One of the crucial role of CRA-W is to explore how modern biotechnology can contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture in respecting the environment.
Where does this research originate from?
It was in 1967 when this research began with in vitro cultivation of meristems with the view of eliminating viruses infecting fruit species. This approach quickly highlighted, with the strawberry plants as examples, the potential of exponential multiplication of healthy plants that are genetically identical to the original individual. The followed year were marked as "The Golden age “" of clonal micropropagation at CRA-W with its extension to various fruits, vegetables, forest and ornamental plant species from all around the world and for which original techniques, efficient and respecting genetic conformity, were required.
What are the current applications?
Today, the technique is involved in producing new clones of potatoes and various plants intended for emerging sectors (biomass and rehabilitation of industrial sites, evaluation of biopesticides, multiplication of plants with seeds with so-called recalcitrant germination characteristics in order to promote their availability and therefore biodiversity) or at the service of molecular characterisation activities and the extension of natural genetic diversity.
From the beginning of the 1990s, CRA-W has also been interested in the emergence and development of genome modification techniques as a tool to study gene functionalities, their potential for crop improvement but also to evaluate their overall effect.
CRA-W has closely followed the evolution of molecular biology techniques which now constitute a multitude of so-called « omics » approaches such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. These techniques allow the possibility to characterize individuals, assess genetic diversity, identify genes and understand responses to various abiotic and biotic stresses. The biotechnological tools proposed by CRA-W are destinated to provide innovative solutions for the development of sustainable agriculture meeting the expectations of citizens.