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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal IN-SYLVA France ONF FCBA CIRAD CNPF OFB Université de Rouen

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Plateform name
XYLOBIOTECH, Forest biotechnologies
Site de Cestas: FCBA - Site de Recherches Forêt Bois de Pierroton - 71, Route d'Arcachon - 33610 CESTAS
Site d'Orléans : INRA - Centre Val de Loire - 2163, Avenue de la pomme de pin - CS 4001 Ardon - 45075 Orléans Cedex 2
FCBA / Cestas site


INRAE / Orléans site


Plateform description

The XYLOBIOTECH platform is an infrastructure based on a strong partnership (since 2004) between FCBA and the INRAE which aims to develop and promote the use of biotechnologies in the forestry sector. XYLOBIOTECH responds to the research, training and service needs expressed by research teams, companies or associations in terms of vegetative propagation, cryopreservation, traceability (molecular marking) and micro-phenotyping (histocytology) of forest genetic resources. It also offers recognized expertise in the genetic transformation of forest trees for experimental purposes. Finally, the bio-protection of trees (use of symbiotic microorganisms) is a new area of technological development for the platform.

XYLOBIOTECH relies on the experts (Researchers, Engineers and Technicians) and equipment (laboratories, specialized greenhouses, including type S2 greenhouse) of the Biotechnologies and Advanced Forestry Cluster (BSA) of FCBA (Cestas site near Bordeaux) and the Integrated Biology UMR for Enhancing Tree and Forest Diversity (BioForA) of INRA (Ardon site near Orleans). XYLOBIOTECH is a platform referenced by ERIFORE, the European forest research infrastructure for the circular bioeconomy.

Services offer

The XYLOBIOTECH platform has an operating Charter and the services offered by XYLOBIOTECH can be consulted on the website.

Our activities mainly concern :

  • The vegetative propagation of deciduous and coniferous trees by classical (grafting, cuttings) and in vitro (micro-grafting, micro-cuttings, somatic embryogenesis) methods. This activity benefits from laboratories, in vitro culture chambers and automated greenhouses.
  • Cryopreservation of pollen, seeds, buds, apexes, meristems, embryogenic masses by various techniques (dormant tissues/organisms, slow cooling, encapsulation/dehydration, vitrification, etc.).
  • Genetic transformation based on the use of Agrobacterium tools for functional genomics in model leafy (poplar) or coniferous (maritime pine) species. This activity relies on equipment dedicated to the manipulation of genetically modified organisms such as the S2 type greenhouse at FCBA and the Tree Cell Engineering Laboratory (LICA) at INRAE.
  • A molecular marking offer for rapid diagnosis in terms of traceability, diversity and genetic composition (PCR-AFLP/RFLP, SSR, SNP) of a wide range of forest species.
  • A cross-disciplinary expertise in histocytology for the microphenotyping of research products (confocal laser microscopy, fluorescence stereomicroscopy, Imager).

The platform provides expertise/consultancy and R&D services for regional, national and international projects. It also works for academic training or within the framework of continuing professional development. XYLOBIOTECH makes certain equipment available to users (rental).


A support team of 13 people (permanent staff, 8 at FCBA and 5 at NWRI) ensures the proper management of the XYLOBIOTECH platform and the realization of the various projects and technological developments. The governance is ensured by the support team and the User Committee (9 members including 3 private). XYLOBIOTECH benefits from a strong contribution of scientists and engineers from FCBA/BSA (4) and INRAE/BioForA (3).

Work description and access modalities

XYLOBIOTECH's services are open to all academic actors, associations, companies and industrials. Any question or request for access to the equipment and services offered by XYLOBIOTECH should be addressed to Jean-François Trontin (FCBA site, coordinator of the platform) or Françoise Laurans (Orléans site). The conditions of access to the FCBA and INRAE sites are described in the operating charter and on the website.

For the definition, implementation and management of user projects, XYLOBIOTECH commits to :

  • Provide trained and competent personnel.
  • To offer high-performance and operational equipment.
  • To make available the techniques associated with this equipment.
  • To train the users to carry out the actions and to provide them with technical assistance.
  • Propose a management system that optimizes the platform's capacity to conduct projects and analyses in accordance with user requests.
  • To regularly inform users of the progress of their projects.
  • Restore the results of analyses as soon as possible.
  • Respect confidentiality on the nature and results of the projects carried out.

You wish to access the services of XYLOBIOTECH?

In order to study your request, please contact by e-mail or by phone the person in charge of the XYLOBIOTECH site (FCBA or INRAE) concerned by the analysis you wish to carry out or by the technique you wish to use. Be sure to specify the species, number and type of samples, the technique or equipment to be used and any other useful information relating to your equipment.

After your request has been examined by our experts (feasibility study), we will propose the type of project that can meet your expectations (service provided by the platform's staff, use of equipment by yourself, collaborative research project, academic or professional training). Documents to be completed will then be given to you to enable your project to be started. We will then inform you of the biological, packaging, transport and storage conditions to be respected for your equipment. In the event that you will be working on our platform, we will provide the necessary initial supervision in terms of health and safety, access and use of laboratories and equipment.


Pricing is defined on a case-by-case basis by the supervisory authorities of the XYLOBIOTECH entities (FCBA or INRAE).


  • Pricing corresponds to the cost of opening and managing the project, the full cost of labour for FCBA/BSA staff involved in services, user information and training, consumables and a contribution to overheads. Special financing arrangements may be defined within the framework of specific contracts (large volume of services, R&D project in which FCBA is a partner).


  • Pricing differs according to the type of user:
    • Marginal cost (cost of using laboratories/equipment and labour, excluding public salary) for users from an EPST (Public Scientific and Technical Establishment).
    • Approximate full cost (cost of use of laboratories/equipment and labour excluding public salary + structural costs) for private users.

The list and presentation of XYLOBIOTECH equipment is available here. The platform includes the following major equipment:

On the FCBA Bordeaux site

  • An in vitro culture laboratory (206 m², production capacity of 30,000 plants): preparation, autoclaving and automatic distribution of culture media, 4 laminar flow hoods (8 stations), 3 light culture chambers (24 m²), a dark culture chamber (17 m²), a 4°C storage chamber (7 m²), 3 climatic chambers, 2 drying ovens, magnifying glasses and optical microscopes, observation camera.
  • A cryopreservation cell (16 m²): 7 cryopreservers including 2 in liquid phase and 5 in vapour phase with automatic nitrogen adjustment (storage capacity: 38,000 samples), programmable nitrogen freezer (capacity: 100 samples), common supply ramp for the cryopreservers, 2 feeders (300 L of nitrogen), security by alarm control unit (oxymetric probes), specialised database for the management of frozen samples (Coolbase).
  • A genetic transformation laboratory (20 m², protected access): PSII bacteriological hood for microbiology, bacteriological ovens and freezer,
  • A molecular biology laboratory (126 m²): DNA extraction, purification and dosage, robot pipettor, DNA PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis and capillary for genotyping (SSR markers in particular).
  • An automated experimental greenhouse (422 m²) for the acclimatization and breeding of in vitro plants, including 140 m² reserved for the cultivation of transgenic plants (S2 type confined greenhouse, protected access). This space also allows developments in the field of tree bio-protection (inoculation of mycorrhizae and endophytes).
  • A conventional greenhouse (384 m²) for hardening, collection and propagation by cutting.
  • A high-capacity climatic chamber (phytotron) for studying the effect of environmental parameters (temperature, photoperiod) on whole potted plants.

On the INRAE site in Orleans

  • A laboratory for the preparation of histological sections of plant tissues: microtome, inclusion, staining.
  • A confocal laser scanning microscope (Zeiss LSM700): localisation by 3D imaging of gene expression and/or the presence of certain chemical constituents of plant walls (measurement of intra/intercellular traffic, in situ localisation, immunolocation).
  • An automated fluorescence stereomicroscope (Leica M205F): localization of fluorescent molecules.
  • A Pxi imager (Syngen Ozyme): chemiluminescence revelation of western blots, northern blots and southern blots.