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Workshop announcement

Workshop announcement on small ruminant genomics in China and Arabian countries

Date: November 08, 2022



The Sino-Moroccan Joint Laboratory of Sheep and Goat Genetics and Germplasm Innovation


    • Party A: China Agricultural University(CAU)

Principal Investigator: Prof. Menghua Li

E-mail: menghua.li@cau.edu.cn

Tel.: 13439869677

Fax: 010-62731006

Address: College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China.

    • Party B: Mohammed V University in Rabat(UM5), Faculty of Science

Principal Investigator: Prof. Bouabid Badaoui

E-mail: bouabidbadaoui@gmail.com

Tel.: 06190 93 71

Fax: 037 77 54 61

Address: BioEcoGen Laboratory, BioBio Research Center, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed V University, Avenue Ibn Batouta BP 1014, 10106 Rabat Agdal, Maroc.

  1. Brief description of the project

“The Sino-Moroccan Joint Laboratory of Sheep and Goat Genetics and Germplasm Innovation” project is financed by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST). The project's parties are experienced in the research field of Sheep and Goat Genetics and Germplasm Innovation. The project aims to investigate, preserve, and utilize sheep and goat germplasm genetic resources to identify genetic markers and essential genes underlying important traits and provide valuable molecular targets for genome-assisted breeding to develop new superior breeds.

  1. Workshop program
  • Opening remarks from administrative officers from institutions in each country
  • Presentation of the project milestones as submitted by the PIs
  • Presentation of the participant’s research interests
  • Presentation of the small ruminant's research art state in the participating countries
  • An open debate for the future unfolding of the project
  1. Participating Institutions/countries
  • Mohammed V University in Rabat: The Mohammed V University of Rabat (UM5R) (PIC number: 929283572) was founded in 1957 it is one of the oldest universities in Morocco. The University of Rabat has 18 establishments (8 Faculties, 5 Schools, and 5 Institutes).

The UM5R offers 259 programs for Undergraduate and Master levels, in addition to 45 doctorate programs where 7767 PhD students are enrolled. The University of Rabat set up 52 accredited research structures (19 research centers, 11 laboratories, and 22 Research teams), 9 centers of doctoral studies, and a city of Innovation. In the period of 2015-2018, the University Mohammed V of Rabat registered 212 patents on a national and international scale. Regarding internationalization, the UM5R has a portfolio of 334 agreements with international universities all over the world, in addition to 80 international cooperation projects (Erasmus+ CBHE, KA107, and Intra-Africa, H2020). 1557 foreign students are enrolled at the UM5R as degree seekers. 35 double degrees and 112 agreements for joint supervision thesis have been developed with international universities.

Since its establishment in 1959, the Faculty of sciences is the largest faculty in the university with a student number close to 12500 enrolled in six departments; namely, Chemical, Physics, biology, geology, mathematics, and Computer. Our training catalog is very rich and covers all areas of science and technology: physics, geology, chemistry, mathematics, biology, and computer science. The programs include bachelor, masters, and Ph.D. programs. Our research is carried out in 5 centers, 14 Laboratories and 18 teams. Our researchers are actively involved in all of our university's research centers and host five of the 19 accredited centers at the university.

The Faculty of Sciences of Rabat is an important and effective player in the realization of the various national strategic programs of sectoral development. Similarly, like other universities in Morocco, our institution is involved in the national reform of higher education that aims to modernize the education system and improve the efficiency and adequacy of courses and training offered.

  • China Agricultural University (CAU): CAU is one of the top-ranked key national universities in China. CAU has 3 campuses, including the East Campus, West Campus, and Jianshe Campus. Students have free choices to enroll in more than 60 Undergraduate Specialties, around 140 Master degrees Programs, and more than 80 Doctoral Programs if qualified. The trend of student population continues to rise with more than 70,000 students in total currently enrolled. China Agricultural University is authorized to award academic degrees at BSc, MSc, PhD, and Post-PhD levels. The Undergraduate Program is organized within one of the 13 colleges, and Master degrees and Doctoral Programs are conducted under the direction of the Graduate School, which is the first graduate school of this kind among all agricultural universities in China. The educational programs cover a broad spectrum in both natural and social sciences, across the fields of food and agriculture, livestock, soil and water, engineering, economics, environment and energy, management, science, literature, and law. Developing itself into an internationalized institution, CAU considers international exchange and cooperation to be a significant component of its mission. CAU has well-established collaborations via 296 counter-signed Memorandums of Understanding or Agreements with 178 universities from 35 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, & Oceania. The exchange of students with partner universities has become a routine of work. In addition, cooperation with UN-specialized organizations and international institutions has been developed. A worldwide network for academic exchange & collaboration is under cultivation. In addition, CAU has also conducted several successful joint educational programs with the US, Netherlands, and UK, further strengthening CAU’s role in the world educational community. The International College of Beijing, one of the best international higher education programs in China, has become very popular. CAU was ranked in 5th place in regard to the Major Progress in Science and Technology, 6th place in the number of Three Major Scientific and Technical Prizes for State General Projects, and 2nd place in the number of Three Major Scientific and Technical Prizes for State General Projects as the hosting university in 2010. CAU has 14 colleges, including International College Beijing.
  • University Aboubekr Belkaid of Tlemcen (UABT) - a public higher education institution in Algeria. UABT was founded in 1974. The main building is in Tlemcen.

University Aboubekr Belkaid of Tlemcen is one of the top educational institutions in Algeria that never leaves the country’s top 5 places to study. University Aboubekr Belkaid of Tlemcen is quite famous as it ranks high in the top 5% of the best universities in the world.

The academic year of the university consists of two semesters. UABT has affordable bachelor’s programs that cost less than 1,000 USD per year. UABT students can take their studies to the next level and obtain a master’s degree for 1,000 USD per year. There is also an option to enroll in online programs, kindly provided by the university. On the university’s official website (http://www.univ-tlemcen.dz) you can find more accurate information on programs and tuition.

University Aboubekr Belkaid of Tlemcen is a big educational institution, attended by more than 44 thousand students. Eight faculty constitute the university with more than 80 Master's degrees and a research laboratory. Being a foreign citizen does not exclude you from the admission process. Foreigners make up about 1% of all students. To ensure that the quality of education stays high the university has an academic staff consisting of more than 2000 specialists. UABT has exchange agreements with many educational institutions.

  • Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) was founded immediately after World War II as an agricultural training center in the Bekaa Valley. In 1964, the institute was reorganized as an autonomous public institution working under the supervision of the Minister of Agriculture. Elven research stations were now established in all the Lebanese territories within an area of 280 hectares of agricultural land. The institute conducts applied and basic scientific research for the development and advancement of the agricultural sector in Lebanon: Animal Health and production; Plant protection and production; soil, irrigation, and farm machinery research.
  • Al-Qasim Green University (http://en.uoqasim.edu.iq/):  is a relatively young institution having been established in 2012. It is located in Al-Qasim in the Babil province, around 80 miles south of Baghdad in Iraq. It was started as part of a higher education ministry plan to create specialized institutions to drive development in Iraq’s regions. It was initially called Al-Qasim Al-Khadra University. It started with faculties of agriculture and veterinary science from the nearby University of Babylon, along with newly-formed schools of biotechnology; food science; environmental science, and water resource engineering. The idea of it becoming Iraq’s Green university was founded on its location in the Euphrates region, where agriculture and animal husbandry are significant local industries. It seeks to be “one of the leading local, regional, and international universities in exploration, education, and scientific research in terms of applying international standards in knowledge, education, scientific research, and community service.”

Its purpose-built campus is on a 100-hectare site which was formerly brickwork. The architects referenced this in using brick as the main material for buildings which are arranged "as an ancient town" with major structures like the presidency, library, mosque, and auditorium at the center. The presidency was the first LEED Gold Standard building in Iraq, while campus transport is provided by electric vehicles and rented bikes. Two further colleges - science and physical education and sports science - have been added to the original six. The Center for Teaching the Noble Qur’an is also one of the new centers at the university.

  • Cairo University (CU) is Egypt's premier public university. It was founded in 1908. The university counts 3 Nobel Laureates among its graduates and is one of the 50 largest higher education institutions in the world based on enrolment. Currently, the university enrolls approximately 250.000 students in 26 faculties and institutes, including the Faculty of Agriculture, which is composed of 18 scientific departments. The Department of Animal Production, where the Egyptian team of the Sino-Arabian Joint Laboratory of Sheep and Goat Germplasm Innovation works, has 3 main tasks: teaching, research, and extension. This department involves 4 broad academic groups: Husbandry and Production Systems; Physiology; Breeding and Genetics; and Nutrition. Animal Breeding and Genetics group has well-trained academic staff with valuable experience in the identification of QTL and candidate genes, SNP genotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), radiation hybrid maps, genome-wide association studies, next-generation sequencing (NGS), real-time PCR, gene expression analysis, DNA microarray, stress response action at molecular and cellular levels, genetic diversity, molecular biology, genomic data analysis using different software packages, breeding program management, and genetic evaluation. The research team of CU led by Prof. Rushdi has participated in several international and national research projects aimed to identify genomic regions associated with variations in economically important traits.

      6. Participants and short CV

  • Meng-Hua Li: Professor, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing. He got his PhD in Animal Genetics and Breeding in 2003. During 2003-2010, he worked at the Natural Resources Research Institute and the University of Helsinki in Finland as a postdoctoral researcher. He was appointed as a Docent at the University of Helsinki, and a Principal Research Scientist at the Natural Resources Research Institute (Finland). Also, he was granted to be a Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland. From 2011-2019, he worked as a professor at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China as supported by the 100-talent Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He got a position as a professor at China Agricultural University in 2019. His main research interest focuses on sheep and goat genetics and germplasm innovation. He has published peer-reviewed papers in Natural Communications, Current Biology, Genome Research, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Genome Biology and Evolution, Heredity and Animal Genetics, etc, which were funded by the projects from National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology, China Agricultural University and Chinese Academy of Sciences, etc.

E-mail: menghua.li@cau.edu.cn

  • Miss Ying Tang, Vice director of the International Affairs Division, China Agricultural University
  •  Pr. Souad El Hajjaji: Vice Dean of research and cooperation at Sciences Faculty (Mohammed V University in Rabat).
  • Dr. Yue Zhao, China Agricultural University
  • Dr.  Yuhao Ma, China Agricultural University
  • Pr. Bouabid Badaoui has an undergraduate degree in Engineering (IAV-Morocco), an MSc in Animal Genetics (CIHEAM-Spain), and a PhD in Functional Genetics (joint supervision between UAB-Spain and AgroParisTech-France). His PhD thesis was part of a Marie Curie Actions supported project; RIVAGE-Regulation and Variability of Animal Genome Expression (http://w3.jouy.inra.fr/rivage/uk/). Pr. Badaoui was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Animal Genetics at the ‘Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona-Spain’ and worked as a senior researcher in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at ‘Parco Tecnologico Padano-Italy’ for 6 years. Since 2014, Pr. Badaoui Joined Mohammed V University in Rabat. Pr. Bouabid Badaoui is a specialist in Animal Genetics and Genomics and his research focus mainly on genetic diversity and phenotype-genotype interactions in different areas of livestock production: coat color, milk composition, demographic change, thermal stress as well as bacterial and viral infections. His research interests include Bioinformatics and Biostatistics tools development, Computational biology and Quantitative genetics. Pr. Bouabid Badaoui coordinated/participated in many national and international projects and he is the coordinator of North Africa for the African BioGenome Project (AfricaBP) whose main aim is to support genome-guided sustainable agricultural practices in Africa. Pr. Bouabid Badaoui is currently working on developing a genomic selection scheme for dairy cattle combining genomics and artificial intelligence.

Semir Bechir Suheil GAOUAR: Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of natural sciences and life, earth sciences and universe, University of Tlemcen, Algeria. He got his PhD in Molecular Genetics in 2009. During 2002-2013, he worked at both University of Oran, Algeria, and the University of Tlemcen. He created the genetic specialty at the university of Tlemcen and became responsible from 2013 until now. In 2017 he created the “genetics and biodiversity journal”. He also created the applied genetics in agriculture, ecology, and public health laboratory in 2021. He got a position as a professor at Tlemcen University in 2018. His main research interest focuses on biodiversity, management, and improvement. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers in Emerging Infectious diseases, Plos One, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Heredity and Animal Genetics, etc.

  • Jeanne El Hage - LARI

Head of the Animal Health Laboratory. PhD in Biodiversity, Genetic and Evolution at the EPHE- PSL in France: “Genetic Characterization of the Awassi breed using endogenous Retrovirus and mitochondrial DNA as genetic markers”.Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) is the national reference lab for Animal diseases. The AHL collaborates with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Public Health, and Universities. It also works closely with field actors and private sectors (farmers, veterinarians, and consulting companies). The main activities of AHL-Fanar are:

  • Routine diagnostic analyses
  •  Monitoring and surveillance
  • Research:  Focusing on pathogens and diseases of interest for animal health and/or public health (zoonosis)
  • Hossam E. Rushdi:

Associate Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics, CU. He graduated in 1991 from the Faculty of Agriculture of CU. He obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Animal Production from the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ) in 1996. In 1997, he completed his M. Sc. thesis in Animal Breeding. Thereafter, he gained a Ph. D. in animal breeding and genomics at Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2002). His main research activities are in the field of Animal Breeding, Quantitative Genetics, Genetic Diversity, Climate Change, Identification of QTL, Candidate Genes, and SNPs. Moreover, he has been widely involved in the genetic characterization of sheep, goat, cattle and buffalo breeds by microsatellites, SNPs, and mitochondrial DNA. He is the General Secretary of the Egyptian Society of Animal Production (ESAP). He was a Visiting Professor at different universities in Spain, India, Lithuania, Poland and China. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of ESAP journal and the author of a book entitled "Animal Wealth" for CU students. Currently, he is participating in 2 international research projects as an Egyptian PI. He has participated in several national and international research projects over the last 25 years. He published over 28 peer-reviewed papers. He has expertise in livestock genomics, epigenetics, and metagenomics, and his activity span from the study of genes and mechanisms that control livestock production traits to the development of molecular tools for animal welfare and traceability of animal products. He has been an organizer of international scientific conferences, an invited speaker, an expert reviewer of grant proposals and research articles for several funding agencies and journals, and a student supervisor. Also, he got Cairo Univ. Prize for International Publication in 2017 and 2020. He is a member of many scientific societies in Egypt, France, Spain, the USA, Poland, China, and India.






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