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Dr.Cécile Berri
INRA Avian Research Unit
Title: Omics approaches to unravel meat quality determinism in poultry




Dr. Cécile Berri: assistant director of the Avian Research Unit of the French Institute of Agronomical Research (INRA)

I obtained a master (1991) and a PhD degree (1995) in Food Science at the University of Clermont-Ferrand (France). I worked as a post-doc at the Muscle Biology Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, USA) between 1995 and 1998. I then got a permanent position as a researcher at the Avian Research Unit of INRA (Nouzilly, France) to develop a project on poultry meat quality in relation to muscle growth and metabolism.

I am currently assistant director of the Avian Research Unit (INRA) and the group leader of a team of 14 permanent staffs and 4 PhD students that develop researches on bird metabolism, growth and adaptation. Since 2010, I am also the co-leader of a National Research and Development program that coordinates applied research projects on the sustainability of poultry production.

I have an expertise in muscle biology, functional genomics and meat science. I develop a research program that aims to deepen the biological mechanisms behind meat quality changes in poultry, in connection with the regulation of muscle metabolism. This brings together a broad group of scientists and involves (1) functional studies on the regulation of molecular mechanisms involved in the control of meat quality and (2) more applied research to determine the impact on quality of innovations or changes in production practices. The development of these two axes is complementary and has the ultimate goal to provide breeding or selection strategies for improving product quality through sustainable poultry production systems.

Since 2001, I have coordinated 12 research programs as leader or co-leader. I published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and have an h-index of 23. I am the co-inventor of a genetic marker usable for selecting breast meat yellow color in chicken.

During the past five years, my main scientific contributions were:
- The identification of the first gene networks involved in the control of glycogen content and post-mortem pH in chicken breast muscle.
- The identification of a causal mutation controlling the meat yellow color and the study of its impact on carotenoid metabolism in chicken.
- The identification of molecular pathways involved in the nutritional control of muscle glycogen and meat quality in chicken.
- The development of nutritional short-term strategies to improve chicken meat quality.
- The development and characterization of two broiler lines divergently selected on breast meat quality.
- The multicriteria evaluation of the consequences on production costs, product quality, environment and animal welfare of producing heavy broiler chickens for processing.

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