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logo pour la newsletter The newsletter for industry
N° 100
  March 2018  
logo pour la newsletter
  Innovation celebrated at the 2017 INRA Awards 
 © Pascal Guittet/Usine Nouvelle

Agriculture in the 21st century will have to deal with major challenges. The men and women of INRA are and will be addressing these challenges actively. For the twelfth consecutive year, the ceremony for the INRA Awards has acknowledged their commitment by highlighting six careers that have been exemplary in terms of the production of high-quality knowledge and the impact of their research. We describe here four exceptional paths that have specifically targeted the production of innovations that will be of value to all.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Joël Doré, research director in Jouy-en-Josas. His name is forever linked to the spectacular advances achieved during the past 30 years in knowledge of intestinal microbiota, first in animals and then in humans.

The Scientific Breakthrough Award honours the achievements of Nathalie Gontard, research director in Montpellier regarding her work on sustainable and smart packaging.

The Technological Innovation Award goes to Anne-Marie Lacroix, a research engineer in Grenoble, whose profoundly multidisciplinary approach has informed the environmental impact of food and agricultural systems and the consumer economy.

The collective Science with an Impact award has been given to the Laboratory for Environmental Biotechnology (LBE) in Narbonne. International leader in the field of methanisation, its crowning achievement has been the socioeconomic development of “green” biorefineries. By transforming waste into resources, the laboratory is responding to the aspirations of both society and industry.  
I am particularly proud that the profiles highlighted this year also illustrate the practical foundations of our work.  This practicality cannot be achieved without cutting-edge scientific knowledge that will continue to inform our fellow citizens, decision-makers and industrial partners.

Philippe Mauguin
President of INRA

Results, Innovations, Transfer
Source: Sanz Sanz E., 2016,
A prototype for the rapid diagnosis of peri-urban agricultural areas for development purposes

INRA’s Ecodevelopment Research Unit has developed a prototype that can make a rapid diagnosis of agricultural areas and the potentialities of peri-urban zones. In order to ensure the broad dissemination of this tool, it is necessary to adapt it to operational needs (urban planners) and regulatory requirements while also improving its ease of use. INRA will be funding these adaptations in the context of its prematuration programme.

La technologie HYPER-REC, développée par l’Inra, mute de manière ciblée quelques gènes et apporte une solution pour augmenter les recombinaisons méiotiques.
HYPER-REC: a technology to stimulate genetic mixing

Genetic mixing in the context of sexual reproduction is a source of new traits. In nature, these exchanges are limited, so that breeders would benefit from an increased crossovers frequency to optimize genetic gain. The HYPER-REC technology, which relies on  the targeteing specific genes, offers a solution to increase meiotic recombination. It forms part of the prematuration programme funded by INRA.

Scanning electron microscope image of a sample of human faeces, showing the abundance and diversity of the bacterial population.. © Thierry MEYLHEUC - Inra, MEYLHEUC Thierry
Antibiotics affect the efficacy of immunotherapy

A study published in the journal Science by a research team from Gustave Roussy, INSERM, INRA, AP-HP, IHU Méditerranée Infections* and Paris-Sud University shows that prescribed antibiotics impair the efficacy of immunotherapy in cancer patients. It is important to consider that more than 20% of patients living with cancer receive antibiotics. The authors explored patients’ gut microbiota composition by metagenomic analysis and demonstrated that the bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila was associated with a better clinical response to anti-PD-1 antibody immunotherapy. Moreover, oral administration of this bacterium to mice with an unfavorable microbiota restored the anti-tumor activity of the immunotherapy. This paper is published online by the journal Science on Thursday, 2 November 2017.

Fallow land in northern France (Beaulieu). © INRA, WEBER Jean
Biodiversity when restoring soil through fallowing: stronger interactions among organisms, increased carbon uptake in soil

As a part of the EU’s EcoFINDERS project, led by INRA, researchers studied changes in soil biodiversity when using fallowing as a restoration strategy. The study was made possible through the creation of a unique, long-term observation facility. It is also notable for the very large range of soil organisms (micro- and macroorganisms) studied by the project’s researchers, who analysed their diversity and their community interactions. The findings, published in Nature Communications, demonstrate that connections between groups of soil organisms increased, and this was accompanied by increased carbon uptake in the soil. Understanding these phenomena should help identify agricultural practices which favour carbon transfer and storage in soils.

Experimental installation: productive rooftops, the Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences - AgroParisTech, Paris © Baptiste Grard
Installing rooftop vegetable gardens for sustainable cities

From producing food to regulating water runoff, urban agriculture has a lot to offer. Scientists from INRA and AgroParisTech have shown that rooftop vegetable gardens are an interesting way to recycle urban waste, produce food, and retain rainwater. Their findings were published in 19 December 2017 issue of Agronomy for Sustainable Development.

Lésions de septoriose (Zymoseptoria tritici) sur feuille de blé tendre obtenue par inoculation artificielle en conditions contrôlées.. © INRA, SUFFERT Frédéric
First-ever cloning and characterization of a resistance gene against Septoria tritici blotch in wheat

Septoria tritici blotch (STB) is caused by the fungus Zymoseptoria tritici. Disease control efforts are focused on developing resistant wheat varieties.In a recent study, INRA researchers cloned and characterized a wheat gene that confers resistance against STB6 the first time this has been done. Their work, published on February 12 in Nature Genetics, should inspire novel approaches for more sustainably combating the disease.

Honeybee's foraging activity. © INRA, Yves Le Conte
Stress decreases pollen foraging performance in honeybees

According to a study conducted by researchers from the INRA Research Unit on Bees and Environment and Macquarie University, stressed honeybees have lower pollen foraging performance. The resulting deficit in pollen could have consequences on the colony's nutritional balance and development. This study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Collaboration Proposals
Méthode pour améliorer la régénération des plantes. © INRA
A method to improve plant regeneration

A method for the regeneration of plants in vitro has been patented by INRA which is offering a license on the patent or a licensing option with an R&D programme.

Thermoplastiques biosourcés – Substitut au bisphénol A
Biosourced thermoplastics – a substitute for bisphenol A

A new technology to synthesise polyaromatic dimers

champignons Magnaporthe oryzae, Zymoseptoria tritici et Fusarium culmorum agents pathogènes
Spore conservation protocol

A protocol for the conservation of pathogenic spores developed in fungal pathogens of rice and wheat

Souche productrice d'erythritol et/ou d'erythrulose
Strain producing erythritol and/or erythrulose

New strains of Yarrowia lipolytica which can produce improved yields of erythritol and erythrulose.

Développement par génétique inverse d’une plateforme vaccinale versatile basée sur les Novirhabdovirus
A vaccine platform based on Novirhabdoviruses

Development using reverse genetics of a versatile vaccine platform based on Novirhabdoviruses (VHSV, IHNV).

New device for evaluating sensitivity to flavors. © INRA
T@sty™: a new device to assess taste sensitivity

Device for evaluating the orosensory perception by a subject; T@sty is a trademark and a patented technology.

Partnership arrangements
Proteinolab: a joint INRA-Ingredia laboratory

Ingredia and INRA’s Materials and Processing Research Unit (UMET) have set up a joint laboratory focused on studying the structure-function relationships of dairy proteins.  In the longer term, this collaboration should enable the development of new functional ingredients for high-protein applications in human foods.

28-31 May 2018
Belfast Summit on Global Food Integrity
Belfast (Northern Ireland)
31 May - 01 Jun 2018
International Conference "Public Policies in the Context of Global Changes"
14 Jun 2018
#5 / The Future Of Waste
25-27 Jun 2018
20th Nitrogen Workshop
Rennes (France)
16-20 Jul 2018
XII International Conference on Grapevine Breeding and Genetics
Bordeaux (France)

Just publied
Cover of Agroecological Crop Protection © Quae & Springer
Agroecological Crop Protection

This book reviews the principles of agroecology and how they can be applied to crop protection. The authors analyse several participative experiments carried out in the context of temperate or tropical agriculture.

Executive Director: Philippe Mauguin
Editorial coordination,Chief Editor: Odile Whitechurch
Editorial Staff: Anne Frinault, Patricia Le Crenn, Jacques Le Rouzic, Anne Perraut
The newsletter for industry is produced by INRA, Partnership Transfer Innovation Directorate (DPTI).
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