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Setting up of a joint INRA – University of Tsukuba (Japan) research laboratory  

The joint French-Japanese Research Laboratory has taken the tomato as a model to better understand fruit-setting, fruit growth and fruit composition. It will set up joint tools such as collections and genomic methods to analyse the functions of the genes involved.

Setting up of a joint INRA-University of Tsukuba Laboratory. © INRA
Updated on 06/26/2014
Published on 03/08/2011

Gene Resarch Center - Tsukuba-INRA Lab© INRA, O. Le Gall © Import
Gene Resarch Center - Tsukuba-INRA Lab© INRA, O. Le Gall © Import

The Joint Laboratory, called TIL for Tsukuba-INRA Lab, will develop and reinforce collaboration between researchers working on plant genomics applied to fruit biology in France and in Japan. It is coordinated by INRA's Joint Research Unit for Fruit Biology and the Gene Research Centre of the University of Tsukuba (Japan).

This laboratory was inaugurated on 27 January 2009 at the INRA Research Centre of Bordeaux by François Houllier, scientific director of INRA's Plant and Plant Products Division and Professor Hiroshi Ezura, director of the Gene Research Centre of the University of Tsukuba.

This event follows the signing of an agreement on 20 October 2008 between INRA, represented by Loïc Lepiniec, Head of the Plant Biology Division, acting for Marion Guillou, President of INRA and the University of Tsukuba represented by the director fo the Gene Research Centre, Professor Hiroshi Ezura. This Memorandum of Understanding is part of a collaboration agreement between France and Japan, which took form in 1991 by a scientific cooperation treaty, and between INRA and the University of Tsukuba, defined by a bilateral exchange and cooperation agreement signed in 2007.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed during the XIth France-Japan Workshop on Plant Sciences which focused on genomic methods in the broad sense (genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, etc.), organised at the University of Tsukuba from 20 to 23 October 2008, by Hiroshi Ezura (University of Tsukuba) and Alain Pugin (University of Burgundy).

The Joint Research Unit for Fruit Biology (INRA-Bordeaux University) which is part of INRA’s Plant Biology Division, involved in the creation of the joint research laboratory, aims at better understanding the biological factors which, during the early stages of growth, lead to the formation of quality fruit. The main subject of study is the tomato, model fruit for studying fleshy fruit. The research conducted in the unit associates functional genomics methods with metabolic flux and cell biology techniques. As well as knowledge of fundamental biological processes, their objective is to provide professional partners with tools (alleles of interest, for example) to enhance their control of the production of quality fruit.

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