National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension

Amman, Jordan

National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension

Amman, Jordan

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Wallberg A.,Uppsala University | Han F.,Uppsala University | Wellhagen G.,Uppsala University | Dahle B.,Norwegian Beekeepers Association | And 8 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2014

The honeybee Apis mellifera has major ecological and economic importance. We analyze patterns of genetic variation at 8.3 million SNPs, identified by sequencing 140 honeybee genomes from a worldwide sample of 14 populations at a combined total depth of 634×. These data provide insight into the evolutionary history and genetic basis of local adaptation in this species. We find evidence that population sizes have fluctuated greatly, mirroring historical fluctuations in climate, although contemporary populations have high genetic diversity, indicating the absence of domestication bottlenecks. Levels of genetic variation are strongly shaped by natural selection and are highly correlated with patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation. We identify genomic signatures of local adaptation, which are enriched in genes expressed in workers and in immune system- and sperm motility-related genes that might underlie geographic variation in reproduction, dispersal and disease resistance. This study provides a framework for future investigations into responses to pathogens and climate change in honeybees.


Al-Rawashdeh I.M.,Al - Hussein Bin Talal University | Al-Rawashdeh N.Q.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension
International Journal of Agriculture and Biology | Year: 2011

Genetic diversity among twenty four wheat landraces and four Jordanian certified wheats were studied using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique. Highly purified DNA was obtained from wheat seeds by using Maxwell®16 DNA purification kit. A total of 981 DNA fragments (bands) were amplified, 183 of which were polymorphic. The primer OPW17, OPT03 and (OPT20, OPA15) revealed 22%, 21% and 20% polymorphism, respectively. These primers were most useful in studying genetic diversity of wheat landraces in this study. The genetic similarity between wheat landraces ranged from 0.51 to 0.02, indicating high genetic variability among tested. High similarity values were obtained between wheat landraces collected from Jerash sites, while low similarity value was found between wheat landraces collected from Ajloun locally known "Zugabiah" and between wheat landraces collected from Tafeliah site. The dendrogarm resulting from the UPGMA cluster analysis showed that the studied landraces could be divided into two main clusters from the same node. The first cluster contained five landraces that were collected from Jerash, Irbid, Ajloun, Karak and Madaba, while the second cluster contained Cham1, Dair alla, Hourani and Um qais cultivated wheat's. The dendrogram could be used for identifying the genetic variability among wheat landraces. RAPD analysis has potential to examine and assess the genetic variability among wheat varieties and landraces. © 2011 Friends Science Publishers.


Almajali D.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension | Almajali D.,Mu'tah University | Abdel-Ghani A.H.,Mu'tah University | Migdadi H.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension | Migdadi H.,King Saud University
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2012

This study describes phenotypic variation in leaf and fruit traits and investigates genetic relationships among 24 landrace (Ficus carica L. sativa) and 6 wild form (F. carica L. caprificus) accessions of fig using inter simple sequences repeat (ISSR) markers. For phenotypic traits, pair-wise Euclidean distances ranged from 0.90 to 9.80. Principal component analysis revealed that the first five components explained 74.14% of the total morphological variation, where fruit traits contributed most of the total variation. Nei's genetic distance based on ISSR data ranged from 0.00 to 0.83, suggesting that the collected accessions are genetically diverse. UPGMA clustering based on phenotypic traits compared with that based on ISSR data were not consistent, however, some common groupings were observed in ISSR and phenotypic traits. In most cases, accessions collected from the same landrace or from fig wild forms tended to cluster together, confirming that names given by farmers to the collected landrace accessions are consistent and confirming also the common genetic background of wild fig accessions. High phenotypic and ISSR variability indicate that fig collections used in this study include rich and valuable genes for fig breeding. ISSR screening revealed the presence of the same ISSR allelic profile for accessions from the same landrace or wild form accessions, indicating that ISSR can provide the basic information necessary to help gene banks to conserve materials from different genetic background rather than duplicates from same clone. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Ammari T.G.,Al - Balqa Applied University | Al-Hiary S.,Al - Balqa Applied University | Al-Dabbas M.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension
Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science | Year: 2013

Vegetative bioremediation of saline calcareous soil (EC1:1 11.01 dS m-1) was practised through growing fodder beet (Beta Beta vulgaris var. magnum) and millet (Panicum spp.) in soil columns. Beet was grown at a planting density of 4427 plants m-2, whereas millet was grown at two planting densities: 5202 (M1) and 8928 (M2) plants m-2. Some plants were irrigated with 233 μ S cm-1 water throughout the experiment (70 days), while for others non-saline water was replaced with saline water (2.52 dS m-1) at the middle of the experiment. The control was leaching of uncropped soil. Beet had higher ash content and efficiently extracted higher amount of salts (particularly Na and Cl) along with their aboveground biomass than millet under the two irrigation regimes. Millet grown at high planting density had higher ash content and extracted higher amount of salts (particularly Cl) than those at low planting density. Bioremediation, particularly in the case of millet (M1), considerably enhanced soil hydraulic conductivity as compared with leaching treatment; thus, facilitating the removal of some soluble salts beyond the root zone. Accordingly, soil electrical conductivity was considerably decreased by 54-69% compared with the untreated soil. It is concluded that mainly fodder beet is a potential candidate for efficient bioremediation of saline calcareous soils. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Shakhatreh Y.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension | Haddad N.,University of Jordan | Alrababah M.,Jordan University of Science and Technology | Grando S.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas | Ceccarelli S.,International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2010

Wild barley, Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. spontaneum (C. Koch) Thell., is the progenitor of cultivated barley. Almost unanimously the center of diversity is considered to be in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East, where wild barley grows under a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions. Jordanian wild barley is expected to harbor genes useful for the improvement of cultivated barley, particularly those associated with tolerance to drought. This study evaluated 103 wild barley accessions collected from different areas of Jordan along with 29 cultivated barley genotypes for several morphological and agronomical traits. The Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum C. Koch accessions were grouped into six populations according to the longitude, latitude, altitude, and rainfall zone of the collection site, and the cultivated barley in one population. The evaluation was conducted during the 2004-2005 growing season under field conditions in three locations in Jordan; namely, Khanasri, Ramtha, and Maru with 123. 0, 222. 9, and 429.2 mm annual rainfall, respectively. We used an unreplicated design with two systematic checks (the cultivars Rum and Mu'ta) each repeated 15 times. The results showed the existence of high variability among the Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum C. Koch accessions for most of the traits, especially for plant height, tiller number, days to heading, days to anthesis, peduncle length, and peduncle extrusion. Plant height, earliness, peduncle length, and peduncle extrusion were found to be adaptive traits under drought conditions and several superior genotypes for each trait were identified. Genetic variation within population was much higher than between populations. Clustering of populations was according to their ecological geographical pattern. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.


Nasr Y.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the National Center for Agriculture Research and Extension in Jordan, carried out a survey study to investigate the current status of cactus cultivation and potentials to diverse products, moreover, increase production in means of quantity and quality. The study was implemented through visiting the most cultivated areas in Jordan and filling questionnaires with farmers. Then questionnaires were analyzed and this review paper summarizes the most important findings. The plantation of cactus pear (spiny type) in Jordan started 60 years ago by importing the cladodes from nearby countries. During that period spiny cacti were planted as hedges around homes and fruit tree fields. The production was mainly used for family consumption or sold in the local markets. During the last 20 years the spineless type of cactus was introduced from different countries and planted as sole cropping under extensive cropping system in the semi-arid areas in the middle of Jordan. Nowadays, the governments do great efforts to expand and improve cactus plantation as part of its strategy toward increasing food and feed security by using high water use efficiency crops. Farmers use one cladode or two attached cladodes during spring (April) or fall (October) to establish new seedlings. The grown plants are arranged as hedgerows 6-10 m apart. The orchards are usually supplementary irrigated 1-2 times per month during the growing season (from April to August), and fertilized by organic manure during the rainy winter and by urea with irrigation during the dry summer. The most important plant diseases are the scale insects and mycoplasm-like diseases. Farmers pick the fruits by hands (wearing plastic gloves) and package them in 2-6 kg polyester containers with minimum cleaning of spines for local fresh consumption. Nowadays, there is more interest toward improving fruit quality (by proper pruning, thinning, fertilization...) and benefiting from other countries' expertise in picking, handling, cleaning, and packaging to enhance local fruit consumption and exportation. © 2015, International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


Qadir M.,SRI International | Bahri A.,International Water Management Institute IWMI | Sato T.,Tottori University | Al-Karadsheh E.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension
Irrigation and Drainage Systems | Year: 2010

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the driest region of the world with only 1% of the world's freshwater resources. The increasing competition for good-quality water has cut into agriculture's water share but since the use of freshwater for domestic, industrial and municipal activities generates wastewater, the volume of wastewater used in agriculture has increased. About 43% of wastewater generated in the MENA region is treated; a relatively high percentage compared to other developing-country dominated regions. This is because of the perceived importance of wastewater as a water resource and several oil-rich countries with the resources to treat wastewater. The MENA region has an opportunity for beneficial reuse of wastewater but few countries in the region have been able to implement substantial wastewater treatment and reuse programs. The major constraints leading to seemingly slow and uneven reuse of wastewater are: inadequate information on the status of reuse or disposal of wastewater and associated environmental and health impacts; incomplete economic analysis of the wastewater treatment and reuse options, usually restricted to financial feasibility analysis; high costs and low returns of developing wastewater collection networks and wastewater treatment plants; lack of wastewater treatment and reuse cost-recovery mechanisms and lack of commitment to support comprehensive wastewater treatment programs; mismatch between water pricing and regional water scarcity; preference for freshwater over wastewater; and inefficient irrigation and water management schemes undermining the potential of wastewater reuse. However, some countries such as Tunisia, Jordan, and Israel have policies in place that address wastewater treatment through a range of instruments. Policymakers in these countries consider use of treated wastewater to be an essential aspect of strategic water and wastewater planning and management. With flexible policy frameworks addressing rapid demographic changes and increasing water scarcity in the MENA region, water reuse has great potential if integrated with resource planning, environmental management and financing arrangements. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


de Miranda J.R.,Pennsylvania State University | de Miranda J.R.,Queen's University of Belfast | de Miranda J.R.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Scott Cornman R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 6 more authors.
Viruses | Year: 2015

Around 14 distinct virus species-complexes have been detected in honeybees, each with one or more strains or sub-species. Here we present the initial characterization of an entirely new virus species-complex discovered in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) and varroa mite (Varroa destructor) samples from Europe and the USA. The virus has a naturally poly-adenylated RNA genome of about 6500 nucleotides with a genome organization and sequence similar to the Tymoviridae (Tymovirales; Tymoviridae), a predominantly plant-infecting virus family. Literature and laboratory analyses indicated that the virus had not previously been described. The virus is very common in French apiaries, mirroring the results from an extensive Belgian survey, but could not be detected in equally-extensive Swedish and Norwegian bee disease surveys. The virus appears to be closely linked to varroa, with the highest prevalence found in varroa samples and a clear seasonal distribution peaking in autumn, coinciding with the natural varroa population development. Sub-genomic RNA analyses show that bees are definite hosts, while varroa is a possible host and likely vector. The tentative name of Bee Macula-like virus (BeeMLV) is therefore proposed. A second, distantly related Tymoviridae-like virus was also discovered in varroa transcriptomes, tentatively named Varroa Tymo-like virus (VTLV). © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Akroush S.,National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

The Badia of Jordan is severely degraded due to continuous grazing, cutting and plowing. Water-harvesting practices, which capture and concentrate surface runoff for crop or range production, can help to re-establish the productive functioning of these Badia environments. There is a need for timely ex ante impact assessment studies to support research priority setting as well as policy decision making (Thornton et al., 2003). The aim of this study is to use the MD approach to assess the potential adoption of water-harvesting techniques. The proposed methodology, which is based on the minimum-data (MD) approach described by Antle and Valdivia (2006), uses available data to characterize the distributions of returns to both actual and potential alternative technologies and associated water-harvesting management practices in the farm population, and then uses those distributions to assess the economic feasibility of farmers adopting the alternative practices. In contrast to analyses based on conventional 'representative farm' models that cannot realistically assess potential adoption rates, this methodology provides an estimate of the rate of adoption of a new technology which is water-harvesting techniques in a heterogeneous farm population. Results of the study showed that the adoption rate was estimated to be about 85% which is considered high and higher average total yields could result in an adoption rate over 80%. Despite the limitations of the methodology, this study yielded insights into the way the inclusion of water-harvesting techniques in the agricultural system could assist in improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers operating in the mixed crop-livestock systems in the Jordan Badia. The minimum-data approach offers a flexible framework for evaluating innovations and new technologies using scarce data of resource-poor countries in rain-fed areas and other parts of the world. It allows for a rapid integrative analysis for timely advice to policymakers and for the exploration of technology options.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.1.1.5.2 | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2010

The WASSERMed project will analyse, in a multi-disciplinary way, ongoing and future climate induced changes in hydrological budgets and extremes in southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East under the frame of threats to national and human security. A climatic and hydrological component directly addresses the reduction of uncertainty and quantification of risk. This component will provide an interface to other climatologic projects and models, producing climate change scenarios for the Mediterranean and Southern Europe, with special emphasis on precipitation. Five case studies will be considered: 1) Syros Island (Greece), 2) Sardinia Island (Italy), 3) Merguellil watershed (Tunisia), 4) Jordan river basin, and 5) the Nile River system (Egypt). The case studies are illustrative and represent situations which deserve special attention, due to their relevance to national and human security. Furthermore, impacts on key strategic sectors, such as agriculture and tourism, will be considered, as well as macroeconomic implications of water availability in terms of regional income, consumption, investment, trade flows, industrial structure and competitiveness. WASSERMed is an interdisciplinary project, which overall aims at all three targets of the call, through the integration of climate change scenarios, holistic water system modelling and interdisciplinary impact assessment, with three main contributions: a) Integration of climate change scenarios, holistic water system modelling. This provides results for reduction of uncertainties of climate change impacts on hydrology in the identified regions; b) Interdisciplinary approach, coupling macroeconomic implications and technical indicators. This provides a better assessment of climate effects to water resources, water uses and expected security risks; c) Proposal of specific adaptation measures for key sectors of the Mediterranean economy. This provides better basis for achieving water security.

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