Zahir Ali

Post Doctoral Fellow

Research Group: Magdy Mahfouz

Research Interests

Currently optimizing CRISPR/Cas9 system as tool for genome editing and expression regulation in plants. Priming of the model plants to A-Biotic stress to understand the epigenetic basis of stress adaptation and to identify traits that can be domesticated for stress tolerance.

Selected Publications

  • Woe-Yeon Kim, Zahir Ali et al (equal contribution),Release of SOS2 kinase from sequestration with GIGANTEA determines salt tolerance in Arabidopsis.  Nature Communications 01/2013; 4:1352 

  • Lixin Li, Ahmed Atef, Agnieszka Piatek, Zahir Ali, Marek Piatek, Mustapha Aouida, Altan Sharakou, Ali Mahjoub, Guangchao Wang, Suhail Khan, Nina V Fedoroff, Jian-Kang Zhu, Magdy Mahfouz, Characterization and DNA-Binding Specificities of Ralstonia TAL-like Effectors. Molecular Plant 01/2013;DOI:10.1093/mp/sst006

  • Hyewon Hong, Wonkyun Choi, Woo Sik Chung, Woe-Yeon Kim, Ray A Bressan, Hans J Bohnert, Sang Yeol Lee, Dae-Jin Yun, TsHKT1;2, a HKT1 homolog from the extremophile Arabidopsis relative Thellungiella salsuginea, shows K(+) specificity in the presence of NaCl.Zahir Ali, Hyeong Cheol Park, Akhtar Ali, Dong-Ha Oh, Rashid Aman, Anna Kropornicka, Plant physiology 03/2012; 158(3):1463-74.

Education Profile

  • 2012     PhD.Gyeongsang National University, South Korea,MPhil. 2004,Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan
  • 2001     MSc., Islamia College, University of Peshawar,Pakistan
  • 1999      BSc., University of Peshawar, Pakistan

Professional Profile

  • 2013-Pesent     Postdoctoral fellow ,KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2011 – 2012     Visiting Research Scientist, KAU, Jeddah Saudi Arabia
  • 2003 – 2007      Lecturer Department of Biotechnology, University of Malakand, Pakistan

Scientific and Professional Memberships

Botanical Society of Pakistan


  • BK 21 and World Class University (WCU) fellowship for PhD. South Korea
  • Best Project Presenter (WCU). South Korea