Cocoa pods, Venezuela. Photo: C.Lanaud ©CIRAD
Arabica coffee, Ethiopia. Photo: ©Jean-Pierre Labouisse
Yams in Benin. Photo: J-L Pham ©IRD
Rice harvest, Guinea. Photo: J-L Pham ©IRD
Maize corn. Photo: ©Brigitte Gouesnard


The Regional Genotyping Platform of Montpellier (GPTR Génotypage, supports any program of molecular genetics applied to plants, both for programmes aiming at characterizing diversity and for genetic improvement projects. It offers significant opportunities for genotyping (SSR, AFLP, SNP EcoTilling, DArT molecular markers) and medium/high speed sequencing (Sanger sequences and low throughput NGS sequences). It also allows for the construction, operation, and management of genomic resources, providing technologies for developing various DNA banks (BAC, cDNA, SSR, SSH, DArT, etc.). Finally, it allows for technological monitoring and for the care and training of different types of staff (students, technicians, researchers) from Montpellier's scientific communities, both national and international. Lastly, it brings its expertise to the development and use of similar technologies on other sites.

The platform comprises four modules:

  1. The module for construction and handling of DNA libraries (BAC, cDNA) concentrates specialized robotics equipment. It is associated with the National Center for Plant Genomics Resources (INRA Toulouse) for secure conservation and dissemination of DNA banks;
  2. An analytical module for DArT (Diversity Array Technology) markers production at very high rates is being set up and will be operational in 2010. This will be the only facility of its kind in Europe;
  3. The three 16-capillary ABI 3130xl sequencers can be used for DNA fragment analysis applications such as microsatellites, AFLP, SNP analysis, mutation detection and traditional DNA;
  4. Six Li-Cor semi-automated sequencers are currently being used for genotyping (SSR, AFLP, etc.) analysis.

Activity on the Platform is expected to expand, notably within the ARCAD scientific project.

In this context, the present proposal aims at consolidating the facilities for handling plant DNA to be gathered in the future ARCAD building. It is meant to be an open, flexible, and efficient facility. Through close relations with the management of germplasm collections and Biological Resources Centres and subsequently within the future Platform for Plant Genetic and Genomic Resource Management, these DNA facilities will help organize a DNA Bank for Mediterranean and tropical crops.

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