Jean-Marc BOUVET


Jean- Marc Bouvet



Discipline and activities




Habilitation Degree (HDR) at Montpellier University (UMII), 2007

PhD in population and quantitative genetics 1995: National Institute of Agronomy and University of Paris XI

Master of Science in quantitative and population genetics 1991: National Institute of Agronomy and University of Paris XI

Master of Science in Forestry (engineer degree): 1982 National school of forest engineer (ENITEF)

Current responsabilities

I am currently responsible for the Unit research team : "genetic and Breeding of perennial crop species"

 Within an international network of private and publics partners, the GF&P team (Genetics and Breeding of perennial species: Forest and Oil Palm models) conducts research on plants with a long cycle, with the purpose of improving and creating varieties. Two genus or species are primarily concerned, eucalyptus and oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.). But, as regards forest trees, efforts also relate to other species, in particular the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) and the argan tree (Argania spinosa).


The research activities of the GF&P team are directed especially towards four directions:

  • Relations between breeding populations or improved varieties and related “wild” forms or forms under the process of domestication

    This approach should help identify alleles that may have potential for introgression in populations or improved varieties. In the case of eucalyptus, for example, it will be a phylogenetic analysis with genes involved in the chain of biosynthesis of lignin and cellulose.

    1. Genetic determinants of traits of agronomic interest

    It deals with genes or genomic regions involved in the development of traits such as resistance to pests and pathogens (Fusarium and Ganoderma on oil palm), the contents of lignin, cellulose and polyphenols (in Eucalyptus species), the levels of fatty acids and tocopherols in shea trees, the response to mineral nutrition (eucalyptus, oil palm) and resistance to water stress (eucalyptus).

    1. Genotype * environment interaction: assessment of populations or varieties in relation to crop management and environmental constraints

    This line of research concerns the response to environmental factors (biotic and abiotic ones) by characterizing phenotypes according to nested levels: complex characters, character components, chemical contents and expression products. The work will be conducted primarily for oil palm (resistance to Ganoderma and to Fusarium wilt, mineral nutrition and water stress) and eucalyptus (mineral nutrition, water stress).

    1. Modelling and predicting phenotype/genotype given discrete (molecular) and continuous (phenotypic) data

    These researches, which concern both oil palm and eucalyptus, will be used to get a better prediction of genotype in its environment by combining molecular data, phenotypic data and environmental data from sequencing and high-throughput phenotyping. They involve mathematical and statistical models applied to quantitative genetics and population genetics.




    Scientific issues

    My main research fields concern the understanding of perennial crop adaptation through different levels of diversity expression (from genes to phenotypic traits). It also concerns the understanding of genetic structure of populations and gene flow through time and space.

    Tree adaptation

    I use the classical approach of the quantitative genetics to analyse the genetic and environmental components in tree adaptation for growth, morphological and wood property traits. In parallel, I conduct research on the effect of competition (density, fertilising) on the phenotypic plasticity of Eucalyptus.
    I am now starting research on the molecular basis of adaptation (candidate genes, SNPs) along clinal variation for both type of species: Eucalyptus along altitudinal range and shea tree along rainfall variation. Identification of polymorphism in candidate genes and association tests combined with functionnal analysis of phenotypic traits are the main activities of the new projects.

    Genetic structure and Gene flow

    I have developped research to analyse the impact of global change on genetic structure and gene flow. I have mainly used chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites to study the impact of historical factor (last maximum glaciation), geographic factors (archipelagos) on the genetic structure. At the local scale I have studied the impact of human activity on gene flow and mating system.
    I am now using Bayesian model to define populations and analyse gene flow.


    Research activities

     I spent 20 years in tropical regions : Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, French Guyana and I made numerous missions in the countries of the tropical zones.

    Since 2001 I have been based in CIRAD France, in Montpellier

      I have conducted my research in different forest ecosystems and with different species of tropical regions. I have mainly addressed scientific issues in Africa (Republic of the Congo 1982-1984 and 1991-1998), in Madagascar (1986-1991), in French Guyana (1998-2001) and in France (2001-now)
    I have developped most of my activites in the frame of Eucalyptus plantations in Africa and Madagascar. The operational goal is the production of clonal varieties of eucalyptus for pulp wood or the production of improved seeds for small scale plantations. 



    Then I have conducted research in the frame of agroforestry system, mainly in the soudano-sahelian region of Africa with species such as shea tree (Vittelaria paradoxa) and Acacia (Acacia senegal) for the production of non wood forest products (shea butter, arabic gum).

    I have also developped some activities with species growing in insular system in New-Caledonia, in French Polynesia (Santalum sp.), in Caribbean see (Pterocarpus officinalis),in Madagascar island (Dalbergia sp., Ravensara aromatica) and in French Guyana (Aniba rosaeodora) to implement strategies of conservation and to develop the principle of management based on molecular and phenotypic information.



    Strategy – international partnership

    ·       As part of CIRAD’s mission to develop research through cooperation with limited resource countries, I am heavily involved in the design of partnership strategies in multicultural contexts. In many situations, I have jointly developed research programmes of mutual interest, defined the rules for sharing the results and organized the research teams. To illustrate this, here are three examples of projects in which I am currently involved: defining a research programme with the University of Sao Paulo and Embrapa on eucalyptus plantations in Brazil, where two researchers of my team are stationed; with the National Centre for Agricultural Research and the University in Madagascar, assignment of a researcher to studies of the impact of global change of forest ecosystems; organization of the partnership strategy and research with French and Indonesian private companies for oil palm breeding in Sumatra. ·       I Also maintain contacts with international organizations such as the World Agroforestry Centre and the Forest Service of FAO. I recently (April 2011) attended a meeting of experts at FAO to define the work program of thematic issues in the State of the World of Forest Genetic Resources.


    Expertise and consultancy

     ·       I have done audits and worked as a consultant in various fields of the management of genetic resources (technical and legal aspects), for example:·         Genetic improvement of perennial crop and tree species (implementation of selection schemes by a private company in Ecuador) ·         Strategy for the conservation of threatened species in French Guyana for Aniba rosaeodora in collaboration with French Forest Service and the Channel Group.·         Audit of research programmes related to plant genetics and biodiversity. This audit was conducted as part of IPGRI in 2005 to analyze the programme "Laws and Policies Affecting the Conservation, Use and Exchange of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (project D11 of IPGRI). The audit was financed by the European Commission. Its main purpose was to review the progress made by the D11 project in 2003 in terms of the milestones previously defined and to evaluate accordingly the possible need for reorienting EC funding to these projects in the coming years.



    Teaching and training

    I have supervised 15 PhD students and more than 40 students in Masters and Bachelor of Science programmes at French and foreign universities. I present here the most recent PhD theses I have supervised. I present here the most recent PhD thesis I have supervised in collaboration with colleagues from french and foreign universities

    1 - Co-supervisor of the PhD thesis of Zenor Logossa: 2007-2010. University of Lome, Togo.
    Impact of natural selection of genome structure of Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree)- Pattern of variation of candidates genes coding for aquaporins along the latitudinal gradient in the Sudano-Sahelian zone
    2 - Co-supervisor of the PhD thesis of Garel Makouanzi: starting date 2010. University of Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. Epistatic effects  in genetic components of traits involved in response to stress in eucalyptus populations.

    1 - Co-Supervisor of the thesis of Dyana Bourobou: Dynamics of the genetic diversity of a rare species MOABI (Baillonella toxisperma Pierre) in the Gabonese forest. Impact of ecosystem disturbance. University of Montpellier II 2007-2011. 2 - Co-Supervisor of the thesis of François Allal: Pattern of variation of candidates genes of Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree) coding for fatty acid and tocopherol along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients in the Sudano-Sahelian zone  University of Montpellier II 2007-2010.3- Co-Supervisor of the thesis of Jérôme Bartholomé: Genetic Architecture of traits related to drought tolerance in eucalyptus. University of Montpellier II 2010-20134 - Co-Supervisor of the thesis of David Cros: Pangenomic selection in oil palm. University of Montpellier II 2011-2014


    Research Projects

    Coordination of national and international research projects·       I have been involved in assembling and coordinating projects involving several research teams. I have been involved in French projects with various partners(Universities, CNRS, INRA and so on), but especially in international projects through European funding. European projects have the characteristic of being highly multidisciplinary and combine biological sciences with social and economic sciences . As co-ordinator of Foreaim and Innovkar projects, my role was first to conceptualize research involving European and African partners who have different skills, resources, know-how and ways of exploiting the results. On the basis of a consortium agreement, my role has subsequently been to organize the implementation of research, to ensure the proper allocation of budgets, to lead the steering committees and to report to the European Commission (Directorate-General for Research).


    1 - Project funded by the French Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development 2002-2006.
    Analysis of biodiversity according to various spatio-temporal scales with molecular and quantitative traits. Case of Santalum species in New-Caledonia and French Polynesia (coordinator)
    Institutions involved : IAC, Cosmecal, UPF, ISEM, CIRAD

    2 - Project funded by the French Ministry of Ecology and sustainable development 2002-2006
    Analysis of the genetic diversity of a symbiotic system in insular system, spatial and functioning aspects : case of Pterocarpus officinalis and of its associated micro-organismsInstitutions involved : UAG, CIRAD, LSTM

    3 - Project funded by incentive funds of CIRAD 2004-2006 :
    Estimation of genetic parameters without control of relatedness and environment effects
    institutions involved : ISEM, INRA, CIRAD

    4 - Project funded by CIRAD and INRA
    adaptation and plasticity of eucalyptus : phenotypic and molecular approaches.
    partners : CIRAD, INRA, UR2PI (

    5 - Project funded by Cirad 2011-2013

    Genomic selection in tropical and mediteranean plants (20011-2013)

    partners : Cirad, INRA, Montpellier supAgro



     6 - project funded by NRA 2014-2017

     Understanding the genetic and environmental determinisms of water use efficiency to improve sustainability of tree plantations




    1 - FOREAIM ( Bridging restoration and multi-functionality in degraded forest landscape of Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands. 2005-2008
    8 parters: CIRAD, IRD, (France) CEH (UK), University of Oslo (Norway) , (FOFIFA and University of Antananarivo (Madagascar), KEFRI (Kenya) and University of Makerere (Uganda). (coordinator) 



    2 - ACAGIAGUM : promoting by innovative research the sustainable use of Acacia senegal in the soudano-sahelian zone.2006-2009
    9 partners : CIRAD, University of Wageningen (Netherland), CEH (UK) , IRD (France), ISRA (Sénégal), UCAD (Sénégal), IRAD/PRASAC (Cameroon, UNIAMEY (Niger) and KEFRI (Kenya).



    3 - INNOVKAR : innovative tools for promoting the sustainable use of shea tree in soudano-sahelian zone.2006-2009
    9 partners: CIRAD (France), University of York (UK), Forest landscape (Denmark), Karlshamns (Sweden), ISRA (Sénégal), IER (Mali), IRBET (Burkina Faso), University of Makerere (Uganda) and University of Development (Ghana).


    ·       I participate in various ways in the evaluation of research. I have participated in numerous panels and examination committees for PhDs and for degrees and diplomas in French and foreign universities (Australia, Madagascar, Mali). I also work as an expert for AERES (French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education) and participate in committees that evaluate French research units

    ·       I am also a reviewer for many international scientific journals: Agroforestry Journal, Annals of Botany, Annals of Forest Sciences, Australian Journal of Botany, Biodiversity and Conservation, BMC Ecology, Forestry, Forest Ecology and Management, Genetica, Heredity, Molecular Ecology, New Forest, Plant Ecology, Plant Science, Plant Species Biology, Silvae Genetica, Tree Physiology.




    176 publications (articles, reports, communications, dissertations), 51 of which are scientific articles in impact factor journals. 

    More recents articles


    - Cros D, Denis, Sánchez L, Cochard B, Flori A, Durand-Gasselin T, Nouy B, Omoré A, Pomiès M V, Riou V, Suryana E, Bouvet J-M (2014) Genomic selection prediction accuracy in a perennial crop: case study of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) Theoretical and applied genetics (accepted)


    - Camus-Kulandaivelu L., Favreau B, Ueno S., Przybyla J., Bouvet J-M (2014) Impact of natural selection on lignin and cellulose candidate genes in a natural population of Eucalyptus urophylla Open journal of Ecology (accepted)


    - Makouanzi G., Bouvet  J.M., Denis M., Saya  A., Mankessi  F., Vigneron P. (2014) Assessing the additive and dominance genetic effects of vegetative propagation ability in Eucalyptus—influence of modeling on genetic gain. Tree Genetics and Genomes DOI 10.1007/s11295-014-0757-6


    - Cros D., Sanchez L., Cochard B., Samper P., Denis M., Bouvet J.M., Fernandez J. (2014). Estimation of genealogical coancestry in plant species using a pedigree reconstruction algorithm and application to an oil palm breeding population. Theoretical and applied genetics, 127 (4) : 981-994.


    - Battie-Laclau P., Laclau JP., Domec JC., Christina M., Bouillet JP., Piccolo MC., Gonçalves JLM., Moreira e Moreira R., Krusche AV., Bouvet J.M., Nouvellon Y. (2014). Effects of potassium and sodium supply on drought-adaptive mechanisms in Eucalyptus grandis plantations. New Phytologist 203 (2) : 401-413.


    Christine Le Roux, Félix Muller, Jean-Marc Bouvet, Bernard Dreyfus, Gilles Béna, Antoine Galiana, Amadou Bâ, 2014 Genetic diversity patterns and functional traits of Bradyrhizobium strains associated with Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq. in Caribbean islands and Amazonian forest (French Guiana) Microbial Ecology(accepted)


    David Cros · Leopoldo Sánchez · Benoit Cochard · Patrick Samper · Marie Denis · JeanMarc Bouvet · Jesús Fernández 2014 Estimation of genealogical coancestry in plant species using a pedigree reconstruction algorithm and application to an oil palm breeding population Theor Appl Genet

    Allal F., Piombo G., Kelly B.A., Okullo J.B., Thiam M., Diallo O.B., Nyarko G., Davrieux F., Lovett P.N., Bouvet J.M. 2013. Fatty acid and tocopherol patterns of variation within the natural range of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa). Agroforestry Systems, 87 (5) : 1065-1082.

    Bartholome J., Salmon F., Vigneron P., Bouvet J.M., Plomion C., Gion J.M. 2013. Plasticity of primary and secondary growth dynamics in Eucalyptus hybrids: A quantitative genetics and QTL mapping perspective. BMC Plant Biology, 13 (120) : 14 p.

    Denis M., Bouvet J.M. 2013. Efficiency of genomic selection with models including dominance effect in the context of Eucalyptus breeding. Tree genetics and genomes, 9 (1) : 37-51.

    Denis M., Favreau B., Ueno S., Camus-Kulandaivelu L., Chaix G., Gion J.M., Nourrisier-Mountou S., Polidori J., Bouvet J.M. 2013. Genetic variation of wood chemical traits and association with underlying genes in Eucalyptus urophylla. Tree genetics and genomes, 9 (4) : 927-942.

    Verhaegen D., Assoumane A., Serret J., Noe S., Favreau B., Vaillant A., Gateblé G., Pain A., Papineau C., Maggia L., Tassin J., Bouvet J.M. 2013. Structure and genetic diversity of Ixora margaretae an endangered species. Tree genetics and genomes, 9 (2) : 511-524.

    Hein P.R.G., Bouvet J.M., Mandrou E., Vigneron P., Clair B., Chaix G. 2012. Age trends of microfibril angle inheritance and their genetic and environmental correlations with growth, density and chemical properties in Eucalyptus urophylla S.T. Blake wood. Annals of forest science, 69 (6) : 681-691.

    Allal F., Sanou H., Millet L., Vaillant A., Camus Kulandaivelu L., Logossa Z.A., Lefèvre F., Bouvet J.M. 2011. Past climate changes explain the phylogeography of Vitellaria paradoxa over Africa. Heredity, 107 (2) : 174-186.

    El Sheikha A., Bouvet J.M., Montet D. 2011. Biological bar code for determining the geographical origin of fruits using 28S rDNA fingerprinting of fungal communities by PCR-DGGE an application to shea tree fruits. Quality assurance and safety of crops and foods, 3 (1) : 40-47.

    Logossa Z.A., Camus Kulandaivelu L., Allal F., Vaillant A., Sanou H., Kokou K., Bouvet J.M. 2011. Molecular data reveal isolation by distance and past population expansion for the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn) in West Africa. Molecular ecology, 20 (19) : 4009-4027.

    Verhaegen D., Randrianjafy H., Montagne P., Danthu P., Rabevohitra A.R., Tassin J., Bouvet J.M. 2011. Historique de l'introduction du genre Eucalyptus à Madagascar. Bois et forêts des tropiques (309) : 17-25.

    Cavallari M.M., Gimenes M.A., Billot C., Torres R.B., Zucchi M.I., Cavalheiro A.J., Bouvet J.M. 2010. Population genetic relationships between Casearia sylvestris (Salicaceae) varieties occurring sympatrically and allopatrically in different ecosystems in south-east Brazil . Annals of Botany, 106 (4) : 627-636.

    Davrieux F., Allal F., Piombo G., Kelly B.A., Okullo J.B., Thiam M., Diallo O.B., Bouvet J.M. 2010. Near infrared spectroscopy for high-throughput characterization of shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) nut fat profiles. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 58 (13) : 7811-7819.

    Ndiade-Bourobou D., Hardy O.J., Favreau B., Moussavou H., Nzengue E., Mignot A., Bouvet J.M. 2010. Long-distance seed and pollen dispersal inferred from spatial genetic structure in the very low-density rainforest tree, Baillonella toxisperma Pierre, in Central Africa. Molecular Ecology, 19 (22) : 4949-4962.

    Andrianoelina Andrianaivo O., Favreau B., Ramamonjisoa L., Bouvet J.M. 2009. Small effect of fragmentation on the genetic diversity of Dalbergia rnonticola, an endangered tree species of the eastern forest of Madagascar, detected by chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites . Annals of botany, 104 (6) : 1231-1242.

    Bouvet J.M., Saya A.R., Vigneron P. 2009. Trends in additive, dominance and environmental effects with age for growth traits in Eucalyptus hybrid populations. Euphytica, 165 (1) : 35-54.

    Bouvet J.M., Vigneron P., Villar E., Saya A.R. 2009. Determining the optimal age for selection by modelling the age-related trends in genetic parameters in Eucalyptus hybrid populations. Silvae genetica, 58 (3) : 102-112.

    Muller F., Voccia M., Bâ A.M., Bouvet J.M. 2009. Genetic diversity and gene flow in a Caribbean tree Pterocarpus officinalis Jacq. : A study based on chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites. Genetica, 135 (2) : 185-198.

    Ndiade-Bourobou D., Vaillant A., Favreau B., Gayrin E., Bouvet J.M. 2009. Isolation and characterization of 15 nuclear microsatellite markers for Baillonella toxisperma Pierre (Sapotaceae), a low-density tree species of Central Africa. Molecular Ecology Resources, 9 (4) : 1135-1272.


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