The first trilateral European symposium on Integrative Plant Biology


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Trilateral symposium for Integrative Plant Biology


6-8 October 2015




On October 6-8, the first trilateral European symposium on integrative plant biology will take place at the INRA Nancy-Lorraine center in Champenoux. This meeting will bring together scientists from three institutions: the Umeå Plant Science Center in Umeå, Sweden (UPSC), the Center for Agricultural Genomics Research in Barcelona, Spain (CRAG) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). This symposium is part of a cooperation agreement between UPSC and INRA who together have created a “European Open Laboratory”, or UPRA.

In 2005, increasing connections between research projects at UPSC and INRA on biology and plant genomics lead to the creation of this virtual European laboratory. The objectives of this French-Swedish partnership were twofold. It aimed to bring together researchers to work jointly on projects on plant biology, principally by facilitating knowledge transfer and facilitating the use of common tools for modeling species such as Arabiodopsis thaliana, and even poplar. A parallel objective was to promote training programs for young scientists by organizing regular exchanges between laboratories in France and Sweden, ultimately to enable them to expand their networks.

2nd leafAs 2015 marks the end of the commitment period for the framework convention signed in 2005, a new convention will be signed at this upcoming symposium. This cooperation agreement will welcome CRAG as a new partner. The extension of UPRA to include Spain is an excellent opportunity to promote exchanges across Europe by providing a framework to coordinate future European projects such as those requested by the directorate of INRA.

Registation for the symposium is open until September 15, 2015.

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ARBRE Seminar — Lee Kalcsits

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Monday, 5 October
INRA Nancy-Lorraine (Champenoux)
14h — Main conference room

Lee Kalcsits, assistant professor with the Department of Horticulture at Washington State University, will present a seminar entitled:

“Ecophysiological approaches to understand calcium uptake and distribution in tree fruit”

For more information ..
Lee Kalcsits — Assistant Professor, Tree Fruit Physiology, Washington State University

Launch of the ARBRE PhD & Postdoc Day

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LabEx ARBRE aims to study the functioning and productivity of forest ecosystems. The main objectives are understanding their mechanisms, predicting their responses to global changes and identifying new approaches for assessing and preserving these complex interconnected systems. One of the principle strengths of LabEx ARBRE is that it is structured to bring together a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise to meet these objectives, from the molecular level to the landscape level.


The annual ARBRE PhD & Postdoc Day is designed to highlight the work of young and upcoming researchers; doctoral and postdoctoral students currently working within eight LabEx partner research units. Organized by the PhD and postdoctoral students themselves, this event aims to give those working in different disciplines and research areas a chance to share the focus and dynamics of their own projects and to learn about projects happening in other labs — to set the stage for a constructive and creative exchange of ideas via a series of presentations, discussions, and a scientific poster exhibit!


Save the date ! — This year’s PhD& Postdoc Day will take place on 16 November 2015 at the INRA center in Champenoux.  For more details about how to participate and how to register to attend, please visit the ARBRE PhD & Postdoc Day homepage.


  • Deadline for abstract submissions : 18 October
  • General registration will be open through : 31 October
For PhD and postdoc students interested in participating, please prepare an abstract in English (300 words maximum). A number of participants will be selected for oral presentations (15 minutes + 5 minutes for questions). Others will present posters. Selected presentations and the full conference program will be available at the end of October.


Back to school with Experimentarium

experimentariumIt is that time of year once again to get back to school and back to work – the famous ‘rentrée’ has arrived ! The beginning of this month also marked a fresh start for doctoral students participating this year in the Experimentarium. In early September, Pascale Frey-Klett and Annick Brun-Jacob (LabEx ARBRE, UMR IAM 1136 INRA-University of Lorraine) were ready to greet the five young researchers taking part in the second session of Experimentarium in Lorraine.

What is this training about? Experimentarium, originally launched by the University of Burgundy, has been active in Lorraine since 2008 and is managed by the association La Vigie de l’eau, with additional support from INRA, the University of Lorraine and LabEx ARBRE. The aim lies in bridging the link between science and society. Through a series of open-forum discussions and workshops, participating doctoral students present their work and specific areas of research to primary and middle school students. The first phase has started with  laboratory presentations which will be followed shortly by a meeting on October 5 when the doctoral students will visit the Sampigny school and present their research to a dozen or so young school kids anxious to let the discovery begin!

PhD students participating this year represent no less than four doctoral schools — RP2E (Science and Engineering, Processes, Resources, Products, Environment), BioSE (Biology, Health, Environment), SJPEG (Political science, Policy, Economics and Management), and EMMA (Mechanical, Energy and Materials Sciences). The theme common to all – the forest!

The PhD students and their research topics —

  • Maxime Burst  (RP2E)
    Forest-grassland interfaces as conservation elements for plant diversity in terrtories undergoing changes
  • Pierre-Antoine Chuste  (RP2E)
    Study of the sensitivity of Lorraine populations of beech in response to climatic events — What roles does carbon and nitrogen metabolism play in the death of trees?
  • Mathilde Guibert  (BioSE)
    Alterations to chondrogenic phenotypes and pathological mineralization of articular cartilage during osteoarthritis: the role of deregulated Pi/PPi balance.
  • Emeline Hily  (SJPEG)
    Incentive payments for biodiversity conservation — dynamic and spatial  analyses
  • Lucie Speyer  (EMMA)
    Preparation and characterization of macroscopic quantities of graphene.

Science on the Plaza — A chance to meet the authors


Science on the plaza celebrates authors from INRA & ARBRE !

Place de la Carrière in Nancy
11 to 13 September




A literary space dedicated to Science on the Plaza will be a part of the annually held book fair, Books on the Plaza (“Le livre sur la place”). This not to be missed event will give visitors the chance to discover recently published books and news about science, specifically designed to open the world of science to the general public. Collaborative scientific projects relying on pooled resources are becoming more and more common among public scientific institutions and involve a range of mixed research units (UMR), competitive clusters and scientific networks specialized in a range of topics. Actors in Lorraine involved in research, higher education and scientific culture will come together for this unique event to present both their work and the teams that make their projects successful. Partner actors participating in this year’s 2015 edition of Le livre sur la place include the AgroParis Tech Center in Nancy – the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and their Eastern Regional Office and the French Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (INIST) – the Nancy Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA, Centre de Nancy-Lorraine) – the Greater East delegation of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) – The Museum Aquarium of Nancy – the University of Lorraine – and PUN, the university publishing house for Lorraine.

ARBRE authorsAs many as 150 scientific titles intended for the general public, some 15 of which were written by INRA authors, will be for sale on-site at the Place Carrière in Nancy. A total of 30 authors will participate in the event and will be available to meet with the public for book signings, or just to talk in person about science. Four of these authors are INRA researchers and engineers. Two of whom received support from LabEx ARBRE for their books (published by Éditions Quae); Marie-Christine Trouy and Francis Martin.


Friday 11 September from 14h to 19hFrancis Martin will be on site to sign his recent book ” Tous les champignons portent-ils un chapeau ? 90 clés pour comprendre les champignons” (“Do all mushrooms have caps? 90 keys to understanding mushrooms”)

Sunday 13 September from 10h to 14hMarie-Christine Trouy will be available to sign her own recent book  “Anatomie du bois — Formation, fonctions et identification” (“The anatomy of wood: Formation, functions and identification”)

Researchers from the INRA Nancy-Lorraine Center will also prepare a specially designed exhibit for school children on Friday, September 11 (Place Stanislas) on the “Hidden life of soils”. To help illustrate the book “Do all mushrooms have caps?”, researchers from two joint research labs from INRA and the University of Lorraine (the Joint Research Unit for Tree/Microorganism Interactions — IAM, and the Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment — LAE) will take students on a visual voyage to discover the infinitely small scale of this fascinating environment. Using magnifying glasses, microscopes and an original experimentation tool, students will be transported to the world of mushrooms. And not the world of just any mushrooms, but the world of Truffles! Also on the program will be a guided dive into the cobwebbed universe of plant roots..!

For more information ..
Visit the homepage for  Sciences sur la Place
Follow this link to download the Program — Sciences sur la Place

ARBRE Seminar — Alistair Jump

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On Tuesday, September 8, LabEx ARBRE welcomed Alistair Jump, professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Stirling in Scotland. A plant ecologist focussing on the impacts of environmental change, professor Jump presented a seminar entitled :

“Differential impacts of chronic and acute drought across the geographic range of tree species”

INRA Nancy-Lorraine Center


Résumé :
Ongoing changes in temperature and precipitation regimes are driving shifts in species distributions and community composition. In forest trees, the most conspicuous changes are occurring at the range edges, where expansion to higher altitudes and latitudes is frequently observed. Range retractions at low altitudes and latitudes are less commonly reported, partly since expansion occurs through rapid establishment, whereas contraction is associated with the typically slower death of existing adults. However repeated reproductive failure despite continued adult growth can predispose populations to rapid future decline, while in a community context, differential impacts of climate change on co-occurring species can lead to sudden and unpredictable shifts in competitive dominance between species. I will discuss recent experimental and observational work on temperate tree species in which we have assessed impacts of both chronic and acute changes in climate across different populations and genotypes. Mechanisms including altered phenology, biomass allocation, and carbon economy lead to differences in fitness at the population level. However, even within populations, individual variation in drought resistance can translate into significant community-level impacts. Understanding the scale and pattern of variation in drought resistance within species is key to predicting their presence and abundance over future decades.

For more information ..
Read more about Alistair Jump, professor  at the University of Stirling
Read an article Alistair co-authored on the subject, published in 2013 in Functional Ecology : Extreme drought alters competitive dominance within and between tree species in a mixed forest stand

ARBRE Seminar — Kambiz Pourtahmasi

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Dr. Kambiz Pourtahmasi presents :
“Wood Biology Research at the University of Tehran, Iran”

Salle Tilleuil, INRA Champenoux
Thursday, 27 August 2015


Dr. Kambiz Pourtahmasi, associate professor at the University of Tehran, Department of Wood & Paper Science and Technology, Faculty of Natural Resources, will be presenting a seminar before leaving INRA.

Dr. Pourtahmasi specializes in wood formation (anatomy) and dendrochronnolgy. He has worked in the past with colleagues in Germany and Switzerland with the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL). He has also been actively involved with several PhD projects with our own colleagues in Montpellier (such as Jospeh Gril, CNRS) concerning the broader implications of wood science. Currently, Dr. Pourtahmasi is working in collaboration with the LERFOB unit (the PhD project of Masoumeh Saderi, supervised by Cyrille Rathgeber).  Dr. Pourtahmasi’s visit was made possible by support from LabEx ARBRE.

Scientists connecting through Twitter

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Francis Martin followed Josh Neufeld for his interests in microbial ecology and developing new approaches in microbial metagenomics. Josh followed Francis for his agile use of the social media tool employing visual descriptions to communicate his expertise and passion for mycorrhizae and the mycology/ecogenomics link. They met for the first time on July 24 when Josh, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada – presented a seminar to the IAM team at the INRA center in Champenoux.

josh test last_edited-3The Title : Unearthing soil biogeochemistry through stable-isoptope probing and metagenomics.

Exploring microbial diversity represents an exciting frontier of biological research. Recent developments in molecular methods have enabled unprecedented access to microbial community composition, including active, uncultivated, and novel microorganisms. This talk will highlight two stable-isotope probing studies from my research group that are anticipated to interest scientists at INRA, including a) exploring degraders of plant-derived substrates in order to retrieve novel glycoside hydrolases from functional metagenomic libraries, and b) targeting denitrifying bacteria in agricultural soils to identify denitrifiers that would likely not have been detected with existing probes and primers. These studies demonstrate the value of isotope-based enrichment of active microbial community members for exploring soil biogeochemical cycling, while generating new enzyme targets with potential biofuel and bioproduct applications.

On Twitter

Josh expressed his appreciation for how Twitter is an excellent tool for encouraging students to engage in science within a framework that can be maintained professionally – but while also providing a platform for experienced researchers to exchange expertise – or like what took place here, to learn about what’s happening in other labs. “It connects us when we would not have otherwise crossed paths”.

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To learn more about how this meeting came about, read the short  Interview with Francis Martin