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Identification du  POLLEN. © inra, Centre Poitou-Charentes

The centre’s units

Multidisciplinary for Grasslands and forage crops research unit

The multidisciplinary unit for grasslands and forage crops (URP3F) studies sown meadows inserted in crop rotations. The challenge is to improve the sustainability of forage and farming systems.

Dactyle, Centre Poitou-Charentes. © inra, Armelle Pérennès
By INRA Poitou-Charentes communications department
Updated on 01/18/2019
Published on 01/22/2013

Meadows are a major asset in the development of sustainable farming systems as they help improve the autonomy of farms and provide various ecological services.
The research carried out by the P3F research unit aims at improving the agronomical value of sown meadows, extending their life time and increasing their environmental benefits, in particular to fulfil the objectives of adaptation to climate change and reducing inputs, notably through a greater promotion of legumes, alone or in combination. The means of accomplishing these objectives involve the choice of genetic structures sown (species and composition of mixtures), the improvement of varieties and the adaptation of management practices. In all, 51 permanent staff work at the unit in Lusignan which combines skills in genetics, ecophysiology, ecology, agronomy and plant breeding.
The unit's website

Analyse the functioning of the vegetation in sown meadows

The scientists seek to:
• analyse and model the functioning of perennial forage species and meadow plant communities in response to external environmental constraints (water, nitrogen, light) and agricultural practices (cutting or pasture);
• understand how the diversity of sown plants (species, varieties, genotypes), the constraints of the soil or the climate and agricultural practices determine the agronomical value of these meadows and condition their life time and their benefits on the environment and biodiversity.

Equipment: laboratories, plots, greenhouses and growing rooms, a collection of genetic resources

• Biotechnology laboratory for medium throughput molecular marking (DNA extraction, genotyping with PCR markers interfaced with INRA's high throughput sequencing and genotyping platforms) and for cytogenetics and histology (measurement of ploidy using flow cytometry, chromosomal counting and in situ hybridization, histological sections of plant organs),
• Biochemistry laboratory for evaluating the feed value of the forage, the composition of meadow mixtures (measurement of protein, sugar, ash content, ligno-cellulosic wall fractions) and the elementary composition (carbon, nitrogen and their isotopes),
• Plots and experimental facilities: plots, nurseries, greenhouses and growing rooms, cold rooms to preserve the seeds,
• Ecophysiology equipment (equipment for characterising the environment, plant architecture, acquisition and distribution of resources in plants),
• The centre for genetic resources of forage plants and grass.

INRA Poitou-Charentes communications department
Other contact(s):
Jean-Louis Durand, director (+33 (0)5 49 55 60 94), Jean-Paul Sampoux, deputy director (+33 (0)5 49 55 60 27)