Aparna Balakrishna

Research Staff

Research Specialist



Research Interests

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

  • Mi J., Jia K. P., Balakrishna A., and Al-Babili S. (2020). A Method for Extraction and LC-MS-Based Identification of Carotenoid-Derived Dialdehydes in Plants. Plant and Food Carotenoids: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2083:177-188 · 
  • Mi J., Jia K. P., Balakrishna A., Feng.Q., and Al-Babili S. (2019). A Highly Sensitive SPE Derivatization-UHPLC-MS Approach for Quantitative Profiling of Carotenoid-Derived Dialdehydes from Vegetables. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 67 (20), 5899-5907.
  • 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. (2018), Zaxinone, a Natural Apocarotenoid, Regulates Growth and Strigolactone Biosynthesis in Rice. Nature Communications 10 (1), 1-9.
  • Mi J., Jia K. P., Balakrishna A., Wang J.Y. and Al-Babili S. (2018). A new LC-MS method for determination of glycosylated apocarotenoids revealing apocarotenoids glycosylation induced by high light stress in Arabidopsis. Analyst 144 (4), 1197-1204.
  • 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. (2018), 3-Hydroxycarlactone, a Novel Product of the Strigolactone Biosynthesis Core Pathway. Molecular Plant 11 (10), 1312-1314
  • 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. (2017), Strigolactone biosynthesis is evolutionarily conserved, regulated by phosphate starvation and contributes to resistance against phytopathogenic fungi in a moss, Physcomitrella patens. New Phytol. 216 (2), 455-468.


  • 2007-2011: Ph.D. in Biotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. 

Professional Profile

  • 2011-2014: Project Fellow, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India.
  • 2014- 2019 : Postdoc Consultant, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2020- till date: Research Specialist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. 

KAUST Affiliations

Prof. Salim Al-Babili's Group

CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture

BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division

Research Interests Keywords

Carotenoids Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenase Apocarotenoids CCD Gene expression Enzymatic activity