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

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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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 to optimize genetic constructions (major-gene and partial resistance, resistance gene/QTL pyramiding, integration of ontogenetic and architectural resistances,) that confer resistance and their implementation to durably limit the development of pathogens/pests populations.

The RA team is located in Rennes, Le Rheu, and Ploudaniel.

Research activities about potato carried out in Le Rheu and Rennes focus mainly on two biological models:

  • The oomycete Phytophthora infestans, that causes late blight;
  • Globoderacyst nematodes.

We also study other parasites such as:

  • Pectinolytic Erwinia (Pectobacterium and Dickeya);
  • Quarantine bacteria Ralstonia solanacearum and Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Sepedonicus;
  • Nematodes species Meloidogyne chitwoodi and M. fallax;
  • Streptomyces spp., that causes potato scab;
  • Spongospora subterranea, that causes powdery scab;
  • Rhizoctonia solani, that causes black scurf.

We currently focus on all aspects of characterization, detection, epidemiology, evolution of pests’ populations, adaptation, genetic defense and/or other defense strategies (e.g., plant defense stimulation or cultural control).

Recent investigations primarily dealt with:

  • the characterization, detection and ecology of pathogen species, using both experimental and modeling approaches;
  • the assessment of biological diversity and genetic structure within pathogens populations (P. infestans, G. pallida);
  • the characterization of resistance, in the field and/or under controlled environment (P. infestans,Pectobacterium spp., Dickeya spp., G. pallida);
  • the search for biochemical determinants of resistance (P. infestans,Pectobacterium)
  • the analysis of adaptive mechanisms of pathogenic populations in response to introduction of new resistant varieties (P. infestans, nematodes, bacteria);
  • the epidemiological transition and dissemination modes of pathogens of interest during and between field seasons; the effect of in-between seasons cultural practices on inoculum development and soil parasites epidemy (scab, black scurf);
  • a multi-pathogen risk assessment scheme, based on knowledge integration (life cycle of pests, interactions with environment, current control methods);
  • Integrated control methods against a group of pests (soilborne diseases).


Research activities at Ploudaniel target potato genetic resistance to various pathogens (P. infestans, G. pallida and virus Y), either based on ‘natural’l or conferred by genetic engineering. More specifically, we focus on:

  • Screening cultivated and wild potato species to identify new sources of resistance to the three pathogens aforementioned;
  • Developing mapping populations and identifying resistance QTLs;
  • Developing molecular markers suitable for marker-assisted breeding;
  • Fine screening and gene cloning to better understand molecular interactions between plants and pests;
  • Breeding for and characterising resistant genotypes;
  • Typing the effects ofin-plantaexpression of pathogen DNA sequences on plant resistance;
  • Modeling to establish innovative technical paths for the introduction of polygenic partial resistance.


Contact Late blight:Didier Andrivon and Jean-Eric Chauvin

Contact Nematode: Eric Grenier and Marie-Claire Kerlan

Contact Bacteria: Valérie Hélias and Anne-Claire le Roux