AGYA Member

Ahmed Debez


Areas of Expertise for Media Inquiries:
Integrative Plant Biology, Climate Changes

About me

I am Assistant Professor at the Center of Biotechnology of the Technopark of Borj-Cedria, Tunisia. My field of research is agriculture and plant biotechnology with specialization in investigating the physiological adaptations of plants with respect to salinity and the development of crops with increased salt tolerance qualities. In my work I use a multidisciplinary strategy involving several ecophysiological, biochemical, and molecular approaches.

Starting more than ten years ago, in the framework of an INCO-DC project supported by the European Union, I established strong and fruitful scientific collaboration with German partners. More importantly, my research stays in Germany not only gave me the opportunity to meet and work with excellent researchers but also to learn that a successful research strategy must rely on a multidisciplinary approach which brings together competencies and techniques from different backgrounds – precisely what the AGYA offers.

Current projects


  • Member of the AGYA Working Group Energy, Water and Environment
  • "Regulation of proline metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana, Thellungiella salsuginea and Cakile maritima under osmotic constraint". In the framework of joint French-Tuniaian Academic cooperation convention (CMCU), this project (2013-2015) involves the Laboratoire des Plantes Extrêmophiles (LPE) from the Centre de Biotechnologie à la Technopole de Borj Cédria and l’Unité de Physiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire des Plantes (PCMP) from the University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC, Paris).
  • Contract programme of the Laboratoire des Plantes Extrêmophiles (LPE) from the Centre de Biotechnologie à la Technopole de Borj Cédria, supported by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technologies of Information and Communication.

Academic Career

2011 - Assistant Professor, Center of Biotechnology of the Technopark of Borj-Cedria; Tunis, Tunisia
2011 Contractual Engineer, Center of Biotechnology of the Technopark of Borj-Cedria; Tunis, Tunisia
2007 - 2009 Post-doctoral Fellow, Institute of Botany, Leibniz Universität Hannover; Germany
2005 PhD in Plant Biology, Laboratoire d’Adaptation des Plantes aux Stress Abiotiques, Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj-Cedria (CBBC); Hammam-Lif, Tunisia
2003 Contractual Assistant, National Institute of Scientific and Technical Research (INRST); Hammam-Lif, Tunisia
2001 - 2003 Fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as a PhD student
2000 Contractual researcher-student, INRST; Hammam-Lif, Tunisia
1999 Master in Plant Physiology, Faculty of Sciences of Tunis; Tunisia

Selected Publications


  • Houmani, H., Debez, A., Slatni, T., Yousfi, S., Jellali, N., M’sehli, W., Abdelly, C. & Gharsalli, M. (2015). Insights into physiological responses of the halophyte Suaeda fruticosa to simultaneous salinity and iron deficiency, CLEAN - Soil, Air, Water, 43, 382-390.
  • Ben Rejeb, K., Benzarti, M., Debez, A., Bailly, C., Savouré, A. & Abdelly, C. (2015). NADPH oxidase-dependent H2O2 production is required for salt-induced antioxidant defense in Arabidopsis thaliana, Journal of Plant Physiology, 174, 5-15.
  • Benzarti, M., Ben Rejeb, K., Abdelly, C. & Debez, A. (2015). Involvement of Nitrogen in high salt-tolerance of Atriplex portulacoides is supported by split-root experiment data and exogenous application of N-rich compounds, Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 178, 312-319.

see a full list of publications>


University of Tunis El Manar Laboratoire des Plantes Extremophiles (LPE) Centre de Biotechnologie de Borj Cedria (CBBC)

BP 901 Hammam-Lif, 2050 Tunisia

+216 982 767 58

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