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We are

The Laboratory of Plants Microbes and Environment Interactions (LIPME), created in 1981, is a combined INRA-CNRS Research Unit, attached to the CNRS Institutes of Biological Sciences (INSB) and Ecology & Environment (INEE), as well as to the INRAE Departments of Plant Health & Environment (SPE) and Biology & Plant Breeding (BAP).

From the outset, the LIPME has focused its research on the interactions between plants and either symbiotic or pathogenic microbes, co-ordinating studies on both plant and microbial partners. This research is performed using a small number of model species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula), and more recently model plants of agronomic importance such as sunflower, tomato and soybean

These studies allow us to address key biological questions concerning the determinants which control pathogenic/symbiotic associations, the mechanisms of host infection, inter- and intra-organism signaling, developmental programs, regulation of gene expression and finally the mechanisms of metabolic adaptation. Bacterial and plant genome organization is also a theme that we are actively studying using both bioinformatic and genomic approaches.

New research topics at the LIPME are aimed at understanding evolutionary and adaptative processes, and in particular concerning host specificity and the relationship between mutualism and pathogenesis.

The LIPME addresses scientific questions which have a major impact on agriculture and the environment. In the long-term, our research aims to provide new concepts and tools in the struggle against bio-agressors. Symbiotic interactions play an essential role in the provision of essential nutrients to legume plants, the importance of which is now being rediscovered in agronomical, economical, environmental and nutritional contexts.

The LIPME is part of a Research Federation (FR AIB), which brings together the principle plant biology and ecology laboratories in the Toulouse area, mainly located on the INRAE campus at Auzeville.

The LIPME is also a key component of the LabEx (TULIP) aiming at establishing high quality research and education in the field of ecology and plant biology in the French Midi-Pyrénées region.



Director: Laurent Noël

Deputy Director: Nemo Peeters

Root endosymbioses

Plant-Pathogen-Environment Interactions


Aurelien Carlier


Stephane genin


Aurelien Carlier


Laurent Noel


Clare gough


Stephane Muñoz


Fernanda de Carvalho and

Andreas Niebel



Benoit Lefebvre


Claude bruand


Sylvain Raffaele


Fabrice Roux


Laurent Deslandes


Nicolas langlade


TPMP - Toulouse Plant-Microbe Phenotyping Plateform

Nemo peeters

CRBT- Sunflower Biological Resource Center

Marie-Claude Boniface

Computer science and bioinformatics

Jerome Gouzy

Collective services

Executive assistant

Fanny marion

Administrative and financial service

Sandrine Barrere


Philippe Luis

Laundromat and media preparation

Christian Pince

Plant production and experimentation

Fabrice Devoilles

Plant transgenesis

Celine Rembliere

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