PHYTOTEC equipments, Cité des Énergies

The platform includes 11 phytotrons and two in vitro phytotrons built in 2020

  • ~ 100 m2 of cultivable surface (Zone S2)
  • Latest generation LED lighting (up to 1250 µmol photons/m2/s) 
  • Variable temperature, humidity and lighting
  • Watering by sub-irrigation or drip irrigation


The 8 chambers, of variable volume, are hermetically sealed modules allowing the growth and monitoring of very diverse plants under controlled climatic conditions: humidity, temperature, gas atmosphere, watering and lighting.

The quality and intensity of light (0 – 2000 µmol photons/m²/s), temperature, relative humidity, nutrient supply, and the composition of the gaseous atmosphere (N2, CO2, O2, isotopes, etc.) can be modified during complete plant growth cycles that can last several months. Moreover, gas exchanges between plants and their environment (photosynthesis, respiration, …) can be measured continuously. The whole system is driven by a control-command system ensuring a secure operation 24 hours a day, supervised by computer. The gaz tightness of these systems allows labelling with stable isotopes (15N, 13C) and allows to obtain plant material enriched at more than 95% in 13C for example. These chambers are also well adapted to the study of plant/COV interactions.


Entirely developed by BIAM R&D, IMAPLANT is an innovative culture and phenotyping chamber that allows the creation of a very finely regulated dynamic climate and the measurement of the spatial and temporal responses of plants to these climatic changes. The three on-board cameras (visible, IR, fluorescence) allow to follow the growth, the evapotranspiration level, and the photosynthetic activity continuously on the 81 Arabidopsis thaliana plants present in the cell. A data analysis software IMADATA allows a real time and remote monitoring of the measurements.


This platform includes an electro-mechanical workshop and an electronic workshop and the associated personnel. It ensures the maintenance of the installation and the development of innovative experimental devices allowing to answer a great number of experimental protocols.

PHYTOTEC installation, Luminy

Five controlled environment growth rooms (33 m2 of usable surface) with automatic irrigation.

Two rooms (22 m2 of usable surface) dedicated to in vitro culture and a cold growth room. Two controlled Percival AR-41L3 growth cabinets, incubators and orbital shakers, allow specific experiments and in particular the cultures of algae and photosynthetic bacteria in liquid medium.

The Cary Eclipse fluorescence spectrometer performs fast measurements with a very high sensitivity thanks to the use of a Xenon lamp. It can measure in 4 modes (fluorescence, phosphorescence, luminescence and time resolved phosphorescence). Measurements at low temperature (liquid nitrogen) are also possible.

The PAM fluorometer (dual model PAM 100/F, WALZ) is the reference instrument for the analysis of several photosynthetic parameters by measuring the fluorescence of chlorophyll in different photosynthetic organisms. It can be used on whole organisms (plants), preparations or cultures in solution (chloroplasts, algae, bacteria).

The fluorescence video imaging system (model Fluorcam FC 800-O; Photon System Instruments), with CCD camera, allows measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence in numerous individuals simultaneously. The system is essential for genetic screens on populations of mutagenized individuals.  The system also allows the analysis of GFP fluorescence in photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organisms.

Fluorcam FC 800-O; Photon System Instruments