L’Institut Agro Montpellier and partners join an international research project on plant adaptation to climate change



L’Institut Agro Montpellier is joining a major international project aiming to study the molecular mechanisms involved in plant adaptation to climate change. This International Associated Laboratory, entitled "Inclusive Nutrition: combinatorial nutritional signals drive plant responses to climate change" (LIA IN-COMBI), was created on 06 June 2023 during the visit of an INRAE delegation to Michigan State University (MSU)...

Under the coordination of INRAE's Plant Biology and Adaptation Department (BAP), the LIA IN-COMBI brings together L’Institut Agro Montpellier and the University of Montpellier. The aim of the associated international laboratory is to study the interactions between plant nutritional components in response to climate change.

Climate change and resource depletion represent major challenges for modern agriculture, plant breeding and agronomic sciences. In this context, the LIA IN-COMBI aims to better understand the regulation of plant nutrient homeostasis to improve adaptation to climate change. It also aims to strengthen plant resilience in response to variations in nutrient availability and climatic constraints, and to improve the efficiency of their use under these conditions.

To achieve these ambitious objectives, the project will be based on several approaches, such as molecular physiology, nutrient uptake, the study of elemental composition, associated genomics and systems biology. Students from the French partner institutions and the University of Michigan will also be involved in this research.

Three key objectives of LAI IN-COMBI

  • To become a world reference — The project aims to establish an international reputation in the field of plant nutrition.
  • To develop new GWAS (genome-wide association study) screens for the model plant Arabidopsis and wheat — Genomic studies will be carried out under different environmental conditions, combining different nutrients and in the presence or absence of micro-organisms. The main expectations are (i) identify the key elements in the response of plants to climate change, (ii) explore responses to combined constraints and (iii) to discover new candidate genes involved in these processes.
  • Promote student exchanges — Student exchanges between the various partner institutions is a key point of the project, involving three universities, MSU, the University of Montpellier and L’Institut Agro Montpellier. This project will strengthen existing relationship by offering American and French students new opportunities for academic exchanges, internships and doctoral studies. In addition to facilitating student exchanges, International Associate Laboratory staff will play an active role in teaching in foreign partner institutions.

The IN-COMBI project represents a significant step forward in research and training on plant adaptation to climate change. By merging their expertise, the partners in this international project will contribute to answer the global challenge of sustainable and resilient agriculture face to current and future climate challenges.

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L'Institut Agro Montpellier
2 place Pierre Viala
34060 Montpellier - France
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