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Seeds are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and carbon sources such as proteins, carbohydrates and oil. In fact, seeds represent a large portion of the human diet and animal livestock feed. The rapid growth of the world population and the continuing decline of fossil energy sources urge the search for green renewable resources to meet the increased demand of food, energy and chemical materials. In this project; using the genome sequence homology, we will overexpress candidate genes to increase seed size and oil content in Arabidopsis thaliana and its closely related oilseed crop Camelina sativa; an emerging crop for oil production. This goal can be achieved by overexpressing the Arabidopsis candidate genes and their homologues in other oilseed crops using modified seed specific promoters. Moreover; analyzing co-expression network of Arabidopsis seed development genes, new candidate genes will be selected and investigated by genetic, biochemical and phenotypic approaches.
My research is focused on seed development, more precisely the deposition of seed storage reserve (Proteins, Oil and carbohydrates) during late seed development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the new emerging oilseed crop Camelina sativa. Understanding the different mechanisms that control the accumulation of these reserves is of great importance, for that It will allow us to create new oilseed crops with higher storage reserves to address the increased demand of food and chemical materials. I completed my PhD in 2012 at the Institute of Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology of Plants-University of Bonn - Germany. After my PhD I moved to the USA as Postdoctoral Researcher, first at Montana State University for 9 months followed by one year and 9 months at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. My AgreenSkills fellowship ended in December 2016. Since January 2017 I joined the research group of Prof. Jean-Denis Faure at the same Institute and I am currently working in a new project to enhance Camelina sativa seed oil content and fatty acids composition using natural genetic variation and metabolic engineering methods. This project is in collaboration with academic and private partners.
Celine Boulard, Abdelhak Fatihi, Loïc Lepiniec and Bertrand Dubreucq., 2017. Regulation and evolution of the interaction of the seed B3 transcription factors with NF-Y subunits. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)- 1860, 10, 1069-1078. Doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2017.08.008 2017.
Daniela Strenkert, Clariss Ann Limso, Abdelhak Fatihi, et al., 2016. Genetically programmed changes in photosynthetic cofactor metabolism in copper deficient Chlamydomonas. J Biol Chem, 291, 36, 19118-19131. Doi: 10.1074/jbc. M116.717413.
Abdelhak Fatihi, Céline Boulard, Daniel Bouyer, Sébastien Baud, Bertrand Dubreucq and Loïc Lepiniec., 2016. Deciphering and modifying LAFL transcriptional regulatory network in seed for improving yield and quality of storage compounds. Plant Science, 250, 198-204. Doi: 10.1016/j. plantsci.2016.06.013.
Abdelhak Fatihi, Scott Latimer, et al., 2015. A Dedicated Type II NADPH Dehydrogenase Performs the Penultimate Step in the Biosynthesis of Vitamin K1 in Synechocystis and Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 27, 6, 1730-1741. Doi: 10.1105/ tpc.15.00103.
Abdelhak Fatihi, Anna Maria Zbierzak and Peter Dörmann., 2013. Alteration in seed development gene expression affects oil content and composition in Arabidopsis Seeds. Plant Physiology, 163, 2, 973-985. Doi: 10.1104/pp.113.226761.