Biotechnology in Agriculture

Biotechnology and Management of Pathogens in Agriculture, A Unit of Charles Viollette Research Institute

institut charles viollette logoPart of our Agricultural Science department, BioGAP is ISA Lille’s plant biotechnology research unit, specializing in pathogen management in agriculture, most notably septoria diseases, important foliar diseases of winter wheat worldwide.


ISA Lille’s BioGAP laboratory has studied septoria diseases for many years and was the first laboratory to reproduce the full cycle of Phaeosphaeria nodorum under in vitro conditions. Today, Mycosphaerella graminicola is the most frequently occurring and the most damaging pathogen on wheat crops. We study the importance of sexual reproduction, the variations of pathogenicity and the plant/pathogens interactions for the wheat/M.graminicola pathosystem. 

Another research thematic of the laboratory includes the study of new crop protection methods (elicitors, biocide natural compounds). Cryptosporidium is a genus of protozoan parasite causing gastroenteritis in humans and livestock. As cattle are considered as primary parasite reservoirs, the first goal of our research is to study the parasite population structure in calves by a biomolecular approach. The second purpose is to develop a Lab-on-a Chip system enabling to detect oocysts viability.

Research Areas 

  • Mycology – phytopathology: Septoria diseases of wheat 
  • Plant protection – biocide – elicitors 
  • Animal parasitology : cryptosporidiosis model

Tools and Methodologies

  • Microplates Reader, spectrophotometer
  • Thermocycler, SSCP and microsatellite analysis
  • Laminar flow hood and L2 laboratory
  • Optical microscope with DIC contrast and epifluorescence
  • Climatic chamber and greenhouse with ultrasonic humidifier

Scientific and Professional Partnerships 


  • BAYER 
  • CETAC 
  • Institut Pasteur of Lille 
  • Institute of Electronics, Microelectronics and Nanotechnology (IEMN) 
  • Laboratoire environnement & santé (FLST/FLM) 
  • LaSalle Beauvais * 
  • Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale * 
  • GIE Club-5 
  • Probiogem – Université Lille 1

*Association of laboratories of three structures (ISA Lille, ULCO and La Salle-Beauvais) to form the Phynopi (Phytopathologie Nord Picardie) scientific interest group 


  • INRA Meknès (Morocco) 
  • INAT Tunis (Tunisia) 
  • IIB Zürich (Switzerland)
professors (teaching and research)
Research Engineer
PhD Students

  • El Bekali, A.Y., Siah, A., Ramdani, A., El Chartouni, L., Deweer, C., Tisserant, B., Hadi, M., Reignault, P., and Halama, P. (2012 ) First report of the two mating types MAT1-1 and MAT1- 2 of Mycosphaerella graminicola in Morocco. Journal of Plant Pathology, 94, 243-247.
  • El Chartouni, L., Tisserant, B., Siah, A., Duyme, F., Durand, R., Halama, P., and Reignault, P. (2012) Evolution of Mycosphaerella graminicola at the wheat leaf level and at the eld level. Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 51(2), 332-339.
  • Ü Somai-Jemmali, L., Selim, S., Siah, A., and Hamada, W. (2014) Fungicide sensitivity of Tunisian strains of Mycosphaerella graminicola: the importance of drug transporter genes in the process of fungicide tolerance. Phytopathologia Mediterranea, 53: 83-93.
  • Siah A., Tayeh C., Randoux B., Halama P., Walters D. and Reignault Ph. (2014). Topical application on inducers for disease control. Second edition, In: Walters D., Newton A., Lyon G., eds. Induced Resistance for Plant Defense : A Sustainable Approach to Crop Protection. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing.
  • Siah A., Elbekali A.Y., Ramdani A., Reignault Ph., Torriani S.F.F., Brunner P.C. and Halama P. (2014). QoI resistance and mitochondrial genetic structure of Zymoseptoria tritici in Morocco. Plant Disease. In press.

Christophe Waterlot
Head of Research Unit
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