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Profil de Laurent GENTZBITTEL


Email :

Téléphone / phone:

Bureau / office : +33 5 34 32 38 96

Institution : INPT

Statut / status: Enseignant chercheur

Adresse professionnelle / address:

Laboratoire d'Écologie Fonctionnelle & Environnement (EcoLab)
18, Chemin de Borde Rouge - Auzeville Tolosane

Site perso / personal website :

Professor in Quantitative Genetics and Plant Genomics


Professor, 1st class (national promotion), Ecole Nat. Sup. Agron. de Toulouse Toulouse, France

  • 2011-now : Functional Ecology & Environment Lab
  • 2008-2011 : Symbiosis & Plant Pathology Lab

 Professor, 2nd class, Ecole Nat. Sup. Agron. de Toulouse Toulouse, France

  • 2007-2008 : Symbiosis & Plant Pathology Lab
  • 1997-2007 : Biotechnology & Plant Breeding Lab
  • Head of Lab from 2005 to 2008

 Research Manager, GIE CARTISOL (private company) Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, France

  • QTL analysis of resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in sunflower, using a multi-site, multi-cross, multi-year design.
  • Identification of genes for downy-mildew resistance.

Project Leader, GIE CARTISOL (private company) Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, France

  • Construction of the first genetic map of cultivated sunflower, using RFLPs


76 papers, 3 book chapters, 2 patents, H-index: 32 (ResearchGate),  30 (WoS) 


  • Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (degree required to supervise PhD students), Univ.Clermont-Ferrand, France,  “Molecular genetics of sunflowers”
  • Ph.D in Plant Molecular Genetics, Univ. Lyon I, École Normale Supérieure-Lyon,   “A molecular phylogeny of the Helianthus genus ; application to cytoplasmic male sterilities analyses in Sunflower”
  • MSc in Genetics & Molecular Biology, Univ. Lyon I


Extra pay for ’Scientific Excellence and Ph.D Supervision’ since 2000, without interruptions (national ranking).


Statistics & biostatistics, plant quantitative and molecular genetics, bioinformatics

PhD supervision

Ph.D supervisor for 14 students


French mother tongue

English fluency

Scientific summary

Plant-microbe interactions. Genetics and genomics approaches based on natural biodiversity (GWAS, Genomic Selection/Prediction). Genetics of adaptation of disease responses, via micro-evolution and phenotypic plasticity. Interaction of disease response mechanisms with biotic (symbioses) or abiotic (climate) factors. Genes and small RNAs regulating response to plant diseases.


Recent invited or selected talks

* VIth International Meeting on Oasis Agriculture and Sustainable Development (invited) – OASuD 2018,
Zarzis, Tunisia. Introductory conference
Natural variation in a plant species : an efficient way to identify genes of adaptive or agronomic
importance in Legumes, with the aid of genomics

* The N.I.Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic resources - VIR (invited), St Petersburg, Russian Federation. Genetics and Genomics of Quantitative Disease Resistance against root pathogens in Medicago truncatula

* Second International Legume Society Conference, Troia, Portugal.  Quantitative response of M. truncatula to Verticillium wilt.

* Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences Kunming (invited), China. Genomics of natural diversity in the model legume Medicago truncatula

* Second Adam Kondorosi Symposium - Frontiers in Legume Biology (invited) Gif-sur-Yvette, France. Genomics and natural variation : an alternative way to reveal genes of adaptive importance in Legumes

* National School of Agronomy of Algeria (invited) Algier, Algeria. Medicago truncatula: a model Mediterranean legume plant. Applications to biotic and abiotic stress

* Center for Biotechnology at Borj Cedria (invited) Borj Cedria. Tunisia. Natural diversity as a tool to identify adaptation mechanisms to environmental stress in the model legume M. truncatula. Focus on biotic stress

* Saclay Plant Science Conference 2013, Plant signalling in a changing environment Evry, France. Natural diversity of the response to Verticillium sp. in M. truncatula allows identifying distinct genetic mechanisms for resistance to verticillium wilt

* University of Southern California (invited) Dept of Computational and Molecular Biology Los Angeles, CA, USA. Biodiversity & adaptation to environmental stress: is the wild legume M. truncatula a promising model ?

* Kunming Institute of Botany CAS (invited) Seminars of the Key Lab. of Biodiversity and Biogeography Kunming, China. Medicago truncatula : A model for understanding legume adaptation to stresses.

* Model Legume Congress Sainte Maxime, France. Putative regulation by microRNAs and hormonal control of root disease in Medicago truncatula

* Model Legume Congress Asilomar, CA, USA. Vertical and horizontal genetics in Medicago truncatula in the context of stress-related traits

* University of 21 Novembre at Carthage (invited) Science Faculty of Bizerte, Bizerte, Tunisia. Medicago truncatula : A model for legumes

Organisation of meetings

* Medicago Genetics and Genomics Mini-Symposium 2015, Port-La-Nouvelle, France. Main Organizer, with C. Ben and M. Rickauer

* Model Legume Congress 2011, Sainte Maxime, France Main Organizer, with C. Ben and M. Rickauer

* Kick-Off Meeting for Medicago HapMap project. Auzeville, France jointly organized with Pr Nevin Young (University of Minnesota). Kick-off meeting for HapMap project and decision to submit to NSF & EU

* Model Legume Congress 2007, Tunis, Tunisia in association with T. Huguet and M.E.A. Aouani (Main Organizers)


Services to the scientific community

web site for Medicago truncatula biodiversity, geography and genetic resources

web site for Medicago truncatula integrated genome viewer (annotations, SNPs, genetic maps, RNA-Seq data, ...)

web site for Medicago truncatula genetic maps


Associate Editor of Frontiers in Plant Sciences, Plant Breeding section

referee for several international journals including Genetics, Plant Physiology, Nucleic Acids Research, Theoretical and Applied Genetics, BMC Genomics, BMC Plant Biology, and others.

external peer reviewer on the ANR (French Funding Agency), NSF (USA Funding Agency), NWO Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Netherlands), Grant Agency of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and others.


Member of the Scientific Committee and of the Executive Committee of the International Legume Society

Member of the Tunisian Association of Genetic Resources (since 2017).


Project Leader for the ”Centre National de Ressources Génomiques Végétales (CNRGV)’- National Center for Plant Genomic Ressources Toulouse commited to apply for fundings, set up and install the CNRGV in Toulouse. Funded partly by 6th PCRD (EU) > 1M€

Scientific Manager of the Genotyping & Sequencing platform of the Toulouse Genomic Center Toulouse set-up and technical and scientific management of the Sequencing and Genotyping platform of the Toulouse-Genopole. Funded by national and regional grants >3M€.

Member of the Scientific Committee and of the Executive Board of Toulouse-Genopole (1999-2005)

statistical consulting for Centre d’Étude et de Réalisation Informatique de Toulouse (French Ministry of Agriculture, 2003) ; statistical consulting for BASF Agro company (2004, 2005);

expert on World Bank (1999, Ukrainia: Odessa, Kiev, Zaporozye)


Ministerial appointements

Expert member, National Agency for Safety, Food and Environment Paris member of the Expert Committee for “Plant Health and Biological Risks” of the “Agence Nationale de Sécurité sanitaire de l’Alimentation, de l’Environnement et du Travail” ANSES


University committees

2003-now :elected or appointed to the Board for Recruitment of Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse

1998-2010 :elected Trustee of Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse

2005-2008 :elected member of Scientific Council of Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse

2003-2007 :appointed to the Board for Recruitment of Université Paul-Sabatier-Toulouse III (Population Biology and Ecology)

1999-2004: head of “Ingeneering Sciences” Teaching Department

1997-2000 :appointed to the Board for Recruitment of Université Paul-Sabatier-Toulouse III (Physiology)

Main/Recent publications

  • 76 publications in leading peer reviewed international journals
  • 3 book chapters
  • numerous abstracts and proceedings from international meetings
  • 2 patents


* Amokrane M.S.Y., Kadri A., Laouar M., Abdelguerfi A., Jullier B., Ben C., Gentzbittel L. (2018) Functional and Fitness related traits Diversity Evaluation and Salt Stress Tolerance Investigation of some Medicago spp. natural populations (pending submission)

* Sbeiti A., Mazurier M., Ben C., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. (2018) Temperature increase as predicted by climate change modifies susceptibility to Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula and may lead to the appearance of new and more aggressive strains of the pathogen (pending submission)

* Mabrouk Y., Ameline-Torregrosa C., Ben C., San Clemente H., Rotter B., Winter P., Gentzbittel L., Rickauer M. (2018) Comparison of global gene expression changes during partial resistance to Ascochyta pisi in two accessions of Medicago truncatula assessed by deep SuperSAGE. (pending submission)

  1. Grigoreva  E., Ulianich P., Ben C., Gentzbittel L.*, Potokina E.* (2019) First insights into the guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub.) genome of the `Vavilovskij 130' accession, using second and third-generation sequencing technologies.  accepted in  Russian J. Genet. \ * co-corresponding authors
  2. Gentzbittel L., Ben C., Mazurier M., Shin M-G., Todd L., Rickauer M., Marjoram P., Nuzhdin S., Tatarinova T.V. (2019) WhoGEM: an admixture-based prediction machine accurately predicts quantitative functional traits in plants. Genome Biol. 20:106  \ \   doi:  10.1186/s13059-019-1697-0  (2017 IF : 16.49)
  3. Yamchi A., Ben C., Rossignol M., Zareie S.R., Mirlohi A., Sayed-Tabatabaei B.E., Pichereaux C., Sarrafi A., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. (2018) Proteomics analysis of Medicago truncatula response to infection by the phytopathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum points to jasmonate and salicylate defence pathways. Cellular Microbiology 2018;e12796       doi:10.1111/cmi.12796 (2016 IF : 4.55)
  4. Garmier M., Gentzbittel L., Wen J.Q., Mysore K.S., Ratet P. (2017) Genetic and genomic resources for the study of Medicago truncatula. Curr. Protocol. Plant Biol.  2:4    doi:10.1002/cppb.20058 
  5. Kadri A., Julier B., Laouar M., Ben C., Badri M., Chedded J., Mouhouche B., Gentzbittel L., Abdelguerfi A. (2017) Genetic determinism of fitness traits under drought stress in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Acta Physiol. Plant. 39:227    doi:10.1007/s11738-017-2527-1 (2016 IF : 1.68)
  6. Cai F., Watson B.S., Meek D., Huhman D.V., Wherritt D.J., Ben C., Gentzbittel L., Driscoll B.T., Sumner L.W., Bede J. (2017) Medicago truncatula oleanolic-derived saponins are correlated with caterpillar deterrence. J. Chem Ecol. 43:712-724.   doi:10.1007/s10886-017-0863-7 (2015 IF : 3.15)
  7. Rahoui S., Martinez Y., Sakouhi L., Ben C., Rickauer M., El Ferjani E., Gentzbittel L., Chaoui A. (2017) Cadmium-induced changes in antioxidative systems and differentiation in roots of contrasted \textit{Medicago truncatula} lines. Protoplasma 254(1):473-489      doi:10.1007/s00709-016-0968-9 (2016 IF : 2.66)
  8. Toueni M., Ben C., Leru A., Gentzbittel L.*, Rickauer M.* (2016) Quantitative resistance to Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula involves eradication of the fungus from roots and is associated with transcriptional responses related to innate immunity. Front. Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016.01431   * co-corresponding authors
  9. Gentzbittel L., Andersen S.U., Ben C., Rickauer M., Stougaard J., Young N.D. (2015) Naturally occuring diversity helps to reveal genes of adaptive importance in legumes. Front. Plant Sci. 6:269. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00269
  10. Rubiales D., Singh K.B., Higgins T.J.V., Fondevilla S., Gentzbittel L., Lichtenzveig J., Chen W., Rispail N. (2015) Achievements and challenges in Legume breeding for pest and disease resistance. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 34 (1-3):195-236
  11. Rahoui S, Chaoui A, Ben C, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L, El Ferjani E. (2015) Effect of cadmium pollution on mobilization of embryo reserves in seedlings of six contrasted Medicago truncatula lines. Phytochemistry 111 DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.12.002
  12. Formey D., Sallet E., Lelandais-Brière C., Ben C., Bustos-Sanmamed P., Niebel A., Frugier F., Combier JP., Hartmann C., Wincker P., Roux C., Gentzbittel L.*, Gouzy J., Crespi M.* (2014) The small RNA diversity from Medicago truncatula roots under biotic interactions evidences the environmental plasticity of the miRNome. Genome Biol. 15(9):457   * co-corresponding authors. Research highlight by Huan Wang & Nam-Hai Chua (2014) Genome Biology 15:475
  13. Foroozanfar M, Exbrayat S, Gentzbittel L, Bertoni G, Maury P, Naghavie M, Peyghambari A, Badri M, Ben C, Debellé F, Sarrafi A. (2014) Genetic variability and identification of QTL affecting plant growth and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in the model legume Medicago truncatula under control and salt conditions. Functional Plant Biol. 41(9):983-1001.
  14. Tang H.B., Krishnakumar V., Bidwell S., Rosen B., Chan A., Zhou S.G., Gentzbittel L., Childs KL., Yandell M., Gundlach H., Mayer K.F.X., Schwartz D.C., Town C.D. (2014) An improved genome release (version Mt4.0) for the model legume Medicago truncatula. BMC Genomics 15:312
  15. Rahoui S., Ben C., Chaoui A., Martinez Y., Yamchi A., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L., El Ferjani E. (2014) Oxidative injury and antioxidant genes regulation in cadmium-exposed radicles of six contrastedMedicago truncatula genotypes. Environ. Sci. Pollut. R. 21(13):8070-8083
  16. Mouttet R., Escobar-Gutiérrez A., Esquibet M., Gentzbittel L., Mugniéry D., Reignault P., Sarniguet C., Castagnone-Sereno P. (2014) Banning of methyl bromide for seed treatment: Could Ditylenchus dipsaci become again a major threat for alfalfa production in Europe?   Pest Manag. Sci. 70(7):1017-1022
  17. Madrid E., Barilli E., Gil J., Huguet T., Gentzbittel L., Rubiales D. (2014) Detection of partial resistance QTL against Didymella pinodes in Medicago truncatula. Mol. Breeding 33:589-599
  18. Ben, C., Debellé, F., Berges, H., Bellec, A., Jardinaud, M.-F., Anson, P., Huguet, T., Gentzbittel, L., Vailleau, F. (2013). MtQRRS1, an R-locus required for Medicago truncatula quantitative resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum. New Phytol. 199:758-772
  19. Negahi, A., Ben, C., Gentzbittel, L., Maury, P., Nabipour, A., Ebrahimi, A., Sarrafi, A., Rickauer, M. (2013) Quantitative trait loci associated with resistance to a potato isolate of Verticillium albo-atrum in Medicago truncatula. Plant Pathol DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12100
  20. Ben, C., Toueni, M., Montanari, S., Tardin, M.-C., Fervel, M., Negahi, A., Saint-Pierre, L., Mathieu, G., Gras, M.-C., Noël, D., Prospéri, J.-M., Pilet-Nayel, M.-L., Baranger, A., Huguet, T., Julier, B., Rickauer, M., Gentzbittel, L. (2013). Natural diversity in the model legume Medicago truncatula allows identifying distinct genetic mechanisms conferring partial resistance to Verticillium wilt. J. Exp. Bot. 64: 317–332.
  21. Saeidi G, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. (2012). Tolerance for cadmium pollution in a core-collection of the model legume, Medicago truncatula L. at seedling stage. Aust J Crop Sci 6:641-648
  22. Branca A, Paape TD, Zhou P, Briskine R, Farmer AD, Mudge J, Bharti AK, Woodward JE, May GD, Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Denny R, Sadowsky MJ, Ronfort J, Bataillon T, Young ND, Tiffin P. (2011). Whole-genome nucleotide diversity, recombination, and linkage disequilibrium in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108(42): E864-870
  23. Turner, M., Jauneau, A., Genin, S., Tavella, M.-J., Vailleau, F., Gentzbittel, L., Jardinaud, M.-F (2009). Dissection of bacterial Wilt on Medicago truncatula revealed two type III secretion system effectors acting on root infection process and disease development. Plant Physiol. 50:1713-1722.
  24. Stewart S., Hodge S., Mansfield J., Prosperi J.M., Huguet T., Ben C., Gentzbittel L., Powell G. (2009). The RAP1 gene confers extreme resistance to the pea aphid in Medicago truncatula without engaging the hypersensitive reaction. Mol Plant Microb Interact. 22(12):1645-1655.
  25. Buti M, Giordani T, Vukich M, Gentzbittel L, Pistelli L, Cattonaro F, Morgante M, Cavallini A, Natali L. (2009). HACRE1, a recently inserted copia-like retrotransposon of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Genome 52:904-911
  26. Roche, J., Hewezi, T., Bouniols, A., Gentzbittel, L. (2009). Real-time PCR monitoring of signal transduction related genes involved in water stress tolerance mechanism of sunflower. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 47:139–145.
  27. Darvishzadeh, R., Hewezi, T., Gentzbittel, L., Sarrafi, A. (2008). Differential expression of defence-related genes between compatible and partially compatible sunflower–Phoma macdonaldii interactions. Crop Protection 27:740–746.
  28. Hewezi T, Léger M, Gentzbittel L. (2008). A comprehensive analysis of the combined effects of high light and high temperature stresses on gene expression in sunflower. Ann Bot(Lond) 102:127-40.
  29. Darvishzadeh R., Hewezi T., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2008) Differential expression of defence-related genes between compatible and partially compatible sunflower-Phoma macdonaldii interactions. Crop Protec. 27:740-746
  30. Vailleau F., Sartorel E., Jardinaud M.F., Chardon F., Génin S., Huguet T., Gentzbittel L., Petitprez M. (2007). Characterization of the interaction between the bacterial wilt pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum and the model legume plant Medicago truncatula. Mol Plant Microb Interact. 20(2):159-167.
  31. Poormohammad Kiani S., Grieu P., Maury P., Hewezi T., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007). Genetic variability for physiological traits under drought conditions and differential expression of water stress-associated genes in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 114:193-207.
  32. Roche J., Hewezi T., Bouniols A., Gentzbittel L. (2007). Transcriptional profiles of primary metabolism and signal transduction-related genes in response to water stress in field-grown sunflower genotypes using a thematic cDNA microarray. Planta 226:601-17
  33. Huang XQ., Nabipour A., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007) Somatic embryogenesis from thin epidermal layers in sunflower and chromosomal regions controlling the response. Plant Sci 173:247-252
  34. Abou Alfadil T., Poormohammad Kiani S., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007). QTL mapping of partial resistance to Phoma basal stem and root necrosis in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Plant Sci 172:815-823
  35. Darvishzadeh. R, Kiani S.P., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007) Quantitative trait loci associated with isolate specific and isolate nonspecific partial resistance to Phoma macdonaldii in sunflower. Plant Pathol. 56:855-861.
  36. Poormohammad Kiani S., Talia P., Maury P., Grieu P., Heinz R., Perrault A., Nishinakamasu V., Hopp E., Gentzbittel L., Paniego N., Sarrafi A. (2007). Genetic analysis of plant water status and osmotic adjustment in recombinant inbred lines of sunflower under two water treatments. Plant Sci 172:773-787
  37. Angot A., Peeters N., Lechner E., Vailleau F., Gentzbittel L., Sartorel E., Genschik P., Boucher C., Genin S. (2006). Ralstonia solanacearum requires F-box-like domain-containing type III effectors to promote disease on several host plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 103(39):14620-14625.
  38. Hewezi T., Léger M., El Kayal W., Gentzbittel L. (2006). Transcriptional profiling of sunflower plant growing under low temperatures reveals an extensive downregulation of gene expression associated with chilling sensitivity. J Exp. Bot. 57:3109-3122.
  39. Alignan M., Hewezi T., Petitprez M., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Gentzbittel L. (2006). A cDNA microarray approach to decipher sunflower (Helianthus annuus) responses to the necrotrophic fungus Phoma macdonaldii. New Phytol. 170:523-536.
  40. Hewezi T., Petitprez M., Gentzbittel L. (2006). Primary metabolic pathways and signal transduction in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. ) : Comparison of transcriptional profiling in leaves and immature embryos using cDNA microarrays. Planta 223:948-964
  41. Petitprez M., Sarrafi A., Flores-Berrios E., XuHan X., Brière C., Gentzbittel L. (2005). Somatic embryogenesis by liquid culture of epidermal layers in sunflower: from genetic control to cell development. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 81:331-337.
  42. Al-Chaarani G., Gentzbittel L., Wedzony M., Sarrafi A. (2005). Identification of QTLs for germination and seedling development in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Plant Sci 169: 221-227.
  43. Alejo-Jaimes A., Jardinaud M. F., Maury P., Alibert G., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A., Grieu P., Petitprez M. (2004). Genetic variation for germination and physiological traits in sunflower mutants inducde by gamma rays. J Genet Breed 58:285-294.
  44. Ben C., Hewezi T., Jardinaud M.F., Béna F., Ladouce N., Moretti S., Tamborindeguy C., Liboz T., Petitprez M., Gentzbittel L. (2004) Comparative analysis of early embryonic sunflower cDNA libraries. Plant Mol Biol. 57:255-270
  45. Müller C., Denis M., Gentzbittel L., Faraut T. (2004) The ICCARE Web server: an attempt to merge sequence and mapping information for plant and animal species. Nucleic Acid Res 32: W429-W434.
  46. Tamborindeguy C., Ben C., Liboz T., Gentzbittel L. (2004) Sequence evaluation of four cDNA libraries for sunflower developmental genomics. Mol Genet Genomics 271:367-375
  47. Tamborindeguy C., Ben C., Jardinaud F., Gentzbittel L., Liboz T. (2004) Study of embryogenesis in sunflower : mass-cloning of differential and non-differential transcript-derived-fragments (TDF) from cDNA-AFLP experiments. Plant Mol Biol Rep 22:1-7
  48. El-Sharkawy I., Jones B., Gentzbittel L., Lelièvre J-M., Pech J.C., Latché A. (2004) Differential regulation of ACC synthase genes in cold-dependent and -independent ripening in pear fruit. Plant Cell Environ 27:1197-1210
  49. Al-Chaarani G., Gentzbittel L., Barrault G., Lenoble S., Sarrafi A. (2004). The effects of gamma rays and genotypes on sunflower organogenesis traits. J Genet Breed 58:
  50. Rachid Al-Chaarani G., Gentzbittel L., Huang X.Q., Sarrafi A. (2004) Genotypic variation and identification of QTLs for agronomic traits, using AFLP and SSR markers in RILs of sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Theor Appl Genet 109:1353-1360
  51. Langar K., Lorieux M., Desmarais E., Griveau Y., Gentzbittel L., Berville A. (2003) Combined mapping of DALP and AFLP markers in cultivated sunflower using F9 recombinant inbred lines. Theor Appl Genet 106:1068-1074.
  52. Huang XQ, Gentzbittel L., Petitprez M., Sarrafi A. (2002) Genetic control for protoplast division in recombinant inbred lines of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). J Genet Breed 56:365-370.
  53. Mokrani L., Gentzbittel L., Azanza F., Fitamant L., Al-Chaarani G., Sarrafi A. (2002) Mapping and analysis of quantitative trait loci for grain oil content and agronomic traits using AFLP and SSR in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).Theor Appl Genet 106:149-156.
  54. Gentzbittel L., Abbott A., Galaud JP., Georgi L., Fabre F., Liboz T., Alibert G. (2002) A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for sunflower, and identification of clones containing genes for putative transmembrane receptors. Mol Genet Genomics 266:979-987.
  55. Rachid Al-Chaarani G., Roustaee A., Gentzbittel L., Mokrani L., Barrault G., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Sarrafi A. (2002) A QTL analysis of sunflower partial resistance to downy mildew (Plasmopara halstedii) and black stem (Phoma macdonaldii) by the use of recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Theor Appl Genet 104:490-496.
  56. Hervé, D., Fabre F., Flores Berrios E., Leroux N., Al Chaarani G., Planchon C., Sarrafi A., Gentzbittel L. (2001) QTL analysis of photosynthesis and water status traits in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) under greenhouse conditions. J Exp Bot 52:1857-1864.
  57. Flores Berrios E., Gentzbittel L., Alibert G., Sarrafi A. (2000) . Genotypic variation and chromosomal location of QTLs for somatic embryogenesis revealed by epidermic layers culture of recombinant inbred lines in the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 101:1307-1312.
  58. Flores Berrios E., Gentzbittel L., Kayyal H., Alibert G., Sarrafi A. (2000) AFLP mapping of QTLs for in vitro organogenesis traits using recombinant inbred lines in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 101:1299-1306.
  59. Flores Berrios E., Gentzbittel L., Mokrani L., Alibert G., Sarrafi A. (2000) Genetic control of early events in protoplast division and regeneration pathways in sunflower. Theor Appl Genet 101:606-612.
  60. Bolandi A.R., Branchard M., Alibert G., Gentzbittel L., Berville A., Sarrafi A. (2000) Combining-ability analysis of somatic embryogenesis from epidermal layers in the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 100:621-624.
  61. Flores Berrios E, Gentzbittel L, Serieys H, Alibert G, Sarrafi A. (1999) Influence of genotype and gelling agents on in vitro regeneration by organogenesis in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Plant, Cell, Tissue and Org. Cult. 59:65-69.
  62. Berrios EF, Gentzbittel L, Alibert G, Griveau Y, Berville A, Sarrafi A. (1999) Genetic control of in vitro-organogenesis in recombinant inbred lines of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Plant Breed 118:359-361.
  63. Gentzbittel L, Mestries E, Mouzeyar S, Mazeyrat F, Badaoui S, Vear F, Tourvieille de Labrouhe D, Nicolas P (1999) A composite map of expressed sequences and phenotypic traits of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) genome. Theor Appl Genet 99:218-234.
  64. Gentzbittel L, Mouzeyar S, Badaoui S, Mestries E, Vear F, Tourvieille de Labrouhe D, Nicolas P (1998) Cloning of molecular markers for disease resistance in sunflower, Helianthus annuus L. Theor Appl Genet 96:519-525.
  65. Mestries E, Gentzbittel L, Tourvieille de Labrouhe D, Nicolas P, Vear F (1998) Analysis of quantitative trait loci associated with resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) using molecular markers. Mol Breeding 4:215-226.
  66. Courbou I, Badaoui S, Mouzeyar S, Gentzbittel L, Nicolas P (1997) RT-PCR cloning of a sunflower calmodulin (accession U79736) complete cds. (PGR97-072). Plant Physiol 114:395.
  67. Vear F, Gentzbittel L, Philippon J, Mouzeyar S, Mestries E, Roeckel-Drevet P, Tourvieille de Labrouhe D, Nicolas P (1997) The genetics of resistance to five races of downy mildew (Plasmopara halstedii) in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 95:584-589.
  68. Roeckel-Drevet P, Gagne G, Mouzeyar S, Gentzbittel L, Philippon J, Nicolas P, Tourvieille de Labrouhe D, Vear F (1996) Colocation of downy mildew (Plasmopara halstedii) resistance genes in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Euphytica 91:225-228.
  69. Mouzeyar S, Roeckel-Drevet P, Gentzbittel L, Philippon J, Tourvieille de Labrouhe D, Vear F, Nicolas P (1995) RFLP and RAPD mapping of the sunflower Pl1 locus for resistance to Plasmopara halstedii race 1. Theor Appl Genet 91:733-737.
  70. Gentzbittel L, Vear F, Zhang Y-X, Bervillé A, Nicolas P (1995) Development of a consensus linkage RFLP map of cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 90:1079-1086.
  71. Zhang Y-X, Gentzbittel L, Vear F, Nicolas P (1995) Assessment of inter- and intra- inbred line variability in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) by RFLPs. Genome 38:1040-1048.
  72. Gentzbittel L, Zhang X-Y, Vear F, Griveau B, Nicolas P (1994) RFLP studies of genetic relationships among inbred lines of the cultivated sunflower, Helianthus annuus L.: evidence for distinct restorer and maintainer germplasm pools. Theor Appl Genet 89:419-425.
  73. Gentzbittel L, Perrault A, Nicolas P (1992) Molecular phylogeny of the Helianthus genus, based on nuclear restriction-fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP). Mol Biol Evol 9:872-892.
  74. Gentzbittel L, Nicolas P (1990) Improvement of “A BASIC program to construct evolutionary trees from restriction endonucleases data” with the use of PASCAL language. J Hered 81:491-492.
  75. Crouzillat D, Gentzbittel L, de la Canal L, Vaury C, Perrault A, Nicolas P, Ledoigt G (1989) Properties and nucleotide sequence of a mitochondrial plasmid from sunflower. Curr Genet 15:283-289.
  76. Gentzbittel L, Nicolas P (1989) A BASIC program to construct evolutionary trees from restriction endonucleases data. J Hered 80:254.

Current fundings and research

Ongoing projects & international collaborations

* PHC Tassili French-Algerian program funded by Campus France Agency; French PI: L. Gentzbittel, ECOLAB, Algerian PI: M Lazzali, Univ. of Khemis Miliana.  “Ecological services of Legumes in agro-ecosystems of the Mediterranean Basin”

* Visiting Research Scholar USC, Los Angeles, CA, USA.  Consulting for USAid program ’A reverse-introgression and community genomics strategy to enrich and characterize legume germplasms for climate resilience’, Nuzhdin’s lab.

* PHC Utique and CoopIntEr French-Tunisian programs funded by Campus France Agency and CNRS respectively; French co-PI: M. Rickauer & L. Gentzbittel, ECOLAB; Tunisian PI: Y. Mabrouk, CNSTN & M. Badri, CBBC

’Potential of Rhizobium strains for biological control of Verticillium wilt in Legumes’
’Analysis of the genetic basis and physiological mechanisms of the interaction Salinity/Pathogens in Medicago truncatula

* PHC Tassili French-Algerian program funded by Campus France Agency; French PI: B. Julier, INRA Lusignan, Algerian PI: A. Abdelguerfi, ENSA-Algier ’Genetics of tolerance to drought in lucerne’

* Participant in “NodOn NodOff” project (ANR-10-BLAN-1722) PI: F. Debellé, LIPM

’New genetic approaches to unravel host specificity in rhizobium-legume symbiosis’

* Participant in the’MIRMED’ national collaborative project (funded by Genoscope) PI: M. Crespi, ISV

’smallRNAome of interacting roots of M. truncatula

* Participant in ’Resistance to Bio-agressors’ project (funded by ’Contrat de Branche’ of French Ministry of Agriculture) involving several private seed companies and public research institutes.  ’Biodiversity of tolerance to Verticillium sp in M. truncatula

 * "Primary Collaborator" in NSF Plant Genome Research projectMedicago truncatula HapMap’   PI: N.D. Young, University of Minnesota, USA (

* Not funded participant in the NSF Plant Genome Research project ’GEPR: Community Genomics of Local Adaptation in Medicago truncatula’ PI: Sergey Nuzhdin, USC Los Angeles, USA (

* Partner in ERA-NET Plant Genomics FP6 project LegResist

’Exploiting genetic variability of resistance genes in major European food legumes to improve varieties for sustainable agriculture’


Current informal collaborations  

  • E. Potokina, Vice-Director of the N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Genetic Resources, St Petersburg, Russia : Genetic analysis of guar Cyamopsis tetragonoloba
  • M. Bekkay, K. Nagaz, Institute of Arid Regions, Medenine, Tunisia ; Biogeography of plants and associated microbes in Southern-Tunisia oases.
  • M. Crespi’s Lab , Institut des Sciences du Végétal, Gif-sur-Yvette, France : small RNAome of M. truncatula.
  • J. Stougaard’s Lab, Aarhus University, Denmark : root diseases in Lotus japonicus
  • T. Tatarinova, Univ. La Verne, California, USA : Medicago truncatula population genomics
  • E. El Ferjani’s Lab, Bizerte University of Science, Tunisia : genetics of Cd tolerance in M. truncatula
  • J.J. Drevon (INRA Montpellier, France) and G. Carlson (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) : genetics tolerance to phosphorus deficiency in M. truncatula

sunflower genomics and genetics programs  

  • PI for Génoplante GOP-HG01 project “Functional genomics of key traits in Sunflower”
  • PI for Génoplante GOP-HG03 project “Physical and genetic mapping of Sunflower”

Teaching and supervision

◊ Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse Auzeville, France

Linear Algebra

General Linear Models and Experimental Designs

Generalized Linear Models

Multivariate Analysis

Methods for Genetics analysis (statistical methods in Plant Sciences)

QTL analysis, Association genetics (Plant Sciences)

◊ Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Toulouse

Ph.D supervisor for 14 students

Supervisor for 15 Msc final year project in Plant Genetics and Phytopathology

Supervisor for BSc students


International Courses

Experimental Design , a practical approach with R  - 2018. IRA, Zarzis Tunisia

Using whole-genome data in plant breeding: Population Genomics, GWAS and Genomic Selection - 2018. VIR St Petersburg, Russia

Experimental Design & Statistical Analysis for Plant Pathology  - 2018. CBBC, Tunisia

International theoretical and practical course on « Using whole-genome data in plant breeding: GWAS & Genomic Selection - 2017. CBBC, Tunisia

QTL analyses and mapping of candidate genes of agronomic interest - 2015. CBBC, Tunisia

Experimental designs in agronomy - 2013. ENSA-Algiers, Algeria

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