LMI RICE-2 : general presentation


    As a coastal country Vietnam is highly threatened by climate change, the consequences of which result in drought, floods, typhoons, exaggerated tides, rising sea levels provoking salt contamination in soils and the emergence of new pathogenic agents. All these effects have a profound impact on agronomy and are expected to affect drastically the food production in Vietnam. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development promulgated on May 2014 the plan to promote researches and applications of science and technology in agriculture sector to serve restructuring agriculture towards enhancing the added values and sustainable development. The consequence is to launch breeding programs to develop: (i) new vietnamese rice varieties with improved quality, maintaining a high yield in abiotic and biotic stress culture conditions, (ii) new robusta varieties able to cope both with biotic and abiotic stresses while improving the quality.


    In agreement with these priorities, the IJL RICE-2 recognizes both the continuity to IJL Rice created in 2011 and the wider scope of the second step of the IJL that started in January 2015, and will stand RICE-2 for :"Rice, Interactions & Coffee in Environment"-phase2. The successes of the IJL Rice allow the IJL RICE-2 to devote more efforts on communication at the regional level to give a greater visibility and attractiveness of the IJL in surrounding countries and with international research organisms such as CIAT and IRRI. IJL RICE-2 focuses on three major orientations, although other opportunities might be considered:

  1. Combining both functional genomics and association genetics approaches in rice to unravel mechanisms for the improvement of agronomical traits. The IJL Rice collection of ca 200 genotyped vietnamese rice lines is a unique resource and a pivotal tool to characterize rice determinants of the adaptation to various abiotic and biotic stresses to implement association genetic studies to propose pre-breeding varieties with improved agronomical traits. Projects that are already engaged in the frame of the first phase of the LMI Rice are continuing on: (i) abiotic stress resistance (salt, drought) and yield maintenance via the study of the genetics determinants of root system and panicle structure, (ii) biotic stresses resistance to pathogens (virus, nematodes, Xanthomonas), the mechanisms of interaction between rice and these pathogens and design of resistance engineering. New avenues will be explored in the: (i) research of QTL for nematode resistance and root development, (ii) role of aquaporine and water flux in relation with drought tolerance, (iii) mobilization of transposon in response to environmental constraints, (iv) interaction with beneficial microorganisms (endophytic and PGPR rhizobacteria) in relation with water stress and mineral nutrition. The sequencing of the vietnamese rice collection will be a priority. It will require a stronger anchoring with international programs and organizations (CRISP, IRRI,…) as well as the development of bioinformatics tools. The latter is of paramount importance for the formation in relation with USTH.
  2. Setting up and developing a research project on coffee. Current partnerships (see below) between IRD, AGI, VAAS, USTH, UM have been opened to new partners: CIRAD that will establish the coffee project and UMR LSTM that will develop projects on rice and coffee interactions with soil beneficial microorganisms. The objectives are: (i) to introduce some robusta genetic resources, improved for tolerance to drought and heat as well as adapted to low levels of fertilizer, to use as root-stocks that will be assessed for nematode resistance in the Vietnam context, (ii) improve the growth of coffee by a better adaptation to nematodes and drought conditions through arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM) interactions with the coffee root system in test cropping systems.
  3. Capacity building and formation in plant breeding. The development of the IJL Rice is associated with the creation of the new French-Vietnamese University of Sciences and Technology of Hanoi (USTH). The IJL Rice has established and organizes several teaching units in the master program “USTH Pharmacological, Medical & Agronomical Biotechnology” at USTH that includes plant biotechnology. IJL RICE-2 is continuously supporting capacity building in the field of plant biology with a special emphasis on plants breeding. The IJL is the research support of the local master program “USTH Pharmacological, Medical & Agronomical Biotechnology”. It has trained master and PhD students as well as young researchers. IJL RICE-2 is also in charge of managing the “BIO” department of USTH.

Major interactions of the IJL RICE-2


The IJL RICE-2 is supported by seven institutional partners:

IRD: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement:  Presided by Pr. Jean-Paul Moatti, the IRD is a unique institution in the landscape of European research for development. Its task is to conduct research in the South, for the South, with the South. Its researchers are working on issues of major global importance today: global warming, emerging diseases, biodiversity, access to water, migration, poverty, world hunger. The teaching and training they provide empowers and enables Southern scientific communities.

AGI: Agronomical Genetics Institute: Directed by Pr. Le Huy Ham, the AGI is located in Hanoi in a new building of 10 000 m2 hosting different research teams. The AGI where the LMI RICE-2 is hosted is involved in different collaboration projects with international partners.

Université de Montpellier: Presided by Pr. Philippe Auger, University of Montpellier with more than 40000 students is the 6th french University. Located in Montpellier it is developing several training and research activities with international research institutes such as IRD and CIRAD which are also partners of the IJL RICE-2. 

VAAS: Vietnam Academy of Agronomical Science:  Presided by Pr. Trinh Khac Quang, the VAAS is the institutional umbrela of  5 Functional Departments and 17 Research Institutes and their satellite centers & research stations at various locations from Northern mountainous area, provinces at the Red River Delta to Southern Central and central highlands.

NKLPC: National Key Laboratory for Plant cell Biotechnology: Vietnam encompasses 17 National Key Laboratories specialized in different scientific topics. The NKLPCB was established 10 years ago and was directed by Pr. Do Nang Vinh the actual co-director of the IJL. It is actually directed by Dr. Dong….. 

USTH: University of Sciences and Technology of Hanoi:
Established in November 2009 by a Vietnamese-French intergovernemental agreement, the main goal of the USTH is to develop a centre of research and teaching excellence that creates dynamic synergies between research and teaching by strengthening university-industry linkages in science and technology fields and developing new model to private-public cooperation in higher education/research institutions. The Rector of USTH is Pr. Patrick Boiron.

CIRAD: French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development is a public industrial and commercial enterprise presided by Dr. Michel Eddy. The CIRAD works with the whole range of developing countries to generate and pass on new knowledge, support agricultural development and fuel the debate on the main global issues concerning agriculture. CIRAD is a targeted research organization, and bases its operations on development needs, from field to laboratory and from a local to a global scale.


LMI meeting, Hanoi, november 2010


    The « International Joint Laboratory on Rice Functional Genomics and Plant Biotechnology » is hosted in the new building of the Institute of Agronomical Genetic Institute of Hanoi. 1000 M2 of laboratory space in new building of IAG could be used as office, laboratory and beneficiate of all the equipment available in the partner Institutes including them of the National Key Laboratory for Plant Cell Culture and Biotechnology, including: all facilities for tissue culture, gene transfer and plant regeneration (Agrobacterium and biolistic); all facilities for molecular cloning, real time PCR, classical PCR; molecular breeding (RFLP, AFLP, SSRs); epifluorescence and real time microscopy; 4000 M2 of confined nethouses; nethouse for pathogenesis tests; 7 ha for rice culture.

Illustrations of AGI facilities. A: AGI new building where the LMI will be hosted. B: example of plant transformation laboratory. C: Example of confined Nethouse of the IAG experimental station. D: AGI rice field in the Vanh Giang experimental station.