Symposium on Sunflower and Climate Change

The International Symposium on Sunflower and Climate Change was organized in the frame of the SUNRISE project, by INRA Toulouse (Institut National de Recherche en Agronomie) and the French technical c...

In brief

In an unprecedented effort - 8 years project, investment of €21m, 16 partners including 9 public laboratories with a specific investment of INRA, 6 companies involved in sunflower breeding and the ...

The Project

In a context of climate changes and of world increasing demand for oilseed production, it is crucial to improve resistance to drought and yields of sunflower crops in such conditions. To improve ge...

Equipment and expertise

To improve the genetic characteristics of sunflower varieties, the scientists working on the SUNRISE project have developed an integrated approach. The approach consists in designing an ideal variety for given prodduction situations and climate scenarios based on the caracterisation of genetic ressources (genotyping) and of their responses to the environment (phenotyping). The project benefits from state-of-the-art equipment and scientific expertise.


  • The next-generation seuqencers, Pac Bio RS II and Illumina, in the Genome and Transcriptome facility at the Toulouse Genopole enable the production of very long sequences and the characterisation of genetic diversity.
  • Two Axiom arrays®, high-throughput genotyping tools with a capacity of 50,000 and 600,000 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), designed within the frame of the SUNRISE project. These arrays are already being used bu SUNRISE's partners.
  • The bioinformatics facilities at the Laboratory of Plant-Microbe Intercations (LIPM) and the Toulouse Genopole provide leading-edge computing and bioinformatics ressources and process genome-related data: genome navigator, integration of genetic maps and sequence comparison.
  • The crop model SUNFLO - developped by the Laboratory AGIR (Agroecology, Innovations, Territory) with the support of Terres Inovia and LEPSE (Laboratory of Plant Ecophysiologiy under Environmental Stress) - is used to characterise the growth limiting factors of an experimental trial and predict the behaviour of the crop under a wide range of agronomic condictions.
  • A drone fitted with sensors and computational tools increses the throughput and the collection frequency of date in field crop experiments, using remote sensing and aerial imagery methods.
  • The Helipahen phenotyping facility, wich was brought into service in 2013 in the frame of the Oleosol project with the support of the SUNRISE project, enables the simultaneous and automatic testing of 1,300 sunflower plants. The robot is a unique prototype designed specially to control water supply levels and measure the morphologic and growth characteristics of the plant.