Isotopes Quantifications platform



The Stable Isotopes Workshop, hosted by the “Biochemistry and Molecular Physiology of Plants” Institute, was created in 1990 and to provide a national analytical service for INRAE. Since then, its tasks have considerably evolved, and it ensures the analysis of non-radioactive 15N, 13C,18O, and 34S isotopic contents of samples not only from many different INRA laboratories, but also from other research institutions, including foreign ones. The workshop also aims at supporting the research programs of B&PMP that investigate the mechanisms of the nitrogen and carbon nutrition of plants, with a focus on the transport and metabolism of N and C compounds. Improving the mineral nutrition of plants, especially nitrogen nutrition, is an important issue for today’s agriculture, which must find solutions to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and thus limit nitrate pollution, while maintaining optimal crop production. Beyond the analytical service, the objective of the workshop is to develop novel methods for quantifying and “trace” nitrogen in the plant. To this end, the workshop is equipped with 2 high-performance isotope mass spectrometers.


Prior to any request for analysis, it is advised to contact Thibaut Perez at +33 (0)4 99 61 25 18 or by email

Postal address: Thibaut Perez, Atelier de Quantifications Isotopiques (AQuI), UMR BPMP, Bât. 7, Campus INRA/SupAgro, 2, place Viala 34060 Montpellier Cedex 2, France.


To obtain a quote, download the request form, fill it in and send it to


Quantitative analysis of:

  • 15N and 13C contents of plant, animal and soil samples
  • atmospheric 15N2 and 13CO2
  • 15NO (gaseous), 15NO3 and 15NH4+ (liquid solution)
  • 13C in nucleic acids
  • 15N and 13C in Xenopus oocytes (transport assays after heterologous expression of plant membrane transporters, in collaboration with the plant electrophysiology platform of B&PMP).
Equipments / Technologies
The platform is equipped with 2 automated on-line systems (analysis of solid samples) including an Isoprime mass spectrometer coupled with a EA Eurovector analyzer and a Precision mass spectrometer coupled with a Elementar Pyrocube analyzer.
These two equipments are supplemented by gaseous analyzers allowing the direct injection of CO2 and N2.


The platform contributed to the summer scientific school MISTRAL (Montpellier International School on ion and water TRansport in pLants) in 2012, 2014 and 2016 (Module : Functional characterization of ion uptake in plants using stable isotopes and root architecture analysis : a case study with NO3).

Couchoud M, Salon C, Girodet S, Jeudy C, Vernoud V*✉, Prudent M*✉ (2020) Pea efficiency of post-drought recovery relies on the strategy to fine-tune nitrogen nutrition. Front. Plant Sci., 11:204

Li Y, Brooks MD, Yeoh-Wang J, McCoy RM, Rock TM, Pasquino AV, Moon CI, Patrick RM, Tanurdzic M, Ruffel S, Widhalm JR, McCombie WR, Coruzzi GM✉ (2020) SDG8-mediated histone methylation and RNA processing function in the response to nitrate signaling. Plant Physiol., 182(1):215-227

Pichereaux C*, Laurent E-A*, Gargaros A, Viudes S, Durieu C, Lamaze T✉, Grieu P, Burlet-Schiltz O✉ (2019) Analysis of durum wheat proteome changes under marine and fungal biostimulant treatments using large-scale quantitative proteomics: A useful dataset of durum wheat proteins. J. Proteomics, 200:28-39

Merret R, Carpenier M-C, Favory J-J, Picart C, Descombin J, Bousquet-Antonelli C, Tillard P, Lejay L, Deragon J-M, Charng Y-Y (2017) Heat-shock protein HSP101 affects the release of ribosomal protein mRNAs for recovery after heat shock. Plant Physiol., 174(2):1216-1225

Li G, Tillard P, Gojon A, Maurel C (2016) Dual regulation of root hydraulic conductivity and plasma membrane aquaporins by plant nitrate accumulation and high-affinity nitrate transporter NRT2.1. Plant Cell Physiol., 57(4):733-742

Wahbi S, Maghraoui T, Hafidi M, Sanguin H, Oufdou K, Prin Y, Duponnois R, Galiana A (2016) Enhanced transfer of biologically fixed N from faba bean to intercropped wheat through mycorrhizal symbiosis. Appl. Soil Ecol., 107:91-98

Léran S, Edel KH, Pervent M, Hashimoto K, Corratgé-Faillie C, Offenborn JN, Tillard P, Gojon A, Kudla J, Lacombe B (2015) Nitrate sensing and uptake in Arabidopsis are enhanced by ABI2, a phosphatase inactivated by the stress hormone abscisic acid. Sci. Signal., 8(375):ra43

Léran S, Garg B, Boursiac Y, Corratgé-Faillie C, Brachet C, Tillard P, Gojon A, Lacombe B (2015) AtNPF5.5, a nitrate transporter affecting nitrogen accumulation in Arabidopsis embryo. Sci. Rep.-UK, 5:7962

Léran S, Muños S, Brachet C, Tillard P, Gojon A, Lacombe B (2013) Arabidopsis NRT1.1 is a bidirectional transporter involved in root-to-shoot nitrate translocation. Mol. Plant, 6(6):1984-1987

Vasseur F, Violle C, Enquist BJ, Granier C, Vile D (2012) A common genetic basis to the origin of the leaf economics spectrum and metabolic scaling allometry. Ecol. Lett., 15(10):1149-1157

Laguerre G, Heulin-Gotty K, Brunel B, Klonowska A, Le Quéré A, Tillard P, Prin Y, Cleyet-Marel J-C, Lepetit M (2012) Local and systemic N signaling are involved in Medicago truncatula preference for the most efficient Sinorhizobium symbiotic partners. New Phytol., 195(2):437-449

Laugier E, Bouguyon E, Mauriès A, Tillard P, Gojon A, Lejay L (2012) Regulation of high-affinity nitrate uptake in roots of Arabidopsis depends predominantly on post-transcriptional control of the NRT2.1/NAR2.1 transport system . Plant Physiol., 158(2):1067-1078

Kiba T, Feria-Bourrellier A-B, Lafouge F, Lezhneva L, Boutet-Mercey S, Orsel M, Bréhaut V, Miller AJ, Daniel-Vedele F, Sakakibara H, Krapp A (2012) The Arabidopsis nitrate transporter NRT2.4 plays a double role in roots and shoots of nitrogen-starved plants[. Plant Cell, 24(1):245-258

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The platform has the “Analysis reliability” certificate (level 2) delivered by CT2M.


July 2-13, 2018 – Montpellier International School on ion and water TRAnsport in PLant