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  • Towards production of certified material of Prunus rootstocks, potato, caper and different fruit species by using in vitro propagation.

  • Characterization of the Lebanese patrimony of fruit species in order to valorize and preserve the national diversity.


  • Research assistants: Ali Chehade

                                      Ahmad Elbitar

  • Laboratory technicians: Fatima Jebbawi
                                          Fatima Ibrahim
                                          Lamia Hassan Kassem

Contact person Eng. Ali Chehade Head of the Department.


On going projects


1- Contribution to the in vitro propagation of Lebanese ecotypes of olive (Olea europea sativa L.)
This study consist of a methodological development for the different stages of in vitro propagation of olives tree, in order to produce uniform plants from four ecotypes of the local variety commonly called “Baladi”.
Duration 2 years
Cooperation with Lebanese University, Faculty of Agronomy
2- Production of different certified Rootstocks of prunus by using in vitro culture techniques
The major problem of the establishment of stone fruit orchards is the phytosanitary problem including viral. These problems are due to the traditional methods of vegetative propagation by grafting and cuttings causing transmission of pathogens leading to considerable loss of performance.
In this purpose the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) established this project for Production and delivery of certified Prunus rootstock by using in vitro techniques.
Duration on going
Cooperation with The International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Studies (CIHEAM), Mediterranean Agronomic Institute- BARI (IAM- BARI)
Lebanese Nursery Association
3- Production of potato seeds virus free by in vitro culture techniques
In the aim of studying the feasibility of local production of seed potato through collaboration between the public and the private sector, LARI and GAB undertake to cooperate for the local production of seed potato, variety Spunta, category G0.
Duration 3 years
Cooperation with Groupement des Agriculteurs de la Békaa (GAB)
4- Contribution to the in vitro propagation of Kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa)
The in vitro culture ensures the production of High quality material of Kiwi plants so-called certified because it is virus and diseases free. In this issue Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute started this project to establish a Kiwi plants production protocol by using tissue culture techniques.
Duration 2 years
Cooperation with Université Saint Joseph, Ecole Supérieure d’Ingénieurs d’Agronomie Méditerranéenne (ESIAM)
5- Morphological characterization of Lebanese olive cultivars (Olea europea sativa L.)
The main objective of this project consists to characterize the morphological, phenological, bioagronomic traits oh the main Lebanese olive cultivars (Olea europea sativa L.)
Duration 3 years
Cooperation with The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Studies (CIHEAM), Mediterranean Agronomic Institute- BARI (IAM- BARI)
6- Structuration et dynamique de la diversité génétique de l’amandier Prunus communis au Liban : facteurs biologiques et anthropiques.
Characterization of genetic structure diversity of Prunus communis in Lebanon for spontaneous accessions and therefore cultivated form in order to study inter and intra diversity between varieties.
To understand the interactions between biologics and anthropogenic factors which act on the dynamic of this diversity. 
 Modalities suggestion of genetics resources management for almond trees in Lebanon, as pilot approach for the management of others fruit trees.      
Duration 3 years
Cooperation with Lebanese University-Faculty of Agronomy, University of Montpellier (France)
7- Morphological and molecular characterization of table grapes accessions (Vitis vinifera L.) cultivated in Lebanon
The main objective of this work is to collect local accessions of three varieties of table grapes  Tfeifihi, Beitamouni and Oubeidi, in the main producing areas in Lebanon and to characterize them by using morphological descriptors and DNA markers
Duration 4 years
Cooperation with Lebanese University, Faculty of Agronomy


1- Production of mother plants (F1 virus free) of strawberry by using meristem culture and then in vitro propagation. 

2- Micropropagation of different fruit species like banana, Kiwi, Lilium, in the objective to adjuste the different phases: cultures initiation, multiplication, rooting and acclimatization

3- Purifying of local almond infected by Candidatus phytoplasma phoenicium by tissue culture techniques.

4- Sanitation of potato infected by PVYNTN byusing tissue culture techniques

5- Sanitation of Prunus infected by viruses in order to adjuste the different phases: thermotherapy / meristem culture, sanitary control of the regenerated clones.

6- Development of the culture of caper in Lebanon as a promising crop for the semi-arid regions in order to characterize the distribution of the spontaneous caper in Lebanon, identifiying the Lebanese species and in vitro propagation.

7- Morphological and molecular characterization of different Prunus cultivated in Lebanon (Peach, Cherry and apricot) in order to evaluate the genetic diversity.

8- Characterization of the diversity of figs cultivated in establish a morphological characterization of the varieties and to study the genetic diversity by using molecular markers (microsatellites).



Recent Publications

Kadri A, Chalak L, El Bitar A, Nicola N, Mroué S, Grenier G. In vitro plant regeneration system for two Middle East cultivars of chikpea Cicer arietinum L. Indian Journal of Biotechnology (under press).
Chalak L, Elbeaino T, Elbitar A, Chehade A, Fattal T, Choueri E (2009). Attempts to virus-free production of Lebanese fig varieties by tissue culture. Fourth Iternational Symposium on Fig, p 51.
Chalak L, Achtak H,  Chehade A, Elbitar A, Santoni S and Khadari B (2009). Genetic structure of spontaneous and cultivated fig in Lebanon indicating a local selection. Fourth Iternational Symposium on Fig, p 34.
Chalak L., Chehade A., Mattar E and Khadari B., 2008. Morphological characterization of fig accessions cultivated in Lebanon. Acta hort. 798, ISHS 2008.
Chalak L, Perin A, Elbitar A, Chehade A (2007). Phenotypic diversity and morphological characterization of Capparis spinosa L. in Lebanon. Biologia Tunisie (4 bis) 28-32.
Chalak L, Elbitar A, Chehade T, El Zammar S, Jreijiri F, Choueiri E (2007). Assainissement de variétés de Prunus infectées par Prunus necrotic ringspot virus. Lebanese Science Journal 8 (2): 175-180.
Chalak L, and Elbitar A (2006) Micropropagation of Capparis spinosa L. subsp. rupestris Sibth. & Sm. By nodal cuttings. Indian Journal of Biotechnology (5) 555-558
Chalak L, Chehade A, Elbitar A, Cosson P, Zanetto A, Laigret F, Dirlewanger E (2006) Morphological and molecular characterization of peach accessions (Prunus persica L) cultivated in Lebanon. Lebanese Science Journal 7 (2): 23-31.
Chalak L., Chehade A., Kadri A., Cosson P., Zanetto A., Dirlewanger E. And Laigret F., 2006. Preliminary characterization of cultivated almonds (Prunus dulcis L.) in Lebanon by morphological traits and microsatellite markers. Biologia Tunisie, N0 4: 5-11.
Chalak L. Chehade A. and Kadri A., 2006. Morphological characterization of cultivated almonds in Lebanon. Fruits, Vol. 62 (3): 177-186.
Chehade A, Chalak L, Elbitar A, Cosson P, Zanetto A, Dirlewanger E (2005) Caractérisation morphologique et moléculaire de clones de cerisier cultivés au Liban. Lebanese Science Journal 6 (1): 29-40.
Tannouri M, Elbitar A, Chehade A, Chalak L (2005) Propagation in vitro de deux variétés hybrides de Lilium asiatique. Lebanese Science Journal 6 (1): 41-47.
Chalak L, Elbitar A, Rizk R, Choueiri E, Salar P, Bové JM (2005) Attempts to eliminate Candidatus phytoplasma phoenicium from infected Lebanese almond varieties by tissue culture techniques combined or not with thermotherapy. European Journal of Plant Pathology 112: 85-89.
Chalak L, Elbitar A, Masaad W & Choueiri E. (2004) Assainissement de la pomme de terre infecté par le virus PVYNTN par culture de méristèmes. Lebanese Science Journal, vol 5, nº1, 37-43.

Chalak L & Elbitar A, Chehade A, & Chamoun W.. (2003) Potentiel d’enracinement in vivo et in vitro de variétés libanaises d’amandier (Prunus dulcis Miller). Lebanese Science Journal, vol 4, nº2, 21-29.

Chalak L, Elbitar A, Cordahi N, Hage C & Chehade A. (2003)  In vitro propagation of Capparis spinosa L. Acta Hort 616, 335 – 338.
Chehade A, Elbitar A, Chalak L (2001) Caractérisation morphologique de la diversité du genre Prunus dans la plaine de la Békaa. Magon 1: 4-17.
Chéhadé A. & Chalak L, 1999. Update on Characterization of Prunus Germplasm in Bekaa Valley. CWANA Newsletter, Issue number 19, P: 5

Chat J, Chalak L, Petit RJ (1999) Strict paternal inheritance of chloroplast DNA and maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in intraspecific crosses of kiwifruit. Theor Appl Genet 99 : 314-322

Major Constraints/Needs

Supporting the establishment of a specific infrastructure for the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory in order to develop the fruit cultures in Lebanon: production of certified plants, characterization of the Lebanese Patrimony of fruit species.


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