Plant Sciences

Plant Sciences Experts

Magdy M. Mahfouz

Assistant Professor
Department of Plant Science
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Saudi Arabia


Prof. MAGDY M. MAHFOUZ Specialises in focused on developing genome-engineering technologies for basic biology and biotechnology. He is working as Assistant Professor in Department of Plant Science, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.

Research Interest

"Professor Mahfouz's research interests are focused on developing genome-engineering technologies for basic biology and biotechnology. The application of genome editing technologies requires highly specific and customizable DNA binding modules that can be engineered to bind any user-defined DNA sequence. Transcriptional activator-like effectors (TALEs) are proteins secreted by Xanthomonas bacteria when they infect plants. TALEs contain a modular DNA binding domain that can be easily engineered to bind any sequence of interest, and have been used, by our group and others, to provide user-selected DNA-binding modules to generate chimeric nucleases and transcriptional regulators in mammalian cells and plants. TALE DNA binding modules fused with endonucleases (TALENs) can direct nuclease activity to site-specific sequences in the genome with extreme precision, allowing targeted gene knock out, integration and correction. Developing TALE-based technologies will allow researchers to routinely and efficiently edit genomes of virtually any species, by directing mutations in a truly targeted fashion."


  • Li L, Piatek MJ, Atef A, Piatek A, Wibowo A, Fang X, Sabir JS, Zhu JK, Mahfouz MM. Rapid and highly efficient construction of TALE-based transcriptional regulators and nucleases for genome modification. Plant molecular biology. 2012 Mar 1;78(4-5):407-16.

  • Deng D, Yin P, Yan C, Pan X, Gong X, Qi S, Xie T, Mahfouz M, Zhu JK, Yan N, Shi Y. Recognition of methylated DNA by TAL effectors. Cell research. 2012 Oct;22(10):1502.

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