Muhammad Jamil

Research Scientists

Research Scientist


B2/L3 - 3255-WS14

Research Interests

​Carotenoids are ubiquitous lipophilic isoprenoid pigments present in green, photosynthetic plants as well as in some non-photosynthetic micro-organisms. In photosynthetic organisms, carotenoids play a vital role in protecting cells from photo-oxidative damage, as light harvesting pigments, and in stabilizing membranes. In addition to the vital role in photo-protection, carotenoids are also precursors of important plant hormones such as abscisic acid and strigolactones. My work in KAUST is to find new carotenoids-derived signaling molecules that can be used to enhanced crop performance.

Selected Publications

  • ​Differential activity of Striga hermonthica seed germination stimulants and Gigaspora rosea hyphal branching factors in rice and their contribution to underground communication. C. Catarina, T. Charnikhova, M. Jamil, P.M. Delaux, F. Verstappen, M. Amini, , D. Lauressergues, C. Ruyter-Spira, H. Bouwmeester, PLOS ONE 9, 104201, (2014)
  • Natural variation in strigolactone biosynthesis in rice is associated with structural variation and deletion of two MAX1 orthologs. C. Catarina, Y. Zhang , M. Jamil, J. Hepworth, T. Charnikhova, O. Leyser, S. Dimkpa, C. Reiff, A. Price, H. Bouwmeester, C. Ruyter-Spira, PNAS 111, 2379-2384, (2014)
  • A strigolactone signaling component of Striga hermonthica: ShMAX2 restores branching but not the Very Low Fluence Response in the Arabidopsis thaliana max2 mutant Q. Liu, Y. Zhang, R. Matusova, T. Charnikhova, M. Jamil, H. Bouwmeester, New Phytologist  202, 531-541, (2014)
  • Effect of di-ammonium phosphate application on strigolactones production and Striga hermonthica infection in three sorghum cultivars. M. Jamil, T.A. Van Mourik, T. Charnikhova, H. Bouwmeester, Weed Research 53, 121-130, (2013)
  • The path from β-carotene to carlactone, a strigolactone-like plant hormone. A. Alder, M. Jamil, M. Marzorati, M. Vermathen, P. Bigler, S. Ghisla, H. Bouwmeester, S. Al-Babili, Science 335, 1348-1351, (2012)​


  • ​2012: PhD  Plant physiology, lab. of Plant Physiology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands
  • 2006: PhD  Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • 1999 M.Sc. Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • 1997 B.Sc. (Hons.) Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Professional Profile

  • 2015-present: 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)
  • European Weed Research  Society (EWRS)
  • European Plant Science Organization (EPSO)
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • ​Weed Science Society of Pakistan (WSSP)


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