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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Growing and Protecting crops Differently

SUCSEED: Work packages

A well thought-out work organization in accordance with the research objectives

Work packages
Project management and organization

SUCSEED is structured into 8 work packages (WP), all of which are interconnected. Each workpackage is led by a referent researcher who ensures the monitoring and the coordination of work.

Production and selection of seed lots (WP1)

The aim of this work is to provide the necessary reference material to carry out the work. For this, two types of action are performed:

  • The multiplication of seed lots for the four plant species worked on, under different production conditions.
  • The definition of the plant susceptibility of the different genotypes to the associated pathogens. This characterisation will require the establishment and optimisation of the studied pathosystems.

Enhancement of seed defenses (WP2)

The aim is to induce seed defense mecanisms during seed maturation. To date, plant immunity has been intensively studied in leaf and root tissues, but much less in the reproductive tissues. Currently, little is known about defense mecanisms occuring in seeds. However, dormant seeds are little colonised by bioagressors suggesting the deployment of effective mecanisms of protection. Three types of studies are led:

  • Regulation of seed defenses during seed dormancy.
  • Plant-microbial molecular dialogue during seed transmission
  • Induction of seed defenses by plant resistance inducers (PRI) and its transgenerational effect

Seed microbiome engineering (WP3)

The objective is to protect crops and improve seed germination and emergence using seed microbiome engineering. Seed microbiota engineering is a leverage to limit invasion by plant pathogens. This modulation of seed microbial communities will be used to 1) avoid transmission of plant pathogens to and by the seed and 2) limit the incidence of damping-off diseases. More specifically, microorganism consortia reconstruction approaches or SynComs will be used on the four plant species. These reconstructions require:

  • Diversity survey of seed microbiota
  • Culture-based collection of seed bacterial and fungal strains
  • Study of the impact of these communities on plant phenotype (germination, emergence)

Molecular interface between the seed and its local environment (WP4)

The aim is to understand and improve the seed micro-environment at the molecular scale to protect and promote germination and seedling establishment. A large variety of metabolites such as polyphenols, polysaccharides, proteins/peptides, nucleic acids, organic acids and hormones, is accumulated to high levels in the seed coat. The inhibitory effects of these metabolites against microorganisms, including soil-borne pathogens, were previously reported. However, the composition and the functionality of seed exudates for the four plant species targeted by the project are not currently described.  This work focuses on filling this gap in order to identify molecules applicable in innovative seed treatments. Four actions are carried out:

  • Characterisation of germinating seed exudates
  • Study of the effect of seed aging on the exudate composition
  • Study of the impact of isolated exudates on seed commensal microorganisms
  • Evaluation of the effect of seed exudates on seed pathogens

Promoting molecular bioavailability of identified assets in seed technology applications (WP5)

The objective of this workpackage is to develop a new generation of seed treatments which are adapted to SUCSEED solutions and displaying a high compatibility with regulatory and environmental constraints. Molecules or SynComs that will be identified in WP2-WP3-WP4 are biological molecules that have different features from conventional pesticide molecules and for which innovation is necessary. This is a major cross-disciplinary challenge involving physics, chemistry, biology and process engineering to successfully release an active ingredient whose biological activity has been preserved without using excipients that are potentially toxic to the seed, seedling or environment. Research will be focused on three technics:

  • Dispersion/Absorption of active ingredients in binder/filler
  • Emulsion strategies
  • Nanoparticle strategy

Deployment of solutions on a range of genetic ressources and environments (WP6)

The aim is to test the efficiency of the most promising solutions developed in WP2-WP3-WP4 and formulated in WP5 on a wide range of genotypes and under different environmental conditions. Indeed, enhancing crop health management remains a challenge due to genotype-dependant responses, farming practices and changing climatic conditions, which induce fluctuating effectiveness of biological products when transferring from lab to field. This work is divided in three actions:

  • Selection of solutions and sample preconditioning for trials
  • Field trials for rapeseed, wheat and common bean
  • Greenhouse-based trials for tomato

Regulatory, economic and social contexts (WP7)

 The objective is to anticipate obstacles and needs for the development / appropriation of the innovative solutions developed in the project. This research will contribute to removing barriers to the deployment of innovative solutions as alternative to conventional pesticides. Three areas of research in human and social sciences are developed:

  • Legislative framework and legal research
  • Business strategies, innovation trajectories and market structuring
  • Perception of innovation

Project management, dissemination and training (WP8)

SUCSEED is an ambitious project with many partners. Defining a clear and efficient steering strategy and ensuring its implementation are two key elements for the success of a project.  Thus, this part of the project aims to ensure that the necessary means are in place for the success of the project. The communication of research results, the training of students and young researchers as well as the dissemination of knowledge to a large public are all essential points for the achievement of the objectives of transformation targeted by the project and are worked on.