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Last update: May 2021

Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences

Summer School 2022 - Plant cell walls

Plant cell walls in development, plant-microbe interactions and for the bioeconomy

June 19-25, 2022 – Versailles (France)
Université Paris-Saclay

The study of the cell wall is an important research frontier in plant biology. Over the past decade, the field has seen major technological and conceptual advances. In addition, the study of cell wall structure and metabolism has become an integral part of the research on plant development and the adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. A better knowledge of the cell wall is also essential for the optimization of lignocellulosic biomass processing procedures in the framework of the emerging bioeconomy.


SPS Summer School 2019

This SPS Summer School 2022 is a one-week program for outstanding and enthusiastic PhD students and young post-docs. It will provide them with an introduction in chemistry, biophysics, molecular and cell biology in relation to the plant cell wall.

This Summer School will bring together up to 18 participants from all over the world and offer them the chance to receive scientific training in an international and rather informal atmosphere, facilitating exchanges. This course will involve theoretical lectures delivered by world-class experts and hands on practical courses on state of the art technologies.

Provisional program and speakers

Download the provisional program of the Summer School

This Summer School will include:

         > Theoretical modules (12 hours):

Leading scientists will hold lectures on the topics of the summer school, giving the participants a comprehensive insight into the latest research findings and identifying key open questions in the field.

"Cell wall polysaccharide structures and interactions"
Marie-Christine Ralet (Biopolymères, Interactions, Assemblages - Nantes, France)
Aline Voxeur (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

"Cell wall modifying enzymes"
Estelle Bonnin (Biopolymères, Interactions, Assemblages - Nantes, France)

"Hemicellulose-cellulose interactions through in vitro physico-chemical approaches"
- Bernard Cathala (Biopolymères, Interactions, Assemblages - Nantes, France)

"Cell wall and plant-pathogens interactions"
Antonio Molina (Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas - Madrid, Spain)

"Using genetics to study cell walls"
Herman Höfte (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

"Studying cell wall nanostructure using super resolution microscopy "
Kalina Haas (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)
Alexis Peaucelle (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

"Studying cell expansion using of sensors and live cell imaging "
Sebastjen Schoenaers (University of Antwerp, Belgium / Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

Mucilage Graine

"Studying cell wall structure using spectroscopic techniques "
Laurent Heux (Centre de recherches sur les macromolécules végétales - Grenoble, France)

"Studying cell wall polymer structures using X-ray diffraction"
Yoshiharu Nishiyama (Centre de recherches sur les macromolécules végétales - Grenoble, France)

"Studying cell wall synthesis and assembly using structural biology"
Julia Santiago Cuellar (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

"Cell wall micromechanics and plant development"
Arezki Boudaoud (LadHyX, Ecole polytechnique - Palaiseau, France)

"Lignin structure, engineering and utilization "
Wout Boerjan (VIB - Gent, Belgium)

"Cell biology of cell wall synthesis and growth"
Staffan Persson (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

         > Practical sessions (16 hours)

Participants will choose one of the 3 following topics:

1. Biomass multiscale characterization (coordinated by Matthieu ReymondGuillaume Rivière and Stéphanie Baumberger)
Variation in biomass composition and stem histology – Case study in maize
> Histology (Microscopy and image analysis / quantification) – QUALIBIOSEC team and OV platform
> NIRS predictions – QUALIBIOSEC team
> Biomass pretreatment and hydrolysis – APSYNTH team
> Lignin characterization – APSYNTH team


2. A cytological approach to cell wall polymer architecture and mechanics (coordinated by Kalina HaasHerman Höfte and Alexis Peaucelle)
An introduction into technologies to study the nanostructure and mechanics of plant cell walls
> Super-resolution microscopy (Kalina Haas / Alexis Peaucelle)
- Immuno-histochemistry: sample preparation for super-resolution and confocal microscopy
- Data analysis and post processing of multicolor 3D dSTORM microscopy
> Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) (Alexis Peaucelle)

3. Composition, architecture and specialized functions of cell wall polysaccharides in seeds (coordinated by Helen North and Aline Voxeur)
In situ and biochemical analysis of the composition and structure of cell wall – Case study with Brassicaceae seeds
> Histological analysis of seed mucilage (staining, confocal and polarized microscopy) (Helen North / Adeline Berger)
> Biochemical analysis of polysaccharides and oligosaccharides (GC-MS, Q-TOF) (Aline Voxeur / Samantha Vernhettes)

         > Presentations of the participants’ projects

         > Visits of SPS labs

         > Cultural excursion at the Versailles Castle

Château de Versailles

© Château de Versailles - Christian Milet

This varied program will give plenty of opportunities for discussion with speakers and the other participants.


Coupe tige

Herman Höfte (Coordinator)
Stéphanie Baumberger
Martine Gonneau
Kalina Haas
Helen North
Alexis Peaucelle
Matthieu Reymond
Samantha Vernhettes
Aline Voxeur

Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, Versailles

Teaching language

Paroi NB



Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin
Centre INRAE Île-de-France Versailles-Grignon
Route de St-Cyr (RD 10)
78000 Versailles

Practical information

The SPS Summer School 2022 on Plant cell walls is limited to 18 participants.

> For the successful applicants, Saclay Plant Sciences WILL cover the following costs:
- the scientific program from Sunday June 19th (3 PM) to Friday June 24th (7 PM)
- a tour of the Versailles Castle on Saturday June 25th morning
- housing from Sunday June 19th to Saturday June 25th (6 nights) at the “Hôtel du Berry
- lunches and coffee-breaks from Monday June 20th to Friday June 24th
- dinners of Sunday June 19th, Monday June 20th, Tuesday June 21th and Thursday June 23th

> Saclay Plant Sciences WILL NOT cover the following costs:
- transports (from your lab to the Summer School location, bus tickets from the hotel in Versailles to the INRAE Center)
- lunches of Sunday June 19th and Saturday June 25th
- dinners of Wednesday June 22th and Friday June 24th
- protection masks if they are necessary due to the Covid health situation

Champ Maïs

During the Summer School, the successful participants will have to present their research:
- in a flash-talk (2 to 3 Powerpoint slides, 5 min maximum).
- in a poster.

Moreover, for your information, a hosting agreement will have to be signed between the host laboratory of each successful participant and IJPB (the laboratory in which the Summer School will take place, in particular the hands-on workshops).

Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the organizers reserve the right to postpone or cancel the Summer school if necessary, or to ask for any Covid-19 vaccination/test document in accordance with the rules of our institutions at the time of the Summer School.


Applications will be accepted until March 1st, 2022 (midnight):


For your application, you will have to provide a single PDF file containing four documents:
1. A motivation letter explaining your research interests and the expected benefits from attending the school
2. A curriculum vitae
3. An abstract detailing your research project (250 words, with title, author(s), institution(s)). This abstract must correspond to the poster and the flash-talk presentation of your research that you will have to prepare for the Summer School.
ATTENTION: Your abstract will be included in the Summer School booklet, which will be distributed to all participants and made public on the Summer School web page.
4. A letter of support from your supervisor or another senior coworker indicating that your host lab will finance your transportation and any additional fees you could have during your stay.

Your application must be imperatively written in English.

Only complete applications will be taken into account.


Please precise [SPS Summer School - Plant cell walls] in the object of your email.


INRAE- Département BAP
Graduate School Biosphera - Université Paris-Saclay

If you wish to sponsor the SPS Summer School 2022 on Plant cell walls, do not hesitate to let us know by filling in the ONLINE SPONSORSHIP FORM 

See also

Summer School 2015
Summer School 2016
Summer School 2018
Summer School 2019
Summer School 2022 - Plant sugars