Plant health and quality

Located in Angers, the Plant Health and Quality Summer School is organized by one of the first high Education Training Centres in France on plant science

Welcoming at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport: Saturday 27th June 2020.

Starting date of the summer school: Monday 29th June 2020.

Located in Angers, the Plant Health and Quality Summer School is organized by one of the high Education Training Centres in France on plant science with 3000 students/year and an excellent support for research and close links with major economic players. With 400 researchers, including 170 permanent scientists, 65 PhDs, Angers is among the most important research centres in France on horticulture and seed sciences.

Participants will have the opportunity to follow conferences by renowned researchers and various hands-on workshops with the participation of international researchers from partner universities and institutions. Topics to be covered include different research fields in plant health and quality: plant defense stimulation and plant resistance, disease diagnostic, plant and pathogen genomics, parasitic plants, quality of seeds, fruit production and development, sensory analysis.

Participants will also have the opportunity to visit different research labs with state-of-the-art equipments as well as botanical gardens and experimental fields.

The Plant Health and Quality Summer School is jointly run by:

- the University of Angers (UA)

- the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)

- the University of Nantes (UN)

- two ‘elite public university-level college’ (Agrocampus Ouest, and Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures)

- the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES)

- the Variety and Seed Study and Control Group (GEVES)

All these institutions are members of the Federative Research Structure on Plant Health and Quality (SFR QUASAV), which groups together 9 research units (see more details in the brochure “Quasav Plant Quality and Health”).



Participants will arrive on Saturday 27th June 2020 at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

Throughout the Summer School, participants will be guided and assisted by two English-speaking buddy students. They will welcome the participants at the airport and will take with them a high speed train to Angers (transportation from Paris to Angers included in the admission fees). Once in Angers, participants will be installed in their accommodation.

During the stay, the buddy students will help the participants to move around the city and on the Plant Science campus “Campus du Végétal”. They may also be helpful during social activities and during weekends if needed. Participants will be able to contact them almost 24 hours a day if there is a problem.


Participants should be accommodated from June 27th to July 18th, 2020 at the “cité Couffon-Pavot” student residence in fully furnished single rooms with private shower. The accommodation is located 25 minutes by bus or 15 minutes by bike from the “Campus du Végétal”.


All meals are included. Breakfasts will be provided. Lunches will be taken at the nearest university restaurant. Dinners will be taken in a self-service restaurant. Four restaurant meals are also included. Depending on the activity, participants may also have a picnic or meal trays.

On Monday 13th, visits are organized in Paris; so the students can decide to organize, at their own expenses for food and accommodation, a short stay in Paris from Saturday 11th July to Tuesday 14th July (holiday in France).


Bicycles from the city of Angers will be at the disposal of the participants for the duration of their stay (daily trips to “campus du Végétal”, excursions to the city centre, in the city parks, along the Loire river). They can also use the Irigo public transport network (Tram and buses) thanks to the transport pass provided.


End of the summer school courses: Friday 17th July 2020.

Transfer from Angers to Paris: Saturday 18th July 2020.

Participants will leave Angers on Saturday 18th July 2020: they will take a direct high speed train from Angers to Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport (train ticket included in the fees). They will be able to fly back to China the same day.


Summer school websites:



Expected level of the participants: Master students and students in the last year of their Bachelor degree.

The scientific program includes:

  • Plant Health sessions:

- Plant pathology : new technologies for disease diagnostic and pathogen detection

- Phenotyping of plant diseases

- Chemical ecology of insect crop pests

- Plant resistance inducers (elicitors) in crop protection

- Parasitic plants

- Seed-borne pathogens : pathogenicity determinants  and microbial communities 

  • Plant Quality sessions:

- Architecture characterization of ornamental plant

- Plant breeding

- Plant seed physiology and biology

- Impact of abiotic stresses

- Phenotyping for seed germination


Hands-on activities

- Droplet digital PCR applied to plant health and quality

- e-phytia, web applications and mobile tools specialized in Plant Health

- Bioinformatic with Galaxy for beginners

- Analytical and sensory methods to assess fruit quality

- Quantitative Trait Loci

- Aphid olfactory choice experiments

- Electrophysiological recordings of insect antennae

- qPCR - a methodology to quantify defense gene expression in plant

- Characterization of parasitic plant- host plant relationship

- Plant photosynthetic activity

- Architectural analysis of plant by 3D digitization

- Phenotyping -Image analysis and study of germination

- Phenotyping - Quantification of disease severity using image analysis

Scientific visits:


Courses and workshops will mostly take place at Angers Plant Science campus or « Campus du Végétal » which benefits from 8,400 m2 of laboratories and offices, 6900 m2 of greenhouses and growth chambers and cutting-edge technology in shared-access technical facilities.

An evening will be organised with local PhD students from China and other nationalities to inform the students of the summer school about preparing a PhD thesis in France.

Summer school participants will be asked to present their master’s research project in a dedicated afternoon session. A two-hour preparation session (personal work) is scheduled in the program.

Program summary:

  • Welcome speeches and presentation of research structures: 3 h
  • Conferences: 14 onehour conferences including international speakers
  • Handson activities: 11 training sessions including biological experiments or bioinformatic sessions (27 h)
  • Scientific visits: 8 visits of laboratories, companies, research institutes, botanical gardens.



The French language and culture class will be given in the form of a three-day intensive program (18 hours) at the beginning of the Summer School so that participants may be able to practice and improve their French during their 3 weeks in France.

The courses will be taught by the CeLFE teachers (French Language Center for Foreigners of the University of Angers) in their fully-equipped class room. The Label « French foreign Language quality », issued to the French as a foreign Language (FFL) centres, guarantees the quality of both the courses and services provided to the students.

Courses will focus on communication objectives. Participants will then be able to develop their linguistic and communicative skills. The activities of the courses will be various: scenarios simulating everyday life situations, linguistic exercises, comprehension of audio documents.

Detailed program of the French courses:

- Tuesday 30th June 2020

French language course: Introduce oneself, talk about one's university career, ask questions, do one's portrait

French culture: To know France: the big cities, the regions, the departments, the French symbols and stereotypes, To know Angers: the places, the symbols, the specialties of Angers.

- Wednesday 1st July 2020

French language course: Telling a daily routine: the moments of the day, activities of daily life, describe the meals (moments / hours / contents)

French culture: The calendar of the holidays, the important moments of the year: holiday periods / destinations / habits of the French.

- Thursday 2nd July 2020

French language course: Shopping at the market (fruit / vegetables, ask for a product, a price, a quantity), say what you like

French culture: French gastronomy: to know the regional specialties, to describe a French and a Chinese dish.


Angers is a beautiful medieval city located in western France in the Loire Valley (, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its wines and castles. Angers has a unique 12th century fortress and the world’s largest medieval tapestry.

Regularly acknowledged in the national press as one of the leading cities in France for its quality of life and respect for the environment, Angers has been awarded as the “greenest city in France” (

With 42,000 students every year, in an urban area of 250,000, Angers offers a very dynamic lifestyle with frequent cultural events and festivals (

Your residence will be closed to the city centre, so you will be able to enjoy the summer evenings in the city and walks along the banks of the Maine river.

Many activities will be offered during the stay. Some of them will be common with the participants of the other Summer Schools: welcome lunch, guided visit of Angers city centre, wine tasting, day trip to the Atlantic coast. Leisure activities will also be organized: kayak session and Summer Schools challenge where participants of all the Summer Schools of the University of Angers will compete in different games in a pleasant atmosphere.

Participants will also visit Terra Botanica, the only theme park in France which is devoted to plant life. They will also spend an evening at a restaurant at the banks of the Loire river.

On Monday 13th July, after the guided tour in the tropical greenhouses (Grandes Serres) of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, participants will spend a free afternoon/evening in Paris and will have dinner in a restaurant before coming back to Angers. If they wish, they will also have the opportunity to stay in Paris during a week-end and during Bastille Day (Tuesday 14th July) at their own expense. The organisation of this stay in Paris will be at their charge.

Costs of all activities are included in the admission fees (except the week-end in Paris).


Welcome date: Saturday 27th June 2020.

From June 29th to July 17th 2020 in University of Angers, “campus du Végétal”

The total number of places is limited to 24.

Price : 18 500 RMB

The price does not include the trip from China to Paris.

Accommodation, meals and local transportation are all included.

The summer school will deliver 6 ECTS and a certificate of attendance.

To apply, please follow the application procedure described on the main page