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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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Defense of thesis

Clément Cuello will defend his thesis entitled "Towards the development of a model of secondary cell wall formation of poplar wood fibres in poplar" on April 16, 2021, 2 p.m.

Towards the development of a model of secondary cell wall formation of poplar wood fibres in poplar

Clément Cuello

English abstract

Trees are able to grow high et survive many years thanks to their wood properties. Wood delivers three major functions in trees: (i) water conduction, (ii) mechanical support et (iii) nutrient storage. In Angiosperm trees, vessels, fibers et parenchyma rays are respectively assigned to these functions, each of them following their own development scheme. Cell wall composition et structure varies greatly depending on cell type, developmental stage et environmental conditions. This complexity therefore represents a hindrance to study the molecular mechanisms of wood formation. However, this can be circumvented by the development of cell-specific approaches.

This work aims at characterizing fiber development, focusing on their secondary cell wall, developing cell-specific methods et integrative analysis at the cell level.

Development of ATR-FTIR hyperspectral imaging enabled to finely characterize differences in cell wall composition between cell types in a tree et within cell types in different types of wood. Transcriptomics data obtained by RNA-Seq of microdissected fibers et rays gave rise to major differences in the transcriptome of these two cell types. Combining both kind of result led to the identification of key players in fibers development.

Hence, this work opens up new research hypothesis, which could lead to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying wood fiber development, including from a dynamic perspective.


poplar, wood formation, integrative biology, RNA-Seq, microspectroscopy, plant secondary cell walls

Thesis supervisors

  • Annabelle Déjardin and Gilles Pilate


Advisors :

  • Fabienne Guillon (UR BIA, INRAE Pays de la Loire)
  • Soazig Guyomarc’h (UMR DIADE, Université de Montpellier)

Assessors :

  • Christophe Hano (UPRES LBLGC, Université d’Orléans)
  • Simon Hawkins (UGFS, Université de Lille)