L’Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin (IJPB), UMR1318 INRA-AgroParisTech, ERL3559 CNRS) regroupe un ensemble unique de ressources et de compétences en biologie, chimie et mathématiques dédiées à la recherche sur le végétal.

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The Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute brings together a unique set of resources and expertise in biology, chemistry and mathematics dedicated to the study of plants. It covers a wide sphere of activities, which range from fundamental research work on the development and physiology of plants to targeted research on both the food and non-food use of plant products in the context of sustainable agriculture.

The research teams of the Institute are particularly concerned in the development of a green chemistry, aimed at improving the valorization of plant biomass in order to propose alternatives to the use of fossile fuels and their derivatives for energy and chemistry.

The IJPB is a large joint research unit between INRA and AgroParisTech, and is supervized by two INRA divisions : BAP (Plant Biology and Breeding) and CEPIA (Characterization and uses of agricultural products). In the frame of a multidisciplinary approach of biological and agronomical problems, the unit particularly focuses on:

  • Evolution and regulation of plant genomes
  • Response of plants to environmental constraints
  • Fundamental aspects of plant biology, from cells to plants
  • Characterization of diverse molecules of plant origin (cellulose, lignins, lipids) and their industrial use

The unit hosts 26 research teams and more than 350 people, among which 120 researchers and engineers. The IJPB has cutting-edge resources in support to research teams: 5,000 m2 of experimental facilities, devoted to phenotypical evaluation of plants under controlled conditions (greenhouses and growing rooms at different levels of biological containment), state of the art technological platforms (cytology and imaging, analytical chemistry, protein biochemistry), genetic resource centers for Arabidopsis and Brachypodium.

The Institute brings together 5 scientific research departments:

Dynamics and expression of plant genomes

  • Understanding the essential mechanisms in the structure and functioning of genomes undergoing Meiosis (recombination), genomic shocks (polyploidisation), as a result of biotic or abiotic stresses (epigenetic controls, transposons), as well as the epigenetic regulations of the genic expression of small RNAs.
  • Developping approaches to genetics, cytology, molecular biology and the biochemistry of proteins of cruciferous plants (Arabidopsis thaliana and rapeseed), solanaceae (tobacco and tomato), and basal angiosperms like Physcomitrella patens.

Adaptation of plants to the environment

  • studying plant responses to their constraints from a physiological, metabolic and developmental point of view, using primarily genetic, genomic and molecular approaches.
  • Analysing the abiotic constraints of the environment, such as those linked to the limited availability of nitrogen, water, cold and osmotic stress.

Cell wall, function and uses

  • Studying the cell wall, its makeup, structure and construction on biological models, but also on species of agronomic and/or industrial interest.
  • Improving the adequacy between plant resources and their uses (bioenergy, plant fibres, green/sustainable chemistry).

Reproduction and seeds

  • Studying the sexual life cycle of plants (gametes, reproduction, formation and seed quality, germination, lipidic and proteic reserves)
  • identifying the genes implicated in the mechanisms studied  
  • Elucidate on the biological and functional structure of proteins or metabolites produced
  • explore the  networks of interactions involved

Morphogenesis, Signalisation, modelisation

  • Studying the plant cell, its mechanism for division, for growth and for differentiation
  • Analysing and modeling mechanisms which form the basis of the development of higher plants
  • Proposing innovative strategies in biotechnology for plant resources and their uses.