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

Last update: May 2021

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Characterization of Genetic Diversity


Context and Issues

Plant breeding programs success largely depend on the exploitation of a large range of genetic variability mainly collected into genetic resources collections. The BrACySol Biological Resources Centre ( maintains genetic resources collections of different cultivated species, including Solanum and Brassica. The Solanum collection gathers: the cultivated species Solanum tuberosum (cultivars and hybrids), dihaploids, accessions belonging to 32 wild species and interspecific hybrids. All accessions are maintained as clones by vegetative multiplication. The Brassica collection gathers the cultivated species Brassica napus, Brassica oleracea, Brassica rapa, few accessions from B. carinata, B. nigra and B. juncea. Accessions are spread into national, network and INRAE collections.

The characterization of the genetic diversity is under progress using different types of descriptors: morphological, agronomical and technological traits, molecular data (SSR, SNP, GBS …). A better knowledge of the genetic diversity present in these collections help for instance to characterize our wide collections and deeply help to optimizing the choice of parents for mapping populations, association panels, or definition of core collections.


  • Optimizing and securing the management of the genetic resources
  • Broadening and characterizing the genetic diversity of Brassica (both cultivated and wild) and Solanum species
  • Characterizing the phenotypic diversity of different traits of interest


  • Clones produced annually under field, platform and in vitro (Solanum), seed production taking into account the structure of resources (populations or pure lines)
  • Genotyping
  • Phenotyping
  • Design of core collections and panels

Main Results

We optimize and secure the management of the genetic resources. The accessions are maintained either by yearly vegetative propagation for Solanum or by sexual crosses with multiplication every 10 to 15 years for Brassica. In order to limit the number of regeneration cycle, we developed cryopreservation methods from meristem for Solanum and seeds for Brassica. Molecular fingerprinting of the potato varieties and B. oleracea accessions has been performed using SSR markers for identification of each varieties and of duplicates within the collection.

We enlarge available biological resources. The Solanum collection was enriched with breeding lines and varieties improved for resistance to different pathogens as well as with the S. phureja clone that was used to develop the reference genome. For Brassica, we realized that an important wild diversity absent from our and the worldwide core collection, has to be collected and introduced (Prima BrasExplor project that started in 2020).

We characterize the diversity for different traits of interest. Solanum accessions have been evaluated for resistance to late blight disease, to cyst nematode and to Pectobacterium, in collaboration with RA team and FN3PT. A core collection was developed from the potato varieties collection. In Brassica sp., a large screening of Brassica genotypes (especially B. rapa, B.oleracea, B. napus) was performed for various biotic stresses in collaboration with RA and EGI, for warm temperature susceptibility in collaboration with Demecol team. In B. napus, the metabolomic diversity and its associated microbiota composition are assessed in collaboration with RA and RCA teams.


  • FN3PT
  • University Houari Boumedienne Alger (USTHB)

Funding and Support (last 5 years)

  • GIS IBiSA, ‘CertBracysol’ (2016 – 2018) :Towards NF S 96-900 quality certification of the BrACySol BRC (P.I. F. Esnault)
  • PHC Tassili (2016-2019) Biologie florale et dynamique des populations diploïdes et polyploïdes (P.I. A.M. Chèvre)
  • Région Bretagne-FEDER ‘Gwassica’ : Limiter l’impact des aléas climatiques sur chou-fleur via la création variétale et le développement d’outils de phénotypage (P.I. V. Tremellat, OBS)
  • H2020-SFS-2015-2, ‘G2P-Sol’ (2016 – 2021): Linking genetic resources, genomes and phenotypes of solanaceous crops (P.I. G. Giuliano, ENEA, Italie)
  • Ecophyto, ‘PoTStaR’ (2017 – 2021) : Stabilité des résistances au mildiou de la pomme de terre et identification de marqueurs associés (P.I. F. Esnault)
  • CASDAR, ‘IdEvol’ (2019 – 2022) :  Evolution technologique pour l’identification des variétés de pomme de terre par marqueurs microsatellites en appui à la certification des plants (P.I. S. Marhadour, FN3PT)
  • Ministère Agriculture et GNIS, ‘BraSol’ (2019 – 2021) : Sécurisation et caractérisation des collections Brassica et Solanum (P.I. F. Esnault)
  • H2020 Prima ‘BrasExplor’ (2020-2023) : Wide exploration of genetic diversity in Brassica species for sustainable crop production (P.I. A.M. Chèvre)

Publications  (last 5 years)

Aissiou F., Laperche A., Falentin C., Lodé M., Deniot G., Boutet G., Régnier F., Trotoux G., Huteau V., Coriton O., Rousseau-Gueutin M., Abrous O., Chèvre A. M. & Hadj-Arab H. (2018). A novel Brassica rapa L. genetic diversity found in Algeria. Euphytica, 214(12), 241.

Esnault F., Pellé R., Dantec J.P., Bérard A., Le Paslier M.-C. & Chauvin J.-E. (2016). Development of a Potato Cultivar (Solanum tuberosum L.) Core Collection, a Valuable Tool to Prospect Genetic Variation for Novel Traits. Potato Research, 59(4), 329-343.