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logo pour la newsletter The newsletter for industry
N° 92
  May 2017  
logo pour la newsletter
  Innovation takes centre stage at the Salon International de l’Agriculture 2017 

INRA's participation in the Salon International de l’Agriculture (SIA 2017), which this year focused on microbial communities in soils, digestive systems and foods, was rewarded by the Grand Prix for the best stand, which demonstrated the Institute's exceptional resources through the presence of 220 research scientists, the organisation of 11 professional meetings and two symposia attracting audiences of 720 people, virtual reality facilities, more than 800,000 interactions on social networks and 11 official visits.

Our guests included the French President who was able to discover the quality of our research, our partnership arrangements (hosting of young and innovative companies, joint laboratories, industrial contracts for doctoral students, industrial chairs and jointly-managed platforms) and three promising start-ups in the agricultural and food industries: MAAT PHARMA which is applying our research on the microbiota, HIPHEN which proposes the phenotyping and monitoring of varietal trials using drones and wireless sensors, and LISODE, one of the very rare start-ups in participatory engineering.

Our Institute is passionate about innovations that will respond to the challenges of the future: INRA is renovating its transfer and partnership arrangements so that we can develop these responses together.

Philippe Mauguin,

INRA’s Conferences for the 2017 Paris International Agricultural Show

Multimedia content
Symposium "People, animals and environment: One Health"

60% of human infectious diseases are of animal origin, the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics affects humans as well as animals, the dispersion of contaminants in the environment has impacts on human health... Public health issues constitute important fields of research for INRA. The Institute is holding its scientific symposium at the Paris International Agricultural Show on 28 February on the subject "People, Animals, Environment: One Health".

Young woman in a supermarket reading the label on a packet of food. © INRA, BEAUCARDET William
Labels: consumers look for points of reference

A study on food product labelling, co-built and co-achieved in a participatory approach was carried out by the GAEL research Unit (INRA, University of Grenoble) and the eco-citizen association CLVC, in February 2017. Focused on consumers, this study integrates various dimensions of sustainable food: nutrition, environment, corporate social responsibility… with special attention to underprivileged categories of the population. It shows that requesting more information does not imply its use in the purchasing act. It brings out recommendations to improve information on the packaging that consumers consider incomplete, unclear and unreliable and difficult to use.

Cereal field in the Brittany countryside. © INRA, CAUVIN Brigitte
Reducing pesticide use in agriculture without lowering productivity

As part of the DEPHY-Ferme network, a major component of the French government’s EcoPhyto plan to reduce and improve plant protection product use, researchers from INRA working with the company Agrosolutions examined the relationship between pesticide use and cropping system performances1 in terms of productivity and profitability. The results, published in Nature Plants on 27 February 2017, show that pesticide use can be significantly reduced without lowering yields or economic performances at farm level if substantial changes in farming practices are adopted. However, implementing new practices is not necessarily easy and farmers need guidance in doing so.

Fallow land in northern France (Beaulieu). © INRA, WEBER Jean
Biodiversity when restoring soil through fallowing: stronger interactions among organisms, increased carbon uptake in soil

As a part of the EU’s EcoFINDERS project, led by INRA, researchers studied changes in soil biodiversity when using fallowing as a restoration strategy. The study was made possible through the creation of a unique, long-term observation facility. It is also notable for the very large range of soil organisms (micro- and macroorganisms) studied by the project’s researchers, who analysed their diversity and their community interactions. The findings, published in Nature Communications, demonstrate that connections between groups of soil organisms increased, and this was accompanied by increased carbon uptake in the soil. Understanding these phenomena should help identify agricultural practices which favour carbon transfer and storage in soils.

Research, Innovation, Transfer
Propionibacterium freudenreichii. © INRA
Enhancing the viability of spray-dried probiotic bacteria by stimulating their stress tolerance

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) officially defined probiotics as "live microorganisms which when ingested in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host. Although they are generally associated with dairy products, they are found today in a wide variety of human foods and animal feeds. Probiotics are therefore beneficial health bacteria found in various foods and feed products.

Transmission electronic microscopy of lactococcus, strand IL1403 Pil. Scale 500nm. From PlosOne ( © PlosOne, Figure reproduite de la revue scientifique Pl
To stick or not to stick? Pulling pili sheds new light on biofilm formation

A pilus is an appendage on the cell surface of the majority of Gram-positive bacteria. Pili biogenesis is a machinery that involves a sortase (srtC), an enzyme that covalently assembles protein subunits (pilins) and head-to-tail series to form the backbone (PilB) inL. lactis IL1403 with a tip pilin (PilA) at the distal end of the pilus. This assembly is firmly anchored to the peptidoglycan wall by a PilC anchor pilin.

Partnership arrangements
Logo VetBioNet
Launch of VetBioNet – a European project to combat animal infectious diseases

The overall objective of the European infrastructure project VetBioNet is to establish a comprehensive network of pre-eminent high-containment research facilities, academic institutes, international organizations and industry partners that is dedicated to advance research on epizootic and zoonotic diseases and to promote technological developments. Coordinated by INRA, VetBioNet assembles 30 partners from 14 different countries (including 9 EU member states) and has received 10 Mio € of funding from the European Commission (EC) for a project period of 5 years. The project will be kicked-off with the consortium meeting April 4-5th in Tours.

29 May - 02 Jun 2017 - Deepen knowledge in plant pathology for innovative agro-ecology
Dunkerque (France)
06-09 Jun 2017 - Sustainable Urban Agricultures: Vector for the Ecological Transition
28-29 Jun 2017 - European workshop on bioeconomy
Executive Director: Philippe Mauguin
Chief Editor: Odile Whitechurch
Editorial Staff: Anne Frinault, Patricia Le Crenn, Jacques Le Rouzic, Anne Perraut
Publishing secretary: Nadine Brault
The newsletter for industry is produced by INRA, Partnership Transfer Innovation Directorate (DPTI).
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