Summer School 2021 - Plant sugars

Plant sugar metabolism, transport and signaling in a challenging environment

July 4-9, 2021 – Saint-Lambert-des-Bois (France)

Sugars are the predominant carbon and energy source for all living organisms. Especially, sugar metabolism, transport and signaling are key processes involved in biomass production, yield and quality. In addition, sugars are also playing a crucial role in plant growth and development in response to changes in the environmental conditions. Over the past decades, these fields have seen major advances but the current climate changes that the world is facing is bringing new challenges for the researchers to address.

The SPS Summer School 2021 is a one-week program for outstanding and enthusiastic master and PhD students, as well as post-docs working in plant biology on biological questions related to sugar transport, metabolism and/or signaling. It will provide them with an introduction on several aspects of the molecular and cell biology of sugar metabolism, transport and signaling in relation to global climate changes.

This Summer School will bring together 20 participants from all over the world and offer them the chance to receive scientific training in an international and rather informal atmosphere, facilitating exchanges. This course will involve theoretical lectures delivered by world-class experts and specific workshops allowing active exchanges between participants and experts to discuss around the future prospects in these different fields of research.

Provisional program and speakers

This Summer School will include:

         > Theoretical modules (16,5 hours):

Leading scientists will hold lectures on the topics of the summer school, giving the participants a comprehensive insight into the latest research findings and identifying key open questions in the field.

“Sugar metabolism”
Benjamin Pommerrenig (TU Kaiserslautern, Germany)
– Sylvie Dinant (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)
– Bertrand Gakière (Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay – Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
– Fabien Chardon (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

“Sugar transport / partitioning”
Nathalie Pourtau (Écologie et Biologie des Interactions – Poitiers, France)
Ekkehard Neuhaus (TU Kaiserslautern, Germany)
– Rozenn Le Hir (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)
– Catherine Bellini (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France and Umeå Plant Science Centre, Umeå University, Sweden)

“Sugar signaling”
John Lunn (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology – Potsdam-Golm, Germany)
– Christine Horlow (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)
– Christian Meyer (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)
– Anne-Sophie Leprince (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)
– Evelyne Téoulé (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

“From shoots to roots : Integrative view of carbon allocation”
Yves Gibon (Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie – Villenave d’Ornon, France)
– Frédéric Rees (ECOSYS – Thiverval-Grignon, France)
– Olivier Loudet (Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin – Versailles, France)

         > Workshops and round-table (8 hours)

The workshop sessions will be dedicated to team work. The participants will be asked to make three groups, to choose one thematic among three abiotic stresses (drought, temperature stress or salinity). Based on the literature, their own experience and the support from the invited speakers, they will be asked to come up with suggestions of experiments, methodologies or else that would help producing plants with increased tolerance to stresses by modulating sugar metabolism, transport and/or signaling.

The round table will be the occasion for the participants to present the results of their brainstorming, through a 15 min short talk, and to discuss with the invited speakers about the future challenges in this thematic.

         > Presentations of the participants’ projects

         > Visits of SPS labs

         > Cultural excursion at the Versailles Castle

This varied program will give plenty of opportunities for discussion with speakers and the other participants.


Rozenn Le Hir (Coordinator, IJPB)
Catherine Bellini (IJPB)
Fabien Chardon (IJPB)
Sylvie Dinant (IJPB)
Bertrand Gakière (IPS2)
Anne-Sophie Leprince (IJPB)
Christian Meyer (IJPB)

Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, IJPB, Versailles
Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay, IPS2, Gif-sur-Yvette

Teaching language



Centre Port-Royal
Chemin du Charme et du Carrosse
78470 Saint-Lambert-des-Bois

Practical information

The SPS Summer School 2021 on Plant sugars is limited to 20 participants.

> For the successful applicants, Saclay Plant Sciences WILL cover the following costs:
– the scientific program from Sunday July 4th (3 PM) to Friday July 9th (4 PM)
– housing from Sunday July 4th to Friday July 9th (6 nights) at the Centre Port-Royal
– lunches, dinners and coffee-breaks from Sunday July 4th (3 PM) to Friday July 9th (4 PM)
– a tour of the Versailles Castle on Wednesday July 7th afternoon

> Saclay Plant Sciences WILL NOT cover the following costs:
– transports from your lab to the Summer School location
– protection masks if they are necessary due to the Covid health situation.

During the Summer School, the successful participants will have to present their research:
– in a flash-talk (2 to 3 Powerpoint slides, 5 min maximum).
– in a poster.

Every participant is expected to bring a laptop.

Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the organizers reserve the right to postpone the Summer school if necessary.


Applications will be accepted until March 10, 2021 (midnight):

For your application, you will have to upload a single PDF file containing four documents:

1. A motivation letter explaining your research interests and the expected benefits from attending the school
2. A curriculum vitae
3. An abstract detailing your research project (250 words, with title, author(s), institution(s)). This abstract must correspond to the poster and the flash-talk presentation of your research that you will have to prepare for the Summer School.
ATTENTION: Your abstract will be included in the Summer School booklet, which will be distributed to all participants and made public on the Summer School web page.
4. A letter of support from your supervisor or another senior coworker indicating that your host lab will finance your transportation and any additional fees you could have during your stay.

Your application must be imperatively written in English.

Only complete applications will be taken into account.


Please precise [SPS Summer School – Plant sugars] in the object of your email.