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The CNRGV, a bank of genomic resources of agronomic interest unique in Europe

The National Centre for Plant Genomic Resources offers to the international public and private scientific communities the genomic resources (large fragment DNA libraries) and innovative tools they need to implement ambitious and important breeding research programmes on major agronomic species.

Bank of genomic resources of unique agronomic interest in Europe. © INRA, Hélène BERGES
Updated on 02/10/2017
Published on 11/18/2016

The National Centre for Plant Genomic Resources (CNRGV) is an infrastructure unique in Europe, dedicated to studying the genomes of plants of agronomic interest.  It centralises resources, skills and technologies, and maintains permanent partnerships with the international public and private scientific communities. More than 350 laboratories throughout the world have already requested the resources of the CNRGV, and more than three million samples have been distributed worldwide during the past five years (more than six million since the Centre first opened).

A bank of genomic resources of international importance

Set up by INRA in 2004, the CNRGV currently holds more than 20 million unique samples. These resources are mostly represented by large genomic DNA libraries (or BAC libraries) which concern 34 plant species of agronomic interest. The CNRGV is also the international reference centre for genomic resources regarding wheat, barley and Medicago truncatula.
New DNA sequencing technologies (NGS) have revolutionised research in genomics, but this approach is not sufficient to decipher the considerable complexity of plant genomes concerning many features: their large size, their polyploidy, and the high percentage of repeat elements. The genomic resources generated by the CNRGV thus constitute valuable tools to complete the analysis of plant genomes.
The CNRGV has developed expertise in constructing these genomic DNA libraries and in the storage of genomic resources. Thanks to its know-how and skills, it is closely involved in major national and international research projects.

Innovative tools to decipher the complexity of plant genomes

Having built up its genomic DNA libraries, the CNRGV has broadened its services to the sequencing of genomes and more specifically to genomic regions of interest carrying specific markers linked to traits of interest.
In order to remain at the cutting edge of current technologies, the CNRGV is constantly adapting and evolving through the development of innovative solutions. Significant advances in the isolation of genes of agronomic interest have thus been achieved, enabling improvements to main crop species such as wheat or sunflower.
The CNRGV is also equipped with a technology that can generate optical maps: by establishing a high-resolution whole genome map, this technology can rapidly build a unique structural image of the whole genome. Its applications are numerous and enable the improved assembly of genomes, or the comparison of different genomes, in order to identify physical structural variations.

Technological developments and transfer to facilitate knowledge of plant genomes

The CNRGV is also entrusted with assuring technological developments and transfer, thus enabling companies and public sector laboratories to acquire new technologies linked to genome analysis. Because some steps in the use of genomic DNA libraries are lengthy and uncertain, the CNRGV is currently developing an alternative approach which aims to avoid certain limiting steps such as cloning an entire genome. To achieve this, it employs an innovative technique based on the CrispR* method, which by directly targeting genomic region(s) of interest, will accelerate our knowledge of plant genomes and enable the more rapid establishment of links between phenotypes and genotypes.

The CNRGV benefits from ISO 9001 certification and is accredited as a biological resource centre (CRB NF S96-900).

*cf. publication: Jiang W, Zhao X, Gabrieli T, Lou C, Ebenstein Y, Zhu TF. Cas9-Assisted Targeting of
CHromosome segments CATCH enables one-step targeted cloning of large gene clusters (2015) Nat Commun.: 8101. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9101)

Scientific contact(s):

  • Hélène BERGES National Centre for Plant Genomic Resources – CNRGV. INRA Service Unit US 1258- Postal address: INRA – CNRGV, 24 Chemin de Borde Rouge CS 52627, 31326 Castanet Tolosan, FRANCE
Associated Division(s):
Plant Biology and Breeding
Associated Centre(s):