Amor Yahyaoui

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Tezcoco, México, Mexico

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Publications (21)30.06 Total impact

  • Chilean journal of agricultural research 03/2014; 74(1):35-40. · 0.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sensitivity of 159 isolates of Zymoseptoria tritici collected from durum wheat fields in Tunisia in 2012 was analysed towards pyraclostrobin, fluxapyroxad, epoxiconazole, metconazole, prochloraz and tebuconazole using microtiter tests. All isolates were found to be highly sensitive to pyraclostrobin with EC50 0.5 mg/l). These three isolates carried a mutation in the cytochrome b gene encoding the G143A substitution. This is the first report of quinone outside inhibitors (QoI) resistance in Z. tritici in Tunisia. Sensitivity towards r fluxapyroxad was in a narrow range with EC50 values ranging between 0.013 and 0.125 mg/l, which can serve as baseline sensitivity data for the future. Demethylation inhibitors sensitivity varied across a broad range with the data indicating a slight shift in sensitivity when compared to a previous study on the 2010 population. No highly sensitive strains were isolated from samples from fields, which had received three or four DMI applications.
    Journal of Phytopathology 01/2014; · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tan spot, caused by the fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, is an important foliar disease of wheat. Eight races of the fungus are presently known based on their virulence on a wheat differential set. In 2001, approximately 80 wheat fields in Azerbaijan, Kyrghyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Syria were surveyed for the occurrence of tan spot. These countries lie on the historic Silk Road, which encompasses part of the wheat center of diversity. Single-spore isolates of P. tritici-repentis were recovered from 52 fields, and the virulence of 253 of these isolates was assessed on the differential hosts. The greatest diversity was observed in Azerbaijan, where races 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8 of the pathogen were identified, and in Syria, where races 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8 were detected. However, little variation was found in the virulence of isolates from Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan, and Uzbekistan, with only one or two races identified in each of these countries. No isolate of races 4 and 6 was detected. Race 1 was predominant in all countries except Syria, where race 3 was the most common. Isolates of races 1 and 2 were collected mainly from hexaploid wheats, whereas isolates of races 3, 5, 7, and 8 were found predominantly or exclusively on tetraploid wheats. No new virulence pattern was identified, but as races are currently defined on a very limited set of differentials, the complete range of diversity in P. tritici-repentis is likely not being fully assessed.
    Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 03/2010; September 2005(Vol. 27):383-388. · 1.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the variation and relationships between pathogenicity and a microsatellite-based haplotype in 79 Tunisian Rhynchosporium secalis isolates that were collected from the most commonly cultivated barley populations in Tunisia, Rihane cv. and local landraces, with the goal of finding genes that might be used to monitor resistance to scald. Isolates could be classified into three distinct virulence groups based on artificial inoculation of 19 differential cultivars with known scald resistance genes. The resistance gene BRR2 carried by the Astrix differential cultivar appeared to be the most effective in Tunisia. Pathotypes sampled from the Rihane host were more virulent than those sampled from local barley landraces. Because some differential cultivars that carried the same resistance genes showed different reaction patterns to 48 of the isolates, we postulated that other unknown resistance gene(s) specific to Tunisian isolates may be prevalent and could be used in Tunisian barley breeding programs. Microsatellite fingerprinting allowed the detection of 11 alleles linked to the virulence and pathogenic identification of 52% of the tested isolates. Thus, microsatellite analysis may provide a rapid tool for pathogen detection, without an inoculation step that requires long incubation periods before ultimate disease assessment.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 01/2010; 305(1):35-41. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rhynchosporium commune was recently introduced into the Middle East, presumably with the cultivated host barley (Hordeum vulgare). Middle Eastern populations of R. commune on cultivated barley and wild barley (H. spontaneum) were genetically undifferentiated and shared a high proportion of multilocus haplotypes. This suggests that there has been little selection for host specialization on H. spontaneum, a host population often used as a source of resistance genes introduced into its domesticated counterpart, H. vulgare. Low levels of pathogen genetic diversity on H. vulgare as well as on H. spontaneum, indicate that the pathogen was introduced recently into the Middle East, perhaps through immigration on infected cultivated barley seeds, and then invaded the wild barley population. Although it has not been documented, the introduction of the pathogen into the Middle East may have a negative influence on the biodiversity of native Hordeum species. KeywordsPathogen invasion– Hordeum –Microsatellites–Agriculture–Founder populations–Population structure– Rhynchosporium secalis
    Biological Invasions 01/2010; 13(2):321-330. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Remarkable morphological variation has been found within small Eritrean barley fields. Barley was collected from fields approximately 50m2 in size. Spike shape, type, and colour were observed to vary both between and within fields. A set of 39 Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) markers were used to explore the genetic diversity of the Eritrean barley collected from small-scale farmer’s fields. Significant genetic diversity was found within the barley fields. Out of 240 spikes collected from 24 fields (10 spikes per field), only two spikes from geographically distant fields were genetically similar. Based on the SSR data, individual farmers’ fields were found to possess 97.3% of the genetic variation present in the Eritrean barley. We discuss a strategy to improve the barley yield in Eritrea, and to facilitate the insitu conservation of barley genetic diversity.
    Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 01/2009; 56(1):85-97. · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: According to a widely accepted theory on barley domestication, wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) from the Fertile Crescent is the progenitor of all cultivated barley (H. vulgare ssp. vulgare). To determine whether barley has undergone one or more domestication events, barley accessions from three continents have been studied (a) using 38 nuclear SSR (nuSSRs) markers, (b) using five chloroplast SSR (cpSSR) markers yielding 5 polymorphic loci and (c) by detecting the differences in a 468 bp fragment from the non-coding region of chloroplast DNA. A clear separation was found between Eritrean/Ethiopian barley and barley from West Asia and North Africa (WANA) as well as from Europe. The data from chloroplast DNA clearly indicate that the wild barley (H. vulgare ssp. spontaneum) as it is found today in the "Fertile Crescent" might not be the progenitor of the barley cultivated in Eritrea (and Ethiopia). Consequently, an independent domestication might have taken place at the Horn of Africa.
    Theoretical and Applied Genetics 05/2007; 114(6):1117-27. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic variability among 122 Rhynchosporium secalis isolates collected from barley in three regions of Tunisia was investigated using host differentials, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), and microsatellite markers. The isolates were collected from a widely grown scald-susceptible barley cultivar Rihane and a range of local landrace cultivars in geographically distinct regions with different agroclimatic conditions. Pathotypic diversity (the proportion of unique pathotypes) was high in R. secalis populations from the high (100% diversity), moderate (95%), and low (100%) rainfall areas of Tunisia, and from both Rihane (which is the sole variety grown in the high rainfall region) and local landraces (which predominate in the low rainfall area). This may reflect a general adaptability for aggressiveness and suggests that the widely grown cultivar Rihane has exerted little or no selection pressure on the pathogen population since its release in 1983. Genotypic diversity (GD), defined as the probability that two individuals taken at random had different genotypes, was high for populations from Rihane, local landraces, and different agro-ecological zones (GD = 0.96-0.99). There was low genetic differentiation among pathogen populations from different host populations (G(ST) < or = 0.08, theta < or = 0.12) and agro-ecological zones (G(ST) < or = 0.05, theta < or = 0.04), which may be partly explained by gene flow due to the movement of infected stubble around the country. There was no correlation (r = 0.06, P = 0.39) between virulence phenotype and AFLP haplotype. A phenetic tree revealed groups with low bootstrap values that did not reflect the grouping of isolates based on host, pathotype, or agro-ecological region. The implications of these findings for R. secalis evolutionary potential and scald-resistance breeding in Tunisia are discussed.
    Mycopathologia 05/2007; 163(5):281-94. · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Broomrapes (Orobanche spp.) are aggressive and damaging parasitic weeds which have a tremendous impact on agriculture in East Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. Despite the availability of technologies to control broomrapes in economically important crops, Orobanche infestation continues to increase, threatening the livelihoods of millions of farmers. Many of the technologies developed have not been effectively disseminated and there has been little or zero adoption by farmers—who continue to use ineffective management practices that exacerbate the problem. The adaptation and dissemination of appropriate management practices are major priorities in broomrape control. However, such work must take into consideration the specific socio-economic characteristics of individual farming systems. Orobanche is a community threat and effective management requires a community-based integrated management approach. Recognizing the central role of farmers in parasitic weed management, a technical cooperation project (TCP) involving FAO, ICARDA and seven countries in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region was implemented to improve the dissemination of knowledge and skills by using a farmer field school approach: a form of education that uses experiential learning methods to build farmers’ expertise. This paper reviews conventional Orobanche research and development approaches, and highlights weaknesses in the management of the parasitic weed using these approaches as opposed to participatory approaches. The benefits and challenges of participatory farming system approaches in relation to integrated broomrape management (IBM) are also discussed. Lessons learned from achieving community ownership of, and institutional support for, IBM could be applied to other sectors (e.g. public health) in which there is a need for institutional learning and reform. Recommendations are made that include regional collaboration within the framework of a proposed Near East and North Africa Orobanche Management Network (NENAOMAN).
    Crop Protection. 01/2007; 26(12):1723-1732.
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Competition among eight Rhynchosporium secalis isolates was assessed during parasitic and saprophytic phases of the disease cycle in field experiments conducted at two locations and over two growing seasons. The eight isolates were inoculated onto six barley populations exhibiting varying degrees of resistance. Microsatellite analysis of 2,866 isolates recovered from the field experiments showed significant, and sometimes opposite, changes in the frequencies of R. secalis genotypes during the growing season (parasitic phase) and between growing seasons (saprophytic phase). Isolates that showed the most complex virulence in greenhouse seedling assays had the lowest fitness in the field experiment. Significant differences in isolate fitness were found on different host populations and in different environments. Selection coefficients were large, indicating that evolution can occur rapidly in field populations. Although inoculated isolates had the lowest overall fitness on the moderately resistant landrace cv. Arabi Aswad, some isolates were more virulent and consistently increased in frequency on this landrace, suggesting a risk of directional selection and possible erosion of the resistance following its widespread deployment in monoculture. These results provide the first direct evidence that R. secalis pathogen genotypes differ in their saprophytic ability and parasitic fitness under field conditions.
    Phytopathology 12/2006; 96(11):1214-22. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular characterization of the three most common cereal cyst nematode species of the Heterodera avenae group (H. avenae, H. filipjevi, and H. latipons), originating from various locations in major cereal-cultivating areas in Syria and Turkey, showed distinct restriction fragment patterns of the ITS-rDNA following PCR amplification and RFLP digestion with four endonucleases (Hae III, Hinf I, Ita I, and Pst I). Genetic dissimilarity within H. avenae group populations increased in comparison with H. avenae and other species; it was 0.164 with H. filipjevi and 0.354 with H. latipons populations. No intraspecific polymorphism was observed within H. latipons or H. filipjevi populations. Principal component analysis revealed contrasted correlations among 12 morphological parameters of cysts and juveniles of the three Heterodera species that separated them and distinguished differences within populations of H. latipons. Our results showed a clear separation of the three cyst nematode species on cereal using a conventional method for classification and molecular tests, and confirmed the congruence between genetics and morphological traits.
    Journal of nematology 07/2005; 37(2):146-54. · 0.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to study genetic variation among populations of Rhynchosporium secalis, 65 isolates were sampled from the West Asian and North African regions and used for polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based DNA marker analyses [namely random amplified polymorphism DNAs (RAPDs) and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs)]. The study revealed that genetic diversity among and within populations accounted for 80 and 20%, respectively, of the total genetic diversity, indicating that the local field populations of R. secalis in West Asia and North Africa originated from genetically diverse source populations. Furthermore, high genetic similarity among isolates from the same location suggests that scald populations originated from a local founder population, possibly through rain-splash-dispersed conidia.
    Journal of Phytopathology 01/2004; 152(2):106 - 113. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A partial genetic linkage map was constructed on 71 doubled-haploid lines derived from a cross between the barley lines Tadmor and WI2291 with 181 molecular markers. The segregating population was used to detect markers linked to the gene Mlg conferring resistance to powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis f. sp. hordei) and to genes for quantitative resistance to scald (Rhynchosporium secalis). The gene Mlg on chromosome 4H was flanked by two AFLP markers at a distance of 2.0 and 2.4 cM, respectively. QTLs for resistance to scald were detected on chromosomes 2H and 3H. This association of molecular markers with qualitative and quantitative disease resistance loci represents a valuable starting-point for marker-assisted selection.
    Euphytica 01/2004; 135(2):225-228. · 1.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, causal agent of tan spot, induces necrosis and chlorosis in its wheat host. The tan spot system conforms to the toxin model and three host-specific toxins have been identified (Ptr ToxA, Ptr ToxB, and putative Ptr ToxC). Processing of a collection of isolates, obtained in the Fertile Crescent and Caucasus regions, yielded two new virulence patterns. Isolate Az35-5 combined the virulences of races 2 and 5 and was classified in the new race 7. Isolates TS93-71B and TS93-71F had a virulence pattern that combined those of races 2, 3, and 5 and were grouped in the new race 8. Southern analysis revealed that all three isolates possessed copies of the ToxA and ToxB genes, the first time the genes were found in a common background. The production of Ptr ToxA and Ptr ToxB by the isolates was confirmed by western blotting. Virulence patterns suggested that TS93-71B and TS93-71F may also produce Ptr ToxC, even though it was not present at detectable levels in culture filtrates. The identification of races 7 and 8 complete the theoretical maximum number of races that can be differentiated by three loci in the host (2(3) = 8), assuming a one-to-one relationship. It appears that the wheat/P. tritici-repentis system is a mirror image of the classical gene-for-gene relationship.
    Phytopathology 05/2003; 93(4):391-6. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Graminaceous cyst nematodes form a group of eleven valid species including Heterodera avenae, Heterodera filipjevi and Heterodera latipons and constitute major pests to cereals. They are widely spread in circum-mediterranean areas where they are presumed to cause yield losses on bread and durum wheat. The objective was to document the diversity of these cereal cyst nematodes, in particular samples from Mediterranean regions, in comparison to species which develop on cultivated or wild grasses (H. arenaria, H. hordecalis, H. mani) and on rice or sugarcane (H. sacchari). Studies involved PCR-RFLP of ITS and morphometrics of the juvenile and cyst characters. UPGMA analysis of molecular data showed that the isolates segregated in two main clusters which seem to represent different evolutionary lineages. The H. avenae sensu lato cluster (I) contained H. arenaria, H. avenae, H. filipjevi and H. mani. The second cluster (II) contained isolates of H. hordecalis and H. latipons. Within H. avenae sensu lato, H. filipjevi was separated from the other related species with significant bootstrap value. The differentiation of H. arenaria, recognized for the first time based on molecular data, and H. mani with few restriction enzymes were the least significant. Intraspecific polymorphism allowed differentiation of isolates originating from Australia within H. avenae sensu stricto. The group H. hordecalis–H. latipons showed the greatest genetic variability between and within isolates. Two representatives of Heterodera sacchari, taxonomically included in the schachtiigrave group, were genetically as distant to this group as to the other graminaceous species belonging to either H. avenae sensu lato or H. hordecalis–H. latipons group. Results inferred from multivariate analysis applied on morphometrics of the cysts and juveniles showed agreement between genetic and phenotypic classifications. This study demonstrates the utility of combined molecular and classical methods to enhance our knowledge about the diversity within the complex of graminaceous cyst nematodes and to establish robust techniques to identify a wider set of nematode species.
    European Journal of Plant Pathology 02/2003; 109(3):227-241. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    Phytopathologia Mediterranea 01/2002; 41:271-274. · 0.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two sets of experiments in 1998 and 1999 studied the (a)virulence status of 14 populations of Heterodera avenae, and two populations each of H. filipjevi and H. latipons towards the resistance genes and genotypes of Triticeae, presently known to be resistant to H. avenae, the main species of the cereal cyst nematode (CCN) species complex. Susceptible controls were Triticum aestivum cv. Arminda and Triticum turgidum cv. Cham1. Even in controlled experimental conditions, host responses differed between replicates in the same test and between consecutive tests for unexplained reasons. In spite of that, it has been confirmed that several of these CCN populations differ in their intrinsic capacity to reproduce, and this has to be taken into account in resistance screening. Consequently, the (a)virulence status of a CCN population is better established by a qualitative demarcation between resistant and susceptible plant genotypes based on an average of one cyst limit per plant. The matrix inferred from such a classification of host responses of pooled 1998 and 1999 data showed a complex distribution of avirulent and virulent phenotypes in these CCN populations which seems to arise from a mosaic-like evolution. The more or less wide virulence spectrum shown by this complex of populations and species is discussed in relation to their phylogenetic relationships. Correspondence factor analysis of the pooled data demonstrated a geographical demarcation between several populations of H. avenae and the representatives of H. filipjevi and H. latipons for their (a)virulence to either Cre1 or Cre3 genes and T. aestivum AUS4930 genotype. This could reveal local or regional selection of new pathotypes, more particularly in H. avenae. Genetic introgression to improve resistance to these nematodes in both bread and durum wheats is discussed for regional and global applications.
    Nematology 12/2001; 3(6):581-592. · 1.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The paper describes experiments on farmer participation in plant breeding conducted in three countries (Morocco, Syria and Tunisia) on barley, which is the predominant annual rainfed crop in the most marginal areas of these countries. Trials with different types and number of breeding material were planted both on research stations and in farmers' fields. Selection was done by professional breeders and farmers and data were gathered on breeders' and farmers' selection criteria and selection efficiency. The trials reflected the situation of the crop in the three countries, with high yields on station, low yields in some of the most marginal farmers' fields, and poor correlations between research stations and farmers' fields, as well as between farmers' fields. Grain yield was by far the most commonly used selection criterion by the farmers. However, farmers also made a widespread use of selection criteria not normally used by breeders such as grain filling and straw yield, as well as other characteristics of the straw (color) and of the leaves because of the importance of the crop as source of animal feed. A major difference between the selection criteria used by breeders and farmers was disease resistance, almost entirely neglected by the latter. Farmer selection was effective in identifying some of the highest yielding lines in the farmers' own fields and also in those cases where they performed selection on station. The coincidence between entries selected by the breeder and the farmers was high in Morocco but very low in Syria and Tunisia. There were substantial differences between the lines selected by the breeders on station and those selected by farmers in their fields. In Syria, decentralized-participatory selection was significantly more efficient in identifying the highest yielding entries in farmers' fields than any other selection strategy. This work demonstrates that it is possible to organize a plant breeding program so that farmers become major actors in the selection of new cultivars.
    Euphytica 11/2001; 122(3):521-536. · 1.64 Impact Factor
  • A. Yahyaoui, K. M'Hedhbi, S. Rezgui
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    ABSTRACT: The semiarid regions (SARs) are characterized by extreme temperature changes, low and unevenly distributed precipitation, hazardous torrential rains, and frequent early spring droughts. Barley is the most highly adapted cereal in SARs, but durum wheat is the most widely cultivated. The area in cereals varies considerably from year to year, and yields are low. Tillage practices are used to conserve both soil and moisture and to prepare the seed bed. However, improved fertilizer use and weed control practices are not being used. Without development of needed cultural and tillage practice systems, the genetic potential of today's varieties cannot be realized. Planting depth and rate, row spacing, fertilizer application, and weed control were investigated under conventional tillage and reduced tillage systems. In on-farm trials, reduced tillage did not significantly affect durum wheat yield but slightly increased barley yield compared with traditional practices. Optimum planting depth for both wheat and barley was 7 cm. Higher seeding rates increased the yield of both crops. Highest yields were obtained at planting rates of 140 kg/ha for wheat and 100 kg/ha for barley. At these rates, maximum yields were achieved at row spacings of 30 cm for barley and 20 cm for durum wheat. Use of fertilizer and weed control increased yields substantially. Sustained and increased production in SARs can be achieved with a “package of practices” approach that incorporates these cultural and tillage practices.
    American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. 08/1997; 12(03):105 - 109.
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    ABSTRACT: The occurrence of fungicide resistance in Mycosphaerella graminicola populations from Tunisia was investigated by examining mutations known to be associated with strobilurin and azole resistance. Few mutations associated with fungicide resistance were detected. No evidence for strobilurin resistance was found among 357 Tunisian isolates and only two among 80 sequenced isolates carried mutations associated with azole resistance. A network analysis suggested that these mutations emerged independently from mutations found in previously described European populations. The population genetic structure of M. graminicola in Tunisia was analyzed using variation at 11 microsatellite loci. Populations in Tunisia were characterized by high gene and genotype diversity. All populations were in gametic equilibrium and mating type proportions did not deviate from the 1:1 ratio expected under random mating, consistent with regular cycles of sexual reproduction. In combination with a high degree of gene flow among sampling sites, M. graminicola must be considered a pathogens with high evolutionary potential. Thus, control strategies against Septoria blotch in Tunisia should be optimized to reduce the emergence and spread of resistant isolates.
    European Journal of Plant Pathology 132(1). · 1.71 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

242 Citations
30.06 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
      Tezcoco, México, Mexico
  • 2010
    • Centre de Biotechnologie, Technopole Borj Cédria
      Hamman-Lif, Tūnis, Tunisia
  • 2001–2010
    • International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
      Beyrouth, Beyrouth, Lebanon
  • 2007
    • Faculté des Sciences de Tunis
      Tunis-Ville, Tūnis, Tunisia