Michael Abrouk

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow



Research Interests

My research interest is focused on cereal genomics and evolution. Using different approaches such as comparative analysis and NGS technologies, I mainly investigated the structural changes which occurred during the evolution of these complex plant genomes. I am also involved in the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) in order to produce and characterize the first reference sequence of hexaploid wheat genome.
At KAUST, I will work on the ’10 Wheat Genomes Project’ aiming to produce ten high-quality genomes for the characterization of the diversity among different wheat cultivars and to establish a ‘pan-genome’. 

Selected Publications

  • Yates, S., Mikaberidze, A., Krattinger, S.G., Abrouk, M., Hund, A., Yu, K., Studer, B., Fouche, S., Meile, L. and Pereira, D. (2019) Precision phenotyping reveals novel loci for quantitative resistance to septoria tritici blotch. Plant Phenomics 2019, 3285904. 
  • International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (Subgenome comparative analyses group: Choulet, F., Spannagl, M., Lang, D., Abrouk, M., Haberer, G., Keeble-Gagnère, G., Mayer, K., Wicker T.) (2018) Shifting the limits in wheat research and breeding using a fully annotated reference genome. Science 361. 
  • Keeble-Gagnere, G., Rigault, P., Tibbits, J., Pasam, R., Hayden, M., Forrest, K., Frenkel, Z., Korol, A., Huang, B.E., Cavanagh, C., Taylor, J., Abrouk, M., Sharpe, A., Ru, Z. and Appels, R., et al. (2018) Optical and physical mapping with local finishing enables megabase-scale resolution of agronomically important regions in the wheat genome. Genome Biology 19, 112. 
  • Rey, E., Abrouk, M., Keeble-Gagnere, G., Karafiatova, M., Vrana, J., Balzergue, S., Endo, T.R., Bartos, J., Appels, R., and Dolezel, J., et al. (2018). Transcriptome reprogramming due to the introduction of a barley telosome into bread wheat affects more barley genes than wheat. Plant Biotechnol J. 
  • Abrouk, M., Balcárková, B., Dolezel, J., and Valarik, M. et al. (2016). The in silico identification and characterization of a bread wheat/Triticum militinae introgression line. Plant Biotechnol J. 
  • Abrouk, M. Zhang, R., Murat, F. Salse, J.,et al. (2012) Grass microRNA Gene Paleohistory Unveils New Insights into Gene Dosage Balance in Subgenome Partitioning after Whole Genome Duplication. Plant Cell, 24(5):1776-92. 
  • Abrouk, M. et al. (2010) Palaeogenomics of plants: synteny-based modelling of extinct ancestors. Trends Plant Sci, 15, 479-487. 
  • International Brachypodium Initiative (Salse J, Abrouk M, Murat F group referenced as the Comparative Genomics leader) (2010) Genome Sequencing and Analysis of the Model grass Brachypodium distachyon Nature, 463(7282):763-768. 
  • Argout, X., Salse, J., Aury, J.M., Guiltinan, M.J., Droc, G., Gouzy, J., Allegre, M., Chaparro, C., Legavre, T., Maximova, S.N., Abrouk, M., Lanaud, C. et al. (2010) The genome of Theobroma cacao. In Nature Genetics. 
  • Salse, J., Abrouk, M., Waugh, R., Close, T.J., Messing, J. and Feuillet, C. (2009) Reconstruction of monocotelydoneous proto-chromosomes reveals faster evolution in plants than in animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, 14908-14913. 


  • 2009 – 2012: Ph. D. in Bioinformatics and Plant Genomics. Blaise Pascal University (Clermont-Ferrand, France) 
  • 2006 – 2008: Master Degree in Bioinformatics. University of Montpellier II (Montpellier, France) 
  • 2005 – 2006: Bachelor of Biological Sciences. Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland) 
  • 2003 – 2005: Bioengineering in Agronomic Sciences. University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (Lyon, France) 

Professional Profile

  • 2017 - present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2013 - 2017: Postdoctoral fellow, Institute of Experimental Botany, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • 2008 - 2009: Engineer, INRA GDEC, Clermont-Ferrand, France 

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • 2015 - present: Coordinating Member of International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium. 

KAUST Affiliations

Prof. Simon Krattinger's Group

CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture

BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division

Research Interests Keywords

Bioinformatics Plant genetics Sequencing Comparative analysis Evolution