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Introduction

Our research is characterized by quantitative genetics approaches closely related to breeding methodology and the management of genetic diversity. They aim at:

  • understanding the effect of historical and modern breeding on the evolution and adaptation of open pollinated and hybrid varieties, in terms of phenotypic variation, global organization of genetic diversity and polymorphism at specific loci
  • investigating the genetic determinism of complex traits, in view of direct applications in breeding through marker assisted selection and to gain a better understanding of the type of genetic effects which are involved. Specific attention is paid to flowering time, productivity under abiotic environmental constraints and heterosis,
  • optimizing the breeding process, from genetic resources to variety development.

This research involves theoretical and experimental approaches, development of statistical methods and decision support tools.  Experimental approaches involve the development of original genetic materials in maize, their genotyping and their phenotyping. They are conducted by team members and also benefit to a large extent of the support of INRA experimental structures.