Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

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

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences


© IBP / Roland Boyer
As “primary producers” plants with other photosynthetic organisms are the foundation of the global biogeochemical cycles that sustain terrestrial life. Plants are also the main biological resource for humans because they provide food and feed, but also important biomaterials such as oils, fiber, or wood.

The food security : a challenge for the planet

Taking into account population growth, urbanization, climate change, and the limitation of natural resources, half a century after the “green revolution”, global food security is more than ever a strategic challenge for the world. There is a need for higher stability of yield to ensure a global food security and repartition.

Limiting the pollution

In addition, there is a growing demand for improving the quality of plant biomass for energy, green chemistry or human welfare and health and lowering the price of plant products. The need to cut CO2 emissions to avoid climate changes has made the transition from conventional fossil fuels to alternative and renewable resources a priority. Unfortunately, current agriculture as well as urbanization and industry impact the environment by polluting and/or overexploiting limited fossil resources, water, and arable lands.

Blé - Coquelicots

© IBP / Roland Boyer

Toward a “sustainable intensification”

Therefore, there is an urgent and ever growing international need for developing a “sustainable intensification” of agriculture limiting the impact on the environment (using lower inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides) but providing sufficient and stable production. Clearly, achieving this goal requires intensive research and development that integrates current practices in diverse agricultural systems with rapidly advancing research in biology. It is therefore a strategic aim to strengthen the research and innovation capacities in the potential breakthrough technologies that will shape crop improvement ant the development of agriculture in the future. We need to develop efficient tools and sufficient knowledge to reach this goal.

Understanding basic genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms

A better understanding of the processes underlying plant development and physiology would not only contribute to the optimization of crop yield and quality but also could contribute to a better adaptation of cultures to abiotic and biotic stresses, and reduce negative environmental impact. More specifically, a better understanding of the genes that influence plant development allows complex agronomic traits to be decomposed, which facilitates breeding programs.


© Inra / William Beaucardet

Innovating in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, health and biotechnology

Many innovations, some of which involve genetically modified crops, would allow a higher and sustainable yield of grains (the basis of world diet) or biomass as well, and new prospects for the quality of the products for green chemistry, nutrition and health, with lower inputs of water or fertilizer than in current agriculture. In this context, plant biology, genetics and green biotechnology can provide important knowledge and new tools for improving relevant crops and crop systems more efficiently than ever before. They should allow to rationally adapt plants and practices in a rapid and targeted manner. Nevertheless, it is important to note that whatever the biotechnology is (marker assisted breeding or genetic engineering), its efficiency will depend on our knowledge of biological processes and their predictive value.

Vidéo LabEx SPS

You are looking for a PhD or a postdoc position in Plant Sciences?

Read more

"Research" Working group

The research activities within SPS are coordinated by the following working group:
Read more