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In its strategy of intensifying and extending date palm cultivation, Morocco has succeeded to select and micro-propagate new date palm genotypes known by their high fruit quality and Bayoud disease resistance. 'Najda' (INRA-3014) is one of these highly interesting selected genotypes that were distributed as vitroplants to farmers. However, as a newly introduced cultivar, most growers still lack suitable agricultural techniques for its cultivation. The determination of 1) the period at which the female flowers of 'Najda' date palm remain receptive for pollination and 2) the most suitable pollinator to induce a metaxenia effect is very important to date palm growers. For this objective, six 'Najda' palm trees, 15 years old and grown in the same environment of the Zagora Date Palm Experimental Station, were carefully chosen and used to study the effects of 3 polliniser cultivars including: the Moroccan selected males 'NP3' and 'NP4', and a normal male usually used by local growers. Another six palm trees were used for the study of the effect of pollination time and were therefore pollinated at 1, 7, 10 and 15 days from female spathe opening. Both experiments were established in a completely randomized block design. Obtained results showed that pollination by 'NP3' or 'NP4' pollen enhanced fruit maturity by 10 days, and significantly improved fruit length by 1 cm, fruit width by 3 mm and fruit weight by 35% compared to the control. Furthermore, pollinating 'Najda' flowers between the 7 th and the 10th day after spathe opening induced significant increase in the mean fruit set by 70% while the mean fruit weight remained acceptable (13,14 g). Pollinating earlier or after this period, significantly reduced fruit set which in turn resulted in somewhat higher fruit characteristics. Based on these results, it seems reasonable to conclude that the 'Najda' cultivar should be pollinated using 'NP3' or 'NP4' pollen, particularly between the 7 th and the 10th day after spathe opening.

El-Fadili M.,Morocco National Institute of Agronomic Research
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2012

Growth and carcass characteristics were evaluated on 82 lambs of both sex of the INRA180 breed from 2007 to 2010. This Moroccan new synthetic breed was created from the Timahdite and D'man parental local breeds which contribute each with 50% of genes. The development and ewe performances and lamb pre-weaning traits of the INRA180 new breed were reported in a previous paper. During the fattening period of 45 days, the INRA180 lambs had average daily gain (ADG) of 247 g/day and a feed conversion index of 5.00. At the averaged slaughtering age of 170 days, the INRA180 lambs weighed 30.8 and 15.92 kg respectively for slaughter and carcass weight and showed a dressing percentage of 51.6%. Furthermore, the INRA180 lambs deposited 603 g and 3.24 mm, respectively, for mesenteric fat and back fat thickness. In addition, the conformation score was 3.43 and longissimus dorsi muscle area 10.1 cm2. These results indicated that the infusion of 50% of the prolific D'man genes into the INRA180 lambs did not affect post-weaning growth and carcass traits. INRA180 promise a high potential genetic merit in purebred or maternal breed in terminal crossing for increasing sheep flocks productivity and for improving red meat production in the agricultural production system in Morocco.

Essarioui A.,University of Minnesota | Essarioui A.,Morocco National Institute of Agronomic Research | Kistler H.C.,University of Minnesota | Kistler H.C.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kinkel L.L.,University of Minnesota
Plant and Soil | Year: 2016

Background an aims: Nutrient use overlap among sympatric Streptomyces populations is correlated with pathogen inhibitory capacity, yet there is little information on either the factors that influence nutrient use overlap among coexisting populations or the diversity of nutrient use among soil Streptomyces. Methods: We examined the effects of plant host and plant species richness on nutrient use of Streptomyces isolated from the rhizosphere of Andropogon gerardii (Ag) and Lespedeza capitata (Lc) growing in communities of 1 (monoculture) or 16 (polyculture) plant species. Growth on 95 carbon sources was assessed over 5d. Results: Cumulative growth was significantly greater for polyculture vs. monoculture isolates, and for Lc vs. Ag isolates. Isolates from monocultures, but not polycultures, exhibited a drop in growth rates between 24 h and 72 h post-inoculation, suggesting resource allocation to non-growth functions. Isolates from high-carbon (polyculture) or high-nitrogen (Lc) soils had larger niche widths than isolates from low-C (monocultures) or low-N (Ag) soils. Sympatric isolates from polycultures were significantly more differentiated from one another in preferred nutrients for growth than sympatric isolates from monocultures. Conclusions: These results suggest that Streptomyces populations respond to selection imposed by plant host and plant community richness and that populations from polyculture but not from monoculture, mediate resource competition via niche differentiation. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

Farissi M.,Unit of Plant Biotechnology and Agrophysiology of Symbiosis | Farissi M.,Morocco National Institute of Agronomic Research | Bouizgaren A.,Morocco National Institute of Agronomic Research | Faghire M.,University Ibn Zohr | And 2 more authors.
Turkish Journal of Botany | Year: 2013

The effect of water deficit on growth and some physiological and biochemical parameters related to water deficit tolerance was studied in 4 Moroccan alfalfa Medicago sativa L. populations that originated from the mountains and oases of Morocco. The experiment was conducted in greenhouse conditions. Seeds were allowed to germinate in pots filled with sand and peat at a 2:1 ratio, respectively. After 1 month of sowing, the plants were subjected to 3 water regimes: optimal irrigation (75% of field capacity, FC), moderate water deficit (50% FC), and severe water deficit (25% FC). At 45 days of stress, the plants were harvested and subjected to some agrophysiological and biochemical analyses related to tolerance. Results showed that the water deficit negatively affected dry biomass, membrane permeability, leaves' relative water contents, and nitrate and phosphorus contents. The behaviors of tested populations were significantly different for most of the considered parameters. The tolerance was positively correlated to the ability of plants to overcome oxidative stress by the induction of antioxidant enzyme activity, accumulation of inorganic ions (Na+ and K+), and maintenance of an adequate level of nitrate reductase and acid phosphatase activities. © TÜBİTAK.

Farissi M.,Unit of Plant Biotechnology and Agro physiology of Symbiosis | Farissi M.,Morocco National Institute of Agronomic Research | Faghire M.,Unit of Plant Biotechnology and Agro physiology of Symbiosis | Bargaz A.,Unit of Plant Biotechnology and Agro physiology of Symbiosis | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology | Year: 2014

In order to assess the effect of salinity constraint on some agro-physiological and biochemical traits in Medicago sativa L., four Alfalfa populations (Tafilalet 1, Tafilalet 2, Demnate and Tata), originated from mountains and oasis of Morocco, were tested. The plants were grown under greenhouse conditions in pots filled with sand and peat under three salt treatments (0, 100 and 200 mM NaCl). Thereafter, plants were harvested 45 days after salt treatment and some agro-physiological and biochemical parameters related to salt tolerance, such as plant biomass, water content, membrane permeability, nutrients contents, nitrate reductase and acid phosphatase activities, were measured. Results showed that increase in NaCl concentration gradually reduced plant biomass, which displayed significant differences among the tested populations. Thus, Tata population appeared to be the most tolerant population to salinity, Tafilalet 1 population was the least tolerant one, while Tafilalet 2 and Demnate displayed moderate salinity tolerance. Variations in plant growth were associated with changes in physiological and biochemical parameters. Indeed, salinity caused a decrease in relative water content, perturbation of membrane permeability, and nutrients concentrations. Results also showed that salinity inhibited nitrate reductase activity in leaves of all tested populations, but acid phosphatase activity was increased in both leaves and roots of stressed plants. Salt tolerance of alfalfa populations was associated with high inorganic ion accumulation and the maintenance of membrane integrity and an adequate level in terms of nitrate reductase and acid phosphatase activities.

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