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News of the team

Published on 5 June 2024
April 17, 2024 - Les clés du champ. Comment domestiquer les plantes.

Editor: Humensciences
Collection: Nature et Savoir
By François Parcy (Autor), Pierre Laszlo (Preface)
ISBN: 978-2-3793-1637-1
2024, 228 pages

Release of François Parcy's book.There was a time when potatoes and almonds were poisonous, and maize cobs contained only a few kernels surrounded by a hard shell. It was humans who, over thousands of years, selected mutant plants to create the varieties we grow today. Far from being frightening, mutations are at the heart of the diversity of living organisms, and scientific advances over the last thirty years have enabled dozens of them to be identified, leading to the domestication of wild plants.

February​ 15, 2023 - Does union make the flower?
Video: Almost 30 years old enigma; The mechanism behind the appearance of flowers has just been revealed. What is behind this mystery? The UFO protein, and especially the role it plays in this formation process. If we knew that this protein destroyed its partners, we did not know that it was also and in reality an aid to the birth of flowers. It is indeed by associating with the LEAFY protein, and not by destroying it, that they create together the flowers that surround us. Explanations with François Parcy, specialist in the molecular genetics of flower development.

February 03, 2023 - Two proteins join forces to make flowers

In this article published in Nature Plants François Parcy et col. go a step further in the elucidation of the mechanisms behind the formation of flowers. They solve 25-year old enigma concerning the role of the UFO protein in this process. Indeed, this protein participates in the development of a flower when coupled to the LEAFY protein. This partnership allows them to access new regions of the chromosomes, which neither protein can access alone and where they induce genes necessary to the emergence of petals and stamens.

November 2022 - François Parcy receives the CNRS silver medal

@ Natacha Cauchies

July 08, 2021 - Where does the shape of the Romanesco cauliflower come from?

On July 08, 2021, our work was the subject of a CNRS press release and the cover of Science (volume 373).
Azpeitia E, Tichtinsky G, Le Masson M, Serrano-Mislata A, Lucas J, Gregis V, Gimenez C, Prunet N, Farcot E, Kater MM, Bradley D, Madueño F, Godin C and Parcy F
Cauliflower fractal forms arise from perturbations of floral gene networks.
Science, 2021

Links (with permission of the publisher) to: Abstract - Full text - Reprint

December 13, 2020 - Amphybio Colloquia. François Parcy: the flowering plants (in Fench)

Physicists and biologists sometimes use the same words, but in different contexts and according to definitions or epistemological references that do not necessarily agree. The Amphybio project consists in choosing one of these common words and studying it.

Decembre 07, 2020 - Tribute to Jean Guern, Member of the Academy (in Fench)

Jean GUERN (1936-2020), Professor Emeritus of Plant Physiology at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, elected member of the French Academy of Agriculture in 1981, and deceased on October 08, 2020, was a world-renowned specialist in hormones. On this occasion, François Parcy gave a presentation (2h47min30s) on The Birth of Flowers.

L'histoire secrète des fleurs

In a living and accessible narrative, François Parcy reveals creatures much less wise than it seems: flowers are intelligent, manipulative and sometimes sexually unbridled! A strange and captivating world illustrated by unpublished naturalist drawings and portraits of the researchers who have made the greatest advances.

Lecture at the Academy of Sciences

May 22, 2018: François Parcy was invited to the Academy of Sciences for a conference / debate on the evolution of living things and biodiversity - From fossil worlds to contemporary biodiversity.
Conference link, Video

Publication intended for the general public

Rosier Florence
Les fleurs, redoutables séductrices.
Cahier du Monde n° 22799 daté mercredi 2 mai 2018

March 2018

October 2017
Welcome to our team to Jérémy Lucas, recruited CNRS engineer, as well as our three new Post-docs: Xuelei Lai, Claudius Marondedze and Leonie Verhage.

Comments on a publication by other researchers (in French)
Intervention in the media as an expert on the success of flowering plants

July 2017
Our paper on Welwitschia mirabilis got attention from the media (in French):
New Phytologist
, 2017 ; Press release

Former lab members get new positions
- Marie Monniaux, former PhD student in our team and post-doc with Angela Hay (MPIZ) gets a permanent position at CNRS in Lyon with Michiel Vandenbussche (ENS-RDP)
- Edwige Moyroud, former PhD student in our team and post-doc with Beverley Glower (Cambridge) becomes PI at Sainsbury laboratory in Cambridge
- Pierre Henri Elchinger, former post-doc in our team gets an assistant professor position at the University Grenoble Alpes

February 2017
We found in Welwitschia mirabilis similar genes to those responsible for the formation of flowers, moreover, organized according to the same hierarchy. The common ancestor thus possessed them already. The study of the current biodiversity of plants thus enables us to go back in time and gradually sketch the genetic portrait of the common ancestor of a large proportion of modern-day flowers.
New Phytologist, 2017; Press release

January 2017
Frank Wellmer (Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland) publishes a commentary entitled "New insights into LEAFY structure and function" concerning our papers published in Nature Communications 2016.

November 2016
PhD defense of UGA student Grégoire Denay: Roles of LEAFY and its target genes in the regulation of floral meristem in Arabidopsis.
October 2016
A flower is born: An update on Arabidopsis floral meristem formation, is our latest review on floral regulators.
Denay et al., Current Opinion in Plant Biology.

May 2016
We discovered that the domain Nterminal of LEAFY is an oligomerization domain of the SAM type (Sterile Alpha Motif). Such domain is very common in other organisms but much less was known in plants. We have demonstrated it facilitated the binding of LEAFY in genome regions that do not necessarily possess very good affinity binding sites. More surprisingly, this domain also facilitated binding to closed regions of the genome suggesting that it confers LEAFY pioneer factor properties.
Sayou et al., Nature Communications.
Read the press release.
Judged Exceptional on F1000.

May 2016
Auxin is a key plant hormone involved in many mechanisms in the development of plants. It contributes in particular to position the flowers on a stem. In this article 'Opinion type', we take a critical look at recent progress in the structural properties of transcriptional regulators in response to auxin.
Parcy et al., Trends Plant Science.

June 2015
Participation to the ‘Flower” Meeting in Aiguablava. WORKSHOP ON MECHANISMS CONTROLLING FLOWER DEVELOPMENT Talks by Chloe Zubieta and François Parcy and posters by Catarina da Silva, Véronique Hugouvieux and Julia Engelhorn. Great opportunity to meet the ‘Flower’ family.

June 2015
Welcome in the team to the summer students.

June 2015
Science retreat with the Zubieta team.
Overview of the flower meeting, flash presentations of all projects, group discussions on selected topics and discussion about team life and organisation. Baby shower for Lucien, newest baby in the team.

Fall 2014
Welcome to Pierre Henri Elchinger (CEA Post-doctoral fellow). Pierre-Henri has a Ph.D. in chemistry and he will use biological objects present in the team for nanotechnology application in the field of electronics. 
Welcome to Raquel Martin Arevalillo (Ph.D. Student, University Grenoble-Alpes). Raquel comes from Spain and studies proteins involved in auxin signaling and meristem function.

Avril 2014
Publication in Nature Communications of the resolution of the structure of the oligomerization domain of ARF proteins (Auxin Response Factor). [more]

January 2014
Publication in Science of an article on a new mode of evolution of a transcription factor discovered by studying LEAFY, the regulator of flower development. Read the press release.
Welcome to Alexandre Sicard (Master student, Univ. Grenoble Alpes) supervised by Gilles Vachon to elaborate synthetic plant tissues.

December 2013
Publication of a Nature report in collaboration with the team of Teva Vernoux (RDP, Lyon) on the role of cytokinins in phyllotaxis.

Fall 2013
Welcome to Gregoire Denay (PhD student supervised by Gabrielle Tichtinsky and François Parcy) who starts a PhD on the function of LEAFY in the formation of stem cells) and Evelina Damyanova (Master Student of Bulgaria supervised by Cristel Carles ).
Invited seminar and Master lecture by Cristel Carles at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Postdam University, Germany, October 2013.
Plenary talk by Cristel Carles at the 6th International PhD School on Plant Development, Retzbach, Germany, September 2013.
Cristel Carles participates to the European Workshop in Plant Chromatin III, Madrid, Spain, August 2013 (Invited talk and "Chairwoman")

Summer 2013
François Parcy leaves the lab Wyeth Wasserman to return to Grenoble.

Spring 2013
Team representation at the Workshop on Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Flower Development (Giens, France) with oral presentations by Cristel Carles and Marie Monniaux.
California tour for François Parcy. Seminars at UC Davies, PGEC Berkeley, Stanford, Salk Institute (San Diego).

February 2013
Welcome to Aude Decor (Engineer working on the ANR « Melody » and Thomas Vinos-Poyo Engineer working on the ANR « Auxiflo ».
Several students are joining the team for a few months: Béatrice Berthet (M2, Grenoble University), Alexandre Sicard (M1, Grenoble University), Jeanne Roignant (M1, Clermont-Ferrand University).

January 2013
Invited seminar by Cristel Carles at the Plant Research International, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Septembre 2012
François Parcy joined the CMMT at Vancouver to learns bioinformatics (Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics) related to next generation sequencing and protein/DNA interactions in the Lab of Prof Wyeth W. Wasserman for one year.

June 2012
Spring students spending a few months the lab: Elena Najar (PhD student, CRAG Barcelona), Meryl Mazzoleni (M1, University of Montpellier), Damien Rondet (L3, Grenoble University), Robin Michard (M1, University of Clermont Ferrand), and Huan He (M1, Grenoble University).

Welcome to a new lab member: Julia Engelhorn, post-doctoral fellow coming from the Max Planck Institute (Cologne, Germany) to work on the Chromatin and development project with Cristel Carles.

François Parcy will give a talk at the Semovi modeling seminar series on June 13th.

March 2012
The team members on stage. Short talk by Cristel Carles at the first meeting of the Chromatin, Transcription and Epigenetics in Grenoble (March 15th).

Seminars given by François Parcy at the Institut Albert Bonniot (Grenoble), CNB (Madrid), Max Planck Institut (Cologne) and UPRA meeting (Umeå, Sweden).

February 2012
Work in collaboration with PRI Wageningen published in PNAS.

January 2012
Kick off meeting of Charmful, an ANR project on LEAFY function in the meristem of various plant species.

December 2011
Symposium for Detlef Weigel 50th birthday in Tübingen (Germany). Reunion of former and present Weigel fellows from all over the world.

October 2011
Hicham Chahtane and Fanny Moreau join the lab. as PhD students.

November 2011
Grenoble Ekiden

After intense weekly training, several members of our group joined three different teams to run 5, 10 or 7.2 km on the Grenoble Ekiden Marathon.

June 2011
Prediction of regulatory interactions from genome sequences using a biophysical model for the Arabidopsis LEAFY transcription factor.
April 2011
LEAFY makes the cover

Our study describing a model for LEAFY DNA binding gets the cover of the April issue. You can read the highlight presented by the journal editors and the portrait of the first author, Edwige Moyroud, PhD student in our lab.
November 2010
François PARCY receives a price from the French Academy of Sciences

For his work on transcription factors controlling seed and flower development, F. Parcy was awarded the “Grand Prix Thématique” Roger-Jean et Chantal Gautheret from the French Academy of Sciences.

Pictures of the ceremony:

June 2009
The analysis of entire gene promoters by surface plasmon resonance.

October 2008
Structural basis for LEAFY floral switch function and similarity with helix-turn-helix proteins.

June 2006
A network of local and redundant gene regulation governs Arabidopsis seed maturation.