Arsheed H. Sheikh

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow



Research Interests

We are 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. m6A is 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. 
We use Arabidopsis as a model plant where we exploit a mutant lacking m6A RNA modification.

Selected Publications

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


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

Professional Profile

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

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Member of 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 

KAUST Affiliations

Prof. Heribert Hirt's Group

CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture

BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division

Research Interests Keywords

plant immunity epitranscriptome epigenetics plant signalling