The unit’s technical platform, PlantBioinfoPF, helps INRAE researchers carry out their work on plant species of agricultural interest. The platform is a part of the French Institute of Bioinformatics (IFB), the French Node within ELIXIR, a European scientific programme providing bioinformatics infrastructure in the life sciences. The platform was formally recognised at the national level in 2009 by the IBiSA Scientific Interest Group (GIS), which coordinates France’s network of platforms in the life sciences. Since 2013, PlantBioinfoPF has served as one of INRAE’s strategic platforms.


PlantBioinfoPF performs work tightly linked to URGI research that is organised along five scientific axes: 

  • Integrating data
  • Unifying data behind a single portal
  • Annotating genomes
  • Generating an analytical environment
  • Providing training

The platform has extensive experience in improving researcher access to data on plants, fungi, gene annotations, transposable elements, and information systems. It helps manage, publish, and exploit the genetic and genomic data for forests and cultivated plants that are produced by INRAE’s BAP and ECODIV Divisions, making particular use of GnpIS, its information system.


Starting in 2000, data collected by the Génoplante Programme were officially deposited in GnpIS. This information system belonged to the platform, which became a part of URGI in 2002. GnpIS is a tool for developing and managing information on plant genetics and genomics that arises from collaborative projects by biologists and bioinformaticians in France and abroad.

Building scientific knowledge

GnpIS was built to allow these data to be searched, managed, stored, and analysed via user-friendly interfaces. The system unifies genomic knowledge while also facilitating data access. Indeed, researchers can use this resource to gain a better grasp of genome structure and evolution, notably for genes of agricultural interest. At the forefront of this group are the genes behind resistance to biotic and abiotic factors in crops such as wheat, grapevines, or maize. The system’s range of coverage was expanded in 2004 to cover fungi and, more recently, insects (in collaboration with Joint Research Unit BIO3P). This advance has broadened the data available on the genomics and genetics of plants and their pests.

Modification date: 05 July 2023 | Publication date: 03 November 2020 | By: Jess Pearce