Aline Muyle, PhD, "The importance of gender in palms"

Studying gender in palms to change farming practices is one of the main researches of Aline Muyle, fellow 2016 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science.

Male or female? This question has vexed producers of the palm Chamaedorea tepejilote in Central America, because only the male inflorescences are eaten as a traditional vegetable. However, the gender of the tree can only be told after several years, which results in a production loss when non-edible female flowers are eliminated late on in the process. It is due to this concrete example that Aline Muyle, currently a post-doctorate researcher in the Biology and Evolutive Biometry Laboratory at the Université Claude Bernard de Lyon I, became aware of the importance of studying the sex chromosomes of plants to help the producers. 

This young dynamic researcher has thus developed an unconventional genetic detection method, thanks to a computer program SEX-DETector, developed during her PhD. “Thanks to my research, the crop yield of certain species eaten by human beings should increase, which is important given the population growth on the earth, a planet with limited resources”, explains Aline Muyle. The young researcher is participating in an essential objective: the development of large technical innovation to change farming practices and reduce the negative impact of human beings on their environment. Beyond the example of the Chamaedorea palm, Aline Muyle’s work may target various other plants cultivated for their fruit: kiwis, quinoa and asparagus, or plants used for their medicinal properties such as Gingko Biloba.

Let's discover her performance:

For Women in Science

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