partners in europe

CIRAD is a French agricultural research center conducting research for development mostly in collaboration with developing countries. It employs 1800 people. About 60 scientists are working on rice. CIRAD is a member of the Global Rice Research Partnership (GRiSP). The “Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Crops” Research Unit (UMR AGAP) of CIRAD is permanently involved in research programs dealing with rice varietal improvement, notably in the breeding program for French Camargue in collaboration with the Centre Français du Riz.

CIRAD will coordinate the whole project. In WP2, CIRAD will contribute to the high density genotyping of the material to be tested (association panel and breeding lines). Based on the phenotyping data produced by the various partners in WP2 and WP3, Cirad will develop a genome-wide prediction model for adaptation to AWDS and its component traits and use the model to predict the value of breeding lines for these parameters. In WP3, CIRAD will undertake an association mapping experiment for salinity tolerance under hydroponic conditions. CIRAD will contribute to WP4 in participating in the development of the genetic data base, and in communication to the public and to the scientific community.

Brigitte Courtois

Dr. Brigitte Courtois

Dr. Brigitte Courtois is a senior plant breeder and molecular geneticist with 30 years of experience mostly in rice. She is presently working on association mapping for tolerance to abiotic stresses (drought, salinity).
Dr. Tuong-Vi Cao-Hamadou is a quantitative geneticist with field experience in cotton. She is presently working on several genomic selection projects in rice.

Chantal Hamelin

Chantal Hamelin

Chantal Hamelin is a bioinformatician specialized in database development and maintenance. She has developed the rice modules of TropgeneDB, EURIGEN and EURoot databases that manage genomic, genetic and phenotypic information about rice.

Axel Labeyrie

Axel Labeyrie

 Axel Labeyrie is a rice breeder working in partnership with CFR. He is also specialized in Oil palm biotechnology since 15 years and has some field experience in cotton.



CREA-RIS is an Italian agricultural research unit conducting research on rice genetics and breeding for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. CREA-RIS has 30 ha of experimental fields located in the main rice growing areas. The small farm equipment necessary for all operations (sowing, harvesting, threshing, drying) and to monitor soil water potential and water fluxes are available. CREA-RIS team has expertise and equipment for pre- and post-harvest phenotyping to evaluate rice accessions grown under different water management systems and association mapping procedures.

Dr. Giampiero Valè

Dr. Giampiero Valè, WP1 leader, has more than 20 years of experience in plant breeding and genetics: conventional/molecular breeding and quantitative genetics, linkage and association mapping in rice.
Dr. Alberto Gianinetti is a plant breeder and geneticists; he has developed studies on the biology of rice seed dormancy, malting and nutritional quality of barley, genetic and functional characteristics of pigmented rices; he has deep experience in data management and statistical analyses. He has published 24 papers in international peer reviewed journals.

Dr. Gianni Tacconi

Dr. Gianni Tacconi has expertise in marker-assisted selection, plant resistance to pathogens, phenotyping, data collection and analysis. He has published 18 papers in international peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Massimo Gennaro has expertise in plant pathology, phenotyping, data collection and analysis.

Andrea Volante

Dr. Andrea Volante

Dr. Andrea Volante has collaborated to genetic and physical mapping projects of bread wheat and has experience in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for quality traits in einkorn wheat.

Stefano Monaco

Stefano Monaco

Dr. Stefano Monaco is a researcher in agronomy at CREA-RIS in Vercelli (Italy). His main research topic is the study of the fate of carbon and nitrogen in agro-ecosystems (crop nutrition, nitrates leaching, ammonia emissions, soil carbon changes), using laboratory, field trial and modelling approaches.




CRAG is devoted to leading-edge research in the study of molecular and genetic characters of interest in plants and farm animals and in the application of molecular approaches for breeding of species important for agriculture and food production.

CRAG’s main contribution in GreenRice will be the analysis of mycorrhizal rice plants for resistance to infection by the rice blast fungus. It includes screening of rice genotypes from the GreenRice collection, under controlled conditions: phenotypical, microscopical and molecular characterization and gene expression studies to identify mycorrhiza-induced mechanisms involved in resistance to the rice blast fungus (WP3). CRAG will contribute to the analysis of root colonization by AMF in field-grown rice plants (samples received from other partners), and will carry out the analysis of mycotoxigenic fungi in grains from field experiments (WP1).

Blanca 127_0

Dr. Blanca San Segundo


Dr. Blanca San Segundo has 25-year experience in plant molecular biology and genetics.

Dr. Sonia Campo


Dr. Sonia Campo has expertise in plant-microbe interactions, phytopathology and plant molecular biology in rice.

MARTA foto

Marta Olivé

Marta Olivé is a lab technician with experience on arbuscular mycorrhization. Relevant for the development of the project is the finding by our group that inoculation with the AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis (formerly named Glomus intraradices) stimulates growth and confers blast resistance in rice plants (japonica cv Senia) under controlled greenhouse conditions.



The Institute of Biological and Environmental Science (IBES) at the University of Aberdeen (UoA) is one of the leading centers of excellence in ecology and environmental science in the UK, with expertise in functional and ecological genetics, root and rhizosphere processes, plant-soil interactions, ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics, greenhouse gas cycling, soil microbial ecology, and ecosystem modeling. The University of Aberdeen also leads the Scottish Food Security Alliance (SFSA-CROPS); Scotland’s leading research group focusing on agro-ecosystems and sustainable food production.

Adam Price

Professor Adam Price

Professor Adam Price is a rice geneticist interested in the causes and consequences of genetic variation in rice at the breeding, physiological and molecular levels. His research uses quantitative trait loci (QTL) and association mapping to understand: drought avoidance mechanisms in rice; resistance to pathogens and pests (including blast, nematodes and Striga); and arsenic tolerance, uptake and metabolism. Professor Price has long-term research interests in South Asia, with a focus on rice systems in Banglade


Dr Yit Arn Teh

Dr Yit Arn Teh is a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist studying terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics, plant-soil interactions and land-atmosphere exchange of trace gases. His current research investigates the role of disturbance, land management and functional diversity in modulating fluxes of carbon, nutrients and greenhouse gases in human-impacted ecosystems.


Dr Viktoria Oliver

Dr Viktoria Oliver is an ecosystem scientist with interests in biosphere-atmosphere interactions, terrestrial carbon cycling, the effects of land-use change on biogeochemistry and plant-litter-soil organic matter dynamics. Her past research focused on the impacts of land-use change on soil carbon sequestration, decomposition and soil carbon dioxide fluxes from montane ecosystems in the Peruvian Andes.


M. del Mar Català and Maite Martínez Eixarch

IRTA team in GreenRice project is formed by Mªdel Mar Català and Maite Martínez-Eixarch. Mª del Mar Català is the leader of the Rice Research Unit belonging to the Extensive Crops Program. She has wide experience in rice agronomy, plant health and extension services.

Dr Maite Martínez-Eixarch, of the Aquatic Ecosystems Program, is agronomist and most part of her research has been devoted to rice agronomy as she was part of the Rice Research until 2014. Currently, her research is mainly focused on the interaction between rice crop and climate change, with particular attention to greenhouse gases emissions and options to adapt to water scarcity.

IRTA  will lead dissemination of results and outreach activities (WP4) and will  conduct field experiments corresponding to WP1 and WP3. This part of the project aims at 1) comparing agronomic response of selected rice accessions to alternate wetting and drying system (AWDS) compared to permanently flooded (PF) and 2) assessing rice plant resistance to blast and salinity conferred by root mycorrhization.

CFR (Centre Français du Riz) is a small technical institute whose aim is to conduct research and extension work on rice. Based in the heart of the French rice growing area, and headed by a committee composed of farmers, rice industrials and scientists, it has close links with both upstream and downstream sectors (INRA, CIRAD, rice growers, rice industries, food companies). It employs 8 people working on several programs (agronomy and environment, crop protection, breeding, grain quality….) The permanent members who will participate in the project are: – Cyrille THOMAS, agronomist, with more than 15 years of experience in rice, responsible of the agronomy and crop protection programs – Ludovic PACHET, breeder, co-responsible of the breeding program for Camargue conducted in collaboration with CIRAD In the project, CFR will be responsible for field trials conducted in France during year 2 and 3 (part of WP1). It will also contribute in communication to the public, through the organization of a farmers’field day (“Les prémices du Riz”) and to the scientific community (part of WP4).

The Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology within the University of Torino (DiBios-UNITO) is the point of reference for topics that bring together biology, environment and biotechnology, and present multidisciplinary aspects such as biodiversity, ecology, evolution, and conservation. Special attention is given to themes that are central in the international scientific scene, including plant health, soil microbiology, and preservation of environmental resources in a sustainable context.


Professor P. Bonfante

Professor P. Bonfante is the leader of a research group which has a longstanding tradition on the biology of symbiotic associations, mainly mycorrhizas. Her major current projects are: Microbiota of rice and tomato roots; Rice and wheat responses to AM fungi; Genomics and Functional genomics in mycorrhizal fungi and their endobacteria; Signalling and colonization processes; Systemic effects of mycorrhizal fungi on tomato plants.

The researcher team is composed by:


Dr. Veronica Volpe

Dr. Veronica Volpe is a biologist, with a wide experience on the molecular biology and genetics of symbiotic interactions of AM fungi with plants. She is expert on the study of transcription factors and plant nutrient transporters.


Dr. Valentina Fiorilli

Dr. Valentina Fiorilli is a biologist; she is expert on arbuscular mycorrhization in rice, cell biology techniques related to rice root morphology as well as experience in RNA seq approaches.
MN Dr. Mara Novero is a research technician with more than 10 years of experience in AM fungal biology and mycorrhization in vitro conditions with particular attention to morphological characterization of the AM colonization.

Dibios-UNITO (WP3) will monitor the colonization of rice roots in field experiments described in the WP1, with molecular or morphological methods. It will provide an expression atlas of genes involved in nutritional uptake and in water stress by using an RNA-seq analysis. It will identify the genes modulated by different water regimes: AWD and PF.

riceThe pictures illustrate a) a  general view of the large lateral (L) and fine lateral (F) roots after  AM inoculation. Fungal structures (arrows) are exclusively present in the large lateral roots. b) a detail of an arbscule inside a cortical rice cell.  (From Vallino et al, 2014)

Sustainable and environmental friendly rice cultivation systems in Europe is funded by the FACCE-ERA-NET+ on Climate Smart Agriculture.