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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Lipoprotein and polysaccharide-protein structures (ELIPS)



Team leader: Benedicte BAKAN

Permanent team members:

Bénédicte BakanDidier Marion,  Nathalie Geneix, André Lelion,  Anne-Lyse Panheleux

PhD students:

Nicolas Reynoud, Ella Paulsen

Thesis defended recently:

Glenn Philippe (2017),  Nathalie Anciaux-Geneix (2016), Mathieu Gayral (2015)

Victory is in the kitchen

Context and Objectives

Processing and nutritional quality of plant products depend in part on the assembly of the various components within the plant organs harvested. In this context, we focus specifically, on the one hand, on the structure and assembly of the cuticles of fruits (including caryopses of cereals) and on the other hand, on the formation of amyloid-protein matrix grains cereals. Our goal is to characterize the major cellular, molecular and physicochemical mechanisms accompanying the construction of these supramolecular plants to identify new markers closely combining plant breeding and technology food or non-food processing.


Keywords: proteins, lipids, cuticle, cereals, fruits, development, aggregation, polymerization interactions, biosynthesis

Research lines

  • Formation and structure of cuticles: relationship with the processing and quality of plant products

The cuticle is a biocomposite covering and protecting most aerial organs (fruits, seeds, leaves, flowers,...). It is composed of cutin, waxes, and polysaccharides.

The cuticle controls both the interactions between the plant and its environment (resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses) and the development of plant organs (differentiation, growth). The cuticle also plays a determining role in the quality (texture of fruits and grains, post-harvest conservation, retention of pollutants and xenobiotics) and the transformation (milling and malting of grains, pressing of fruits) of plant products. In this agro-food context, we are interested in the structure and formation of the cuticle in relation to the use value of fleshy fruits and cereal grains.

  • Formation et structure of the amyloid-protein matrix grain: relationship with the processing of cereals

The structure and assembly of the amylo-protein matrix of cereals determine the texture (hardness, vitrosity) of grains and consequently their use value for this key sector of our economy. In this context, we seek to identify the molecular and physicochemical mechanisms that lead to the formation of this matrix and control its physical properties during grain development. In the development of the grain, we consider both the mechanisms associated with the massive synthesis of reserves (especially proteins) and those taking place during the germination of the grain in relation to the processing of cereal products (milling, cooking products, malting).

Methods et Equipments

  • Analysis and purification of proteins and lipids: 1D and 2D electrophoresis, HPLC analytical and semi-preparative reversed phase and normal phase, ion exchange chromatography and size exclusion, affinity chromatography, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, HPLC coupled to mass spectrometry.
  • Cloning, PCR, production, and purification of recombinant proteins
  • Immunochemical methods (ELISA, immunoblotting) and immunocytochemistry (coupled with confocal microscopy and transmission electron microscopy)
  • Structural analysis: circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, and infrared spectroscopy