Arsheed H. Sheikh

Research Scientists

Research Scientist



Research Interests

Arsheed H. Sheikh is interested in studying the role of m6A RNA modifications in regulating plant immunity and abiotic stress. The N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification is the most common internal RNA modification in plants, catalyzed by a multi-component methyltransferase (m6A writer) complex known as MTA complex in plants. m6A functions in key RNA metabolic processes by regulating gene expression, mRNA stability, translation efficiency, alternative splicing, and cytoplasmic mRNA turnover. 

His team uses Arabidopsis as a model plant, where they exploit a mutant lacking m6A RNA modification.

Selected Publications

  • Root endophyte induced plant thermotolerance by constitutive chromatin modification at heat stress memory gene loci, Shekhawat K, Saad M, Sheikh AH, Mariappan K, Al‐Mahmoudi H..Hirt H, EMBO Reports, 2021, 22 (3), e51049.
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinases activation post effector recognition in tomato, Sheikh AH, Ntoukakis V, Acta Horticultare, 2018, 1207, 99-104.
  • Arabidopsis WRKY50 and TGA transcription factors synergistically activate expression of PR1, Hussain RMF, Sheikh AH*, Imran H, Mussa Q, Huub LJM, Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 2018, 9:930.
  • The proteasome acts as a hub for local and systemic plant immunity in Arabidopsis thaliana and constitutes a virulence target of Pseudomonas syringae type-III effector proteins, Üstün S, Sheikh A, Gimenez-Ibanez S, Jones A, Ntoukakis V and Börnke F, Plant Physiology, 2016, 172(3): 1941–1958.
  • Regulation of WRKY46 transcription factor function by mitogen activated protein kinases in Arabidopsis thaliana, Sheikh AH, Eschen-Lippold L, Pecher P, Hohenwarter W, Sinha AK, Scheel D, Lee J, Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 2016, 7:61.
  • Detection of Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) Activation upon Exogenous Chemical Application in Arabidopsis Protoplasts, Sheikh AH, Sinha AK, BioProtocols, 2015, 5 (18):1-6.
  • Agroinfiltration by cytokinin-producing Agrobacterium sp. strain GV3101 primes the defense response in Nicotiana tabacum, Sheikh AH, Raghuram B, Eschen-Lippold L, Scheel D, Lee J, Sinha AK, Molecular Plant Microbe Interaction, 2014, 27 (11), 1175-1185.
  • MicroRNA biogenesis factor DRB1 is a phosphorylation target of mitogen activated protein kinase, MPK3 in both rice and Arabidopsis, Raghuram B, Sheikh AH, Rustagi Y, Sinha AK, FEBS Journal, 2015, 282:521-36.
  • Interaction between two rice mitogen activated protein kinases and its possible role in plant defense, Sheikh AH, Raghuram B, Jalmi SK, Wankhede DP, Singh P, Sinha AK., BMC Plant Biology, 2013, 13 (1), 1-11.


  • PhD, Plant Sciences, Thesis: Identification and Characterisation of Novel Interacting partners of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases in Oryza sativa, NIPGR (National Institute of Plant Genome Research), New Delhi, India. Affiliated to: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, 2014
  • MSc First Class (Gold Medalist), Biotechnology, The University of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir, India, 2009 

Professional Profile

  • 2018-present: Postdoctoral fellow at KAUST, Saudi Arabia 
  • 2014-2018: Post-Doctoral Fellow at School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
  • 2012-2014: DAAD Research Fellow at Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle, Germany

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (IS-MPMI), USA 


  • DST INSPIRE FACULTY award (2016), Govt of India (fellowship not availed)
  • DAAD Ph. D Sandwich Fellowship, Germany (2012-2014)
  • Gold Medalist at M.Sc. level
  • CSIR NET-JRF 2009 and 2010
  • DBT NET-JRF 2009
  • ICAR NET 2010
  • GATE 2009 

Research Interests Keywords

plant immunity epitranscriptome epigenetics plant signalling