Laurent Gentzbittel

Full Professor, Head of Digital Agriculture Laboratory
Center for Neurobiology and Brain Restoration

Laurent Gentzbittel received the M.Sc. degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology in 1986 and got his PhD degree in Molecular Genetics from University of Lyon I in 1990.

Laurent Gentzbittel then worked for 7 years in a biotech company as a project leader then as research manager to develop and implement genetic techniques and molecular methods in sunflower.

Laurent Gentzbittel then joined the Higher School of Agronomy (Agro-Toulouse), France, as Professor of Quantitative Genetics and Plant Genomics where he has been since 1998.

Laurent Gentzbittel was teaching genomics and statistical genetics at graduate and PhD levels. He has led, leads or participates in several major research projects (French and EU) in plant genomics, and the establishment of genomics facilities in Toulouse. He was also Primary Collaborator in NSF-funded programs. Pr Gentzbittel’s significant research contributions include some pioneering publications including Genome Biol., PNAS, Mol. Biol. Evol. or Nucleic Acid Res.

At Skoltech Dr Gentzbittel will focus on promoting the Agrotechnologies Program into one of the premier research and innovation center in agriculture in the world. The Agrotechnologies Program will integrate knowledge in quantitative genetics, breeding, genomics, molecular biology, statistics and big data to develop and implement new strategies and methods in trait dissection for crop and animal improvement, and digital agriculture.

The development of the Agrotechnologies Program will have three objectives: 1) Collaborate with industry and academics to foster innovation and agro-industrial development in Russia 2) Develop high-level, cutting-edge, basic research programs, towards quick delivering of improved plant varieties or animal breeds, and digital agriculture solutions and 3) Develop teaching and education, including training, retraining and advanced-training of current specialists.

More specifically, his team will develop research that includes whole-genome approaches to efficiently integrate high-throughput genotyping into breeding processes, and gene identification for traits with agronomic and domestication importance, to foster innovation.

1. Grigoreva E., Ulianich P., Ben C., Gentzbittel L.*, Potokina E.* (2019) First insights into the guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (L.) Taub.) genome of the ‘Vavilovskij 130’ accession, using second and third-generation sequencing technologies. Russian J. Genet. 55(11):1406-1416 doi:10.1134/S102279541911005X * co-corresponding authors
2. Gentzbittel L., Ben C., Mazurier M., Shin M-G., Todd L., Rickauer M., Marjoram P., Nuzhdin S., Tatarinova T.V. (2019) WhoGEM: an admixture- based prediction machine accurately predicts quantitative functional traits in plants. Genome Biol. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1697-0 (2017 IF : 16.49)
3. Yamchi A., Ben C., Rossignol M., Zareie S.R., Mirlohi A., Sayed-Tabatabaei B.E., Pichereaux C., Sarrafi A., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L. (2018) Proteomics analysis of Medicago truncatula response to infection by the phytopathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum points to jasmonate and salicylate defence pathways. Cellular Microbiol. 20:e12796 doi:10.1111/cmi.12796 (2016 IF : 4.55)
4. Garmier M., Gentzbittel L., Wen J.Q., Mysore K.S., Ratet P. (2017) Genetic and genomic resources for the study of Medicago truncatula. Curr. Protocol. Plant Biol. 2:4 doi:10.1002/cppb.20058
5. Kadri A., Julier B., Laouar M., Ben C., Badri M., Chedded J., Mouhouche B., Gentzbittel L., Abdelguerfi A. (2017) Genetic determinism of fitness traits under drought stress in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Acta Physiol. Plant. 39:227 doi:10.1007/s11738-017-2527-1 (2016 IF : 1.68)
6. Cai F., Watson B.S., Meek D., Huhman D.V., Wherritt D.J., Ben C., Gentzbittel L., Driscoll B.T., Sumner L.W., Bede J. (2017) Medicago truncatula oleanolic-derived saponins are correlated with caterpillar deterrence. J. Chem Ecol. 43:712-724. doi:10.1007/s10886-017-0863-7(2015 IF : 3.15)
7. Rahoui S., Martinez Y., Sakouhi L., Ben C., Rickauer M., El Ferjani E., Gentzbittel L., Chaoui A. (2017) Cadmium-induced changes in antioxidative systems and differentiation in roots of contrasted Medicago truncatula lines. Protoplasma 254(1):473-489 doi:10.1007/s00709-016-0968-9 (2016 IF : 2.66)
8. Toueni M., Ben C., Leru A., Gentzbittel L.*, Rickauer M.* (2016) Quantitative resistance to Verticillium wilt in Medicago truncatula involves eradication of the fungus from roots and is associated with transcriptional responses related to innate immunity. Front. Plant Sci. 7:1431. doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.01431 * co-corresponding authors (2016 IF : 4.68)
9. Gentzbittel L., Ben C., Rickauer M., Andersen S.U., Stougaard J., Young N.D. (2015) Naturally occuring diversity helps to reveal genes of adaptive importance in Legumes. Frontier Plant Sci.6:269. doi:10.3389/fpls.2015.00269 (2016 IF : 4.68)
10. Rahoui S., Chaoui A., Ben C., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L., El Ferjani E. (2015) Effect of cadmium pollution on mobilization of embryo reserves in seedlings of six contrasted Medicago truncatula lines. Phytochemistry 111:98-106 doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.12.002 (2016 IF :3.35)
11. Rubiales D., Singh K.B., Higgins T.J.V., Fondevilla S., Gentzbittel L., Lichtenzveig J., Chen W., Rispail N. (2015) Achievements and challenges in Legume breeding for pest and disease resistance. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. 34(1-3):195-236. (2015 IF : 5.98)
12. Formey D., Sallet E., Lelandais-Brie`re C., Ben C., Bustos-Sanmamed P., Niebel A., Frugier F., Combier JP., Hartmann C., Wincker P., Roux C., Gentzbittel L.*, Gouzy J., Crespi M.* (2014) The small RNA diversity from Medicago truncatula roots under biotic interactions evidences the environmental plasticity of the miRNome. Genome Biol. 15(9):457 (2014 IF : 13.48) *co-corresponding authors.
13. Foroozanfar M, Exbrayat S, Gentzbittel L, Bertoni G, Maury P, Naghavie M, Peyghambari A, Badri M, Ben C, Debelle´ F, Sarrafi A. (2014) Genetic variability and identification of QTL affecting plant growth and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in the model legume Medicago truncatula under control and salt conditions. Functional Plant Biol. 41:983-1001 (2014 IF : 3.38)
14. Tang H.B., Krishnakumar V., Bidwell S., Rosen B., Chan A., Zhou S.G., Gentzbittel L., Childs KL., Yandell M., Gundlach H., Mayer K.F.X., Schwartz D.C., Town C.D. (2014) An improved genome release (version Mt4.0) for the model legume Medicago truncatula. BMC Genomics 15:312 (2014 IF : 4.36)
15. Rahoui S., Ben C., Chaoui A., Martinez Y., Yamchi A., Rickauer M., Gentzbittel L., El Ferjani E. (2014) Oxidative injury and antioxidant genes regulation in cadmium-exposed radicles of six contrasted Medicago truncatula genotypes. Environ. Sci. Pollut. R. 21(13):8070-8083 (2014 IF : 2.92)
16. Mouttet R., Escobar-Gutie´rrez A., Esquibet M., Gentzbittel L., Mugnie´ry D., Reignault P.,Sarniguet C., Castagnone-Sereno P. (2014) Banning of methyl bromide for seed treatment: Could Ditylenchus dipsaci become again a major threat for alfalfa production in Europe? Pest Manag. Sci. 70(7):1017-1022 (2014 IF : 2.86)
17. Madrid E., Barilli E., Gil J., Huguet T., Gentzbittel L., Rubiales D. (2014) Detection of partial resistance QTL against Didymella pinodes in Medicago truncatula. Mol. Breeding 33:589-599 (2014 IF : 2.57)
18. Negahi, A., Ben, C., Gentzbittel, L., Maury, P., Nabipour, A., Ebrahimi, A., Sarrafi, A., Rickauer, M. (2014) Quantitative trait loci associated with resistance to a potato isolate of Verticillium albo-atrum in Medicago truncatula. Plant Pathol. 63(2):308-315 (2014 IF : 2.57)
19. Ben, C., Debelle´, F., Berges, H., Bellec, A., Jardinaud, M.-F., Anson, P., Huguet, T., Gentzbittel, L., Vailleau, F. (2013). MtQRRS1, an R-locus required for Medicago truncatula quantitative resistance to Ralstonia solanacearum. New Phytol. 199:758-772 (2014 IF : 7.84)
20. Ben, C., Toueni, M., Montanari, S., Tardin, M.-C., Fervel, M., Negahi, A., Saint-Pierre, L., Mathieu, G., Gras, M.-C., Noe¨ l, D., Prospe´ri, J.-M., Pilet-Nayel, M.-L., Baranger, A., Huguet, T., Julier, B., Rickauer, M., Gentzbittel, L. (2013). Natural diversity in the model legume Medicago truncatula allows identifying distinct genetic mechanisms conferring partial resistance to Verticillium wilt. J. Exp. Bot. 64: 317–332. (2014 IF : 6.31)
21. Huang, X., Fabre, F., Sarrafi, A., Liu, Z., Gentzbittel, L. (2013). Analysis of somatic embryogenesis QTL and marker-assisted selection in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Chinese Journal of Oils Crop Sciences 35: 524–532.
22. Saeidi G, Rickauer M, Gentzbittel L. (2012). Tolerance for cadmium pollution in a core-collection of the model legume, Medicago truncatula L. at seedling stage. Aust J Crop Sci. 6:641-648 (2011 IF : 1.68)
23. Branca A, Paape TD, Zhou P, Briskine R, Farmer AD, Mudge J, Bharti AK, Woodward JE, May GD, Gentzbittel L, Ben C, Denny R, Sadowsky MJ, Ronfort J, Bataillon T, Young ND, Tiffin P. (2011). Whole-genome nucleotide diversity, recombination, and linkage disequilibrium in the model legume Medicago truncatula. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108(42): E864-870 (2014 IF : 9.67)
24. Turner, M., Jauneau, A., Genin, S., Tavella, M.-J., Vailleau, F., Gentzbittel, L., Jardinaud, M.-F (2009). Dissection of bacterial Wilt on Medicago truncatula revealed two type III secretion system effectors acting on root infection process and disease development. Plant Physiol. 50:1713-1722. (2014 IF : 8.03)
25. Stewart S., Hodge S., Mansfield J., Prosperi J.M., Huguet T., Ben C., Gentzbittel L., Powell G. (2009). The RAP1 gene confers extreme resistance to the pea aphid in Medicago truncatula without engaging the hypersensitive reaction. Mol Plant Microb Interact. 22(12):1645- 1655. (2014 IF : 4.41)
26. Buti M, Giordani T, Vukich M, Gentzbittel L, Pistelli L, Cattonaro F, Morgante M, Cavallini A, Natali L. (2009). HACRE1, a recently inserted copia-like retrotransposon of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Genome 52:904-911
27. Roche, J., Hewezi, T., Bouniols, A., Gentzbittel, L. (2009). Real-time PCR monitoring of signal transduction related genes involved in water stress tolerance mechanism of sunflower. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 47:139–145.
28. Darvishzadeh, R., Hewezi, T., Gentzbittel, L., Sarrafi, A. (2008). Differential expression of defence-related genes between compatible and partially compatible sunflower–Phoma macdonaldii interactions. Crop Protection 27:740–746.
29. Hewezi T, Léger M, Gentzbittel L. (2008). A comprehensive analysis of the combined effects of high light and high temperature stresses on gene expression in sunflower. Ann Bot(Lond) 102:127-40.
30. Vailleau F., Sartorel E., Jardinaud M.F., Chardon F., Génin S., Huguet T., Gentzbittel L., Petitprez M. (2007). Characterization of the interaction between the bacterial wilt pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum and the model legume plant Medicago truncatula. Mol Plant Microb Interact.
31. Poormohammad Kiani S., Grieu P., Maury P., Hewezi T., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007). Genetic variability for physiological traits under drought conditions and differential expression of water stress-associated genes in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Theor Appl Genet 114:193-207.
32. Roche J., Hewezi T., Bouniols A., Gentzbittel L. (2007). Transcriptional profiles of primary metabolism and signal transduction-related genes in response to water stress in field-grown sunflower genotypes using a thematic cDNA microarray. Planta 226:601-17
33. Huang XQ., Nabipour A., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007) Somatic embryogenesis from thin epidermal layers in sunflower and chromosomal regions controlling the response. Plant Sci 173:247-252
34. Abou Alfadil T., Poormohammad Kiani S., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007). QTL mapping of partial resistance to Phoma basal stem and root necrosis in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) Plant Sci 172:815-823
35. Darvishzadeh. R, Kiani S.P., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Gentzbittel L., Sarrafi A. (2007) Quantitative trait loci associated with isolate specific and isolate nonspecific partial resistance to Phoma macdonaldii in sunflower. Plant Pathol. 56:855-861.
36. Kiani S.P., Talia P., Maury P., Grieu P., Heinz R., Perrault A., Nishinakamasu V., Hopp E., Gentzbittel L., Paniego N., Sarrafi A. (2007). Genetic analysis of plant water status and osmotic adjustment in recombinant inbred lines of sunflower under two water treatments. Plant Sci 172:773-787
37. Angot A., Peeters N., Lechner E., Vailleau F., Gentzbittel L., Sartorel E., Genschik P., Boucher C., Genin S. (2006). Ralstonia solanacearum requires F-box-like domain-containing type III effectors to promote disease on several host plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 103(39):14620-14625.
38. Hewezi T., Léger M., El Kayal W., Gentzbittel L. (2006). Transcriptional profiling of sunflower plant growing under low temperatures reveals an extensive downregulation of gene expression associated with chilling sensitivity. J Exp. Bot. 57:3109-3122.
39. Alignan M., Hewezi T., Petitprez M., Dechamp-Guillaume G., Gentzbittel L. (2006). A cDNA microarray approach to decipher sunflower (Helianthus annuus) responses to the necrotrophic fungus Phoma macdonaldii. New Phytol. 170:523-536.

Extra pay for ’Scientific Excellence and Ph.D Supervision’ since 2000, without interruptions (promotion based on national ranking of the best 15% candidates)