EPICENTER : Good promise with epigenetics
Etienne Bucher, researcher in genetics at the Botanical Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland joined the research Institute of Horticulture and Seeds (IRHS) in Angers on September 1st, 2014. The aim is the creation of a center specialized in epigenetics.
Epigenetics is one of the major discoveries of the last 10 years. Recent research has demonstrated that for plants not only DNA but also memory can be transmitted from one generation to the other, information transmitted such as the reaction induced from bacteria or pathogens enable plants to be better prepared in their reactions.
At the moment, demonstration has been made for annual plants – corn, rice – but as regards perennial plants such as roses or apples, research has still to be developed and this is one of the objectives of the project “Epicenter”.
“Thanks to my expertise in epigenetics, having joined the “IRHS”, the ambition is to create a center of expertise in this field in Angers and have a better understanding in crop plants and also in flowering control. And therefore, to obtain plants more resistant to pathogene, with an optimized growth and flowering time. It is an essential axis for plant producers and the for the ligerian economy, considering that 20 % of commercialized apples in France are produced in Pays de la Loire. Research will begin as of October 2014 and an epigenome will be created with the hope to obtain first results in one year thanks to a research team of 7 researchers. If the center is interested at first step in the vegetal field (including vineyards), we could also develop at second step collaborative projects for research in health (cancer strength, etc.).