Publications by authors named "Rachid Mentag"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Effects of Salicylic Acid and Indole Acetic Acid Exogenous Applications on Induction of Faba Bean Resistance against .

Plant Pathol J 2020 Oct;36(5):476-490

Biotechnology Unit, CRRA-Rabat, National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), 00, Rabat, Morocco.

The parasitic weed, , is one of the most devastating constraint for faba bean production in Mediterranean regions. Plant host defense induction was reported as one of the most appropriate control methods in many crops. The aim of this study was to elucidate the effect of salicylic acid (SA) and indole acetic acid (IAA) on the induction of faba bean resistance to under the field and controlled experimental conditions. Both hormones were tested on two contrasting faba bean genotypes: Giza 843 (partially resistant to ) and Lobab (susceptible) at three different application methods (seed soaking, foliar spray, and the combination of both seed soaking and foliar spray). Soaking seeds in SA or IAA provided the highest protection levels reaching ~75% compared to the untreated control plants. Both elicitors limited the chlorophyll content decrease caused by infestation and increased phenolic compound production in host plants. Phenylalanine ammonia lyase, peroxidase, and polyphenol oxidase activities were stimulated in the host plant roots especially in the susceptible genotype Lobab. The magnitude of induction was more obvious in infested than in non-infested plants. Histological study revealed that both SA and IAA decreased the number of attached spikes which could be related to specific defense responses in the host plant roots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5423/PPJ.OA.03.2020.0056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542034PMC
October 2020

Complete Chloroplast Genome of : Structural Organization and Phylogenetic Relationships in Sapotaceae.

Plants (Basel) 2020 Oct 13;9(10). Epub 2020 Oct 13.

CRRA-Rabat, National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Rabat 10101, Morocco.

(Sapotaceae), an important endemic Moroccan oil tree, is a primary source of argan oil, which has numerous dietary and medicinal proprieties. The plant species occupies the mid-western part of Morocco and provides great environmental and socioeconomic benefits. The complete chloroplast (cp) genome of was sequenced, assembled, and analyzed in comparison with those of two Sapotaceae members. The cp genome is 158,848 bp long, with an average GC content of 36.8%. The cp genome exhibits a typical quadripartite and circular structure consisting of a pair of inverted regions (IR) of 25,945 bp in length separating small single-copy (SSC) and large single-copy (LSC) regions of 18,591 and 88,367 bp, respectively. The annotation of cp genome predicted 130 genes, including 85 protein-coding genes (CDS), 8 ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and 37 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. A total of 44 long repeats and 88 simple sequence repeats (SSR) divided into mononucleotides (76), dinucleotides (7), trinucleotides (3), tetranucleotides (1), and hexanucleotides (1) were identified in the cp genome. Phylogenetic analyses using the maximum likelihood (ML) method were performed based on 69 protein-coding genes from 11 species of . The results confirmed the close position of to the genus, supporting the revisiting of its taxonomic status. The complete chloroplast genome sequence will be valuable for further studies on the conservation and breeding of this medicinally and culinary important species and also contribute to clarifying the phylogenetic position of the species within Sapotaceae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9101354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602116PMC
October 2020

Genomic Diversity and Hotspot Mutations in 30,983 SARS-CoV-2 Genomes: Moving Toward a Universal Vaccine for the "Confined Virus"?

Pathogens 2020 Oct 10;9(10). Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Medical Biotechnology Laboratory (MedBiotech), Bioinova Research Center, Rabat Medical and Pharmacy School, Mohammed Vth University, Rabat 10100, Morocco.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing since its onset in late November 2019 in Wuhan, China. Understanding and monitoring the genetic evolution of the virus, its geographical characteristics, and its stability are particularly important for controlling the spread of the disease and especially for the development of a universal vaccine covering all circulating strains. From this perspective, we analyzed 30,983 complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes from 79 countries located in the six continents and collected from 24 December 2019, to 13 May 2020, according to the GISAID database. Our analysis revealed the presence of 3206 variant sites, with a uniform distribution of mutation types in different geographic areas. Remarkably, a low frequency of recurrent mutations has been observed; only 169 mutations (5.27%) had a prevalence greater than 1% of genomes. Nevertheless, fourteen non-synonymous hotspot mutations (>10%) have been identified at different locations along the viral genome; eight in ORF1ab polyprotein (in nsp2, nsp3, transmembrane domain, RdRp, helicase, exonuclease, and endoribonuclease), three in nucleocapsid protein, and one in each of three proteins: Spike, ORF3a, and ORF8. Moreover, 36 non-synonymous mutations were identified in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein with a low prevalence (<1%) across all genomes, of which only four could potentially enhance the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to the human ACE2 receptor. These results along with intra-genomic divergence of SARS-CoV-2 could indicate that unlike the influenza virus or HIV viruses, SARS-CoV-2 has a low mutation rate which makes the development of an effective global vaccine very likely.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9100829DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7600297PMC
October 2020

Genome Sequences of Six SARS-CoV-2 Strains Isolated in Morocco, Obtained Using Oxford Nanopore MinION Technology.

Microbiol Resour Announc 2020 Aug 6;9(32). Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Medical Biotechnology Laboratory (MedBiotech), Bioinova Research Center, Rabat Medical and Pharmacy School, Mohammed V University in Rabat, Rabat, Morocco

Here, we report the draft genome sequences of six severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strains. SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, which started at the end of 2019 in Wuhan, China. The isolates were obtained from nasopharyngeal swabs from Moroccan patients with COVID-19. Mutation analysis revealed the presence of the spike D614G mutation in all six genomes, which is widely present in several genomes around the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.00767-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7409862PMC
August 2020

Draft Genome Sequence of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Strain Foa 133, the Causal Agent of Bayoud Disease on Date Palm.

Microbiol Resour Announc 2020 Jul 16;9(29). Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Biotechnology Unit, Regional Center of Agricultural Research of Rabat, National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), Rabat, Morocco

f. sp. is the causal agent of vascular wilt of date palm. Here, we report the genome assembly of the Foa 133 strain, which consists of 3,325 contigs with a total length of 56,228,901 bp, a GC content of 47.42%, an value of 131,587 bp, and 3,684 predicted genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.00462-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7365794PMC
July 2020

Draft Genome Sequence of Biological N-Fixing Bacterium Rhizobium tropici A12, Isolated from Root Nodule of Tropical Soybean (Glycine max), TGx-1148 Variety.

Microbiol Resour Announc 2020 May 14;9(20). Epub 2020 May 14.

AgroBiosciences Program, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Ben Guerir, Morocco

Here, we present the genome sequence and annotated features of strain A12, which is able to nodulate tropical (soybean). The draft genome of the strain consists of 107 contigs totaling 6.5 Mbp in size. The annotation revealed 6,204 protein-coding genes, 52 tRNAs, and 7 rRNAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.00189-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225531PMC
May 2020

Complete genome analysis and time scale evolution of very virulent infectious bursal disease viruses isolated from recent outbreaks in Morocco.

Infect Genet Evol 2020 01 31;77:104097. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Université de Toulouse, INRA, ENVT, IHAP, F- 31076 Toulouse, France. Electronic address:

Emerging of very virulent infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV) genotype in poultry flocks in Morocco were characterized. VP2 sequence analysis showed that the strains of Moroccan vvIBDV genotypes clustered separately from classic and vaccine strains reference of IBDV. The full-length genome of four Moroccan vvIBDV strains was determined, in order to get a more exhaustive molecular characterization allowing to conduct the evolution time scale and speculations on their origin. In a phylogenetic tree, nucleotide sequences of segment A and B formed a common branch with those vvIBDV references strains published in GenBank, but they clearly grouped into a distinct subcluster. An alignment of deduced amino acid sequences segment B, confirmed the presence of the conserved TDN tripeptide found in all of the vvIBDV genotype and revealed the presence of 2 substitutions I472L and E688D specific for the vvIBDV Moroccan isolates. The deduced amino acid sequences of segment A genes showed the presence of the "signature" typical of the vvIBDV genotype and revealed the presence of 7 aa substitutions specific for the vvIBDV Moroccan strains. The evolution rate for IBDV VP2 gene was estimated at 5.875 × 10 substitutions/site/year. The estimation of the time to most common recent ancestor of Moroccan vvIBDV based on the VP2 sequences available was 31 years, corresponding to 3 years earlier than the first vvIBDV case detection in layers in the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2019.104097DOI Listing
January 2020

Characterization of genetic diversity and population structure of Moroccan lentil cultivars and landraces using molecular markers.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2019 Jul 21;25(4):965-974. Epub 2019 May 21.

Biotechnology Research Unit, National Institute of Agricultural Research, Rabat, Morocco.

Knowledge of genetic diversity and population structure is a crucial step for an efficient use of available material in a plant breeding program and for germplasm conservation strategies. Current study undertakes an assessment of the genetic variations and population structure of Moroccan lentil including nine landraces and eight released varieties using sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) and random amplified polymorphism DNA (RAPD) markers. Results revealed that the two markers used have a good efficiency to assess genetic diversity in lentil. A total of 115 and 90 bands were respectively scored for SRAP and RAPD, of which 98.3% and 93.3% were polymorphic. The polymorphic information content values were 0.350 with SRAP and 0.326 with RAPD. Analysis of molecular variance based on the combined data sets of both markers revealed lower variations within (35%) than among (65%) landraces (PhiPT = 0.652), implying significant genetic differentiation between landraces. Principal coordinate analysis and the ascendant hierarchical classification clustered samples into groups that were consistent with the geographical origin of the cultivars. Population structure corroborated the main groups and confirmed the high differentiation among them. Moroccan lentil germplasm showed a wide genetic diversity that might be conserved and assessed for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-019-00673-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6656841PMC
July 2019

Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of very virulent infectious bursal disease virus circulating in Morocco during 2016-2017.

Arch Virol 2019 Feb 26;164(2):381-390. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Unité de Pathologie Aviaire, Département de Pathologie et Santé Publique Vétérinaire, IAV Hassan II, BP 6202, Rabat-Instituts, 10000, Rabat, Morocco.

Very virulent infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV), the cause of significant economic losses in many poultry-producing areas, has been present in Morocco since 1991. In spite of the introduction of vaccination, disease outbreaks are frequently observed. To ascertain if vaccines failure may be due to the emergence of new strains, the aim of this study was to perform for the first time the molecular characterization of vvIBDV strains circulating in Morocco by focusing on the hypervariable region (HVR) of the VP2 protein, which is frequently used for molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic studies. Field samples of haemorrhagic bursae of Fabricius were collected for molecular characterization in different parts of the country during 2016-2017 from 48 chicken flocks showing symptoms of disease. In a phylogenetic tree, nucleotide sequences containing the VP2 HVR of 13 samples that were positive for vvIBDV formed a common branch with those of vvIBDV references strains published in GenBank, but they clearly grouped into a distinct subcluster. An alignment of the deduced amino acid sequences, in addition to confirming the presence of the "signature" typical of the vvIBDV HVR, also revealed the presence of substitutions in hydrophilic loops that are known to be involved in the elicitation of neutralizing antibodies. One of these substitutions is unique to the Moroccan isolates. These results represent the first molecular characterization of vvIBDV isolates in Morocco and may indicate that one of the causes of vaccine ineffectiveness is antigenic drift.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-018-4076-3DOI Listing
February 2019

First draft genome assembly of the Argane tree ( ).

F1000Res 2018 17;7:1310. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Laboratory of Biotechnology and Valorization of Natural Resources (LBVRN), Faculty of Sciences, University Ibn Zohr, Agadir, Morocco.

The Argane tree ( L. Skeels) is an endemic tree of mid-western Morocco that plays an important socioeconomic and ecologic role for a dense human population in an arid zone. Several studies confirmed the importance of this species as a food and feed source and as a resource for both pharmaceutical and cosmetic compounds. Unfortunately, the argane tree ecosystem is facing significant threats from environmental changes (global warming, over-population) and over-exploitation. Limited research has been conducted, however, on argane tree genetics and genomics, which hinders its conservation and genetic improvement. Here, we present a draft genome assembly of . A reliable reference genome of   was created using a hybrid  assembly approach combining short and long sequencing reads. In total, 144 Gb Illumina HiSeq reads and 7.6 Gb PacBio reads were produced and assembled. The final draft genome comprises 75 327 scaffolds totaling 671 Mb with an N50 of 49 916 kb. The draft assembly is close to the genome size estimated by -mers distribution and covers 89% of complete and 4.3 % of partial orthologous groups in BUSCO. The genome will be useful for assessing biodiversity leading to efficient conservation of this endangered endemic tree. Furthermore, the genome may enable genome-assisted cultivar breeding, and provide a better understanding of important metabolic pathways and their underlying genes for both cosmetic and pharmacological.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.15719.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238458PMC
August 2018

Host differentiation and variability of Orobanche crenata populations from legume species in Morocco as revealed by cross-infestation and molecular analysis.

Pest Manag Sci 2017 Aug 14;73(8):1753-1763. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), Biotechnology Unit, CRRA-Rabat, Morocco.

Background: Orobanche crenata represents a major biotic constraint to production of faba bean and lentil in Morocco. While this parasitic plant attacks both of these crops, the extent to which Orobanche biotypes specialise in parasitising specific crops is unknown. To address this question, we studied O. crenata that grew on different hosts and quantified their host specificity to faba bean and lentil. The virulence of O. crenata populations on each host was investigated through field trials, pot and Petri dishes assays. Genetic diversity of the parasite populations was also assessed through molecular analyses.

Results: The two legume species showed distinct patterns of specificity. Faba bean was more susceptible to both O. crenata populations, while the specificity for lentil by lentil-grown O. crenata was evident at the final stage of the parasite life cycle as shown by correspondence factorial analyses. Considerable internal variation (81%) within O. crenata populations parasitising both legume species was observed by molecular analyses, but significant divergence (19%; Ø = 0.189; P = 0.010) among the populations was detected.

Conclusion: These results indicate that O. crenata can adapt to specific host species, which is important knowledge when developing integrated pest management practices for parasitic weed control. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.4536DOI Listing
August 2017

Green fluorescent protein as a tool for monitoring transgene expression in forest tree species.

Tree Physiol 1999 Jul;19(8):541-546

Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 du P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 3800, Sainte-Foy, Québec G1V 4C7, Canada.

The gene coding for green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria was successfully used as a vital marker for the transformation of three woody plant species, black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP), white pine (Pinus strobus L.) and poplar (Populus spp.). The gfp gene and the gene conferring resistance to kanamycin (nptII) were introduced by microprojectile bombardment or Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated technology. Screening by fluorescence microscopy of the transformed plant material, under the selection of kanamycin, identified five to eight cell lines from each tree species that clearly expressed GFP. Expression of GFP was observed in somatic embryonal cells of the coniferous species and in stem sections of poplar. For all species, GFP transgene expression was stable over multiple subcultures. Stable integration of the gfp gene into plant genomes was confirmed by Southern hybridization or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. We conclude that GFP can be used as a vital marker and reporter protein in transformation experiments with gymnosperms and deciduous trees.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/19.8.541DOI Listing
July 1999