Abdugaffor Ablazov

PhD Students

PhD Student



Research Interests

Carotenoids are precursors of many bioactive signals in plant, as well as other organisms. Carotenoid-derived plant hormones, strigolactones (SLs) and abscisic acid, are important signal molecules in regulating plant growth and development. Recently, our group identified zaxinone as a novel carotenoid derived bioactive metabolite that is required for normal rice development and which acts by negatively regulating SL biosynthesis. Rice Zaxinone Synthase (ZAS), a member of an overlooked plant Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenase (CCD) subfamily, is required for zaxinone production both in vitro and in planta. The rice genome encodes three ZAS homologs, ZAS2, ZAS3 and ZAS4, whose biological and enzymatic functions are unknown.

Selected Publications

  • The Apocarotenoid Zaxinone Is a Positive Regulator of Strigolactone and Abscisic Acid Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis Roots, Ablazov A, Mi J, Jamil M, Jia KP, Wang JY, Feng Q, Al-Babili S., Frontiers in Plant Science, 2020.
  • Genome-wide identification of the mildew resistance locus O (MLO) gene family in novel cereal model species Brachypodium distachyon, Ablazov A & Tombuloglu H., European Journal of Plant Pathology, 2016.


  • MSc, Genetics and Bioengineering, IBU, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2015 

Professional Profile

  • 2017-present: PhD Student, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2016-2017: Research Intern, Plant Genomics Center, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
  • 2014-2016: Researcher, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey 
  • 2013-2014: Research Assistant, IBU, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 2012: Research internship, Life science, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK 


  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Wheat HUB scholarship
  • Turkish research council (TÜBİTAK) scholarship
  • Erasmus Program scholarship (European Union) 

Research Interests Keywords

plant molecular biology reverse genetics CRISPR/Cas apocarotenoids zaxionone