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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Plantes et Système de cultures Horticoles

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Hélène Gautier

Hélène Gautier
Director of research


Directeur  de Recherche

Lab. Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles

Equipe : Ecophysiologie des Plantes Horticoles


INRA Unité PSH (UR 1115)

Domaine St Paul,Site agroparc

CS 40509

84914 Avignon Cedex 9

Tel : (33) 432 72 23 45

Email :



1991 - PhD thesis in Plant Physiology, Toulouse University and Centre de Cadarache, CEA, Saint Paul lez Durance, France: “Physiology of stomata. Response of guard cell protoplasts to blue light”.


1992 to 1997: INRA Forage Station studying plant ecophysiology. Environment and Agronomy Department, INRA Lusignan, France.
I worked on morphogenetic responses of forage plants to their light environment (quantity and spectral distribution of light) in order to determine the respective role of cryptochrome or phytochrome photoreceptors in plant morphogenesis regulation. The applied objective was to better understand the impact of light environment on plant space colonisation and plant survival.

1998 to 2000: INRA Bioclimatology Unit, Environment and Agronomy Department, Avignon, France.
I worked on the effects of changes in the climatic environment (VPD…) and cultural practices (fruit pruning, irrigation, and planting density) on tomato leaf growth and plant architecture and estimated the impact on light intercepted by the plant. The applied objective was to determine whether plant photosynthesis could be a limiting factor under different stressful environments during summer time under greenhouse.

From 2001 till now: I have joined the Fruit Quality Ecophysiology group (Environment and Agronomy Department, INRA, Avignon) to study the effects of cultural management practices (irrigation with saline water, plant density, deleafing, nitrogen supply) and climatic environment (light, temperature, shading …) on the organoleptic and nutraceutical quality of tomato fruit. Our team objectives are to better understand and model the joint effects of genome and environment on fruit quality. More specifically, my objectives are to determine how environmental factors affect tomato fruit content in sugars and antioxidants (carotenoids mostly lycopene and beta-carotene and vitamin C). I focus on the regulation and relation between sugars accumulation and these antioxidant compounds under limiting or stressful environment. The applied objective is to determine the combination of pre and postharvest environmental conditions which optimise fruit content in sugars and antioxidants.

Since 2010, I also work on an eco‐friendly strategy to optimize pest management by intercropping companion plants (CPs) with horticultural crops (pepper, zucchini, apple tree peach tree, …). In this research, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by CPs are investigated for their repellent properties towards different aphids (Myzus persicae, Disaphis plantaginea, Aphis gossypii, …). The aim of this study is to identify the most efficient volatile blends that affect aphids’ behavior and their reproduction and to understand the modes of action involved : direct effects on the aphid and/or indirect effects via the host plant. In the frame of the PIA project “Cap Zero Phyto”, the most promising CPs will be tested in combination with other levers (nitrogen supply, UV-C flashes, …) to propose new crop strategies to manage major pest in horticulture.