Using a body of knowledge to improve agricultural production

Improve plants to make them more resistant

Limagrain researchers are improving plants to make them more resistant to insects and disease, more drought tolerant, and more suitable for industrial processes, as well as guaranteeing their nutritional qualities. 

Plant improvement involves creating new varieties from existing plants (genetic resources1) by crossing them with plants chosen for their particular qualities, then selecting the best among them.

For nearly thirty years, the breeder’s range of tools has grown significantly thanks to the development of technologies, making it possible to automate field and laboratory operations and increase plant characterization abilities.

Thanks to increasingly sophisticated computer models, the combination of genotyping2 and phenotyping3 is improving the ability to identify the best plants coming from the mixing of genetic resources.

As a supplement to traditional breeding, transgenesis4 allows for a better understanding of the functioning of the living world and for conceiving innovative solutions, by providing plants with particular traits (transgenic varieties).


1.Genetic resources: genes from an individual, population or species.
2.Genotyping: characterization of genomes, genetic resources and varieties. Genome: ensemble of genes and genetic material characterizing a living organism.
3.Phenotyping: physical characterization of performance. 
4.Transgenesis: technique enabling the introduction of one or several new genes into an organism.

Breeding criteria for research: a response to the needs of farmers, industry and consumers

Agronomic performance

• Efficiency:
Water
Fertilizing

• Resistance to biotic stress:
Insects
Viruses
Bacteria
Mycotoxin (fungi)
Weeds

• Resistance to abiotic stress:
Drought
Cold
Heat

Industrial aptitudes

• Food functionality: 
Bakery and pastry products

• Non-food functionality:
Biomaterials, agrofuels

• Remuneration
for production + patronage dividends

Quality performance


• Look, taste and flavor

• Digestibility

• Nutritional value

GMOs

Limagrain responds to the 6 most frequently asked questions concerning GMOs

Limagrain Europe is developing varieties more economic in fertilizer

Limagrain Europe is developing original phenotyping methods (imagery using drones, for example), enabling better characterization of the biodiversity aptitudes of crops. Supplemented by the study of various nitrogen inputs during the wheat life cycle, these methods have allowed for discovering genes that support the use of less fertilizer.

These genes, coming from different genetic sources (commercial varieties, ancestral collections, etc.), are systematically grouped within a new variety, by crosses assisted by genotyping. Today, Limagrain Europe has varieties that will soon be commercialized which will make better use of nitrogen fertilizers and limit their applications.