LabCom_2022 - V2 - Laboratoires communs organismes de recherche publics – PME/ETI - Edition 2022 - Vague 2

Joint laboratory for the implementation and optimisation of innovative strategies for the early selection and improvement of Stevia rebaudiana in the context of the development of an organic production chain in France – SELECTVIA

Submission summary

Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, a resilient plant species of the Asteraceae family, is cultivated for its leaves in which steviol glycosides (SG) accumulate, which have 300 times the sweetening power of sugar but are acaloric and acariogenic. This species is becoming the world's leading natural sweetener, compatible with diets for diabetics and hypoglycaemic diets. It also has many other interesting properties for human health and other uses. In order to develop a virtuous French production and processing chain for Stevia rebaudiana under organic farming, respectful of human and environmental health and offering an additional breakthrough crop in the rotations, the SELECTVIA joint laboratory aims to set up and optimise innovative strategies for the early selection and improvement of Stevia rebaudiana in order to provide farmers with adapted, productive and resilient genotypes.
The SELECTVIA joint laboratory brings together the UMR Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie (BFP), INRAE Nouvelle Aquitaine, the University of Bordeaux and the company OVIATIS based in Estillac (47). In order to be able to offer competitive varieties to French farmers, it is necessary to optimise and accelerate the selection process. The joint laboratory therefore proposes, within the framework of a long-term collaboration, to accelerate access to innovation for the improvement of S. rebaudiana by (1) developing, within 36 months, a marker-assisted selection strategy for the SG content and Septoria sp. response traits a marker-assisted selection strategy (TRL 7-9), (2) developing tools for predicting metabolic content by NIRS and evaluating the value of the phenomenal selection strategy for SG content and response to fungi as an early selection strategy, at 42 months (TRL 4-6), (3) by developing, in a more exploratory way, haplodiploidisation in this heterozygous allogamous species in order to accelerate the selection process and access to heterosis, at 54 months (TRL 2-4).
The SELECTVIA joint laboratory relies on the complementary skills of (1) the OVIATIS company in terms of upstream know-how for field production, phenotyping and extraction on an industrial scale and in terms of downstream know-how for the characterisation of extracts and product development, (2) the UMR BFP teams in terms of genetics, plant improvement, metabolomics and in vitro culture. SELECTVIA aims to produce innovations that will give OVIATIS a major competitive advantage in the selection of high-performance S. rebaudiana genotypes. The joint laboratory will also be the source of high quality publications and also aims to contribute to research training. The perpetuation of the laboratory will be based on a longer-term strategy of developing genotypes for the production of other molecules and/or their use in other fields (biocontrol, biostimulants).

Project coordination

Valérie Schurdi-Levraud (Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


BFP Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie

Help of the ANR 363,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2023 - 54 Months

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