Variety Study Department (SEV)

Variety Study Department (SEV)

Each year the SEV studies up to 2500 new plant varieties including 60 field crop species, 60 vegetable species and 275 ornamental species, as well as fruit species and vines in collaboration with INRA.


The primary mission of GEVES’s Variety Study Department is to carry out field and greenhouse tests for all cultivated plant species. These tests are used for:


Three types of evaluations are carried out in accordance with EU regulations:


Furthermore, the Variety Study Department carries out methodological research, generally in collaboration with public or private organizations. This research aims to improve methods used to describe and evaluate varieties. The Variety Study Department also participates in the training of French and international experts.

Ressources and Organisation

The SEV’s 130 agents are spread over 5 main testing stations (350 hectares of testing surface, and 1 hectare of greenhouses). In addition, the SEV has a further 7 smaller units that are associated with INRAE testing stations. The SEV management is based at GEVES’s headquarters in Beaucouzé, including the Secretary General of the CTPS.

International Cooperation

  • The common catalogue, created in 1972, is now defined as the sum of the national catalogues of the 27 member states. Varieties registered in one of these member states can then be marketed throughout the EU.
  • Plant variety rights are now recognised and implemented by 68 countries that have signed the international UPOV Convention.
  • Novelty criteria and DUS tests (not VCUS) provide the basis for granting plant variety rights, either in France by INOV, and in Europe by the CPVO, in accordance with the UPOV Convention.

International Cooperation for DUS testing

The 1991 UPOV Convention specifies that a national authority may carry out DUS examinations itself or choose to carry them out in cooperation with other members of the Union or with breeders, or to use the results of a DHS examination which has already been carried out.

In France, there are several systems for carrying out DUS testing:

  • GEVES carries out DUS testing at its own stations for a large number of species.
  • For some species, GEVES delegates DUS tests to other institutes in France, such as apple DUS tests carried out by INRAE Angers.
  • For other species, GEVES delegates DUS tests to other European Examination Offices entrusted by the CPVO; and conversely, GEVES may carry out DUS tests at the request of other foreign Offices.

For example, DUS tests of new potato varieties are not carried out by GEVES but by the German Office. Conversely, for sorghum and durum wheat, for example, there are no DUS tests conducted in Germany since GEVES carries out DUS tests on their behalf.

These cooperations are conducted in the framework of International Cooperation Agreements in DUS Testing. Cooperation Agreements are signed bilaterally between the Offices. These agreements stipulate the species concerned, practical arrangements for deadlines, quantities of plant material, financial arrangements, obligations of confidentiality and impartiality inherent in DUS studies, obligations to report results, etc.

These agreements allow each signatory Office to optimise the management of its DUS trials and its plant variety protection or listing system. The benefits of cooperation include, for example, reducing time and costs associated with DUS testing and having access to specialised resources which are otherwise not available to the Office. The centralisation of DUS testing by species allows the concentration of expertise on species and the concentration of resources dedicated to managing reference collection which can be very costly.


Concretely, in 2021, GEVES conducted 2,712 DUS cycles including 91 DUS studies on behalf of European examination offices and conversely subcontracted 262 DUS cycles to other examination offices.

Quality at SEV

The SEV is certified to ISO 9001 for VCUS testing since 2009.

CPVO Entrustment : GEVES is entrusted by the CPVO for DUS testing across more than 300 botanical species.


Name Position Mail

Mr Fabien MASSON

Director of the SEV


SEV Executive Assistant

Ms Virginie BERTOUX

Secretary General of the CTPS

Ms Clarisse LECLAIR

Head of DUS affairs

International cooperation in DUS examination

Technician Liaison Officer for CPVO


Head of VCUS affairs

Head of Rapeseed and other Cruficers VCUS

Ms Camille ZITTER

International cooperation in DUS examination

Ms Valérie CADOT

Head of VCUS Bioagressor Resistance Testing

Mr Jean-Philippe GALICHET

Head of SEV Quality


International actions

Technical Secretary for Fruit trees