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New frontiers projects

New Frontiers projects are selected by the TULIP International Scientific Board through an annual call. "New Frontiers" refer to projects that are beyond the usual boundaries of our current research bringing new theoretical and conceptual approaches, or developing new methodological approaches. The innovative nature of these projects involves in particular the notion of risk-taking. The first selection round, ended in March 2012, has led to the qualification of five projects for a 2 year period which began on June 1st 2012. Because of the duration of these projects, the second round of calls for innovative projects, called new frontiers projects was set for 2014.

Year 2016

Four New Frontiers projects out of 15 candidates have been selected on April 20th, 2016 by our International Scientific Board members and are financially supported by TULIP since.

Project applicant

Project denomination



Deslandes & Peeters

Explore Plant integrated decoy diversity to trap Ralstonia solanacearum type III effectors


80 K€


Risks associated with nodulation (possibility that it can be exploited by pathogens)


80 K€


Function and comparative analysis of microRNA-encoded petides in plants and animals


80 K€


Adaptation of pathogens to host microbiomes


80 K€

Year 2014

projet PUJOL

Predicting the ability of wild populations to adapt as a function of non genetic inheritance (PAW)

Head by: Benoit PUJOL (EDB)

The adaptive value of non-genetic inheritance in the scientific literature is debated. Using data from natural populations of the plant species Antirrhinum majus complemented by experimental data, the PAW project will test the following hypotheses:

  • Plants exposed to shade will show an heritable adaptive plastic response
  • "Mother" plants also transmit to their progeny the environment in which this response has an adaptive significance

To this aim, experiments in common garden will be conducted in order to characterise the plastic response of pants to environmental constraints. Plant monitoring in wild populations will allow us to quantify the heritability of the maternal ecological niche and the fitness gain brought by the plastic response in the natural environment. This project will provide advances to our knowledge of non-genetic inheritance and will reinforce the emerging scientific network that is emerging at the national level in France (RTP3é CNRS InEE and SFE).


Virulence function and evolution of Sclerotinia signals manipulating plant RNA silencing pathways (ScleRNAi)

Head by: Sylvain RAFFAELE (LIPM )

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is the causal agent of white and stem root diseases on more than 400 host plants, leading to several hundred million euro losses annually. Recent data indicate that fungal pathogens related to Sclerotinia supress plant defense responses by interfering with small RNA (sRNA)-mediated transcriptional gene silencing in host cells. How this virulence mechanism evolved and how it contributes to virulence on multiple hosts remain unknown.

To adress this question, we analyse sRNA molecules produced by multiple Sclerotinia isolates during plant infection. We will test whether these sRNAs contribute to Sclerotinia virulence and predict their targets in the genome of multiple plant species susceptible to Sclerotinia. In the long term, this project will provide evolutionary and mechanistic understanding of the function sRNA as virulence factors, and open perspectives for the design of innovative strategies for the durable management of fungal plant diseases.


Human Altruism Genes

Head by: Alexis CHAINE (SEEM)

The field of behavioural genetics has increasingly found genes associated with complex behaviours including cooperation in a wide variety of organisms including humans. Altruism – an extreme form of cooperation that entails a substantial fitness cost to the donor – can be greatly stabilized by genetic similarity between the donor and recipient as seen in a number of organisms, yet such genes have not been looked for in humans.

In this project, we will use a unique database of demonstrated altruism in humans to examine if altruists have a different genetic profile from non-altruists and if altruists and recipients are more likely to share genes in common despite a lack of direct kinship. This project is a collaboration between TULIP partner Moulis and researchers at the University of Exeter, UK.

Year 2012

Project name

 Project responsable (laboratory)

Ralstonia S.

System level investigation of Ralstonia solanacearum metabolic and regulatory networks to infer the pathogen-induced metabolic fluxes during plant infection 

Stéphane GENIN (LIPM)

Relations plante symbiote

Discovering the ecological importance of lipochitooligosaccharides as signaling molecules in plant biotic interactions

Guillaume BECARD (LRSV)

Nodule induit par Ralstonia © C.Masson

Environmental and genetic factors triggering hypermutability during experimental evolution of legume symbionts

Catherine MASSON (LIPM)

hérédité sociale

Social Heridity (SOC-H²)


Because of the discovery of various forms of non-genetic inheritanceBiology is undergoing a deep transformation. This project aims at studying the real impact of cultural heredity on animal behavior heredity.

Abeille © C.Delmas

Studying interaction network in changing plant and pollinator communities by DNA barcoding (POLLIBAR)

André PORNON (EDB) & Christophe ANDALO (EDB)

New Frontiers 2016

New Frontiers 2016 projects

Four New Frontiers projects out of 15 candidates have been selected on April, 20th by our International Scientific Board members and will be...
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New Frontiers final lap

Final lap for the New Frontiers call for project

Less than two weeks to submit to the "TULIP New Frontiers call for proposal", running from December 2015 to March, 31th. This call for proposals will...
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