Designing new crops for the future

Worldwide evolutions of Agriculture (environmental and societal changes) raise issues on paradigm shift in plant breeding and plant protection. We propose students (at the M1 level) to imagine cultivated varieties for tomorrow, new plant protection strategies and their implementation within production chains. This teaching module lays foundation of plant sciences applied to agrosystems management and mobilizes MSc skills within an applied multidisciplinary context.

Objectives of this module

  • Provide disciplinary knowledge, methods, competences and know-how, to think about global scale evolution in varietal innovations and crop protection
  • Learn how to conceive new plant models and protection systems in line with natural resource management, integrated within innovative or traditional cropping systems
  • Acquire new operational skills and discover scientific executive careers in plant breeding and plant protection sectors

This module is will be taught in English. Thus, a B1 CECRL level in English is a prerequisite.


  •  One item per week
  • A four-weeks applied transversal project (on a specific crop or cropping system, declining each item)
  • Field visits

Four items

  1. Analyze and predict the effect of global changes on cropping systems (climatic changes, societal expectations, pests, food security, diversification of agricultural production)
  2. Define crop ideal-type adapted to environmental constraints and innovative cropping systems (ideotypes, biocontrol, resistance, tolerance, genotype/environment interaction)
  3. Methods to reach this ideal-type (genetic innovations, plant-pest-natural enemy interactions, link between genotype and phenotype, control of genetic recombination)
  4. Technical, societal and legislative challenges (perception towards innovation, public acceptability, mode of production, participatory selection, legal challenges)

This module is included into a « plant science » track in Montpellier SupAgro, open to academic exchanges.

Contribution of CultiVar within this module

  •  conferences and pedagogic material related to the four items, prepared by scientific experts from Agropolis community, with the help of our pedagogic staff.
  • project-Based Learning (PBL), tutored by colleagues with a strong experience in plant and cropping systems, developing the four items on a specific model (several groups working in parallel on different crop models).

An initiation to project-based learning and a detailed pedagogic scenario will be provided by CultiVar to the tutors.

The pedagogic material and PBL scenarii will be shared within the CultiVar community.

Next session : in February 2019

The module is coordinated by Florian Fort and Dominique This helped by Isabel Martin Grande. The major tutors in 2016 are  from unit AGAP, Norbert Billotte (team GS) about oil palm, Pascal Montoro (team BURST) about rubber tree and Marcel De Raissac (team PAM) about rice, and from EBCL René Sforza about cabbage.

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