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The H2020 SCALA-MEDI Project Kick-off meeting was held on September 7th

@H2020 PRIMA SCALA-MEDI
The kick-off of the H2020 SCALA-MEDI project included 17 European partners for the launching of this project whose objective is the improvement of the sustainability and the quality of ovine and poultry production via the development of the adaptation potential of local breeds in the MEDIterranean area.

The SCALA-MEDI project is aimed at characterizing the genetic and phenotypic diversity of local Mediterranean sheep and poultry breeds and to study their capacity to adapt to difficult environments and management systems.

The project will use the data produced as part of other EU projects and will generate new molecular and phenotypic data, for traditionnal production traits as with remote phenotyping of traits associated with adaptation, by also exploring the epigenomic status of the animals raised under different environmental conditions.

Data and samples will be collected from 17 local sheep breeds and 15 village chicken populations coming from different bioclimatic environments in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The local resources will be characterized in terms of breeding, diversity, distinctive traits and adaptative traits, with the help from local expertise and that available in Italy and France. The genomic data will be analyzed to indentify the markers associated with adaptation traits allowing the authentification of products; they will be used to create tools to help decision-making in order to improve conservation and selection programs and management strategies for Mediterranean animal production systems in order to face future scenarios of climate change. Diversity management tools, selection and crossbreeding strategies will be tested to improve sustainable production and to use adaptation, therefore increasing the added-value of local populations. This will allow promoting their use and preserving local genetic resources by on-farm conservation. The selection tools will be tested in nursery herds and selection centers, as part of a comprehensive dissemination plan and knowledge transfer aimed at guaranteeing the application of the project results.

The added-value of local populations selected will favor the use of the results after the end of the project. SCALA-MEDI will use the data collected on genetic diversity to optimize cryoconservation strategies in order to guarantee a safeguard of the biodiversity in case of need. The existing local biobanks in North Africa will receive training on the latest techniques and will be reinforced by the creation of links with the biobanks operating in the Mediterranean basin.

 SCALA-MEDI has an international interdisciplinary team including experts in breeding, animal selection, animal physiology, veterinarian sciences, conservation biology, population genetics, molecular genetics, reproduction biotechnology, statistics and in socio-economics along with a super computing center, breeder associations and small and medium enterprises that guarantee the realization of the objectives.

Contact :