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

Last update: May 2021

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Integrative gonad biology

Integrative Gonad Biology

Team Presentation

Inrae Centre Val de Loire image : M. Peyny
© Inrae centre Val de Loire \ M. Peyny

Team leader :
Sébastien Elis

Research objectives :
- To understand the biological mechanisms regulating gonadal function in vertebrates (mammals/birds), from primordial germ cells to the end of gametogenesis and thus ovulation to produce a gamete capable of being fertilized and generate a viable embryo (genes involved, regulation, phylogeny, modeling).
- To study these processes in relation to environmental factors (metabolic, endocrine, photoperiodic etc...) at the scale of the whole animal, as well as the mechanisms underlying them at the ovarian level.
- To improve fertility and develop alternatives to hormonal treatments used to control reproduction in livestock (ruminants, pigs).
- To develop new biotechnologies for the conservation of genetic resources (Primordial Germ Cells, PGC) and to develop research models in poultry (functional invalidation by genome editing).

Thematics :


Socio-economic issues :
Reproduction is an essential parameter of profitability in breeding. Its control, in a context of evolution towards sustainable breeding systems, implies a better understanding of the biological mechanisms explaining the effects of environmental factors, especially nutritional ones, on fertility and the underlying mechanisms, in particular in the female. The acquired knowledge is also relevant to the field of medically assisted procreation.

Expertise and skills :
The complementary expertise of the "Integrative Ovarian Biology" team members involves various disciplines such as animal physiology - including reproductive and ovarian biology, endocrinology, nutrition and metabolism - as well as zootechnics.
Our methodological skills:
ovum pick-up (ruminants)
in vitro follicular development (ewes)
oocyte maturation (ruminants)
ICSI (human)
in vitro fertilization/embryonic development (human, ruminant)
microinjection of RNA into the oocyte
genomic analyses (phylogeny)
High throughput technologies (transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics) of gametes, somatic cells and ovarian extracellular vesicles
steroid and metabolomic analysis of biological fluids (pigs, ruminants, horses)
permanent culture of chicken PGC and use for breed and line restoration, as well as genome editing