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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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UMR 1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie

Christian Chevalier (Dr)

Dr Christian Chevalier
Research Director INRA (1st Class)

Deputee-Director of UMR1332 Fruit Biology and Pathology

Group Leader of Team “Fruit Organogenesis and Endoreduplication”


CV :

  • Date of birth : 07/02/1963
  • Diplomas :  PhDThesis in Life Sciences, section Biology and Health, University of Bordeaux. (January 1989).
  • Career :
    - October 1985 to January 1989. PhD Thesis in the laboratory of Prof. J. Bové, Cellular and Molecular Biology, INRA Bordeaux, France. "Contribution to the study of gene structural organization in spiroplasmas: spiralin and neighboring genes". Defended 26.01.1989.
    - March 1990 to April 1991. Postdoctoral fellowship from Japan Society for Promotion of Science in the Laboratory of Metabolic Regulations, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nagoya (Japan), supervised by Pr T. AKAZAWA.
    - August 1st, 1991. Recruitment as 2nd Class Researcher at  INRA-BORDEAUX, in the Plant Physiology laboratory.
    - January 1st, 2004. Appointment as 2nd Class Research Director.
    - August 1st, 2018. Appointment as 1st Class Research Director.
    - 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2006. Deputee-Director UMR619 Plant Physiology and Biotechnology.
    - January 1st, 2007 - December 31st, 2010. Deputee-Director UMR619 Fruit Biology.
    - January 1st, 2011 - December 31st, 2021. Deputee-Director UMR1332 Fruit Biology and Pathology.

Tel. (33) 557122693, Fax. (33) 557122541, mel.


The team "Fruit Organogenesis and Endoreduplication" (OrFE) is interested in the biology of the development of fleshy fruits, with the aim of acquiring a better knowledge of the mechanisms involved during flower initiation and fruit development, in order to contribute to the improvement of fruit quality, using tomato and strawberry as a fruit model and a fruit of application respectively. The OrFE team is interested in the characterization of the genetic, physiological, cytological and molecular events involved in the fructification process and the early development of the fruit, and contributing to the development of its final size and quality. The study of the mechanisms associated with the control of cell size and the final size of the fruit represents a historical thematic axis of the team, ensuring its reputation and its international positioning. The studies on the strawberry model concerning the determinism of floral induction and fruit development and genetic determinants contributing to the quality of fruit, integrated since 2012 in the team, are strongly recognized both internationally and nationally, and benefit a solid integration into the professional production sector.

The approaches used in the team to study these different issues call for a combination of complementary approaches of quantitative and association genetics (strawberry), functional genomics (strawberry and tomato), and cytology (tomato).

Our research is divided into three main activities :

Functional characterization of genes associated with the regulation of fruit organogenesis.

In this topic, we are interested in different candidate genes: (1) the INHIBITOR OF MERISTEM ACTIVITY (IMA) gene, a negative regulator of meristematic activity, involved in genetic programs controlling floral termination (belonging to a repressive transcriptional complex of WUSCHEL ), and ovule and fruit development in tomato; (2) the FW2.2 gene associated to the major QTL that governs fruit size in tomato, for which the function and impact on fruit growth remain enigmatic.

Study of the functional role of endoreduplication in fruit growth.

All of our work aims at establishing the role of endoreduplication in cell growth of cells and that of organs according to the karyoplasmic ratio theory: the increase in the level of ploidy influences the final size of cells that tend to adjust their cytoplasmic volume to the content of nuclear DNA. We have been able to demonstrate the contribution of endoreduplication in the control of transcriptional activities during the development of tomato fruit, and we are looking for transcription factors specific to the endoreduplication process.

Analysis of the genetic and molecular determinism of flower induction and fruit quality in strawberry.

Our studies focus on different research areas: (i) the analysis of genetic and molecular determinism of floral induction, with a focus on the balance between sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction (by runnering); (ii) the analysis of early stages of development and genetic determinants of fruit quality. The goal is to acquire fundamental knowledge about the genetic factors governing flowering and precisely the floral induction that impacts fruit production and quality. This knowledge can lead to the implementation of tools for professionals to spread the strawberry production over a longer period.


Complete list of publications - ProdINRA, The INRA Open Archive


TAKEI H, SHINOZAKI Y, YANO R, HERNOULD M, CHEVALIER C, EZURA H, ARIIZUMI T. (2019). Loss-of Function of a Tomato Receptor-like Kinase Impairs Male Fertility and Induces Parthenocarpic Fruit Set. Frontiers in Plant Science, in press.


PIRRELLO J, DELUCHE C, FRANGNE N, GEVAUDANT F, MAZA E, DJARIS E, BOURGE M, RENAUDIN JP, BROWN S, BOWLER C, ZOUINE M, CHEVALIER C, GONZALEZ N (2018). Transcriptome profiling of sorted endoreduplicated nuclei from tomato fruits: how the global shift in expression ascribed to DNA ploidy influences RNA-Seq data normalization and interpretation. Plant Journal, 93: 387-398.

BOLLIER N, SICARD A, LEBLOND-CASTAING J, LATRASSE D, GONZALEZ N, GÉVAUDANT F, BENHAMED M, REYNAUD C, LENHARD M, CHEVALIER C, HERNOULD M, DELMAS F. (2018). AtMIF2 and SlIMA proteins, a conserved missing link in the regulation of floral meristem termination in Arabidopsis and Tomato. The Plant Cell, 30: 83-100.

BOLLIER N, SICARD A, GONZALEZ N, CHEVALIER C, HERNOULD M, DELMAS F (2018).  Induced Ovule-to-Flower Switch by Interfering with SlIMA Activity in Tomato. Plant Signalling & Behaviour, 13, e1473687.


RENAUDIN JP,  DELUCHE C, CHENICLET C, CHEVALIER C, FRANGNE N (2017). Cell division, cell expansion and endoreduplication during fruit set and fruit growth in tomato pericarp. Journal of Experimental Botany, 68:1613-1623.

MUSSEAU C, JUST D, JORLY J, GÉVAUDANT F, MOING A, CHEVALIER C, LEMAIRE-CHAMLEY M, ROTHAN, FERNANDEZ L (2017). Identification of two new mechanims that regulate fruit growth by cell expansion in tomato. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8:988.


AZZI L, DELUCHE C, GÉVAUDANT F, FRANGNE N, DELMAS F, HERNOULD M, CHEVALIER C (2015). Fruit growth-related genes in tomato. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66: 1075-1082.


PIRRELLO J, BOURDON M, CHENICLET C, BOURGE M, BROWN S, RENAUDIN JP, FRANGNE N, CHEVALIER C (2013). How fruit developmental biology makes use of flow cytometry approaches. Cytometry Part A, 85: 115-125.

CHEVALIER C, BOURDON M, PIRRELLO J, CHENICLET C, BOURGE M, BROWN S, GÉVAUDANT F, FRANGNE N (2013). Endoreduplication and fruit growth in tomato: evidences in favor of the karyoplasmic ratio theory. Journal of Experimental Botany, 65: 2731-2746.

SU L, BASSA C, AUDRAN C, CHENICLET C, CHEVALIER C, BOUZAYEN M, ROUSTAN JP, CHERVIN C (2014). The auxin response Sl-IAA17 transcriptional repressor controls fruit size via the regulation of the endoreduplication-related cell expansion. Plant Cell Physiology, 55: 1969-1976.