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Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences


3 questions to Cécile Raynaud

Cécile Raynaud is a researcher at the Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay (IPS2) in Orsay. In 2014, she was awarded a CNRS bronze medal. This medal rewards the first work of this researcher, which makes her a talented specialist in her field. After obtaining a PhD in 2005 at the Institute of Plant Biology (IBP) in Orsay, she was recruited in 2007 by the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

1) Where does your interest in plant biology come from?

Plants are fascinating model organisms because they are both similar to and different from other eukaryotes. Many basic cellular processes are conserved in all eukaryotes, and plants are excellent model organisms for their dissection. Indeed, many mutations are lethal in animals whereas they are viable in plants. In addition, plants offer unique genetic resources. Moreover, one unique feature of plants is to possess stem cells that maintain their ability to divide throughout their life cycle and form new organs and tissues. The analysis of the mechanisms that allow the faithful transmission of genetic information is thus particularly interesting. This question is even more relevant considering that plants are sessile organisms constantly exposed to fluctuations in the environment that can impinge on cell division or even cause DNA damage.

2) Could you explain the subject of your research?

I am interested in the regulation of plant cell division and in the mechanisms that govern both the onset of cell proliferation and the transition towards cell differentiation or even programmed cell death. In this context, I specifically focused on the role of chloroplast signals in the control of these transitions. As a team we also analyze the mechanisms that allow faithful transmission of genetic and epigenetic information in proliferating cells, as well as how the chromatin organization required for cell differentiation is established and transmitted during development.

3) What is the advantage of belonging to the SPS LabEx for you?

The SPS LabEx has strengthened the relationships between the laboratories involved in this project. For example, we have obtained joint funding with the group of Mathilde Grelon and Christine Mézard at IJPB to develop a new research project. In addition, LabEx organizes stimulating seminars by inviting renowned researchers.