The BEAM department frames its research in the following three thematic areas: (1) plant signaling and communication, (2) metabolic adaptation to challenging environments, (3) from plants to bioproducts for a sustainable bioeconomy.
The BEAM Department is active in three different fields:
1. Plant signaling and communication to unravel plant hormone and nutrient signaling, and understand the complex plant-plant and plant-microorganism interactions that exist in nature (allelopathy).
2. Metabolic adaptation to challenging environments to tackle the geographical, environmental and developmental phytodiversity, and understand the fundamental processes driving plant carbon and nitrogen metabolism.
3. From plants to bioproducts for a sustainable bioeconomy to develop biological and chemical engineering (lignocellulosic feedstock and seed quality) for a sustainable bioeconomy.
Models, tools and methods
The BEAM department uses:
1. A large number of plant models, including Arabidopsis, Barley, Brachypodium, Broomrape, Camelina, Miscanthus, Pea, Physcomitrella, Tomato, Maize and Wheat.
2. Several microbial models, including the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea, the necrotrophic bacterium Erwinia amylovora, the endophytic beneficial fungus Serendipita indica, the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis and the non-symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria Azospirillum sp.
3. A large spectrum of methodological approaches carried out on different organs and different scales of plant organization:
· structural chemistry and biochemistry
· phenotyping in controlled environment and field conditions
· phenotyping from cellular to whole plant level
· forward and reverse genetics
· quantitative genetics
· molecular physiology
· plant systems biology
Societal and economical impacts
The BEAM Department is at the center of the greatest challenges posed by increasing requirements for food, feed and renewable industrial resources within the framework of environmentally friendly agriculture. Consequently, BEAM teams interact in innovative projects with industrial partners and/or technical institutes:
· 2019-AMAZONIA: Characterization of the stimulatory effect of amino acids on nitrogen utilization and agronomic performance of plants – NOVAEM
· 2018-BOSS: Boster of Seed and Seeding – Société d’Accélération de Transfert Technologique (SATT) du Cluster Paris-Saclay.
· 2018-DECLIC: New sources of cell wall degradability improvement and better understanding of degradability using cytologic approaches on lignocellulosic biomass and quantifications of ferulic and coumaric acids in maize – Pro-Maïs association.
· 2018-Rémoblé: Improving remobilization of nitrogen to increase wheat protein concentration – FSOV 2018 B including ARVALIS Institut du Végétal and Limagrain EU.
· 2018-SEEDQUAL: Genetic characterization of seed and meal composition in canola – Promosol.
· 2018-Xyplant: Modification of plant xylans for the exploitation of their properties: growth and biomass – Initiative d’excellence (IDEX) Paris-Saclay.
· 2017-PROVEGGAS: new ranges of food products based on plant proteins–FUI including 4 private partners (Philibert Savours, Groupe SEB, Avril, Brueggen).
· 2016-FIXN-MAIZE: understanding and exploiting endophytic nitrogen fixation for sustainable maize production – ANR-16-CE04-0007 including Rouillier Agro Innovation international.
· 2016-ZELCOR: Zero Waste Ligno-Cellulosic Biorefineries by Integrated Lignin Valorisation – H2020-EU.3.2.6 including 8 SMEs and 3 corporations.
· 2012-BFF: biomass for the future – French Stimulus Initiative ANR-11-BTBR-0006 including 14 private partners and 2 local authorities.
· 2011-AMAIZING: a project to support the competitiveness of the French maize breeding sector – French Stimulus Initiative ANR-10-BTBR-03 including 8 partners from private companies and cooperatives, and 1 technical institute.