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INRAE

National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment
Country: France
Funder (6)
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857 Projects, page 1 of 172
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101054340
    Overall Budget: 2,500,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,500,000 EUR

    Environmental fluctuations are a general challenge for organisms, exacerbated in the context of global change. Many animals evolve phenotypically plastic responses to adjust to new conditions. Polyphenism is an original mechanism that produces specialized morphs to track environmental changes. Whether the molecular mechanisms underlying polyphenism evolve from the acquisition of novel genes or the rewiring of conserved environment-sensing pathways is an unresolved and challenging question as it requires well-characterized regulatory networks, including the involvement of host-microbiota molecular interactions, and relevant phylogenetic frameworks to root the evolutionary steps through which polyphenism emerged. ALTEREVO aims to understand how a nutrient-sensitive polyphenism evolves and is regulated. It uses aphids and their symbionts, to characterize the molecular regulation of nutritional polyphenism, which induces alternative morphs adapted to distinct host plants, and to elucidate how this polyphenism machinery became genetically encoded. It also addresses for the first time the role of symbionts on the evolution and regulation of animal polyphenisms. To fulfil these objectives, ALTEREVO proposes an original approach linking the evolutionary, molecular and ecological components of polyphenism, and incorporating the involvement of symbionts. It relies on metabolomics to identify plant compounds inducing alternative phenotypes, large-scale gene expression and epigenetic analyses to reveal the molecular cascade regulating morph determination, functional characterization of candidate genes, and phylogenomics to elucidate nutritional polyphenism evolution. This project will lead major progress on the mechanisms allowing rapid phenotypic adjustments to environment fluctuations and on the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution in a holobiont context. These advances are of fundamental importance for assessing the resilience of populations to human-induced changes.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 249296
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 655545
    Overall Budget: 185,076 EURFunder Contribution: 185,076 EUR

    In efforts to help consumers improve their health by reducing their consumption of sugar, salt and fat (Europea 2006/1924/EU), the European Commission recently set new standards for the formulation, production, labeling and advertising of fruit juices (Europea 2012/12/EU). Similar regulations are expected soon for soft drinks. Soft drinks have begun to suffer a poor public image because of their high content of sugar or sugar substitutes, which the beverage industry uses to counteract or mask undesirable flavors. It may be possible to avoid the need to add sugar to fruit juices and soft drinks if we can identify aroma compounds that help the consumer perceive a drink as sweet. Understanding the interaction between aromas allow act on sweetness perceived by the consumer and get drinks with less sugar added. The purpose of the work is to identify aroma compounds responsible for the sensory properties of fruit beverages and analyze how they may affect taste perception (sweet, acid and bitter). Fruit juices and soft drinks will be analyzed in order to characterize the main compounds involved in the perception of aroma as fruity, floral, green and sweet. Close attention will be paid to the chirality of identified compounds in order to study structure-aroma relationships (chemosensory approach). The ability of aroma compounds to interact in influencing taste will also be studied in order to identify synergistic or suppression effects. Moreover, perceptual interactions between aroma and taste will be studied using specific taste compounds. The innovation of the proposed study lies in applying sensory-guided multidimensional chromatographic techniques to beverages, which are complex mixtures of aroma and taste compounds. Aroma compounds will be identified using multidimensional gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and olfactometry (MDGC-MS-O). Odor-odor interactions will be studied using olfactoscanning, in which a GC-O is coupled to an olfactometer.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 893975
    Overall Budget: 196,708 EURFunder Contribution: 196,708 EUR

    Mountains in Europe are highly valued as they provide diverse living and recreational opportunities and unique landscape sceneries, are key economic assets, and because they are treasures of unique flora and fauna. Their vulnerable environment is, however, threatened by the frequent occurrence of shallow landslides and water erosion which produce large amounts of sediment during floods. The urgency to mitigate natural hazards calls for an improved understanding of how physical and biological dimensions of ecological restoration interact. Hence, the ECO-MOUNTAIN project proses an environmental connectivity framework as the keystone to the ecological restoration degraded mountains. A study area was selected in the Pyrenees, where I will benefit from the support of local stakeholders engaged the restoring degraded mountain slopes. Special focus is given to developing a novel sediment source fingerprinting method using environmental DNA (eDNA). As strong interrelations exist between vegetation, soils and geomorphology, plants leave an eDNA signature on sediments which reflects the degradation status of the area. It will allow to define erosion hotspots at unprecedented precisions and serve as a tool to monitor the impact of ecological restoration schemes in large catchments. The validity of the novel eDNA fingerprint methods will be evaluated against conventional fingerprinting method (carbon/nitrogen) and soil mineralogy. I will be hosted by Dr. Stokes at the AMAP joint research group in Montpellier (France). Having access to excellent training and laboratory facilities at AMAP, I will be able to grow as a multiskilled soil restoration scientist. Guidance will also be given by Prof. Cammeraat (geomorphologist) and Dr. Evrard (geochemist) and they will host me in their state-of-the art laboratories during short research stays. From this fellowship project, I expect to grow as an independent scientist and reap the rewards for years to come in my future career.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101095736
    Overall Budget: 2,500,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,500,000 EUR

    Animal pollinators are vital for life on earth. While human population keeps growing, pollinator populations are dropping, thus threatening food security. In agriculture, the main insect pollinators are bees, by far. The lack of knowledge on how domesticated plants attract and reward bees has hampered the selection of varieties with improved and mutually beneficial crop-pollinator relationships. We propose to investigate flower features, including developmental, morphological and chemical cues, in relation with bee foraging. Elucidating the molecular basis of these processes would not only help sustain yields, but it is key to understand the co-evolution of plants and pollinators. We chose melon as a model system, because it is a strictly entomophilous crop, and because it provides all flower sexual morphs useful to probe plant-insect interactions. ForBees is a multidisciplinary project that integrates molecular genetic analysis and precise phenotyping. First, we will study melon genetic biodiversity with the aim to identify alleles that control nectar-related traits and bee attraction. The comparative analysis of wild accessions, landraces and breeding lines will further test whether domestication led to the loss of useful traits affecting insect visits. Second, we will analyse the gene networks that drive nectar gland development and nectar production. Finally, potential key regulators will be validated genetically. Through this work, we aim to develop a toolbox to tailor the morphology and chemistry of the flowers towards improved bee foraging activities. In addition to research in melon, results from this project, and from previous works, will be translated into neglected crops of the Cucurbitaceae family. These are major food crops in many developing countries, ensuring food security and generating income for poor farmers. Yet, these crops suffer from low fruit set because of partial pollination and would greatly benefit from enhanced breeding tools.

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