Occitanie-GENOSOL project

Added on : 23 December 2021

The "Occitanie-GENOSOL" project led by the CNRGV proposes to accelerate the genomic characterization of sunflower in order to efficiently rely on the intraspecific diversity to produce sustainable cultivated varieties.

The project partners, Sunflower Pest Interactions - LIPME  INRAE-CNRS and Innolea*, will use innovative technologies to produce and analyze high-quality genomic resources for 20 wild and cultivated varieties of the sunflower.

Several genomes of the parasitic plant Orobanche, a high-risk pest emerging in Occitanie, will also be characterized in order to provide scientists with the keys to better understand the interactions and mechanisms underlying its virulence towards different varieties of cultivated sunflower.

The data and analysis tools developed in the framework of the project will allow to identify more rapidly the genomic structures and variations associated with resistance traits to several biotic stresses of Sunflower. This will allow to optimize the creation of new varieties more adapted to environmental, climatic and societal constraints. In particular and as a priority, tools will be implemented for the identification of new alleles conferring a natural resistance against the high-risk parasitic plant Orobanche.

Four Sunflower genomes will be rapidly shared within the scientific community through the International Sunflower Genomics Consortium and will contribute to the international effort to characterize and improve this major economic species. Others will be shared after analysis and valorization of the scientific results by the partners.

Thanks to this project financed in 2021 by the Occitanie Region, we are establishing at the CNRGV the tools and expertise that will allow us to characterize valuable genetic resources on a large scale and to identify new sources of variability in the diversity of any plant species of interest. This knowledge will be a source of sustainability and economic gain for seed companies and farmers.

* Innolea is a research company dedicated to oilcrops genetics and genomics under the control of three major French seed companies in oil crops, Euralis Semences, Limagrain, RAGT Semences, and the innovation fund for oil and protein crops, Sofiprotéol.

Main project actions:

  • To produce and analyze very high quality genomic data from 20 Sunflower genomes and 4 Orobanche parasitic plants
  • To set up bioinformatics tools for the annotation and visualization of the genomes produced, as well as pipelines for the study of structural variations in the genomes, in relation to traits of major interest (resistance of Sunflower to various bio-aggressors, virulence of broomrape populations)
  •  To analyze the diversity of a major region involved in Orobanche resistance in 25 wild and cultivated accessions of sunflower