UMR 1290 - Biology and risk management in agriculture (BIOGER)

The BIOGER unit is the French reference centre for research on fungal diseases of field crops (wheat, rape) and vines. BIOGER develops multidisciplinary approaches (genomics, molecular biology and biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, population genetics, evolution, epidemiology, modelling, phenotyping, diagnosis and taxonomy) and multi-scale approaches (from gene to landscape).

Our study models are pathogens responsible for fungal diseases of major economic importance: wheat rust (Puccinia striiformis and Puccinia triticina), rapeseed necrosis (Leptosphaeria maculans), wheat septoria (Zymoseptoria tritici), and grey rot (Botrytis cinerea - on vines, and multiple other cultivated and non-cultivated plants). The work of BIOGER and our collaborators has helped to elevate these fungal species to the rank of models for certain aspects of their genomic, biological, ecological or adaptive traits.

The work is organized into 3 major cross-cutting areas of research:

  • Understanding the mechanism of biotic interactions within the ecosystem of an attacked plant;
  • Identifying the causes and consequences of adaptation, at different scales;
  • Developing, evaluating and transferring sustainable strategies for the management of fungal diseases (with this research axis building on data from the other two research axes).

Our research generates both fundamental and operational knowledge, enabling us to respond to the demands of society and of the various agricultural sectors concerning the effective and sustainable management of fungal diseases of field crops. 

Key figures :

Number of permanent staff in the unit: 51

Doctoral school(s)
DS 567 - Plant sciences: from gene to ecosystem
Co-accredited institutions : Université Paris-Saclay
Research teams
  • Characterization of the development of plant diseases and of the factors influencing their dynamics.
  • Design and evaluation of effective and sustainable modes of management for resistant varieties.
  • Studies of induction of the pathogen biological cycle and the importance of components of this cycle for epidemics.
  • Identification of the genetic basis of pathogenic potential and characterization of its variability at the population scale.
  • Studies of the adaptation of plant-pathogenic fungi to antifungal agents.
  • Evaluation of the impact of modeling-based strategies for combating the evolution of resistance.
  • Understanding the mechanisms involved in the adaptation of Leptosphaeria maculansto rapeseed, through an integrated approach (gene to field).
  • Characterization of the molecular determinants of the rapeseed/fungus interaction (effectors, avirulence proteins).
  • Proposal of effective and sustainable strategies based on biological, population-based and genetic knowledge of the pathogenic agent.
  • Understanding the role of secondary metabolites in the necrotrophic development of fungi.
  • Identifying secondary metabolites involved in the infectious process.
  • Determining their mode of action and characterizing the regulation of their biosynthesis.
  • Understanding the mechanisms at work in interactions between fungi and their host plants.
  • Understanding the adaptation of the pathogen to its host plant and environment
  • Studies of the molecular basis of the pathogenicity ofColletotrichum, a pathogen of brassicas.
  • Understanding the role of particular fungal structures involved in plant penetration (apressoria) during the early stages of infection.