The platform, situated at the FR-AIB, has developed a set of techniques and expertise that is particularly suited to the observation of plants, their associated microorganisms and biofilms. Associated with the research laboratories of the INRA campus, the platform is especially involved in two major areas of research and development: the study of interactions between plants and their environment (biotic or abiotic), and the economic exploitation of biomass. In addition to an improved understanding of the phenomena involved, the objective is to contribute to the development of an agriculture that is more respectful of the environment. Here are our areas of expertise, including an example of collaboration, as well as the resources that are specially dedicated to plants.


Infection végétal

Confocal microscopy observation in vivo of the infection of plant tissues (red) by a fungus (green) and the induction of the defense reaction (blue)

Our areas of expertise

  • Study of interactions between plants and pathogenic microorganisms: optimizing natural plant defenses in order to limit the use of pesticides.
  • Study of the interactions between plants and symbiotic microorganisms: promoting beneficial interactions so as to reduce use of fertilizers.
  • Study of plant development in relation to modifications to their environment: anticipating the consequences of climate change (limiting water supplies, etc.).
  • Economic exploitation of biomass and of value addes molecules (aromas, perfumes, elicitors, plant textile or food fibers, biofuel, etc.).
  • Contribution to quality food.


An example of collaboration: The secrets of the violet

Logo_Violette_berdouesIf plants are well known as a leading food source, they are also an endless source of aromas, perfumes and a multitude of high value added compounds.

Accumulation of aromatic compounds in violet leaves

Accumulation of aromatic compounds in violet leaves







The violet of Toulouse is emblematic in this respect. Well known for its perfume (the celebrated “Violette de Toulouse” fragrance), this plant is the subject of extensive research to improve the use of its compounds. The FR-AIB imaging platform, in collaboration with the company BERDOUES and a research laboratory, are helping to uncover the hidden treasures of this discreet but emblematic plant.



Our specially dedicated resources for plants

We have developed expertise and adapted observation techniques to the specificities of the plant world. This expertise includes sample preparation, observations, image analysis and data processing.


phénotypage axiozoom

Stereomicroscope (AxioZoom)
Phenotyping of partial and whole plants

Scanner de lames

Microscope slide scanner (nanozoomer)
Medium throughput phenotyping

Microscope Keyence avec caméra amovible

Wide-field Microscope (Keyence)
Dedicated to 3D surface observations, topography and thickness measures


In vivo observation of molecular interactions within cells

Spinning disk microscopy

Confocal spinning disk microscopy
Time-resolved visualization of fluorescent-labelled movement


Targeted recovery cells of interest within a tissue

Sample and rack scannerSample and rack scanner
For capturing thick or thin samples for serial processing

Confocal laser scanning microscopy
Detailed highly resolved observation of living tissues

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