Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)

Location : Nancy / France
Leader : Francis MARTIN
Website :


INRA is the leading European agricultural research institute and one of the foremost institutes in the world for agriculture, food and environment. The research conducted at INRA concerns agriculture, food, nutrition and food safety, environment and land management, with particular emphasis on sustainable development.The involved INRA teams have state-of-the-art facilities and expertise to carry out fundamental scientific research in forestry, including tree nurseries, large greenhouse facilities, a GMO S2-greenhouse, GC-IRMS, DNA sequencers, and transcriptomics. They have a strong expertise in forest genetics, genome analysis, gene profiling, membrane transporters, wood formation, mycorrhiza and poplar physiology, root development, high-troughput genotyping of soil microbes, and mycorrhiza inoculation. They are involved in several national and European projects related to molecular genetics, ecology and genomics of tree-microbe interactions. It has excellent publications records in top ranking international journals (Nature Biotech, Plant J, Plant Physiol, PNAS, Science, Curr Opin Plant Biol, New Phytol).


Francis Martin will coordinate the project and WP6. INRA scientists will also be involved in all other WPs.

Staff members’ profile:

Dr. Francis Martin has strong interests in genomics of trees and associated fungi. He is coordinating the genome projects of several fungal associates of Populus, i.e. Laccaria, Melampsora, Tuber. He is Head of the INRA Center of Excellence in Forestry at Nancy. 

Laboratory website :

Dr. Catherine Bastien has strong expertise in quantitative genetics and is responsible of both Scots pine and poplar national breeding programmes.  She is the French representative in the Executive Committee of the International Poplar Commission (FAO). For five years, she has been deeply involved in national and European projects on management of natural and cultivated resources of poplar (coordination of national ECOGER project, task leader in FP5-Popyomics project, subtask leader in EVOLTREE NoE).

Dr. Gilles Pilate is involved in genomic studies on wood formation in poplar, and more specifically on tension wood, formed in response to a mechanical stress. In the past, he has developed several collaborative projects focused on lignin metabolism (OPLIGE, TIMBER). He has over 10 years of experience in the management of field trials of transgenic poplars. He is a panel member of the International Populus Genome Consortium (IPGC) that aims to develop and guides post-sequence activities in poplar. In addition, he has been also involved in the IUFRO Task Force on Forest Biotechnology.


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