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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, physiology and stress tolerance and can also improve fruit conservation and yield as our publications have shown (Stevens et al 2008, Garchery et al 2013).

We are interested in the ascorbate redox state, and enzymes controlling this redox state - principally ascorbate oxidase and ascorbate reductases - and their link with plant metabolism and whole plant phenotypes under different environmental conditions. Physiological phenotypes under study include post-harvest quality and yield maintenance. We also work at the cellular level to establish the links with gene regulation and metabolism, particularly of sugars and antioxidants.



Hélène Gautier, David Page, INRA Avignon

Pierre Baldet, Christophe Rothan, INRA Bordeaux

Ana Jimenez, CSIC, Murcia, Spain

Alistair Fernie, Golm, Germany

Houneida Attia, University of Tunis


Students and postdocs:

Mohamed Elmogy (2015, postdoc, Egyptian governmental grant)

Fedia Rebah (PhD co-supervised with the University of Tunis)

Vincent Truffault (PhD 2015)

Noé Gest (PhD 2012)

Claire Deschodt (Master II 2014)

Hicham El Airaj (Master II 2011)


Key Publications

See Google Scholar or my Research Gate page.

Some recent publications include:

Truffault V, Gest N, Garchery C, Florian A, Fernie AR, Gautier H, Stevens RG (2016) Reduction of MDHAR activity in cherry tomato suppresses growth and yield and MDHAR activity is correlated with sugar levels under high light. Plant Cell and Environment. 

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




INRA UR 1052 GAFL Written by: Rebecca Stevens
Last update: April 2016