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Poussin. © inra

The experimental facilities (units) of PHASE division

Updated on 03/09/2017
Published on 02/04/2013

Research activities of PHASE division are carried out in 16 INRA research units or joint research units (working together with other partners) working with animals provided by 11 experimental or support units (facilities). The units work on the major species of agricultural interest (fishes, birds and breeding mammals), on species used as models (mice, rats, fish models, Caenorhabditis elegans, etc.) and on cell models. Different tools developed for exploring living systems (imaging, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc.) and for analysing the in vitro and in vivo functioning of these systems are used in PHASE laboratories.

Experimental facilities of the PHASE division

 In order to develop its research thematics, the PHASE Division has many experimental farms and technical platforms at its disposition. They are managed either solely by PHASE employees or in association with other INRA Divisions or research institutes.

The experimental farms regroup 1700 cattle, 5000 sheep and goats, 1000 pigs, 20000 poultry, 500 rabbits, 150 horses and several thousand rodents and fish. The animals can be found on over fifteen different sites, with a large variety of environmental conditions.Three-hundred eighty people work on this experimental design, which has a working budget of approximately 5.6 million euros. Around 700 research experiments are performed each year.

The experimental facilities have three main functions: first, they are where the Division’s scientists and other research teams perform their experiments; second, they are where knowledge is integrated on the animal and herd level, notably allowing the development and study of innovative breeding systems (free-range chicken farming at Magneraud, grazing goats at Rouillé, new duck breeding systems at Artiguères); third, they serve as an interface with partners of the animal sector and agricultural education. Each year, several hundreds of visitors visit the farms and platforms.

The personnel who work on these farms and platforms have an authorisation to experiment and the buildings are approved for experimentation. Several research units collaborate to form an experimental technical platform and are available for studies outside of INRA (transgenic fish for experimental studies at Rennes and Jouy-en-Josas, transgenic mice at Montpellier and Lyon, . . .). Others are planning to become available to European studies, notably those located at Bressonvilliers, Tours and Clermont-Ferrand.

The PHASE Division also manages or uses several collaborative technical platforms of regional or national size, built around important equipment. These are notable the experimental surgery (Tours and Jouy-en-Josas), mass spectroscopy (Rennes, Tours), electronic microscopy (Jouy-en-Josas, Montpellier), cellular and molecular analyses (Tours), or genomic studies platforms (Jouy-en-Josas, Rennes).

Key-words : experimental facilities