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Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon, genomics are in quite a state…

An agronomist by training, Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon has for many years been combining work on plant genetics and genomics, and today she shares her time every day between the generation of knowledge and the management of research.

Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon, directrice de recherche Inra © Catherine Foucaud-Scheunemann
Updated on 11/29/2017
Published on 09/04/2017

An agricultural engineer with a science PhD, Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon has been working for many years in the field of plant genetics and genomics. She has had a fulfilling career and now divides her time enthusiastically between the generation of knowledge and managing research activities.

From the vine genome …

Recruited by INRA in 1994 as a research scientist, and promoted to become a Research Director as early as 2007, A-F Adam-Blondon focused at a very early stage on the structure of the vine genome, Vitis vinifera: she participated in compiling a reference gene map, contributed to improving the chromosome assembly and annotation of the reference genome for vine, focused on sequence diversity at the genomic scale in this plant and participated in identifying two major resistance genes, one against downy mildew and the other against powdery mildew derived from muscadine (Muscardina rotundifolia) an ordinary vine species from the south-eastern USA.  All this was of course made possible thanks to collective efforts in collaboration with leading teams in the field, whether they were French, European or international. Between 2013 and 2016, A-F Adam-Blondon coordinated the European Innovine project: Combining innovation in vineyard management and genetic diversity for a sustainable European viticulture. Innovine has been developing different tools and resources (models, phenotyping, high-throughput screening of genetic resources, decision-support systems, experimentation, transcriptomics, etc.) to improve knowledge on the adaptation of vine to climate change and the sustainability of resistance, and to develop and transfer innovative cultivation systems that could enable a sustainable reduction in the use of plant health products and adapt vines to climate change. A.-F. Adam-Blondon worked initially in Montpellier before returning to the Paris region, where since 2012 she has been based in the Genomics-Informatics Research Unit (URGI) in Versailles. 

…to information systems and data

Since joining URGI, A-F Adam-Blondon has gradually refocused her scientific activities on the issue of the interoperability of information systems (modelling of common data, generic web services, etc.) and data (development of standards for metadata and data, ontologies, monitoring the identification of accessions, etc.). This change has notably been driven by a desire to better exploit the knowledge generated by INRA and integrate it in an international data “ecosystem”. This work has taken shape in INRA’s information system for genomic and genetic data on plants and their pathogens in the form of GnplS, developed by URGI. Within this new framework, A-F Adam-Blondon is making a particular contribution to mobilising and training the communities of biologists concerned through projects and presentations and to developing or improving data standardisation. For example, she is coordinating the Coll-GATE project on the mutualisation of web applications for the local management of collections, which involves the community of genetic resource collection managers from INRA, CIRAD and IRD.

Against a backdrop of research management

Since 2015, Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon has been managing the Information Systems team and Bioinformatics Platform within URGI. In 2013, she was also appointed deputy to the Head of INRA’s Plant Biology and Breeding Division. In this capacity, A-F Adam-Blondon has been most particularly responsible for the areas of genetic resources and bioinformatics, as well as assuring the scientific and administrative supervision of several units within the Division. To these already varied duties have been added others of equal importance: the training of students in higher education, participation in scientific committees, congresses and scientific bodies (e.g. International Vine Consortium, Scientific Advisory Board to the French Wine and Vine Institute), contributions to the evaluation of research projects at the national or international levels, etc. These activities give Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon’s work an international dimension on a daily basis, which she particularly enjoys, referring with pleasure to a short poem by Guillaume Apollinaire, Le Dromadaire (The Dromedary), which she likes to quote…

With his four dromedaries
Don Pedro D'Alfarubeyra
Travelled the world and marvelled.
He did what I would do,
If I had four dromedaries.

Contact(s)
Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Plant Biology and Breeding
Associated Centre(s):
Versailles-Grignon

Mini-CV

50 years old

2017 Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole (Dame of the Order of Agricultural Merit)

2013 Deputy Head, Plant Biology and Breeding Division at INRA

2010 Deputy Head, Plant Breeding and Genetics Division at INRA

2007 INRA Research Director

1994 INRA Research Scientist

2009 - 2010 School of Management for Agricultural Research

1994 PhD thesis (AgroParisTech)

1988 Qualification as an Agricultural Engineer (AgroParisTech)