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

Last update: May 2021

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Plant cell wall and polymers (PVPP)

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            Context and objectives - Research lines - Methods and Equipment

Permanent team members:

Researchers and engineers: Johnny Beaugrand,  Estelle Bonnin, Anne-Laure Chateigner-Boutin, Marie-Françoise Devaux, Mathilde Francin-AllamiSofiane Guessasma, Marc Lahaye, Fabienne Guillon, Marie-Christine Ralet-Renard, Luc Saulnier, Richard Sibout

Technicians and assistant engineers: Camille Alvarado, Axelle Bouder, Sylviane Daniel, Sylvie DurandLaurent Helary, Lucie Le Bot


Context and objectives

The plant wall is a complex and dynamic structure that varies according to the species, the organ, and the plant tissue considered. The wall evolves throughout the life cycle of the plant to meet its physiological needs or to cope with environmental constraints (thermal, hydric, pathogen attack...).

In order to understand these dynamics,  we investigate the mechanisms of biosynthesis, assembly, remodeling, and degradation of parietal polymers (polysaccharides, lignins), in order to understand their properties. 

Our research is focused on cultivated plants such as cereals: wheat, corn, sorghum (a cereal whose cultivation in Europe is intensifying because of its resistance to global warming), fleshy fruits (apple, tomato), and on the model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon.

Paroi cellulaires des plantes

The applied perspectives of this research are to optimize the quality and use of plant productions, e.g. fruit texture and biodegradation of agricultural co-products, as well as to control the impact of walls as dietary fibers in human/animal nutrition or in the design of new materials.

Research lines

The team's activities are organized into two main areas of research:

Axis 1- Understanding the biological and physico-chemical mechanisms that drive parietal assemblies

Axis 2- The impact of plant wall diversity on the properties and qualities of use of plant products

Etudes à différentes échelles


Keywords: Fruits, Cereals, Polysaccharides, Enzymes, Cell wall, Biosynthesis, Biotransformation, Biomechanics, Texture, Fiber

Methods and Equipment

  • Biochemical techniques (purification of oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and enzymes)
  • Analytical and preparative chromatographic techniques (GPC-MALLS HPSEC, HPAEC ...)
  • Techniques of molecular and cellular biology
  • Mass spectrometry (ESI-IT MS, ESI-Q-TOF MS, MALDI-TOF MS)
  • Imaging walls in plant products (macroscopic, microscopic, immunohistochemistry)
  • RMN (liquid, solid, relaxometry)
  • Micro-infrared spectroscopy
  • Micromechanics