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Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Interactions - LIPM

Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Interactions

Members - Sunflower Genetics and Genomics

Nicolas Langlade, CR1 INRA, group co-leader


I started my career abroad, in Switzerland with Enrico Martinoia (PhD at University of Neuchatel) and then in the United-Kingdom with Enrico Coen (John Innes Centre, Norwich) working on the genetic basis of physiological and developmental adaptations of plants to their environment and evolutionary forces.  I joined the INRA in 2006 as a post-doc in the laboratory of plant reproduction and development with Peter Rogowsky (Ecole Normale Superieure, Lyon) where I briefly worked on maize kernel development.

I moved to the LIPM (INRA Toulouse) in 2007 as senior researcher, where I am developing a research program aiming at identifying the molecular and genetic basis of sunflower adaptation to abiotic stresses (i.e. mainly drought). 

I was and still am strongly involved in setting up the lab, growth chamber and greenhouse facilities aimed to sunflower research. Furthermore, I develop genetic populations and genomic resources for our community.  This constitutes as prerequisite to my research activities where I integrate quantitative genetics, systems biology and phenotypic modelling in agronomic models as a joined public and private research effort.

Professional page :


Stéphane Muños, IR1-INRA, group co-leader

Stephane MUNOS

I obtained my PhD in 2002 at Montpellier University (France). I worked on nitrate transporters regulation in Arabidopsis thaliana (BPMP lab, A. Gojon Team). I joined the GAFL research lab (M. Causse Team, Avignon-France) in 2003 and worked on the genetic basis of tomato fruit quality during 8 years. I joined the LIPM lab in 2011. I am coordinating the projects on sunflower resistance to O. cumana (the sunflower broomrape).


Mireille Chabaud, IRHC INRA:


I am an “ingénieur agronome” (equivalent to Masters degree) from the National School of Agronomy in Montpellier (Ecole Nationale d’Agronomie de Montpellier). I was initially employed by the research company “Graines Caillard”, in France, using in vitro culture for vegetable breeding and then moved to Biotechnica International Inc., Boston, USA, with the goal of optimizing genetic transformation of alfalfa (Medicago sativa). I was then recruited by INRA as a research engineer at the LIPM in Thierry Huguet’s group to work on A. tumefaciens-mediated transformation of the model legume M. truncatula. I obtained my PhD on this topic and have also contributed to various other aspects of M. truncatula transformation (notably root transformation via A. rhizogenes). I then joined the group of David Barker in 1998, to work on the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and in particular the development of cellular dynamics approaches using laser confocal microscopy associated with plant fluorescent markers. These studies led to the development of fluorescent “cameleon” calcium reporters to study calcium signaling during early stages of endosymbiotic interactions. In September 2018, I joined the group “Genetic and Genomic of Sunflower” to work on root phenotyping of sunflower, more particularly during the interaction with the parasite plant Orobanche Cumana.



Brigitte Mangin, DR2 INRA:

Nicolas Blanchet, technician INRA:

Nicolas Blanchet




Marie-Claude Boniface, technician INRA:

Marie-Claude BONIFACE


Olivier Catrice, assistant engineer INRA:

Olivier Catrice


Nicolas Pouilly, assistant engineer INRA:


Harold Durufle, PostDoc:


After obtaining a Master’s degree in integrative plant biology at the University of Rennes (France) in 2013, I worked as a crop ontology curator in a global research-for-development organization called Bioversity International. After this experience, I decided to pursue my passion and fully understand how plants respond to environmental factors, so I did a PhD at the Plant Science Research Laboratory under the supervision of Profs Christophe Dunand and Philippe Besse (Toulouse Mathematics Institute). My thesis project titled wallOmics, aimed to study the cell wall plasticity of natural A. thaliana populations living at contrasted altitudinal level in the Pyrenees, using an integrative omics approach. I joined in November 2017 the LIPM (INRA, Toulouse) as a post-doc position in order to develop the systems biology approach within the SUNRISE project. The vertical integration of different levels of information is intended to highlight the molecular systems of drought tolerance in sunflower.
Aside from my lab work, I like to escape from science and lead an artistic life by playing French horn in various orchestras.


Pauline Duriez, PhD student:

Pauline Duriez

During my Plant Biotechnology Master Degree at University Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III, I joined the team during my two interships, focusing on positional cloning and diversity analysis of a sunflower branching locus. I then integrated a private company for performing routinely genetic mappings and QTL detections on maize and rapeseed. After that, I joined again the team for my Ph.D. about the positional cloning of a resistance locus to Orobanche cumana, a parasitic weed of sunflower, and its molecular characterization.



Alexandra Dühnen, PostDoc:

Alexandra Dühnen


Florie Gosseau, PhD student:

Florie Gosseau

Prune Pegot-Espagnet, PhD student:

Prune Pegot-Espagnet

Luyang, PhD student from Zhejiang University (China):

Luyang Hu

I joined the team as a PhD student in March 2017 supervised by Stéphane Muños. I am involved in the sequecing of the Orobanche cumana genome and I am characterizing Asian populations of O. cumana.  I am a PhD student in Agriculture and Biotechnology College of Zhejiang University in China since 2014, and my research focuses on the control methods and signaling mechanism of the interaction between sunflower and Orobanche Cumana.


Camille Tappy, technician:

Camille Tapy

Lolita Lorenzon, assistant engineer:

Lolita Lorenzon