Aparna Balakrishna

Research Staff

Research Specialist



Research Interests

Aparna Balakrishna is interested in studies on expression of Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenase (CCD) genes in E.coli cells and invitro and invivo characterization of the activities of CCDs using HPLC.

Selected Publications

  • A Method for Extraction and LC-MS-Based Identification of Carotenoid-Derived Dialdehydes in Plants, Mi J., Jia K. P., Balakrishna A., and Al-Babili S., Plant and Food Carotenoids: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2020, 2083:177-188.
  • A Highly Sensitive SPE Derivatization-UHPLC-MS Approach for Quantitative Profiling of Carotenoid-Derived Dialdehydes from Vegetables, Mi J., Jia K. P., Balakrishna A., Feng.Q., and Al-Babili S., Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 2019, 67 (20), 5899-5907.
  • Zaxinone, a Natural Apocarotenoid, Regulates Growth and Strigolactone Biosynthesis in Rice, Wang J. Y., Haider I., Jamil M., Fiorilli V., Mi J., Baz L., Saito Y., Kountche B. A., Jia K. P., Guo X., Balakrishna A., Ntui V. O., Reinke B., Volpe V., Gojobori T., Blilou I., Lanfranco L., Bonfante P., Al-Babili S., Nature Communications, 2018, 10 (1), 1-9.
  • A new LC-MS method for determination of glycosylated apocarotenoids revealing apocarotenoids glycosylation induced by high light stress in Arabidopsis, Mi J., Jia K. P., Balakrishna A., Wang J.Y. and Al-Babili S., Analyst, 2018, 144 (4), 1197-1204.
  • 3-Hydroxycarlactone, a Novel Product of the Strigolactone Biosynthesis Core Pathway, Baz L., Mori N., Mi J., Jamil M., Kountche B. A., Guo X., Balakrishna, A., Jia K. P, Vermathen M., Akiyama, K. and Al-Babili S., Molecular Plant, 2018, 11 (10), 1312-1314.
  • Strigolactone biosynthesis is evolutionarily conserved, regulated by phosphate starvation and contributes to resistance against phytopathogenic fungi in a moss, Physcomitrella patens, Decker E. L., Alder A., Hunn S., Ferguson J., Lehtonen M. T., Scheler B., Kerres K. L., Wiedemann G., Safavi-Rizi V., Nordzieke S., Balakrishna A., Baz L., Avalos J., Valkonen J. P., Reski R. and Al-Babili S.,  New Phytol., 2017, 216 (2), 455-468.


  • PhD, Biotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India, 2011

Professional Profile

  • 2020-present: Research Specialist, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2019: Postdoctoral Consultant, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2011-2014: Project Fellow, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India

Research Interests Keywords

carotenoids carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase apocarotenoids ccd gene expression enzymatic activity