Atlas Journal of Biology <p>Atlas Journal of Biology is an open access, peer-reviewed international journal that publishes original research articles, short communications, and review articles in all fields of Biological Sciences.</p> en-US (Abdelmajid Kassem) (Abdelmajid Kassem) Fri, 26 May 2017 01:09:15 -0400 OJS 60 Proceedings of the Third International American Moroccan Agricultural Sciences Conference - AMAS Conference III, December 13-16, 2016, Ouarzazate, Morocco <p>The International American Moroccan Agricultural Sciences Conference (AMAS Conference; is an international conference organized by the High Council of Moroccan American Scholars and Academics (HC-MASA; in collaboration with various universities and research institutes in Morocco. The first edition (AMAS Conference I) was organized on March 18-19, 2013 in Rabat, Morocco; AMAS Conference II was organized on October 18-20, 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco; and AMAS III was organized on December 13-16, 2016 in Ouarzazate, Morocco. The current proceedings summarizes abstracts from 62 oral presentations and 100 posters that were presented during AMAS Conference III.</p> My Abdelmajid Kassem, Alan Walters, Karen Midden, Khalid Meksem ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Identification of Loci Underlying Seed Yield in Recombinant Inbred and Near Isogeneic Soybean Lines Derived from Flyer by Hartwig <p>Two major determinants of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] seed yield were resistances to the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and sudden death syndrome (SDS). Two loci were identified rhg1/Rfs2 and rhg3/rfs5 (for resistance to SCN, Heterodera glycines (I.) HG Type 1.3- (race 14), HG Type 0 (race 3) and SDS caused by Fusarium virguliforme (Roy &amp; Rupe)). The aim of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying seed yield. Used were 142 microsatellite markers and the recombinant inbred line population (RIL) ‘Flyer’ × ‘Hartwig’ (F × H; n=92). Flyer (F) was high yielding but SCN and SDS susceptible. Hartwig (H) was lower yielding but resistant to all SCN Hg Types and SDS. Four regions on 3 chromosomes were associated with seed yield. The first region on chromosome 9 (Gm9, qYld09.1), identified by the microsatellite marker Satt539-Satt242 (LOD 2.9, 13% variation) derived the beneficial allele from Hartwig (F allele 2.76 ± 0.06 Mg/Ha; H allele 2.98 ± 0.03 Mg/ha). The second region on Gm9 (qYld09.2) between Satt337 and Satt326 spanned 1.4 cM (LOD of 5.31, 20.2% variation) and the beneficial allele derived from Flyer (0.22 Mg/ha F allele 2.98 ± 0.03, H allele 2.77 ± 0.04 Mg/Ha). The third and fourth QTL were identified in genetic linkage groups D2 (qYld19.1) and G (qYld18.1) in regions previously associated with resistance to SCN. The region encompassing rhg1/Rfs2 on Gm18 between the microsatellite marker TMD1 and Satt610 spanned 15.5 cM (LOD 3.05, 15.8 % variation, F allele 2.37 ± 0.035; H allele 2.91 ± 0.058 Mg/Ha). The region on linkage group D2 between Satt514 and Satt488 spanned 32.6 cM (LOD 2.57, Kas13.3% variation, F allele 2.79 ± 0.049; H allele 3.1 ± 0.043 Mg/Ha). The QTL detected will allow marker assisted selection to stack seed yield, with pest resistance traits (rhg1/Rfs2/qYld18.1; H/H/H allele) and recombinant loci (Rhg5/Rfs2/qYld19.1; H/F/H alleles).</p> Samreen Kazi, Jeffry L. Shultz, Ahmed Jawaad Afzal, Yi-Chen Lee, David A. Lightfoot ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Effect of Drought Stress on the Growth and Development of Saffron (Crocus Sativus. L) in Eastern Morocco <p>Saffron (Crocus sativus L.; Iridaceae) is the most expensive spice in the world. It has been cultivated in Morocco for centu-ries and has represented a traditional staple for culinary, medical and cosmetic uses. The present work is about the study of the effect of drought stress on Saffron’s mor-pho-physiological and biochemical param-eters. An experiment has been carried out on a 4-year-old saffron plantation planted in an open field located in the experimental station of the Faculty of Sciences of Oujda. The experimental treatment included three water regimes (T0: Control receiving 100% ET0, T1: moderate water deficit receiving 60% ET0, T2: pronounced water deficit re-ceiving only 40% ET0). The results show that the increase in drought stress levels has slightly influenced the different param-eters of saffron growth. At the foliar level, the effect of stress has resulted in a de-crease in the chlorophyll content, a slight decrease in the PSII quantum yield and a Proline content accumulation as soluble sugars and total phenols, which resulted in keeping the relative water content (RWC) and the Malondialdehyde (MAD) content at a level similar to that of the control. In gen-eral, the morpho-physiological adaptation traits were observed even at severe level of water stress (40% ET0) which resulted in an acceptable decrease in stigmas yield.</p> Ibtissam Mzabri, Manal Legsayer, Fatimzahhra Aliyat, Mohammed Maldani, Nour Eddine Kouddane, Azzouz Boukroute, Ibtihal Bekkouch, Abdelbasset Berrichi ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Negative Assortative Mating Based on Body Coloration in the Freshwater Platyfish (Poecillidae: Xiphophorus maculatus) <p>The ability of individuals within a population to survive and thrive is highly dependent upon the maintenance of genetic variation and phenotypic diversity, thereby ensuring adaptation to dynamic environments. A fundamental method of maintaining such variation is through a negative assortative mating strategy, in which individuals would be expected to reproductively select members of the opposite sex that exhibit dissimilar phenotypes. Employing three uniform body color morphs, red, yellow and blue, of the platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus), this study was designed to investigate whether X. maculatus females would preferentially be attracted to males exhibiting an alternative color, thereby enabling an examination of the effect of male body coloration on mate choice by adult females. Mate choice was determined based on the initial preference of each female, as well as the amount of time females spent associating with each male. Initial preferences were analyzed using a binomial distribution test, and overall preference data using Wilcoxon signed rank tests. Red females initially selected for dissimilar colored males, and spent a significantly larger amount of time associating with blue and yellow males, as did yellow females with red and blue males. Blue females initially selected and spent a significantly larger amount of time associating with red males but, interestingly, showed no selective preference between blue and yellow males. In these experimental trials, the overall strong mate selection exhibited by female platyfish for males of dissimilar coloration is suggestive of a negative assortative mating strategy and provides evidence for the maintenance of color polymorphism in nature populations.</p> Tyler E. Frankel, Jack S. Frankel ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Additional Polymorphisms Linked to Soybean Cyst Nematode Resistance At The Rhg4 Locus <p>Glycine max L. Merr., (soybean) is one of the major crops in the United States, south America and Asia. Yet, the seed yield of soybean is significantly reduced due to Heterodera glycines (Ichinohe), the soybean cyst nematode (SCN). SCN is one of the most destructive pests and pathogens of soybean because the main methods for control have proven difficult. Lineages of soybean that are resistant to SCN have been developed but it is yet unknown what all the molecular causes of this resistance are. Rhg1 and Rhg4 loci are two of about 10 loci that underlie resistance. The Rhg4 locus, is required for resistance to SCN race 3 in ‘Peking’–type derived resistances. One gene in the locus has been isolated and a causative link shown, but the surrounding regions have not been fully analyzed. Focusing on the Rhg4 locus, this study was aimed at uncovering other potential causes of resistance of soybean to SCN. In a bioinformatic analysis of the Rhg4 locus, alleles of nine genes were analyzed. The set of large intergenic regions have key regulatory elements in them. Since partial resistances are often multigeneic, some of these nine genes could be candidates for causing and regulating resistance.</p> Oleksandra Zatserklyana, Khalid Meksem, David A. Lightfoot ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 26 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Genetic Assessment of Moroccan Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Genotypes by RAPD and SSR Markers <p>For the first time eight local tomato cultivars collected from four different regions of Morocco were assessed with RAPD and SSR methods. Most of RAPD markers give monomorphic banding profiles. Only OPU03 marker showed a total of 4 polymorphic amplicons out of 8 recorded in FIGUIG2 cultivar. The analysis with SSR markers gives more polymorphism. The number of alleles amplified assessed from 2 to 5 alleles among cultivars. The similarity matrix subjected by the unweighted pairgroup arithmetic method (UPGMA) clustering grouped the cultivars in four groups where FIGUIG2 cultivar formed a separate and more distant cluster. In addition this cultivar holds the very high percentage of uniformity (99%) indicating that is an homogeneous traditional cultivar with high purity. This genotype can be conserved and used in breeding programs. More traditional Moroccan cultivars must be collected in order to determine their genetic structure.</p> Rajae Amraoui, Dominique Mingeot, Mohamed Addi, Ahmed Elamrani, Hana Caid Serghini, Aatika Mihamou, Malika Abid ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:26:08 -0400 Characterization of Diversity of Bradyrhizobia on Cowpea in Iraq Reveals Unusual Strain Characteristics <p>Rhizobium-legume symbiosis is considered as one of the most well established symbiotic nitrogen fixing system for agronomic studies. Association between legumes and rhizobia results in the formation of root nodules where symbiotic nitrogen fixation occurs. The current study aimed to authenticate 110 isolates from 20 sites belonging to 10 governorates in Iraq, tested their capacity of nodulation with cowpea and classified them depending on the phenotype and genotype presented by sequence analysis of 16S rRNA. To fulfill these goals, many approaches have been implemented such as Authentication Tests, Bromothymol Blue Reaction, Colony Size and Morphology, Antibiotic Test, Sequencing of 16S rRNA and Phylogenetic analysis. This study provides an easy way to classify the Bradyrhizobia sp. strains by genotype analysis depending on the phenotypes (i.e. motility and colony size) by sample preservation and high quality DNA isolation from environmental soil samples followed by 16S rRNA sequencing. This molecular technique has demonstrated the usefulness of these methods, easy technologies, and their applications to microbiome analysis and environmental science. Interestingly, a group of Bradyrhizobia identified in the current study was able to secrete acidic products before switching and starting to secrete alkali products after 1, 2 and 3 days. This is an unusual phenotype observed within rhizobia strains.</p> Suad A. Al-Saedi, Naoufal Lakhssassi, My Abdelmajid Kassem, Ibrahim B. Razaq, Khalid Meksem ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:36:27 -0400 The Procedure of Seed Potato Certification in Morocco <p>The potato -<em>Solanum tuberosum</em>- is a geophyte of the Solanaceae family and represents the first crops in Morocco. Thanks to its high nutritional value, the seed requirements attain around 160000 T of which 70% originate from the previous production, the reason behind the limitation of the market’s development. Considering the importance of the certified seeds, Morocco has signed a program contract to develop this sector. The production of certified potato seedling is a whole process that begins with the selection of plants and goes on until the marketing of the product where the producer should absolutely respect the cultivation processes and hygiene standards. Establishing and ensuring compliance with these standards is carried out by the National Office of Sanitary Safety and Food Supplies (ONSSA). The purpose of the present work is to summarize and represent briefly the certification standards of potato seeds in Morocco.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fadoua Eljai, Meryem Slamini, Ibtissam Mzabri, Ibtihal Bekkouch, Nour Eddine Kouddane, Abdelbasset Berrichi ##submission.copyrightStatement## Sat, 08 Jul 2017 11:05:08 -0400 Annotation of Cultivar Variations at the Multigeneic Rhg1/Rfs2 Locus: <p>Soybean (<em>Glycine max (L.) Merr.)</em> suffers yield losses due to root infection from soil infestation by&nbsp; <em>Heterodera glycine I. </em>(soybean cyst nematode SCN) and <em>Fusarium virguliforme </em>(Aoki; sudden death syndrome (SDS)). The major resistance locus was the <em>Rhg1/Rfs2</em> region (chr18; LG G).&nbsp;The aim here was to compare Sanger DNA sequence of a resistant (‘Forrest’) and two susceptible cultivars (‘Williams 82’ and ‘Asgrow A3244’). Used were sequences downloaded from GenBank (Williams 82), Phytzome (A3244) and a newly sequenced BAC-B73P06 (82,157 bp)&nbsp;encompassing the resistant <em>Rfs2/Rhg1</em> locus. Identified were 800 SNPs&nbsp; and 57 indels. In contrast the susceptible cultivars had just 12 SNPs and no indels between them. Polymorphisms were clustered within 59 kbp, divided&nbsp; in three sections. There were 5 predicted recombination breakpoints. The third and fourth breakpoints were located before gene 3 and after gene 5 (Glyma18g02680; the RLK at <em>Rhg1/Rfs2</em>) which were therefore inferred to be Peking derived DNA within <em>Rhg1/Rfs2</em> region.&nbsp;&nbsp; Comparisons of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in Illumina sequences from 31 semi-domesticated&nbsp; genomes showed 80% of the total SNPs in Forrest were found among the&nbsp; genomes. Annotation and gene prediction showed the BAC gene prediction encoded 9-10 genes. There were 31 SNPs within exons and 137 among&nbsp;introns. Just 11 SNPs caused amino acid changes. There were 5 SNPs in CREs and 14 in promoters. Polymorphisms&nbsp;indicated the regions that were introgressed from Peking had defined limits.&nbsp;Proteins across the region were highly conserved compared to non-coding regions so infer &nbsp;purifying selection occurred.</p> Melody Naghmeh Shohleh Hemmati, Dr., Matthew JB Geisler, Khalid Meksem, David A Lightfoot ##submission.copyrightStatement## Sat, 16 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0500