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

Last update: May 2021

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Yield under Abiotic Challenges • RCA Team

Some research topics of the RCA team

Context and Issues

Rapeseed crop has a fundamental dependence on inorganic nitrogen (N). Despite its high N absorption ability during vegetative growth, rapeseed crop has low nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) that reduces the optimum valorization of N in terms of conversion into yield potential.

Thus, in a context of optimized qualitative and quantitative production and sustainable agricultural practices with reduction of inputs, our attention is focused on the study and understanding of

  • the nitrogen use efficiency under abiotic constraints
  • the modality of nitrogen and carbon allocation from leaves to leaves and from leaves to seeds in order to optimize the oil content and to meet food and non-food quality requirements


The overall objective of our research is to identify and characterize the genetic, molecular and physiological determinants that guarantee the stability of grain yield (quantity and quality) in conditions of low nitrogen inputs and water shortage.

Our research is divided into two closely related axes, with the general aim of improving knowledge about the impact of low nitrogen inputs on rapeseed crop production.

  • The first axis relates to the establishment of the seed yield in connection with seed filling and quality
  • The second axis is dedicated to the functioning of the plant vegetative parts and the nitrogen remobilization under environmental challenges

Our strategy is primarily based on the exploration and exploitation of the rapeseed genetic variability combined with functional genomics approaches.

(1) Yield and seed quality in Brassica napus

(2) Nitrogen utilization under abiotic challenge

Expertise, Skills and Facilities

Our main fields of expertise concern genetics, genomics, molecular and cellular plant biology, plant physiology, and metabolomics.

In addition, the team RCA has also generated resources, tools, methods for genetic or functional genomics analyses.

  • The RAPTILL collection is an EMS-mutagenized population of up to 8.500 rapeseed lines (Tanto cv.) that was generated at IGEPP to perform forward and reverse genetics.
  • We have resources and skills in cell biology to generate haploids and double haploids (DH) rapeseed lines as well as genetic modified rapeseed plants.
  • Our research led us to focus our attention on plant metabolism and in particular to the nitrogen metabolism. We also develop unsupervised metabolic profiling and metabolomic investigations
  • The search for the genetic basis of production and yield performance under low nitrogen input required to have phenotyping tools suitable for measuring variables of interest at the population, the individual plant and the organ level
Team leader

Anne Laperche