ARVALIS – Institut du végétal is responsible for applied research in France on cereals, maize, pulses, potatoes and forage. The aim of this Institute is to develop and transfer techniques and information enabling farmers to adapt to the needs of the market and to maintain their international competitiveness, while protecting the environment. For about 40 years Arvalis has gained specific competences in phenotyping wheat and maize at experimental plots: – First, by setting up protocols allowing a suitable and reproducible accuracy of phenotyping by sound competences in biometrics and experimental designs, -Second by identification of environmental or plant characteristics allowing to explain specific reaction of cultivars towards environmental stress. This expertise was gained through development of functional and operational competences in ecophysiology and agronomy. Every year more than 2000 experimental trials in individual plots are set in more than 50 locations representative of French soil and climate diversity. In some of those locations, greenhouses are available allowing for controlled conditions experiments. In other locations controlled irrigation and water management is feasible under field conditions (through mobile greenhouse device unique in Europe). Arvalis has developed a know-how in characterizing plant growing conditions through analytical methods and the use of non destructive sensors that allow Arvalis to be recognized as a leader in phenotyping under field conditions.
Year after year, Arvalis supports the efforts in genetics and agronomy for acquiring knowledge on main phenotypic traits. Our main contribution in that field is on phenotyping but also on genotype by environmental interactions.