AGAP, Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants

Agap research unit, comprising about 350 agents and which was launched on 1st January 2011. It is a joint research unit placed under the authority of three research and higher education establishments, focusing on the genetic improvement of tropical and Mediterranean plants: Cirad, Inra and Montpellier SupAgro.

AGAP aims at creating improved varieties combining a better tolerance to abiotic stresses (water, salinity) and a greater resistance to biotic stresses, along with nutritional, sensory and technological qualities for fresh and processed products.

The teams of unit AGAP involved in the CultiVar project include :

  • Adaptive Development of Rice  (DAR). The aim of the team is to understand the cellular and molecular bases of root system development mechanisms in rice.
  • Adaptation to abiotic stress in perennial species  (BURST). The aim of the team is to help improving tolerance to abiotic stress in perennial species at the pre-breeding phases. Understanding the physiological and developmental processes related to the response to stress is addressed using integrative approaches in order to develop functional markers and phenotyping methodologies, and identify parents of interest.
  • Architecture and functioning of fruit species  (AFEF). The team AFEF studies the eco-physiological basis and genetic determinisms of tree (apple, olive) development and adaptation: tree architecture, phenology and production regularity, as well as responses to environnemental constraints.
  • Dynamics of plant diversity, environments and societes  (DDSE). The diversity of cultivated plants results from series of domestication events, gene flow between wild and cultivated compartments, effects of natural adaptative selection, but also largely from selection and geographic dispersals by farmers, having taken place over long periods.
  • Data integration  (ID). The team's research work concerns knowledge representation and the integration of plant genomics data, which is more necessary than ever, as the advent of new very high-throughput sequencing methods (NGS) is heightening the problems associated with this topic. Challenges raised are related to the representation of multi-scale knowledge: genome, cell, plant, population and environment.
  • Phenotypic plasticity and adaptation of monocots  (PAM).The team is involved in research that takes up the major challenges of increasing and stabilizing yields, improving the efficiency of resource use (maximization of radiative resources, optimization of water resources), adapting to climate change factors (water and temperature) and diversifying agricultural production (biomass and biofuels). In this context, the team focuses its activities on the ecophysiology of monocots, primarily rice, sorghum and oil palm.
  • Genomes structure and evolution  (SEG). The team studies the structure and evolution of complex genomes (polyploid, interspecific, structural heterozygous…), in particular the banana and sugarcane genomes, via targeted or global comparative genomics and molecular cytogenetics.approaches.
  • Models and methods for plant phenotyping  (M2P2). The aim of the M2P2 team is to develop methods and software components for managing and analyzing plant phenotyping data.

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