Basem Attar

        Picture of Basem Attar

MRes student

Experienced in plant pathology with research focus on fungal pathogens. Interested in plant-pathogen interaction, experienced in plant breeding for disease resistance. Participated in releasing 8 varieties with improved disease tolerance. My expertise is well aligned with SAMS macroalgal breeding and disease management research.

Contact details:
  • +44 (0)1631 559 000
  • +44 (0)07950676033

  • Orcid

A molecular investigation of the diversity of oomycete pathogens infecting cultivable red algae

My project aims to develop novel tools to study red algae – oomycete interactions in Scottish waters and to assess susceptibility of red algae strains to a key pathogen in red algae farming.

Macroalgal farming is being hampered by the occurrence of diseases and pests. To develop efficient disease management techniques and to breed for disease resistant algae a good understanding of the algae – pathogen interaction is needed. In this thesis, I study the interaction of an oomycete Olpidiopsis sp. that infects red algae and has been documented as a concern for the cultivation of Pyropia (Nori) in Asia. Aim of the thesis is to 1) develop a novel molecular qPCR-based detection assay to quantify pathogen infection in red algae and 2) test susceptibility of European red algae strains to Olpidiopsis sp. and 3) correlating susceptibility to the genotype of the algal strains.

Moreover, my project aims to study the phylogeny of 21 Bangia strains available at SAMS and compare the phylogenetic position of our strains with available data for global Bangia strains around the world.


Dr Janina Brakel, SAMS UHI

Dr Claire Gachon, SAMS UHI

Dr David Green, SAMS UHI




University of the Highlands and Islands

Fieldwork experience

Experienced in designing and implementing different kinds of field trials such as disease resistance screening trials for Ascochyta blight diseases on legumes, Chocolate spot and Rust on Faba bean, integrated disease management and plant breeding for disease resistance traits.



2010-2020 - Senior Research Assistant - International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

2006-2010 - Livelihood officer - Ministry of Internal Trading and Consumer Protection

2005-2006 - Research Technician - International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA

Higher Education

2016 - MSc Biotechnology, Cukurova University

2005 - BSc Plant protection, Aleppo University

Peer Reviewed Publications


Atik, O., Yabrak, M.M., Nassif, A., Katneji, A., and Attar, B. 2014. Evaluating the reaction of promising chickpea genotypes against chickpea ascochyta blight disease in the field. Arab Journal of Plant Protection: 32:234-240.

Attar, B., Ahmed, S., Kayim, M., Chouieri, E., Ghannam, H and  Hamweih, A. 2020.  Role of sexual reproduction in the aggressiveness of Didymella rabiei affecting chickpea.2 Arab Journal for Plant Protection:

Abou kubaa, R., Saldarelli, P., Attar, B., Jreijiri, F., Choueiri, E. 2019. First report of Pittosporum cryptic virus-1 in Lebanon on Pittosporum tobira. Journal of plant pathology


Conference talks

Asaad, S., Yehyawi, A., Attar, B., Koudseih, S., and Noaeimy, M., 2006. Studying the effect of systemic seed coating fungicides at common bunt disease on wheat that caused by Tilletia caries and Tilletia foetidae (IX Arab congress of plant protection November 2006).

7th International Food Legume Research Conference 6-8 May 2018, Marrakesh-Morocco (participant).