, modelling, development of low- or no- pesticide  strategies).
  4. To develop better diagnostic tools to help improve the quality of potato seeds (within the Joint Technology Unit INNO- PLANT, set up in 2012 together with the French Potato Seed Growers Federation)

IGEPP involvement

Forty-three persons are involved in potato research at IGEPP, including 33 INRAE employees and 10 persons employed by professionnal organisations of the seed potato sector (FN3PT and GNIS). These 43 persons split into 21 researchers, engineers and assistant engineers and 22 technicians. Seventeen persons are located at Ploudaniel, and 26 at Le Rheu. All have access to the infrastructures and services available at Le Rheu and Ploudaniel, as well as to the INRAE experimental units close to IGEPP (UE La Motte and UE RGCO).

Employees involved in potato research at IGEPP belong to three research teams: Biodiversity and Polyploidy (BP) which maintains and characterizes genetic resources; Resistance and Adaptation (RA) which focuses on pathogens/pests, plant resistance and epidemiology; and on viruses and their vectors.

UMT InnoPlant

The Jointy Technology Unit (UMT: Unité mixte technologique) InnoPlant was established in 2012 by the FN3PT and INRAE to strengthen collaborations and increase competitiveness of the French seed potato industry. The unit is located within IGEPP (Le Rheu and Ploudaniel). For some activities, it is also associated to GNIS (Groupement National Interprofessionnel des Semences et plants) and ACVNPT (Association de Créateurs de Variétés Nouvelles de Pomme de Terre). Its ambition is to become a reference structure for R&D in seed potato in Europe.

It is based on a program that associates research, development, foresight and transfer along four major themes that are crucial for competitiveness of the seed potato industry:

  • Seed health. In a context of eco-environmental constraints, we focus on characterization and epidemiology of major and emerging parasites, and development of innovative detection and control methods;
  • Breeding for durable genetic resistances against pests;
  • Integrated Pest Management;
  • Investigation of economic strategies to increase competitiveness of the plant industry in Europe and elsewhere and answer users demand.

 Contacts: Didier Andrivon and Marie-Claire Kerlan

Current programs

Research in Biodiversity and Polyploidy (BP) team

Research in Biodiversity and Polyploidy (BP) team

The mission of the BP team is to describe, preserve, and classify germplasm, and to understand the genetic mechanisms that are involved in the...
Read more
Research in Resistance and Adaptation (RA) team

Research in Resistance and Adaptation (RA) team

The aim of the RA team is to understand plant/pests interactions and characterize adaptive mechanisms of plant pathogens in agro-ecosystems, in order...
Read more
Research in Ecology and Genetics of Insects (EGI) team

Research in Ecology and Genetics of Insects (EGI) team

The mission of the EGI team is to understand the functioning of insect populations and communities that are associated with agro-ecosystems, and...
Read more