Dr Zaigham Shahzad joined the Department of Biology at SSE in April 2022 as an Associate Professor. He is interested in employing quantitative approaches to study how variations in plant genomes and epigenomes mediate phenotypic evolution in populations. His research works have been published in leading journals namely Cell, Nature Communications, New Phytologist, and PLoS Genetics. He earned his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology of Plants from Montpellier SupAgro, France in 2010. There, he employed comparative genomic approaches to study the molecular basis of the evolution of metal hypertolerance in Arabidopsis halleri. His postdoctoral research focuses on studying mechanisms that shape phenotypic diversity within plant species. He has developed high-throughput phenotyping tools and quantitative genetic approaches to do this. Combining phenomics with quantitative genetics, he identified numerous genes and their sequence variants regulating plant physiological and developmental adaptation to stressed environments. For the discovery of a novel signalling pathway to sense the availability of oxygen in plants, he was awarded The Great Advances in French Biology Prize by the French Academy of Sciences in 2017. Despite great success in mapping functional genetic variants, he recognized that DNA sequence polymorphisms explain only a fraction of phenotypic variation in populations. He is now developing epigenome-wide association analyses to study whether epigenetic information inherited independently of DNA sequence influences phenotypic evolution.

Title Publication Author Year
PDR9 allelic variation and MYB63 modulate nutrient-dependent coumarin homeostasis in Arabidopsis Plant Journal DeLoose M., Cho H., Bouain N., Choi I., Prom-U-Thai C., Shahzad Z., Zheng L., Rouached H., 2024
Protein kinase SnRK2.4 is a key regulator of aquaporins and root hydraulics in Arabidopsis Plant Journal Shahzad Z., Tournaire-Roux C., Canut M., Adamo M., Roeder J., Verdoucq L., Martiniere A., Amtmann A., Santoni V., Grill E., Loudet O., Maurel C., 2024
Millennia-long epigenetic fluctuations generate intragenic DNA methylation variance in Arabidopsis populations Cell Systems Briffa A., Hollwey E., Shahzad Z., Moore J.D., Lyons D.B., Howard M., Zilberman D., 2023
ARSK1 activates TORC1 signaling to adjust growth to phosphate availability in Arabidopsis Current Biology Cho H., Banf M., Shahzad Z., Van Leene J., Bossi F., Ruffel S., Bouain N., Cao P., Krouk G., De Jaeger G., Lacombe B., Brandizzi F., Rhee S.Y., Rouached H., 2023
Plant growth stimulation by high CO<inf>2</inf> depends on phosphorus homeostasis in chloroplasts Current Biology Bouain N., Cho H., Sandhu J., Tuiwong P., Prom-u-thai C., Zheng L., Shahzad Z., Rouached H., 2022
Protecting plant nutrition from the effects of climate change Current Biology Shahzad Z., Rouached H., 2022
Interdependent iron and phosphorus availability controls photosynthesis through retrograde signaling Nature Communications Nam H.-I., Shahzad Z., Dorone Y., Clowez S., Zhao K., Bouain N., Lay-Pruitt K.S., Cho H., Rhee S.Y., Rouached H., 2021
Cryptic variation in RNA-directed DNA-methylation controls lateral root development when auxin signalling is perturbed Nature Communications Shahzad Z., Eaglesfield R., Carr C., Amtmann A., 2020
Genetic analysis of cadmium accumulation in lettuce (Lactuca sativa) Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Zorrig W., Cornu J.-Y., Maisonneuve B., Rouached A., Sarrobert C., Shahzad Z., Abdelly C., Davidian J.-C., Berthomieu P., 2019
Natural variation at XND1 impacts root hydraulics and trade-off for stress responses in Arabidopsis Nature Communications Tang N., Shahzad Z., Lonjon F., Loudet O., Vailleau F., Maurel C., 2018
EZ-root-VIS: A software pipeline for the rapid analysis and visual reconstruction of root system architecture Plant Physiology Shahzad Z., Kellermeier F., Armstrong E.M., Rogers S., Lobet G., Amtmann A., Hills A., 2018
Food for thought: how nutrients regulate root system architecture Current Opinion in Plant Biology Shahzad Z., Amtmann A., 2017
To respond or not to respond? Natural variation of root architectural responses to nutrient signals Journal of Experimental Botany Amtmann A., Shahzad Z., 2017
Combined adaptation of roots to flooding and soil nutrients: Role of a MAP3K protein kinase Medecine/Sciences Shahzad Z., Maurel C., 2017
A Potassium-Dependent Oxygen Sensing Pathway Regulates Plant Root Hydraulics Cell Shahzad Z., Canut M., Tournaire-Roux C., Martiniere A., Boursiac Y., Loudet O., Maurel C., 2016
Aquaporins in plants Physiological Reviews Maurel C., Boursiac Y., Luu D.-T., Santoni V., Shahzad Z., Verdoucq L., 2015
Phosphate and zinc transport and signalling in plants: Toward a better understanding of their homeostasis interaction Journal of Experimental Botany Bouain N., Shahzad Z., Rouached A., Khan G.A., Berthomieu P., Abdelly C., Poirier Y., Rouached H., 2014
Combating Mineral Malnutrition through Iron and Zinc Biofortification of Cereals Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety Shahzad Z., Rouached H., Rakha A., 2014
Plant Defensin type 1 (PDF1): Protein promiscuity and expression variation within the Arabidopsis genus shed light on zinc tolerance acquisition in Arabidopsis halleri New Phytologist Shahzad Z., Ranwez V., Fizames C., Marques L., Le Martret B., Alassimone J., Gode C., Lacombe E., Castillo T., Saumitou-Laprade P., Berthomieu P., Gosti F., 2013
Interaction between AhMTP1s, potential candidate for zinc biofortication of cereals, for their functioning International Journal of Agriculture and Biology Shahzad Z., Gosti F., Berthomieu P., 2012
Identification of three relationships linking cadmium accumulation to cadmium tolerance and zinc and citrate accumulation in lettuce Journal of Plant Physiology Zorrig W., Rouached A., Shahzad Z., Abdelly C., Davidian J.-C., Berthomieu P., 2010
The five AHMTP1 zinc transporters undergo different evolutionary fates towards adaptive evolution to zinc tolerance in Arabidopsis halleri PLoS Genetics Shahzad Z., Gosti F., Frerot H., Lacombe E., Roosens N., Saumitou-Laprade P., Berthomieu P., 2010