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Rebecca Stevens

Rebecca Stevens

Research scientist

Tel: +33-(0)4-3272-2718



Research activities

My research interests include the genetic and environmental regulation and physiological roles of ascorbate (vitamin C) in plants. Most of our research is carried out in tomato.

The regulation of vitamin C content in tomato fruit is interesting for two reasons: firstly tomato is a major source of vitamin C for the consumer, and secondly antioxidants, such as ascorbate, play important roles in plant and fruit development and stress tolerance and can also improve fruit conservation as we have previously shown (Stevens et al 2008).

We have looked for candidate genes controlling fruit vitamin C levels via the identification of quantitative trait loci for this trait and are using transgenic plants to validate the role of different candidate genes in fruit vitamin C content. We are also interested in the natural and induced variability that exists for this vitamin and work on genetic populations and mutant collections of tomato.

The groups is also interested in the link between ascorbate redox state, enzymes controlling ascorbate redox state (ascorbate oxidase and ascorbate reductases) and the plant's response to the environment via the adaptation of primary and secondary metabolism.



Hélène Gautier, David Page, INRA Avignon

Pierre Baldet, Christophe Rothan, INRA Bordeaux

Dominique Rumeau, CEA, Cadarache

Ana Jimenez, CSIC, Murcia, Spain

Alistair Fernie, Golm, Germany


Key Publications

See Google Scholar

Some recent publications include:

El Airaj H, Gest N, Truffault V, Garchery C, Riqueau G, Gouble B, Page D, Stevens R (2013) Decreased monodehydroascorbate reductase activity reduces tolerance to cold storage in tomato and affects fruit antioxidant levels. Postharvest Biology and Technology 86: 502-510

Garchery C, Gest N, Do PT, Alhagdow M, Baldet P, Menard G, Rothan C, Massot C, Gautier H, Aarrouf J, Fernie AR, Stevens R (2013) A diminution in ascorbate oxidase activity affects carbon allocation and improves yield in tomato under water deficit. Plant, Cell & Environment 36: 159-175

Gest N, Garchery C, Gautier H, Jimenez A, Stevens R (2013) Light-dependent regulation of ascorbate in tomato by a monodehydroascorbate reductase localized in peroxisomes and the cytosol. Plant Biotechnology Journal 11: 344-354

Gest N, Gautier H, Stevens R (2013) Ascorbate as seen through plant evolution: the rise of a successful molecule? Journal of Experimental Botany 64: 33-53

Massot C, Stevens R, Genard M, Longuenesse JJ, Gautier H (2012) Light affects ascorbate content and ascorbate-related gene expression in tomato leaves more than in fruits. Planta 235: 153-163



INRA UR 1052 GAFL Written by: Rebecca Stevens

Last update: October 14, 2015