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Cross-pollinating breeding system. Examples of outcrossing species are maize or cucumber.


System of reproduction by self-fertilisation. Examples of self-pollinating species are tomatoes, beans and rice.


Penetration of a substance coming from the outside into a living organism. Absorption plays an important role in the nutrition and respiration of higher plants.


A substance that kills dust mites.


Disease caused by a parasitic mite in plants or animals (including humans).


All the temporary changes that an individual undergoes in order to adapt to a new environment. When this individual returns to his original environment, the changes disappear. It is also called individual adaptation. Tolerance acquired by certain living beings to particular substances.


Evolutionary modification of the morphological or physiological characteristics of living beings, in response to variations in environmental conditions.


A plant species that is added to a stand to which it is foreign.


Secondary toxic metabolites (mycotoxins) produced by certain strains of micomycetes (fungi) such as Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, particularly in the case of peanuts, corn and sorghum produced or stored under inappropriate conditions of temperature and humidity.


All the sciences necessary for the understanding of agriculture and the techniques useful for its practice. Strictly speaking, agronomy is the scientific study of the relationships between cultivated plants, the environment (soil, climate) and agricultural techniques.


Operation consisting of incorporating a substance into the soil in order to improve its properties.


Common name for a range of Cryptogamic diseases of plants due to various parasitic fungi, characterized by the appearance of brown spots on twigs, leaves or fruit. Anthracnose is favoured by high humidity.


Unity for the measurement of agrarian surfaces, symbol a, worth 100 m2.


All soil constituents that can adsorb chemical species. The absorbent complex is constituted́ by mineralogical clays (kaolinites, montmorillonites, illites…), metal oxides and hydroxides of iron, aluminum and manganese, and humic.


Constituent of a phytosanitary preparation to which all or part of its efficacy is attributed. An antiparasitic specialty for agricultural use is composed of one or more active ingredients, accompanied by adjuvants (wetting agents, thinners or solvents, fillers, adhesives, buffers, preservatives or stabilizers, etc.).


A substance or preparation that kills bacteria.


Microscopic prokaryotic organism (1-2 mm wide and 2-9 mm long) consisting of a single cell isolated or grouped with others and reproducing by simple division (scissiparity). Some bacteria are pathogenic and their virulence is genetically determined. Others, on the contrary, are beneficial; for example, they play a considerable role in the transformation of organic matter.


A plant disease in which the causative agent is a bacterium.


Raising of the cultivated soil in the form of an elongated earthen embankment, realized using tillage tools during the ridging operation.


Any substance that can be completely decomposed by organisms present in the environment (fungi, bacteria, etc.).


Fertilizer of biological origin. Biofertilizers can be fertilizers obtained by fermenting waste (animal or plant), nitrogen-fixing bacteria (e.g. Rhizobium) brought to the soil to facilitate nitrogen fixation by legumes, or fungi allowing the formation of mycorrhizae on certain species.


An ecological factor relating to living beings, as opposed to abiotic.


In plants, a partial or total destruction of tissues such as flower, fruit, leaf or bark caused by the application of an aggressive product (treatment product, fertilizer). Direct and prolonged exposure to the sun can also burn some plant tissue.


Operation consisting of piling up soil at the foot of a plant, manually or with a machine called a ridger.


All methods of control against predators or parasites of crops using their natural enemies (viruses, bacteria, insects, mites, fungi …) or traps.


Biting-sucking insect in the shape of a stylus, with a flattened body and often giving off a nauseating odor (many genera, suborder of heteroptera).


Operation of sorting the products of a harvest (grains, tubers, fruits, bulbs) according to their size or weight.


Green pigment responsible for the green coloration of plants and playing an essential role in photosynthesis.


Alteration of the color of the leaves of the plants by a deficiency in the formation of chlorophyll.


Set of meteorological conditions describing the daily, seasonal and annual variations through the evolution of point and average magnitudes and their variability, which allow to characterize the state and the climatic potentialities of a given place.


In plants, a copy of an individual by vegetative propagation

In molecular biology, copy by duplication of a gene.


In ecology, competition between two or more individuals with respect to one or more factors (light, water, nutrients, etc.).


Part of the adsorbent complex constituted by associations between clays and humic substances (stabilized organic matter).

The clay-humic complex participates in the structuring of a soil and has the property of being negatively charged. The clay humic complex retains all the positively charged elements essential to the functioning of the plant (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+…). Some of these positive elements will in turn be used to retain negatively charged elements (for example Ca2+ makes a calcium bridge to hold Po43-).


Measurement of a soil’s ability to retain and exchange elements. It is measured in the soil test and is a good indicator of the fertility of a soil. The higher its value, the more the soil can retain the elements in the soil against leaching and the more easily the plant will be able to access the elements via the soil solution.


Mixture of various more or less fermented organic products, obtained by composting to obtain a stabilized organic product. The compost is used as an organic amendment.


Operation consisting in covering a seed with a layer of protective material. Also refers to the layer of material in question.


Affection of a plant caused by a microscopic parasitic fungus, the different forms of which represent about 90% of plant diseases. In animals, it is called mycosis. The products used to fight cryptogamic diseases are called fungicides.


Macromolecule carrying genetic information, formed of deoxyribonucleotides.


Artificially encouraging the evacuation of excess water present in the soil.

Drainage allows for sanitation, with faster re-drying of the plots and avoids asphyxiation of the plants.


A latency state or slowed life. A seed can become dormant because one of the factors essential for germination is not present (e.g. temperature too hot or too cold, lack of moisture, insufficient gas exchange). As soon as the dormancy factor is no longer present, the seed will regain its germinative capacity.


Damage appearing as soon as the seedlings emerge, generally caused by fungi in the soil, causing more or less quickly the death of young seedlings.


Refers to a variety, usually the result of crossing two unrelated lines.

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Quantity of water retained by a previously waterlogged soil (by rainfall or intensive watering) after a 48-hour wipe-off.


Organic or mineral substances intended to provide the plant with nutrient supplements to improve its growth and/or yield.


Flowering of flowers. Time of this blooming.

Phytohormones play a very important role in the flowering of a plant. Phytohormones are even secreted by the plant depending on the environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, light, etc.)


A substance or preparation capable of killing fungi.

In agriculture, fungicides are used to destroy pathogenic fungi that attack crops, seeds and harvested produce.


Formation of the fruits; time of this formation. All the reproductive organs of plants.


The germination process consists in development of a dry seed into a new plant involves four group of processes:

  • The imbibition of water
  • The formation of enzymes systems
  • The initiation of growth, rupture of the seed coat and radicle emergence and
  • Finally the growth


A room or enclosure with transparent walls allowing the cultivation and protection of plants in more favorable climatic conditions than that prevailing outdoors.


The action by which various elements making up the surface horizons of the soil cover are removed by rivers, glaciers, wind, or rain. Erosion is the product of a vulnerability of the soil cover by the pressure of climatic conditions.


State of an organism invaded by a parasite.


An articulated invertebrate that breathes through trachea and whose body, wrapped in a chitinous integument, is divided into three segments: the head with a pair of antennae, the thorax with three pairs of legs, and the abdomen (insects form a class of the arthropod phylum).


Substance or preparation having the property of killing insects.


Exposure of a surface (soil, plant or animal) to sunlight or artificial light and its energy.


Artificial supply of water to cultivated plants to compensate for the lack of natural rainfall and to allow the harmonious development of these plants.

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There is no definition to display


Action of bringing to a soil a calcium or calcimagnesium amendment to prevent acidification.


Calcium oxide commonly known as quicklime (CaO formula). Mode of expression of the calcium content of fertilizers and soil improvers, whatever the form in which the calcium is found (carbonates, lime…).


Vertical or lateral transport of clay particles in the soil to underlying or downstream horizons.


Genetic term indicating the position of a given gene on a chromosome. Plural: loci.


Arthropods are generally very small (rarely more than 5 mm), and there are many species, some of which are plant parasites (“yellow spider” and “red spider”) [mites are an order of the class arachnidae].


Solid mixtures of animal dung and litter. Manure is used as an organic amendment.


Intensive cultivation of vegetables and certain fruits, for sale fresh. A producer who practices market gardening is called a market gardener.


Slow transformation that one makes undergo to a vegetable or animal product to improve its qualities. The ripening of a fruit occurs under the effect of light and heat. It results in the complete resorption of starch, which is transformed into glucose, the almost complete resorption of tannins and chlorophyll, and the very partial resorption of organic acids.


Caterpillar that spends part of its existence between the two epidermis of a leaf, whose parenchyma (mines) it devours.


A special case of crop succession, where the same species is cultivated for a large number of successive years on the same plot of land.


Pre-flowering stage in many herbaceous plants (mainly biennials or annuals, such as grasses, beets, lettuces) that have first developed a tuft or rosette of leaves at ground level, marked by the elongation of the internodes.


Symptom of many plant virus diseases, manifesting itself by spots of various colors with sharp contours on the leaves. 2. Name given to the diseases that cause this symptom.


Spontaneous or induced modification (mutagenesis) of the genome of a cell, tissue or organism.


Symbiotic association between a lower fungus and the roots of a plant. The mycorrhizae is a place for the exchange of food materials and energy essential for the growth and development of both organisms involved: each benefits from the other.

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Production method using cultivation and breeding practices that respect the natural balance, in particular by excluding the use of synthetic chemicals and GMOs and by limiting the use of inputs.


Cultivation practice consisting of cutting the land into one or more strips and turning it over with a plough. The portion of land that has just been worked in this way.


A substance or preparation designed to control animal and plant pests on crops and harvested products.


Substance secreted by the exocrine glands of an animal, diffused externally and ensuring chemical communication between individuals of the same species. By extension, a synthetic organic product that has the same chemical mediator properties as this substance.


Reaction of living beings to variation in the length of day and night. In plants in particular, this biological phenomenon of response to an alternation of light and dark periods affects, in particular, the winter dormancy of buds, leaf fall, the formation of bulbs and tubers, etc.. But it is especially the flowering of the plants which gave rise to many studies about photoperiodism.


Study of plant diseases in all its aspects: symptomatology, diagnosis, etiology, physiology and genetics of parasitism, pathogen biology and epidemiology.


Cultivation of different plant species on the same farm.


Animal committing serious damage to a crop or agricultural commodity.

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Substance or preparation spread near plants or products to be protected, or on the plants themselves, and capable of repelling certain predators (birds, game).


All the analytical operations intended to determine the composition and physico-chemical characteristics of a soil. Soil analysis consists of 3 steps: sampling, analysis and interpretation. Soil sampling must be realized in order to best represent the plot to be characterized.

Soil analysis is a valuable tool to understand the adaptation of a plant in a plot, to provide the right amount of input, especially fertiliser, to choose the most suitable crop, to set up possible corrective measures or to consider prophylactic measures.


A method of irrigation that consists of watering plants as uniformly as possible with drops of water produced by a sprinkler fed by pressurized pipes.


Action of bringing to a soil or a crop a fertilizing material (fertilizer or amendment), by distributing it regularly.


A company commissioned by a seed company to multiply seeds. Their role is to find producers/growers and to entrust them with reproducing the seeds supplied by the seed company, according to precise specifications established by a multiplication contract.


A seed is the result of the fertilization of an ovule and morphologically consists of :

  • An embryo plant that develops into a seedling during germination
  • Stored nutrients
  • A protective seed coat or testa


Variety of corn consumed as a vegetable. In cultivation, sweet corn requires more heat than grain corn. Sweet corn varieties are classified according to their sugar content, linked to the genetic structure of the endosperm, on the one hand, and their earliness or lateness, as reflected by the sum of the temperature recorded between sowing and harvesting, on the other.


Period corresponding to the beginning of fruit development.


In a batch, the proportion of seeds (or fruits) that actually belong to the plant species concerned.


Person in charge of the multiplication of the seeds of cultivated plants. A farm engaged in this type of activity. A tree that is old and has been set aside during a regeneration cut, the seeds of which will be used to renew a plot of forest by natural sowing.


Aggression or constraint caused on a plant by variations in climatic or soil-related factors. Examples include hydric stress (lack of water), thermal stress (hot or cold), salt stress (sudden rise in salt content in the root environment), nitrogen stress (momentary nitrogen deficiency), light stress (intensity excessive light).


Method of assembling the solid components of a soil. The structure of a soil plays a determining role in the physical, chemical and biological processes that take place in it. It conditions the circulation of water and solutes dissolved in it, as well as the circulation of air.


A phytosanitary product that penetrates inside the treated plant and, carried by the sap, acts on all the organs of the plant.


The operation of reducing the length and number of twigs or branches of trees, shrubs or bushes so as to improve their production or reduce the volume of their foliage.


Cultivation operation consisting of removing excess plants or plant parts, in order to promote the development of the remaining plants or organs.


Logical and orderly combination of techniques implemented on an agricultural plot in order to obtain a production.


In pedology according to the ISO 11259 standard, a set of characters, determined in the field for each horizon by tactile test and according to visible characteristics, defining the behaviour of the horizon (with regard to agricultural work, water circulation, root implantation, etc.).


Tiny insect (1 to 2 mm), with two pairs of very narrow wings edged with bristles, abundant on flowers and attacking young leaves, responsible for severe damage on some crops (many genera, order Thysanoptera).


Remove a plant from the soil or its container to plant it elsewhere or in another container. For a plant in a pot, it is generally a question of offering to the root system a space more favourable to its development (higher volume, new substrate).


Nitrogenous fertilizer obtained by synthesis from ammonia and carbon dioxide. Urea contains 46% nitrogen and comes in the form of small beads of 1 to 2 mm in diameter (often referred to as pearl urea). The urea is highly soluble and is hydrolyzed in the soil and converted to ammonia nitrogen in a few days.


In a lot of seeds or harvested products (seeds or fruits), the proportion of seeds or fruits actually belonging to the plant variety concerned.


Phenomenon by which certain plants need a cold period to flower. By extension, treatment by the cold of seeds or young plants intended to advance their date of bloom.


Plant disease caused by a virus. Some five hundred viruses capable of infecting cultivated or spontaneous plants are known. Plant viruses are of great economic importance due to the multitude of susceptible species. They cause a decrease in plant vigour and a drop-in yield. Sometimes serious, sometimes benign, they are all the more to be feared as their power of dissemination is great and as the means of direct control are inexistent.


The ability of a pathogen to infect an organism, multiply within it, and produce the symptoms of a disease.


A more or less narrowly based genetic population, reproducible and with well-defined agronomic characteristics.



Volume of water retained in a soil, which does not flow under the action of gravity.


Difference between the maximum amount of water contained in a plant, in the soil or in the air, and the actual amount of water contained at a given time. Quantity maximum water content in a plant, in the soil or in the air, and the actual amount of water contained at a given time. For plants, this deficit is difficult to estimate, because their maximum water content cannot be accurately measured.


Sudden drying and loss of rigidity of part or all of a plant. It can be caused by a biotic factor such as plant pathogen attacking the roots or clogging the wood vessels or an abiotic factor such as drought, salinity, etc.


There is no definition to display

There is no definition to display

There is no definition to display



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