RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS AT INRA (FRENCH NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR AGRONOMIC RESEARCH)
Y. Nys, F. Guillou, J.B. Coulon and P. Chemineau
INRA Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems Division (PHASE) forms a large scientific community (>500 scientists, >1200 workers) concerned by biology, physiology and animal sciences having animal production and food qualities as endpoints. PHASE should propose ecologically intensive systems of animal production maintaining farmer income. In 2007, French animal productions represented 17% of the total European (UE25) animal production, being leader for bovine and poultry. During the last 30 years, there was specialization, concentration and intensification of the animal production system. In parallel, consumers gave more importance to safety, quality, and specificity of products, to ethical and environmental considerations resulting in new European regulations. Sequencing of genomes, wide transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic approaches has opened the way to integrative biology. The PHASE priorities are therefore functional genomics, sustainable development of agriculture, knowledge and acceptability of biotechnologies, animal welfare, meat, milk and egg qualities for human feed. The objectives are to maintain France and Europe among the leaders of animal productions and to increase our scientific knowledge on the biology and breeding of fish, birds and mammals within their farming systems. PHASE aims to develop techniques for sustainable livestock systems and to understand the fundamental mechanisms of physiological functions which shape the phenotype and qualities of animal products. For information see http://www.international.inra.fr/ and http://www.inra.fr/compact/nav/externe/en/departements/ecrans/17.