|Dr Suhail Rafudeen
Plant Stress Laboratory
E-mail:email@example.com | Telephone: +27 21 650 3263 | Facsimile: +27 21 689 7573
The main research focus of our group is to understand the abiotic stress responses in Xerophyta viscosa, Eragrostis species and maize.
Resurrection plants are unique angiosperms, capable of surviving extreme desiccation and South Africa has been blessed with a number of different genera and species. The monocotyledonous X. viscosa can be dehydrated down to 5% relative water content and upon watering the desiccated plant rehydrates within 4 days. Eragrostis nindensis is one of eleven resurrection grasses widely distributed in Namibia and other arid areas of South Africa. It is a perennial grass that can also survive severe water loss for an extended period of time.
In contrast, Eragrostis tef is a desiccation sensitive domestic grass indigenous to Ethiopia and Eritrea that belongs to the same subfamily as E. nindensis, Eragrostideae. It is a highly nutritious cereal and is used for human nutrition and fodder. Maize is the staple and most important food cereal in Africa and crop loss due to severe drought can lead to famine.
The resurrection plants are extremophiles that are ideal model systems to study abiotic stress tolerance and could serve as a source of genes or direct strategies for the development of transgenic crops (maize and E. tef in particular) capable of withstanding drought stress.
We use a multi-disciplinary approach combining transcriptomics and proteomics together with molecular biological methods to characterise genes or proteins involved in plant stress response. This characterisation can help elucidate specific genes/proteins and signalling pathways which give resurrection plants their unique ability to survive extreme environmental conditions.
X.viscosa subcellular proteomics
Our current focus is on subcellular or tissue proteomics where we intend to characterise the proteome of specific organelles or tissues of X. viscosa in response to desiccation. We are in the process of characterising the nuclear proteome in response to desiccation.
Osmotic stress tolerance in Maize
E. tef and E. nindensis proteomics
Characterisation of XvVTC2, a gene involved in Ascorbate (Vitamin C) biosynthesis
Kamal Omer Abdalla, Jennifer Ann Thomson, Muhammad Suhail Rafudeen*. 2009. Protocols for nuclei isolation and nuclear protein extraction from the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa for proteomic studies. Analytical Biochemistry 384: 365–367. (*corresponding author)
Revel Iyer, Sagadevan Mundree, Mohamed Suhail Rafudeen*, Jennifer Ann Thomson. 2007. “XvSap1, A Desiccation Tolerance Gene with Potential in Crop Improvement” Section 3, Chap 10: 283 – 296. Plant Desiccation Tolerance. Ed M.A Jenks and A.J Wood. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
Ndimba B., Rafudeen S., Gehring C., Meyer Z., Simon W., Chivasa S., and Slabas A. 2005. Proteomic identification of an hsp70.1 protein induced in Arabidopsis cells following hyperosmotic stress treatments. S. African J. Science. 101 ( 9/10): 449-453.
Rafudeen, M.S. , Gxaba, N. , Makgoke, G.D. , Bradley, G. , Pironcheva, G. , Raitt, L.M. , Irving, H.R. and Gehring, C.A. 2003. A role for plant natriuretic peptide immuno-analogues in NaCl and drought stress responses. Physiolgia Plantarum. 119: 1-9.
London, L., Ehrlich R., Rafudeen S., Krige F. and Vurgarellis P. 1994. Notification of pesticide poisoning in the Western Cape 1987-1991. SA Med. J. 84: 269-272
Reid, S.J, M.S. Rafudeen and N.G. Leat. 1999. The genes controlling sucrose utilization in Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 constitute an operon. Microbiology. 145:1461-1472
Conferences and Workshops
Gordon Conference: Salt & Water Stress In Plants, 13 June – 18 June 2010, Les Diablerets Conference Center in Les Diablerets, Switzerland.
Proteomics workshop: Presented MCB proteomic projects in July 2009 held at the University of the Witwatesrand.
5th International Workshop on Desiccation Sensitivity and Tolerance in Seeds and Vegetative Plant Tissues, 14-21 January 2007, Drakensberg, South Africa.
Protein Crystallography Workshop, 26-30 July 2004. University of the Western Cape. South African Structural Biology Initiative.
Rafudeen, M.S. and Reid, S.J. 1998. Catabolite repression of the sucrose gene in Clostridium beijerinckii by regB. S.A Society of Microbiology. 10 th Biennial Congress. Durban. July 1998, p 125
Dr Rafudeen also serves as a collaborator and co-supervisor on a number of projects within and outside the department
- Assoc Prof Abratt: Proteomics study on metronidazole resistance/sensitivity in Bacteroides fragilis
Co-supervised with assoc Prof Abratt:
Co-supervised with Prof Coyne:
Co-supervised with Prof Rybicki:
Co-supervised with Dr Sayed at UWC: