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BIODESERT International Conference

"Microbial Resource Management for Agriculture in Arid Lands"



In the last 20 years many countries in the world experienced increasing problems in agriculture, due to global warming soil aridity and desertification. Several areas, like for instance south of Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Greece faced major aridity stresses comparable to those in the sub-Saharan and Saharan regions in North Africa.


In order to combat desertification a series of interventions to sustain soil stability and productivity can be adopted. Strategies to support crop production while preserving biodiversity and counteracting climate changes have to be implemented properly. For instance desert farming is one strategy to protect soil fertility and for gaining arable land at expenses of desert soil.

Microorganisms associated to soil, plants and animals in arid lands are a resource to combat problems arising from desertification and global warming. Indeed exploitation of the activities of microorganisms that inhabit the extreme environments of deserts may offer new ways to help the plants and useful insects to overcome water stress. As well desert extremophiles may reveal novel enzymes and metabolites for applications in agriculture and other fields.

The BIODESERT conference aims to discuss new advancements in microbiology capable of enhancing agriculture in arid ecosystems with a sustainable management. The conference organized in Tunisia, one of the gates of the Sahara the largest desert in the world, intends to put together scientists from all over the world, for discussing these issues in one of the regions that is at high risk of desertification.

The conference foresees the contribute of eminent scientists working in the field of agriculture microbiology in arid lands, plant-microbe and insect-microbe symbioses and extreme environments of desert ecosystems. Confirmed speakers include:

Claudio Bandi (Italy)

Abdellatif Boudabous (Tunisia)

Kostas Bourtzis (Greece)

Emilio O. Casamayor (Spain)

Ameur Cherif (Tunisia)

Stephane Compant (France)

Daniele Daffonchio (Italy)

Maher Gtari (Tunisia)

Abdelaziz Heddi (France)

Thierry Heulin (France)

Robert Jackson (United Kingdom)

Atef Jaouani (Tunisia)

Hans-Peter Klenk (Germany)

Martina Köberl (Austria)

Philippe Normand (France)

Imen Ouzari (Tunisia)

Lucas Stal (The Netherlands)

George Tsiamis (Greece)