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

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Logo UMR 1332 BFP logo partenaire U-BDX

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UMR 1332 Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie

Sylvie German-Retana (Dr)

Sylvie German-Retana
Deputy director of the UMR BFP

Deputy director of the UMR BFP

Research Director


  • Diplomas :
    2006 : Research Director Degree “Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR) » (University of Bordeaux)
    1991 : PhD Doctorate in Plant Virology (University of Bordeaux)
    1988 : Master Degree in Microbiology (Pasteur Institute, University of Paris VI)
    1985-1987 : Magistère in Biochemistry (Ecole Normale Supérieure St Cloud, University of Paris VI)
    1983 : A level - baccalaureate (Bac C) (Académie d’Aix-Marseille)
  • Parcours :
    1983-1985 : “Classe préparatoire” (section Biologie): two-year post-baccalaureate course of study, preparative to the concourse for the admission to a “Grande Ecole” (Lycée Thiers Marseille)
    1985-1988 : Ecole Normale supérieure de StCloud-Fontenay aux Roses (Paris)
    1988-1991 : Hired as “Attachée Scientifique Contractuelle”, to perform a PhD. Non-permanent position at INRA Bordeaux, Virology group, Station de Pathologie Végétale, France. Includes a three months training course in the Volcani Center (Israel) (Dr. M. Bar-Joseph’s laboratory).
    1992-1993 : Post-doctoral position (Dr. W.O. Dawson’s group, CREC, Lake Alfred, Florida)
    1993 : Hired as “Chargé de Recherche 2ème classe (CR2)”. Permanent position at INRA Bordeaux, Virology group, Station de Pathologie végétale, France. In charge of research programs on plant-virus interactions.
    1993-2017 : Hired as “Chargé de Recherches 1ème classe (CR1)”. Permanent position, Virology group, UMR Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie (BFP), INRA Université de Bordeaux, France. In charge of research programs on the molecular basis of plant-potyvirus interactions.
    Current position : Hired as “Directrice de Recherches 2ème classe (DR2)”. Permanent position, Virology group, UMR Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie (BFP), INRA Université de Bordeaux, France. In charge of research programs on the molecular basis of plant-potyvirus interactions.


Tel : 33 (0)5 57 12 23 83
Email :


Host factors involved in potyvirus cell-to-cell movement: new sources of resistance?
(Project PotyMove, ANR-16-CE20-0008-01, 2016-2021)

Development and use of cultivars genetically resistant to plant viruses is a critical factor of sustainable agriculture. Potyvirus is the largest genus of plant viruses responsible for serious diseases in vegetable and fruit crops. The virus cycle is a complex process requiring interactions between factors from both the plant and the virus. In particular, plant viruses utilize cell-to-cell movement proteins to gate plant intercellular connections, the plasmodesmata (PD), and spread between cells. A model for cell-to-cell translocation of potyviruses remains very speculative. This project aims at identifying plant membranous/PD elements recruited by viral factors in the process of potyvirus cell-to-cell movement. A detailed analysis of these molecular interactions will provide new susceptibility host factors that can be surveyed for mutations leading to resistance to viruses.
This project builds upon a high synergy between three partners: P1-BFP-Virology (PI Sylvie German-Retana), P2-LBM (PIs Sébastien Mongrand and Emmanuelle Bayer) and P3-GAFL-ReV (INRA Avignon, PI Jean-Luc Gallois) with highly complementary expertise. Combined to P1-BFP and P3-GAFL’ s expertise in virology and genetics (on both the model plant Arabidopsis and tomato), the expertise of P2-LBM in the purification of plasmodesmal proteins from Arabidopsis suspension cultures, offers very exciting and unique opportunities for the functional unravelling of potyviral movement.

People directly involved in the Virology team: S. German-Retana (PotyMove coordinator), L. Sofer (TR), V. Simon (TR), A Bordat (IE), T. Michon (DR), J. Walter (CR), A. Barra (TR), V. Schurdi-Levraud (MCF) and P. Cosson (IE).

Role of Remorin in plant-virus interactions

The Remorin (REM) protein belongs to plant-specific oligomeric proteins that have been reported to localize to the plasma membrane (PM) despite their overall hydrophilic nature. Recent evidence showed that REM is located in plasmodesmata suggesting that the protein is somehow involved in cell-to-cell communication. It was shown that REM level is inversely correlated with PVX propagation. The aim of this project is to perform a molecular and functional characterization of the role of REM in plant and in virus cycle.

People directly involved in the Virology team S. German-Retana and V. Simon (TR)
LBM (CNRS Bordeaux): S. Mongrand (CNRS, DR), V. Germain (MCF Bordeaux) and A.F. Deroubaix (PhD student).

“va&co”: durable va tobacco resistance to Potato virus Y and beyond

Many recessive resistance genes against potyviruses have been identified among the eukaryotic translation initiation factors, an in particular, the eIF4E (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E) gene. Even if mechanisms involved in eIF4E-mediated resistance are still unclear, it has been shown that the viral genome-linked protein (VPg) of potyvirus interacts with eIF4E and that mutations in the VPg can confer resistance-breaking properties. In tobacco, the recessive resistance gene va is commonly used to control PVY. Recently, colleagues from Imperial Tobacco (ITB, Bergerac) showed that a deletion of a particular copy of elF4E encoded by the S10760 gene is responsible for the resistance to PVY conferred by va. In particular, tilling mutants with nonsense mutations in the S10760 gene showed PVY resistance, confirming the direct involvement of the S10760 eIF4E isoform in the va resistance. One of the objectives of our project is to better characterize the differences in resistance and durability observed between different va-derived tobacco genotypes (i.e. deletion, tilling frameshift mutants), as well as the resistance-breaking mechanisms involved.

People directly involved in the Virology team: V. Michel (PhD student), T. Candresse, S. German-Retana and V. Decroocq. PVY expertise in Rennes-Montpellier L. Glais (CR) and E. Jacquot (DR). ITB team: E. Julio and F. Dorlhac de Borne. This project is funded by the “Association de la Recherche sur les Nicotianae ».


Liste des publications sur le portail HAL-INRAE


2011-2017 Treasurer and member of the “Conseil d’Administration” of the SFP (Société Française de Phtyopathologie)

Since 2016 : member of the « Conseil scientifique » du département INRA-SPE.

Training actions :

  • Supervisor of 7 PhD students (Direction or co-direction), 6 Post-Doctoral students or CDD, 11 Master 2 students, 22 students (Master 1, IUT or BTS).
  • Since 2003: Organization of a plant pathology module (40-28h depending on year) of the Master “Biologie Biotechnologie des Plantes” (University Bdx) (now Master AgroScience). Contribution to seminars to other Masters in France (Microbiology, U Bdx, BioVIGPA in Rennes, ProTev in Angers) and abroad (“special Topics on crop protection”, University of Sao Paolo, Brazil).
  • Jury member: 14 PhD jury in France, 4 PhD jury abroad (Spain, Italy, Finland, England), 3 HDR jury, 9 Thesis committees.
  • Jury member for the Concourse of “Ecole Doctorale de l’Université de Bordeaux” (since 2006).
  • Jury member for MASTER 1 and 2 (since 2006).

Editorial Board Member of Journal “Molecular Plant Pathology” (since 2014).

Referee for international journals: J. Gen. Virol, Annals of Applied Biology, EJPP, Plant Disease, J. Plant Pathol, Archives in Virology, Molecular Plant Pathology, International Journal of Plant genomics, Virological methods.

Expertise work: for ANR Blanc and international ANR, Bilateral projects (EcoSud), SPE projects.