LMI RICE: general presentation


    Research on rice, to support breeding of new varieties with more yields in more stress condition, is one of the main scientific priorities identified by the Vietnamese government. Global climatic change and its impact on water availability and temperature increase is expected to affect drastically rice culture in Vietnam both in mountainous and central plateau areas (drought stress), and in low lands and deltas (water deficit, salt contamination). This is also expected to have an impact on the distribution of the zones contaminated by viruses (via the expansion of their insect vectors promoted by temperature changes) and nematodes (linked to water deficit).

    It is in this context that the Institute of Genetic Agronomy of Hanoi (IAG), belonging to the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science (VAAS) in association with the Joint Research Unit Diversité, Adaptation et Développement des Plantes (UMR DIADE, IRD/UM2) and the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH) have created this International Joint Laboratory focused on Rice Functional Genomics and Plant Biotechnology (LMI RICE).

Figure presenting an overview of the LMI RICE partnership network



The core research activity of the LMI RICE will be to study and to decipher fundamental mechanisms related to the development of rice (panicle and root branching in regard to yield and water deficit / salt tolerance, respectively) and to its resistance against pathogens (virus and nematodes).

    Hosting platform

    In addition to this activity in rice functional genomics, the objective of the LMI RICE will be to develop a plant functional genomics and biotechnology open platform to promote the emergence and the realization of new collaborative projects on plant biotechnology. One of this project is planed to be focused on the actinorhizal trees Casuarina that contribute to protect coastal areas in Vietnam.


    The development of the LMI RICE is associated with the creation of the new French / Vietnamese University of Sciences and Technology of Hanoi (USTH) and peaple involved in the LMI RICE will contribute to teaching activities in the Master Degree "Biotechnology and Pharmacology" speciality Plant Biotechnology of the USTH but also in VAAS, Hanoi University of Agronomy, Hanoi University of Forestry...


Intitutionnal partners

The LMI RICE result of the association of 6 Partners:
IRD: Intitut de Recherche pour le Développement:  Présided by Danièle Hérin, 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 Le Huy Ham, the AGI is located in Hanoi in a new building of 10 000 m2 hosting different research teams. The IGA where the LMI RICE is hosted is involved in different collaboration projecs with international and European partners such as IRRI in Philippines, Denmark, United Kingdom (BBSRC rice sequencing project IGA/JIC) and France (LMI RICE).
Université Montpellier 2: Presided by Pr. Danièle Hèrin, University Montpellier 2 is one of the biggest University in France. Located in Montpellier it is developping several training and research activities with international research institutes such as IRD and CIRAD.
VAAS: Vietnam Academy of Agronomical Science:  Presided by Dr. Nguyen Van Bo, 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 ewtablished 10 years ago and was directed by Pr. Do Nang Vinh
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 USTH is directed by Pr. Pierre Sebban

Main operationnal partners:

Two research institutes are the main operationnal partners of the LMI RICE: (1) Institute of Agricultural Genetics (IAG, NKLPCB, VAAS) directed by Dr. Le Huy Ham (email: LHHAM@agi.ac.vn), and (2) the Joint Research Unit UMR DIversity, Adaptation and Development of Plants DIADE (IRD/UM2) directed by Dr. Serge Hamon (email: serge.hamon@ird.fr) .

Associated partners:

The LMI RICE research projects are realized in association with the Joint Research Unit from France : UMR RPB (IRD-UM2-CIRAD, directed by Michel Nicole). The caracterisation of the Vietnamese Rice collection is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Brigitte Courtois from UMR AGAP, CIRAD. These research projects involve also on the Vietnamese side people from the Plant Protection Research Institute (VAAS), the Plant Genetic Ressources Institute (VAAS), the Hanoi University of Agronomy and the Institute of Forestry Science.


Eleven equivalent full time researchers from France and thirteen equivalent researchers from Vietnam are involved in the « International Joint Laboratory on Rice Functional Genomics and Plant Biotechnology » in addition to several techniciens from AGI.

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 transfert 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 pathogennesis 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.