The work of the CEreal Roots Systems (CERES) research team focuses on root development and the physiological mechanisms governing root functions in cereals, in relation with water stresses and nutrient deficiencies. We focus our research on rice, sorghum and pearl millet, three of the major staple cereals in Africa and Asia, and also Arabidopsis thaliana.
Crop growth and yield under water and mineral deficiencies depend on optimizing water use and maximizing mineral foraging. In that context, understanding the dual role of root systems in these two functions is critical to increase yield and develop resilience strategies. Our specific objectives are to identify the genetic and hormonal pathways regulating root system development, and decipher and harness the hydraulic mechanisms allowing an optimal control of water acquisition and losses.
We work in collaboration with national and international teams, especially in the frame of two joint international laboratories - the LMI LAPSE in Senegal and the LMI RICE in Vietnam, and through an active partnership with ICRISAT and AfricaRice, CGIAR research centres. In partnership with private companies and European Universities, we also contribute to knowledge transfer towards cereals grown in temperate regions such as maize and barley.
Collectively, we work from the genetic scale to field trials, using experimental biology as well as modelling approaches. In addition, we participate actively to national and international training programs at the University of Montpellier, in Vietnam and Senegal.