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Perpetually known for its undeniable environmental role, olive  growing occupies a special position in agriculture and in the economy of Tunisia.
Currently, The olive grove has about 70 million olive trees covering 1.7 million hectares, producing 1.5 million hectares with monoculture such as  1.4 million ha of olive oil and 19,000 ha of table olives.  The olive grove represents  79% of the total tree area and 34% of arable land.
 
Well adapted to edaphic  and climatic conditions in Tunisia, the oil olive tree is cultivated in  the entire country from north to south and its culture contributes to job creation, providing in accordance with production between 20 and 40 million working days per year.
 
The table olive tree of the whole number  is concentrated in the north of the country with 74%, 14.6% in the Center and 11.4% in the South. These plantations are divided into orchards of small sizes and occupying a small area of about 5%.
 
Tunisia has inherited a rich olive genetic. In addition to  the two main oil varieties: Chemleli and Chetoui, several prospecting, identification and characterization works made ​​since the 80s showed that the Tunisian olive germoplasm  has a remarkable richness with 140 varieties and local ecotypes: Oueslati, Zalmati, Zarrazi, Chemchali, Jerboui, Fakhari, Toffehi, Chemchéli Zarzis, Djerba Chemléli, Tounsi, Marsaline, Sayali and Jemri.
 
Tunisian olive oil production is assured by 1,723 mills with a theoretical which capacity of olive crushing 44,077 tonnes per day. In addition, the oil industrial tissu involve  6-pomace oil extraction plants, 4 refineries (which  core business is seed oil due to the low demand of the Tunisian consumerof  refined olive oil )and 50 units of packaging of edible oils (vegetable oil and olive oil), among them only ten units  are specialized in oil olive...
 
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Recent publications
11 Février 2016
 Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) using new designed primers pair for Heat Shock Protein70 homologue (HSP70h) of Olive leaf yellowing-associated virus revealed 667 amplified product of 10 olive accessions collected from various olive-growing regions in Tunisia. Amplicons were cloned and sequenced. The sequences were deposited in the international databases. Pairwise sequence comparisons among 10 Tunisian isolates along with a reference sequence (AJ440010) extracted from GenBank revealed a nucleotide identity of 86.06-99.40 and an amino acid similarity of 91.89-99.55. Sequence multiple alignments were searched for evidence of recombination using three methods, ie. Differences of Sums of Squares (DSS) implemented in TOPALi v2.5 software and Single Breakpoint (SBP) along with GARD, a genetic algorithm, both incorporated in HyPhy package. All used methods pointed out the presence of putative breaking points in partially sequenced HSP70h-coding gene. Since failing to account for recombination can mislead the phylogeny inference and can elevate the false positive error rate in positive selection assessment, the use of GARD resulted in the reconstruction of different phylogenies on the left as well as on the right sides of putative recombination breaking points, and the 11 accessions were distributed into at least three clusters compared to MEGA6 software which delineated only two clades. Nonetheless, by dividing the aligned sequences at breakpoints into separate sequence sets, MEGA6 delineated a clustering pattern different from the former two. As a result, recombination reshuffled the affiliation of the different accessions to the clusters. Analysis of selection pressures exerted on HSP70h encoded protein using different models (SLAC, IFEL, FEL, REL, PARRIS, FUBAR, MEME, GA Branch, and PRIME) taking into account recombination, and implemented in HyPhy package, revealed that it underwent predominantly purifying selection as confirmed by Tajima’s D, Fu and Li’s D and F tests, and SNAP algorithm. However, a few sites were also under positive selection as assessed by various models such as FEL, IFEL, REL, MEME, and PRIME
05 Octobre 2015
 Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV) is one of the most widespread viruses causing disease in sugarcane worldwide. The virus has been responsible for drastic economic losses in most sugarcane-growing regions and remains a major concern for sugarcane breeders. Infection with SCYLV results in intense yellowing of the midrib, which extends to the leaf blade, followed by tissue necrosis from the leaf tip towards the leaf base. Such symptomatic leaves are usually characterized by increased respiration, reduced photosynthesis, a change in the ratio of hexose to sucrose, and an increase in starch content. SCYLV infection affects carbon assimilation and metabolism in sugarcane, resulting in stunted plants in severe cases. SCYLV is mainly propagated by planting cuttings from infected stalks. Phylogenetic analysis has confirmed the worldwide distribution of at least eight SCYLV genotypes (BRA, CHN1, CHN3, CUB, HAW, IND, PER, and REU). Evidence of recombination has been found in the SCYLV genome, which contains potential recombination signals in
04 Août 2015
 This study investigated the direct effect of the insecticides deltamethrin and spinosad on three egg parasitoids species: Trichogramma oleae, T. cacoeciae and T. bourarachae. The parasitoid pupae were exposed to pesticide residues on fresh olive tree leaves at recommended concentrations (RC) at different time intervals: 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 days after pesticide applications. Parasitism viability (% emergence from parasitized eggs) and adult emergence time (developmental time from pupa to adult emergence) were evaluated. Regarding to the International Organization of Biological Control (IOBC) guidelines, results of toxicity effects of insecticides show that: Deltamethrin was moderately harmful to all Trichogramma species at RC (Decis® 100 milliliters∙ha−1), however, spinosad was harmless to moderately harmful at RC (Tracer® 20 milliliters∙ha−1). Trichogramma species revealed differences with regard to adult emergence time and exhibited significant changes in parasitism viability with increasing time after pesticide treatment. While deltamethrin residues affected parasitism viability 31 days after the product application, spinosad displayed similar viability for almost species 24 days after the application. The usefulness of Trichogramma parasitoids used as biological control agents, in olive tree ecosystem, was discussed in integrated pest management programs for Prays oleae control when parasitoid species were exposed during pupal stage to the insecticide residue.
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