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DPHYS: Department Physiology and Signaling

Modern agriculture faces the challenging task of feeding a steadily growing worldwide population while enduring more and more adverse conditions due to climate change. In this context the PHYSIG department objective is to gain a basic understanding of the mechanisms by which plants adapt to modifications in nutritional and environmental conditions. The three teams of the department focus on complementary questions, with shared interests in primary metabolic processes such as photosynthesis, photorespiration and energy-balance (CCARS and SRMI groups), biotic stress-related hormone signaling (CCARS and STRESS groups), and signaling modules linked to nutritional status such as carbon-nitrogen balance (STRESS and SRMI groups).

A common and growing interest of all teams concerns how stress responses and metabolism will be impacted by the ongoing increases in atmospheric CO2 and associated changes in climatic conditions. The CCARS team is coordinating a recently obtained ANR proposal on the impact of high CO2 on pathogenesis responses in collaboration with researchers of the PMIN Department. A collaborative INRA STARTER project (COSTOMAPK) was set up between the STRESS and SRMI groups in order to explore the impact of climate change in stomatal function in relation with MAP-kinases.

While the teams of PHYSIG also work on crop species such as wheat and tomato, the elucidation of fundamental questions mainly uses genetic, biochemical, physiological, and omics analyses in Arabidopsis. Groups have a track record of using metabolite analysis to resolve scientific questions, and the department hosts the PMM metabolomics platform (part of the SPOmics, Paris Saclay Omics Integrated Platform), which proposes state-of-the-art tools to quantify primary and secondary metabolites, to use isotope labelling to assess C and N allocation, and to elucidate specific metabolic pathways.


This department consists of 3 teams :

  • CCARS: Climate Change & Redox Signaling

Group leader: Graham Noctor (graham.noctor @ ips2.universite-paris-saclay.fr)

  • STRESS: Stress signaling

Group leader: Jean Colcombet (Jean%20Colcombet @ ips2.universite-paris-saclay.fr)

  • SRMI: Signaling, regulation and metabolic interactions

Group leader: Michael Hodges (michael.hodges @ ips2.universite-paris-saclay.fr)