Ali Zidi

Ali Zidi

AgreenSkills session, year: 2nd session, 2014

Receiving laboratory: GDEC Genetics, Diversity and Ecophysiology of Cereals Clermont-Ferrand-Theix, France

Country of origin : Spain




Mobility project

The availability of whole genome typing tools in wheat has allowed the incorporation of new allelic variants into germplasm. In this way, genomic selection (GS) is an approach that is being applied in crop breeding to make decisions for advancing germplasm from one generation to the next. GS aims to predict breeding values from genome-wide marker data with high accuracy using model training and validation, prediction breeding values, and selecting based on these predictions. In this way, the present research work consists on finding the “Best” model training that could guarantee a high accuracy of the genomic predicted breeding value.

Biography & research interests

I graduated in Agriculture Engineering in the “École Supérieure d’Agriculture de Mateur” (Tunisia) in 2003. Subsequently, I obtained a Master in Animal Science in the context of a fellowship from the International Centre of Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM-IAMZ, Spain). In 2010, I presented my PhD in the field of animal genetics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. My PhD thesis was supervised by Dr. Marcel Amills Eras and was focused on molecular genetics applied to the characterization and association analysis of candidate genes for milk production and composition. During my post-doctoral fellows, I was interested in nutrigenomic (postdoctoral fellowship Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and the analysis of large data set as high throughput genotyping data (postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics and at the University of Córdoba).

The continuous improvement of techniques of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing by the use of high-density panels SNPs was accompanied by the reduction of its costs. This reduction makes useful the application of this technique at large sample size and at commercial level opening, thereby, a perspective to enhance a new selection scheme assisted by molecular markers in animal and in plant, known as genomic selection. The success of the genomic selection especially in dairy cattle opens the door to apply this selection strategy in other species. My research interests are related to the optimisation of the accuracy of the selection genomic mainly that related with the reference populations used to train models.

Selected publications

1-Zidi, A., M. Amills, J. Jordana, J. Carrizosa, B. Urrutia, J. M. Serradilla. 2015. Variation at the 3′-UTR of the goat αS2 – and β-casein genes is not associated with milk protein and dry matter contents in Murciano-Granadina goats. Animal Genetics 46:95-96.

2-Zidi, A., A. Castelló, J. Jordana, J. Carrizosa, B. Urrutia, J.M. Serradilla, M. Amills. 2013. Identification of two paralogous caprine CD36 genes that display highly divergent mRNA expression profiles. Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 36:1-7.

3-Manunza, A., A. Zidi, S. Yeghoyan, V. Balteanu, T. C. Carsai, O. Scherbakov, O. Ramírez, S. Eghbalsaied, A. Castello, A. Mercade, M. Amills. 2013. A high throughput genotyping approach reveals distinctive autosomal genetic signatures for European and Near Eastern Sus scrofa. PloS One 8:e55891.