Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute

Zahlé, Lebanon

Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute

Zahlé, Lebanon
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MacCaferri M.,University of Bologna | Sanguineti M.C.,University of Bologna | Demontis A.,Research Division | El-Ahmed A.,University of Aleppo | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2011

Association mapping was used to dissect the genetic basis of drought-adaptive traits and grain yield (GY) in a collection of 189 elite durum wheat accessions evaluated in 15 environments highly different for water availability during the crop cycle (from 146 to 711 mm) and GY (from 9.9 to 67.3 q ha-1). For highly heritable traits (e.g. heading date, kernel weight, etc.) several significant experiment-wise marker-trait associations were detected across five or more (up to 13 for kernel weight) environments, with R2 values ranging from ca. 5 to 10%. As to GY, significant associations (R2 from 2.5 to 4.2%) were mostly detected in one environment only (56 markers), while decreasing rapidly from two to five environments (from 20 to three markers, respectively) and with only one marker (Xbarc197 on chr. 5A) found significant in six environments (ranging from low- to high-yielding). These results are probably due to the complex genetic basis of GY and its interaction with environmental conditions. The number of markers significantly affecting GY decreased considerably under drought conditions, suggesting a limited effectiveness of association mapping to identify loci for GY under low-moisture conditions, most likely because different genotypes can attain similar phenotypes via different morpho-physiological traits and corresponding gene networks. Our study confirmed the role of major loci for phenology previously described in biparental mapping populations, highlighted a novel set of loci for drought-adaptive traits, and provided information on the agronomic value of the alleles at such loci across a broad range of soil moisture conditions. © 2010 The Author(s).


Abi Saab M.T.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | Todorovic M.,CIHEAM Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari IAMB | Albrizio R.,CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems In the Mediterranean
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2015

This work investigated the performance of AquaCrop and CropSyst in simulating barley growth under three water treatments (full irrigation, 50% irrigation and rainfed) and two nitrogen levels (high and low) with a particular attention to the influence of calibration year on the modelling results. Three years (2006-2008) of data from the experimental work carried out in Southern Italy were used. The models were calibrated for each of three years and then validated for two other years. The overall results pointed out that both models could be calibrated with data of one of any the three years and validated with all other data. Nevertheless, errors of estimate slightly changed in respect to the year of calibration and were sensitive, from one year to another, to weather conditions and different water and nitrogen regimes. The results indicated AquaCrop superior than CropSyst when the calibration was done on the basis of 2006 and 2008 data, whereas the models performed in a similar way when the calibration was done for 2007. In the case of final biomass, the relative RMSE was lower for AquaCrop (from 0.09 to 0.15) than for CropSyst (from 0.15 to 0.17). Similarly, in the case of final yield, the relative RMSE of AquaCrop was lower (from 0.11 to 0.17) than that of CropSyst (from 0.16 to 0.23). AquaCrop overestimated final biomass by 0.18 and 0.27tha-1 for 2006 and 2008 calibration year, respectively, and underestimated biomass by 1.02tha-1 when calibration was done on 2007 data. CropSyst underestimated biomass independently on the calibration year, from 0.83 to 1.26tha-1. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


El Riachy M.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | Priego-Capote F.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Leon L.,IFAPA Centro Alameda del Obispo | Luque de Castro M.D.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Rallo L.,University of Cordoba, Spain
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: The progressive transformation of olive growing and the increasing demands for high-quality monovarietal virgin olive oil (VOO) have triggered interest in olive breeding programs, in which the evaluation of the new genotypes is the basis for obtaining new olive cultivars. In this work, the phenolic composition of VOOs from two progenies from crosses between 'Arbequina', 'Arbosana' and 'Sikitita' has been evaluated along two years. RESULTS: A higher degree of variation was observed in segregating population as compared to genitors. The results also showed that the variability within crosses constitutes the major contribution to total variance for all considered parameters (>92% of total sum of squares). All compounds under study were present in oils obtained in both years; however, clear differences in their concentrations were observed between years. CONCLUSION: Olive breeding can indeed provide genotypes that produce oils with improved phenolic profiles as compared to traditional cultivars. In addition, the data showed that selection as a function of tyrosol content could be achieved in only one crop year. Finally, p-coumaric acid was the unique component able to discriminate between both crop years under study. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.


El Riachy M.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | Priego-Capote F.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Rallo L.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Luque-de Castro M.D.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Leon L.,IFAPA Centro Alameda del Obispo
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology | Year: 2012

The evaluation and characterization of segregating populations is a critical step in olive breeding programs. In this work, phenolic profiles of virgin olive oils (VOOs) from segregating populations obtained by cross breeding in Cordoba (Spain) have been evaluated. Genotypes obtained from open pollination of the cultivar Manzanilla de Sevilla, and from crosses between the cultivars Arbequina×Arbosana, Picual×Koroneiki and Sikitita×Arbosana were tested. The phenolic composition was determined after liquid-liquid extraction with 60:40 v/v methanol-water and subsequent chromatographic analysis with ultraviolet (UV) detection of both absorption and fluorescence in a sequential configuration. Results for all studied compounds showed high degree of variability between genotypes, with a higher range of variation than the observed for the genitors. Most of the observed variability was attributable to differences in genotypes within crosses rather than among crosses. Some issues related to breeding strategies are discussed. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Sanchez de Medina V.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Riachy M.E.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | Priego-Capote F.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Luque de Castro M.D.,University of Cordoba, Spain
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology | Year: 2013

A global approach has been developed to study the influence of ripening of olive fruits on the phenolic fraction present in virgin olive oil from different genotypes of olives. For this purpose, a non-targeted method based on the analysis of phenolic extracts by MS in high resolution mode was applied. The phenolic profiles obtained by liquid chromatography - quadrupole-quadrupole-time-of-flight (LC-QqTOF) were compared by statistical multivariate analysis tools such as principal component analysis and heat correlation maps. In overall terms, discrimination was only observed for specific crop dates and ripening index values, which should be ascribed to a strong influence of the genotype. The ripening process of each genotype was also studied to demonstrate the variation of phenolic profile in relation to the ripening index. This study was also extended to a panel of representative phenols appreciated by their health and nutritional properties. The application of omics technologies to plant breeding programs could be considered as one of the main pillars on which improvement of products quality can be supported. Practical applications: Olive oil phenols are of a great interest since they contribute to autoxidation stability, health properties, and organoleptic characteristics of virgin olive oil. These phenols are considered a key to assess virgin olive oil quality. This study is focused on the effect of the ripening process on the phenolic fraction from a metabolomics point of view. This advanced omics technology (foodomics) applied to plant breeding programs can be one of the pillars to improve products quality. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Karam F.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas | Saliba R.,International Center for Higher Mediterranean Agricultural Studies | Skaf S.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | Breidy J.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 to determine the effects of deficit irrigation on yield and water use of field grown eggplants. A total of 8 irrigation treatments (four each year), which received different amounts of irrigation water, were evaluated. In 2008, deficit irrigation was applied at full vegetative growth (WS-V), pre-flowering (WS-F) and fruit ripening (WS-R), while in 2009 deficit irrigation was applied during the whole growing season at 80 (WS-80), 60 (WS-60) and 40% (WS-40) of field capacity. Deficit-irrigated treatments were in both years compared to a well irrigated control. Regular readings of soil water content (SWC) in 2008 and 2009 showed that average soil water deficit (SWD) in the control was around 30% of total available water (TAW) while in deficit-irrigated treatments it varied between 50 and 75% of TAW. In 2008, deficit irrigation reduced fruit fresh yield by 35, 25 and 33% in WS-V, WS-F and WS-R treatments, respectively, when compared to the control (33.0tha-1). However, the reduction in fresh yield in response to deficit irrigation was compensated by an increase in fruit mean weight. Results obtained in 2009 showed that fruit fresh yield in the control was 33.7tha-1, while it was 12, 39 and 60% less in WS-80, WS-60 and WS-40 treatments, respectively. On the other hand, fruit dry matter content and water productivity were found to increase significantly in both years in deficit-irrigated treatments. Applying deficit irrigation for 2 weeks prior to flowering (WS-F) resulted in water saving of the same magnitude of the WS-80 treatment, with the least yield reduction, making more water available to irrigate other crops, and thereby considered optimal strategies for drip-irrigated eggplants in the semi-arid climate of the central Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Dominguez A.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | Tarjuelo J.M.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | de Juan J.A.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | Lopez-Mata E.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

In both arid and semi-arid areas the use of saline water for irrigation is a common practice, even though it may cause a drop in crop yield and progressive soil salinization. In order to determine the most suitable irrigation strategy for higher yield, profitability, and soil salinity management of certain crops, the MOPECO-Salt Model has been developed. This model was first validated in the Eastern Mancha Agricultural System in Albacete (Spain) through a test carried out on onion crop in April-September 2009, where the simulated yield was 2% lower than the observed one. The model was then tested at Tal Amara Research Station in the Central Bekaa Valley Agricultural System (Lebanon) using data from a 5-year experiment on the effects of deficit irrigation on two cultivars of potato (Spunta: July-October 2001, and June-September 2002; and Agria: March-August 2004, 2005, and 2007). Furthermore, these results were compared with those obtained through AquaCrop, which does not currently assess crop response to salinity. Differences between observed and simulated yields were lower than 3% for MOPECO-Salt and up to 12% for AquaCrop. According to findings from simulations, the irrigation strategies without leaching fraction employed in both areas are remediable since the off-season rainfall is sufficient to wash out soluble salts supplied with irrigation water. Results showed that as much as 14.4% water could be saved when this strategy was adopted for onion crops. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Elbeaino T.,Instituto Agronomico Mediterraneo | Kubaa R.A.,Instituto Agronomico Mediterraneo | Choueiri E.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute | Digiaro M.,Instituto Agronomico Mediterraneo | Navarro B.,CNR Institute of Plant virology
Journal of Phytopathology | Year: 2012

The presence of Hop stunt viroid (HSVd) was detected using RT-PCR and Northern blot hybridization in five of 60 samples from symptomless mulberry trees (Morus alba) collected in Italian and Lebanese orchards in July 2010. Infection levels were c. 10% in Lebanese and 8% in Italian samples. Nucleotide alignments showed that sequences of the mulberry HSVd isolates shared 95-96% identity with those of the same viroid occurring elsewhere. In a phylogenetic tree, mulberry HSVd isolates clustered together with those of HSVd-citrus, regardless of their geographical origin. This is the first report of infection in mulberry trees by HSVd. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Chalak L.,Lebanese University | Choueiri E.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Tissue culture techniques, alone or coupled with heat treatment, have largely contributed to the eradication of viruses from a wide range of infected plants and less for elimination of phytoplasma. In this study we present the elimination of both Prunus necrotic ringspot virus and Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium from two infected local almond accessions by using different tissue culture techniques combined with heat therapy. Shoot tip culture coupled or not with thermotherapy was the most effective to eliminate PNRSV in 100% of regenerated shootlets, while both shoot tip and stem cutting cultures associated to heat treatment were all suitable for phytoplasma elimination from regenerated shootlets. This freepathogens material has been multiplied for successive subcultures and then rooted in vitro before being hardened in the glasshouse conditions. At this stage elimination of infectious agents has been confirmed prior to use the freed material as certified mother plants for further propagation. These results showed the important potential of traditional tissue culture techniques to be used in the certification program for local germplasm. © 2015 ISHS.


Chalak L.,Lebanese University | Hamadeh B.,Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Wild almond species have been ancestrally part of the natural flora in Lebanon while little has been reported on their usage. In this paper, we review the distribution of wild almond species in Lebanon and assess their uses in rural communities. At least fifty sites of wild almond tree implantation were surveyed, they are distributed in different agroclimatic conditions across the country. Four different species were found in their natural habitats, e.g., Prunus dulcis, P. korschinskii, P. orientalis and P. spartioides. Wild Prunus dulcis were observed in most of the visited sites while the three remaining species were restricted to specific locations in the Bekaa inland zone. On the other hand, the survey showed various uses of these species particularly in land reclamation, as rootstocks and for energy production. Unfortunately, these species appear to be threatened by various anthropogenic pressures such as wildfire and overgrazing while promoting their sustainable use would be a promising alternative to preserve this natural patrimony.

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