TRANSBIO SUDOE aims at promoting interdisciplinary and interregional research in the field of health & life sciences.
TRANSBIO SUDOE can provide mobility support (transport & accommodation) for scientists interested in setting up collaborative research projects.

Below the procedure to launch a collaborative project :
  1. Create a TRANSBIO account => registration
  2. When approved, enter the intranet via the Enter TRANSBIO SUDOE bottom bar
  3. Select in partner access => Post collaborative project
For all questions or further help, contact your regional local WP2 mini-cluster responsible..

Understanding drought response and recovery in Medicago truncatula using state-of-the-art metabolomics/lipidomics technologies

Partner A Member : Lisboa
Name of principal investigator : ANTONIO
Firstname : Carla
Email :
Position : Staff
Affiliation Name : Plant Metabolomics Laboratory, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (ITQB-UNL)
Road : Avenida da República
Postbox :
Town : Oeiras
Country : Portugal
Partner B Member : Bordeaux
Name of principal investigator : FOUILLEN
Firstname : Laetitia
Email :
Position : Staff
Affiliation Name : Plateforme Métabolome (lipidome), Laboratoire de Biogenèse Membranaire UMR 5200, CNRS - Université de Bordeaux
Road : Bâtiment A3 - INRA Bordeaux Aquitaine, 71 Avenue Edouard Bourlaux
Postbox :
Town : Bordeaux
Country : France
Request for financial support 2 scientists for 3 days (Partner A to Partner B)
Request for technical support :
- Need of TTO's support to ease collaboration agreements :
- Need for identification of funding opportunities (regional, national, European) : No

Added value of the cooperation : Dr C. Antonio is the Head of the Plant Metabolomics Laboratory at the Plant Sciences Division, ITQB, in Lisboa, Portugal. She has experience over the last nine years using Metabolomics approaches with particular focus on plant metabolism to determine environment-dependent changes underlying metabolic profiles. L. Fouillen is research engineer at National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). She has recognized expertise in the field of mass spectrometry for bio-molecules analyses. Since 2011, she is leading the Lipidome part of the Metabolome Facility of Bordeaux (BMP) involved in MetaboHub. With this collaboration, we aim at exchanging analytical technology knowledge via not only the sharing of equipment but also expertise in the metabolomics and lipidomics fields to advance our understanding in the global changes occurring in plant metabolism (i.e. metabolic reconfiguration and adaptation) under specific drought stress conditions. This knowledge is fundamental to enhance plant fitness and increase stress tolerance, improving yields and profitability. Additionally, this collaboration will establish the bases for a long term scientific collaboration funded by other sources.

Summary of the proposal :  Metabolomics is finding an increasing number of applications in the plant metabolomics field to investigate metabolite responses to abiotic stress, particularly drought. Drought represents a major constraint to crop productivity worldwide, accounting for yield losses of 50% in major crops (Bartels and Sunkar 2005; Valliyodan and Nguyen 2006). One strategy plants adopted to cope with drought stress consists of fine metabolic adjustments for the synthesis of vital protective compounds for osmotic adjustment. It involves the net accumulation of osmolytes in the cell, and as a result, the osmotic potential is lowered, which in turn draws water into the cell, therefore maintaining turgor pressure. For these reasons, osmotic adjustment is generally accepted to be an efficient component of drought resistance in several plants, enabling water uptake in many species and the maintenance of plant metabolic activity, and therefore, growth and productivity as the water potential decreases (Chaves & Oliveira, 2004).

Lipidomics, a metabolomics sub area, aims at identifying the lipid content in a biological sample, and has hugely benefited over the past years from advances in instrumentation, especially in mass spectrometry (MS) that provides sensitive and quantitative analysis (Harkewicz & Dennis, 2011; Li et al., 2014). However, despite all the progresses achieved, lipidomics remains a challenging area in plant sciences, where only a few studies on plant lipidome responses to abiotic stress have been reported.


The use of MS-based metabolomics and lipidomics platforms to profile stress-responsive primary and lipid-related metabolites that allow some plants to adapt to adverse environmental conditions is fundamental in current plant biotechnology research programs for the understanding and development of stress-tolerant plants.


The present collaborative Transbio project aims at (i) applying MS-based metabolomics technologies  (Partner A, Dr Carla Antonio, Lisboa), particularly for the analysis of plant central metabolites (carbon, nitrogen and energy metabolism), and at (ii) applying MS-based lipidomics technologies (Partner B, Dr Laetitia Fouillen, Bordeaux), particularly for the determination of the fatty acid content and other lipid classes present in Medicago truncatula plants under well-watered (control), water deficit (drought stress) and recovery conditions.


The results obtained from this powerful approach (i.e., metabolomics and lipidomics state-of-the-art technologies) will address key biological questions related to growth and development, responses to environmental stresses and improvement of crop varieties using Medicago truncatula as a model legume. Legumes are a very large and diverse family of plants that include a number of important crop species of significant market value.Furthermore, it will establish novel tools to promote sustainable agriculture, in a context of climate change and the increasing requirements for sustainability.





·         Bartels D, Sunkar R. Drought and salt tolerance. Crit. Rev. Plant Sci. (2005) 24: 23-58

·         Carillo P, Fell R, Gibon Y, Satoh-Nagosawa N, Jackson D, Bläsing O, Stitt M, Lunn JE. A fluorometric assay for trehalose in the picomole range. Plant Methods (2013) 9: 21-25-

·         Chaves MM, Oliveira MM. Mechanisms underlying plant resilience to water deficits: prospects for water-saving agriculture. J. Exp. Bot. (2004) 55: 2365-2384

·         Harkewicz R, Dennis EA. 2011.  Applications of Mass Spectrometry to Lipids and Membranes. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 80:301–25

·         Li M, Yang L, Bai Y, Liu H. 2014. Analytical Methods in Lipidomics and Their Applications. Anal. Chem. 86: 161-175

·         Valliyodan B, Nguyen HT. Understanding regulatory networks and engineering for enhanced drought tolerance in plants. Curr Opin Plant Biol. (2006) 9: 189-195

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Understanding drought response and recovery in Medicago truncatula using state-of-the-art metabolomics/lipidomics technologies
View proposal