Chedly Abdelly

Prof. Chedly Abdelly

National Agency for scientific Research


Prof. Chedly Abdelly is Head of the Laboratory of Extremophile Plants (LPE) in the Centre of Biotechnology of Borj-Cedria (CBBC), General Director of CBBC from March 2011 to October 2017 and General Director of National Agency for scientific Research Promotion (ANPR) since November 2017. Prof. Abdelly obtained his Thesis of Doctorate of State in Natural Es-Sciences (specialty: plant ecophysiology) at the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis in 1997. His research activities include the characterization and valorization of halophytes and xerohalophytes (as sources of fodder, feed, and bioactive substances), and the investigation of plant responses to abiotic constraints such as drought nutrient deficiencies (especially iron and phosphorus) and heavy metal contaminations (Phytoremediation). Prof. Abdelly has published more than 400 articles in peer-reviewed journals, written 25 book chapters, edited a book on Biosaline Agriculture and High Salinity Tolerance, and holds 3 patents (H index: 52, citation number: 11092). He has directly supervised 35 Masters Students and 60 PhD students. Prof. Abdelly has also been involved in 11 international collaboration projects, several national projects, and 06 agreements with economic partners. Holder of the National Prize for Research in Biotechnology, July 2016.



Halophytes species: promising candidate for soil desalination and

Halophytes species are plants (grasses, succulents, herbs and trees) which live and complete their life cycle in saline conditions (when salinity is grater to or equal to 200 mM NaCl, 12g.l -1 ). Beside their potential as promising cash crop species, halophytes might be also considered as precious candidates for several environmental applications. Halophytes are promising candidates for soil desalination. For example, some studies showed that Atriplex nummularia can achieve a biomass yield of 20–30 t ha -1 year-1 and have been shown to accumulate up to 40% NaCl in their dry matter. Investigations carried out by our team confirmed the contribution of shoot Na + accumulation to soil desalination. They showed also that among the three studied species, Sesuvium portulacastrum L. seems to be the most convenient to be used for this purpose in arid and semiarid regions where precipitation is too low to leach salts from rhizosphere. The phytodesalination capacity of S. portulacastrum seems to be of high importance for a successful glycophyte culture (barley). On the other hand, the saline depressions, colonized by halophyte species, often constitute sites of accumulation of industrial effluents contaminated by heavy metals. Indeed, preliminary studies achieved in various regions of Tunisia showed that these zones are contaminated by cadmium, nickel and lead. Some local halophyte species accumulate large amounts of heavy metals (Cd , Nickel,…) in their tissues, suggesting the possibility of their use to clean the contaminated saline soils. The impact of these environmental applications of halophytes and the optimization of their phytodessalement and phytoextraction abilities will be analyzed in the present lecture