In vitro culture and genomics-assisted fast track improvement of local landraces of wheat and barley in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria for enhancing food security and adaptation to climate change

About Us

Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are not self-sufficient in production of wheat and barley which are the major staple food crops .The yield levels are low because of climate change impacts. The local landraces and their wild relatives offer an important gene pool as sources of adaptation and tolerance to many biotic and abiotic stresses. This project is about enhancing the capacitiy of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) to apply new genomic tools and technologies for crop improvement

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Period of Implementations

Sep 1, 2016 - Dec 31, 2020

Total Budget

USD 496,502.00

Key Documents



Characterizing local landraces of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria both phenotypic and genome levels and perform genome-wide association studies and mapping to identify new loci, genes and alleles important for adaptation to climate change, integrating genomics and in vitro techniques for fast track improvement of local landraces, empowering the NARS researchers and students in handling these tools by imparting training and enhancing their capacity.


The ultimate objective of the project is to improve adaptation to climate change and enhance the food security of resource-poor farmers in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, by strengthening the sustainablemanagement of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA).

Impact Pathway

The landraces of bread wheat, durum wheat and barley had been already procured from the international and national gene banks during previous projects periods in Tunisia (PR-351) and Morocco (during the 151 Call ofBSF). Additional accessions were added to this collection from the germplasm collection missions undertaken in the previous projects. All these accessions are held in the respective National Gene Banks. INRA-Algeria has its own collection of bread wheat, durum wheat and barley landraces and cultivars from Algeria. Based of the previous information on the phenotypes) an association mapping panel of around 200-300 lines each for wheat and barley will be assembled to cover the phenotypic variability for the breediog traits that will be evaluated in the present study. Genotyping platform used in this study will be Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS, a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS] based technology and/or other GBS [DArT Seq] and SNP platforms). The Linkage disequilibrium analysis will conducted on the whole collection. The patterns of genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium within subgroups will be estimated. The marker- phenotype association analysis will be based on the polymorphisms present in SNPs at different polymorphic loci :in the whole collection and in the sub-sample, respectively. At least one bi-parental mapping population of wheat and barley segregating for the trait of interest will be used for QTL mapping with SNPs (Illumina iSelect HD Chip, 90K wheat chip and 16K barley chip).

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Where we work


Title: Marker assisted selection in plant breeding

Author: Fatima Henkrar

Date: 2020-09-15

Title: Application of molecular markers for crop improvement

Author: Mohammed Rida Mediouni

Date: 2018-07-14

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