Muhammad Jamil

Research Scientists

Research Scientist



Research Interests

Muhammad Jamil's broad research interests include plant development and physiology, plant hormones and growth regulators, parasitic weeds and cereal production. His research areas include the development and characterization of new carotenoid-derived signaling molecules and biostimulants that can be used to enhance crop performance worldwide. Moreover, his research focuses in developing technologies to combat the spread of parasitic weeds particularly Striga hermonthica (or witchweed) that infests cereals in African agriculture. Several hormone-based novel chemistries have been developed which have appeared extremely effective against this parasite as 'suicidal agents. 

Selected Publications

  • The path from beta-carotene to carlactone, a strigolactone-like plant hormone, Alder, A., Jamil, M., Marzorati, M., Bruno, M., Vermathen, M., Bigler, P., Ghisla, S., Bouwmeester, H., Beyer, P., and Al-Babili, S., Science, 2012, 335, 1348-1351.
  • Structural basis for specific inhibition of the highly sensitive ShHTL7 receptor, Hameed, U.S., Haider, I., Jamil, M., Kountche, B.A., Guo, X.R., Zarban, R.A., Kim, D., Al-Babili, S., and Arold, S.T., Embo Reports, 2018, 19.
  • Methyl phenlactonoates are efficient strigolactone analogs with simple structure, Jamil, M., Kountche, B.A., Haider, I., Guo, X., Ntui, V.O., Jia, K.-P., Ali, S., Hameed, U.S., Nakamura, H., Lyu, Y., Jiang, K., Hirabayashi, K., Tanokura, M., Arold, S.T., Asami, T., and Al-Babili, S., Journal of Experimental Botany, 2018, 69, 62319-62331.
  • Methylation at the C-3′ in D-Ring of Strigolactone Analogs Reduces Biological Activity in Root Parasitic Plants and Rice, Jamil, M., Kountche, B.A., Haider, I., Wang, J.Y., Aldossary, F., Zarban, R.A., Jia, K.-P., Yonli, D., Hameed, U.F.S., and Takahashi, I., Frontiers in Plant Science, 2019, 10, 1-14.
  • Suicidal germination as a control strategy for Striga hermonthica (Benth.) in smallholder farms of sub‐Saharan Africa, Kountche, B.A., Jamil, M., Yonli, D., Nikiema, M.P., Blanco‐Ania, D., Asami, T., Zwanenburg, B., and Al‐Babili, S., Plants, People, Planet, 2019, 1, 107-118.
  • The apocarotenoid metabolite zaxinone regulates growth and strigolactone biosynthesis in rice, Wang, J.Y., Haider, I., Jamil, M., Fiorilli, V., Saito, Y., Mi, J., Baz, L., Kountche, B.A., Jia, K.-P., and Guo, X., Nature Communications, 2019, 10, 810-819.


  • PhD, Plant physiology, Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands, 2012
  • PhD, Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, 2006
  • MSc, Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, 1999
  • BSc (Honors), Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, 1997

Professional Profile

  • 2020-present: Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2015-2019: Postdoctoral Fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2015: Post-Doc, SILS, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2012-2014: Assistant Professor, COMSATS, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • 2012-2012: Senior Scientific Officer, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council
  • 2001-2007: Scientific Officer, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council 

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • International Parasitic Plant Society (IPPS)
  • Pakistan Allelopathy Society (PAS)
  • Pakistan Society of Agronomy (PSA)
  • Weed Science Society of Pakistan (WSSP) 


  • National Award “Sanad -e- Imtiaz”
  • National Award “Silver Medalist”
  • National Award “Quaid -e- Azam Scholarship”
  • PhD Scholarship “Higher Education Commission, Pakistan”
  • President Rover Scouts Award
  • Merit Scholarship winner (throughout Primary school to University level) 

Research Interests Keywords

plant physiology agronomy weed biology and ecology plant signalling and parasite-interactions