3 research units of INRA compose the INRA partner. The joint Research unit (JRU), UMR 1225 “Host-Pathogen Interactions”, is under the supervision of the INRA “Animal Health” Division (AHD) and the Institut National Polytechnique – Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse (INP- ENVT). The main objective of the JRU is to better understand the mechanisms underlying the infectious processes at the different levels of life (from genes to systems), with the ultimate goal to provide generic and operational knowledge for their control. The research activities of JRU1225 are mission-oriented. The overall strategy of the JRU is to address innovative and pertinent scientific questions related to infectious diseases, in response to major veterinary and/or public health problems. In recent years, JRU efforts have been directed towards a more integrated view of the scientific questions to gain precise but also more global understanding of the infectious processes, taking into account not only the pathogen or the host but also their environment. In 2009, the Joint Technical Unit (JTU) “UMT Santé des Troupeaux de Petits Ruminants” was built in collaboration with IDELE to allow and facilitate the translation into practical and applicable advices of high level research results for farmers, farm technicians and veterinarians and to address any new scientific or technical issue raised by stakeholders in relation with small ruminant production. Within its working program a specific topic is dedicated to the improvement of sheep productivity with a focus on lamb mortality.
The Physiology of Reproduction and Behaviour Research Unit is an INRA Centre located in Tours (Nouzilly). The research unit publishes over 350 papers annually. Integrative and predictive research is developed on reproductive functions as well as emotional, social and sexual behaviours. The programs concern mainly domestic ruminants and birds at academic and/or applied levels. A multidisciplinary approach combining neuroendocrinology, molecular biology, neuroscience, and ethology strengthens the theoretical framework of the work through comparative biology. UMR PRC is involved with UMR 1225 “Host-Pathogen Interactions”, in several research and development projects, including OVIN2A/metaprogram INRA GISA Whelp. The key role of UMR PRC within the SheepNet network will be to provide up to date scientific knowledge and practical advices about innovative breeding techniques and management practices for sustainable livestock systems at three levels: animal reproduction efficiency (gamete cells production, cell interaction and fertility, male effect), environmental hazard (climatic changes, endocrine disruptors) and protection (non-hormonal methods), and animal welfare (rearing conditions, neonatal survival).
The Laboratory of Genetics, Physiology and Livestock Systems (GenPhySE) is part of both the Animal Genetics and Physiology divisions of INRA. The mission of the Animal Genetics division of INRA is to study the genetic control of important traits in livestock production, contributing to knowledge of animal integrative biology, and to develop quantitative and genomic methods and tools for genetic improvement and conservation of livestock populations.