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IGEPP – Focusing on crop protection

Crop protection research at IGEPP is focussed on the reduction of pesticides, using the combination of academic and applied research.

Crop protection is a major social and economic challenge for high quantity and quality food production. Providing humans with healthy food while assuring low contamination and minor ecological effects on biodiversity is critical.

Research at IGEPP is thus focussed on the reduction of pesticides. It aims at developing innovative methods thanks to the combination of academic and applied research.

IGEPP’s missions are:

  • To develop integrated and complementary approaches for plant protection
  • To develop agroecology approaches for plant protection and culture systems
  • To develop sustainable plant resistance approaches
  • To develop sustainable agronomical approaches
  • To understand the biodiversity and genetics of organisms living in agroecosystems
  • To use knowledge on evolution and adaptation of plants, plant pests and their natural enemies
  • To decipher the responses to abiotic and biotic stresses of plants, plant pests and their natural enemies.

Scope of IGEPP's research fields from crop protection

Strategies and Specificities

Strategies at IGEPP can be clustered into three main fields of research that cover a continuum of approaches, from molecular analyses to field experiments:

  • “Diversity and evolution of plants and associated organisms”: to decipher and predict – at the genome and population level – adaptive and evolutionary processes in agro-ecosystems
  • “Plant responses and adaptation of associated organisms to biotic and abiotic stresses”: to describe the genetic and molecular bases of stress responses in plants, in order to decipher and predict adaptive processes involved in the interactions of plants with their environment
  • “Functioning of communities in interactions within agro-ecosystems to propose new plant protection and crop system methods”: to decipher the functioning of agrosystems by studying epidemic dynamics in order to support the design of new performing production systems for sustainable agriculture, integrating empirical innovations from farmers

IGEPP’s specificities are:

  • Expertise on the complexity of agro-ecosystem ecology thanks to the integration of plant genetics and pathogens/pests ecology using a combination of different crops
  • Interface-type expertise thanks to dialogs between disciplines such as:
    • Genetics, cytogenetics, genomics and bioinformatics
    • Plant pathology
    • Ecology, epidemiology, evolutionary biology and modelling
    • Physiology and biochemistry

 

Dr Andrivon and the IPMBlight 2.0 project

Dr Didier Andrivon is a research director at INRA . Ever since he joined the institute in 1985, he has focused his research activities on the evolution of plant pathogen populations  in response to the deployment of resistant hosts. The main objective of his research is to identify the evolutionary mechanisms which condition the speed of adaptation of pathogens to their hosts, which can be seen as a suitable proxy of resistance durability. Understanding pathogen adaptation in agricultural systems involve several methodological, but also theoretical issues, linked to the concepts of fitness and trade-offs. These activities have been carried out within the frame of a number of national and international research projects, some of which Dr Andrivon has coordinated.

The most recent of these projects is IPMBlight 2.0, which aims at a better integration and exploitation of pathogen population data for improved control of potato late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans. This project is representative of the current trend of interdisciplinary research for operational, sustainable and innovative solutions in plant protection.

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