Naoufal Lakhssassi, Ph.D |PSAS | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Naoufal Lakhssassi, Ph.D

PSAS, School of Agricultural Sciences

Naoufal Picture

Office Phone: 618 | 453-2606


Building Location: Public Policy Institute, Room 111

Dr. Lakhssassi joined the Department of Plant, Soil, and Agricultural Systems at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2012 as Postdoc associate, then as an Associate Scientist in 2018. Dr. Lakhssassi published more than 30 refereed manuscripts and 1 book chapter in world-renowned publishing houses. Dr. Lakhssassi is the chairman organizer of the functional genomics workshops at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, CA, and chairman organizer of the American Moroccan Agricultural Science conference, Morocco. Dr. Lakhssassi has been granted research funds from the USDA and USB especially in soybean genomics research (nematode disease resistance and seed composition including nutraceutical and pharmaceutical compounds), in addition to seven patent applications.


Dr. Lakhssassi is a molecular physiologist, geneticist, genomicist, and TILLING expert. Dr. Lakhssassi discovered and cloned novel disease resistant genes and seed trait genes using TILLING technology and mutation breeding in soybeans. He has been responsible for several research projects in the area of nutraceutical and pharmaceutical compounds derived from food sources with extra human health benefits, seed composition, and diseases that affect cropping systems including but not limited to soybeans, rice, and cannabis. Dr. Lakhssassi has developed a versatile TILLING-by-Seq+ technology and discovered novel genes associated with improved stearic acid, oleic acid, high protein, beneficial carbohydrates, high Tocopherol, and high yield in soybeans. Dr. Lakhssassi’s research focuses also on cloning genes related to abiotic stress tolerance, male sporogenesis, vascular development, and hormonal signaling in the plant model Arabidopsis.


Ph.D. [2011] University of Malaga (UMA), Spain. Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Plant Genomics.

M.S. [2008] University of Malaga (UMA), Spain. Biomolecular Engineering and Microbiology.                                                                                 

DEA (M.S.) [2007] University of Malaga (UMA), Spain. Cell and Molecular Biology.

B.S [2005] University of Tangier (UAE), Morocco. Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology.                                                                                                             


Refereed Published Manuscripts:

  • Mariola Klepadlo*, Naoufal Lakhssassi*, Gunvant Patil, Tri D. Vuong, Sarbottam Piya, Tarek Hewezi, Robert T. Robbins, Robert M. Stupar, Khalid Meksem, Henry T. Nguyen. Dissecting nematode resistance regions in soybean reveals pleiotropic effect of soybean cyst and reniform nematode resistance genes. Plant Genome, 2021, In-press.
  • Hassan Hadi Mehdi Al Rubaiy, Ammar Altemimi, Ali Khudair Jaber Al Rikabi, Naoufal Lakhssassi, Anubhav Pratap-Singh. Sustainable Biosynthesis of Antioxidants from Koji Rice Fermented with Aspergillus flavus using Microwave-Assisted Extraction. Applied Sciences, 2021.
  • Naoufal Lakhssassi, Zhou Zhou, Shiming Liu, Sarbottam Piya, Gunvant B. Patil, Mallory A. Cullen, Abdelhalim El Baz, Oussama Badad, Mohamed G. Embaby, Jonas Meksem, Aicha Lakhssassi, Amer AbuGhazaleh, Michael Fromm, Henry Nguyen, Tarek Hewezi, and Khalid Meksem. Soybean TILLING-by-Sequencing+ reveals the role of novel GmSACPD members in the unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis while maintaining healthy nodules. Experimental Botany, 2020.
  • Naoufal Lakhssassi, Azam Baharlouei, Jonas Meksem, Scott D. Hamilton-Brehm, David A. Lightfoot, Khalid Meksem, and Yanna Liang. EMS-induced mutagenesis of Clostridium carboxidivorans for increased atmospheric CO2 reduction efficiency and solvent production. Microorganisms, 2020.
  • Naoufal Lakhssassi, Sarbottam Piya, Dounya Knizia, Abdelhalim El Baze, Cullen Mallory, Jonas Meksem, Aicha Lakhssassi, Tarek Hewezi, and Khalid Meksem. Mutations at the Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase impact its interaction with a Soluble NSF Attachment Protein and a Pathogenesis‐Related Protein in soybean. Vaccines, 2020, (8) 349.
  • Naoufal Lakhssassi, Sarbottam Piya, Sadia Bekal, Shiming Liu, Zhou Zhou, Catherine Bergounioux, Long Miao, Jonas Meksem, Aicha Lakhssassi, Karen Jones, My Abdelmajid Kassem, Moussa Benhamed, Abdelhafid Bendahmane, Kris Lambert, Adnane Boualem, Tarek Hewezi, and Khalid Meksem. A pathogenesis related protein GmPR10-08 promotes a molecular interaction between the GmSHMT08 and GmSNAP18 in resistance to Heterodera glycines. Plant Biotechnology, 2020.
  • Altemimi, A.B.; Mohammed, M.J.; Yi-Chen, L.; Watson, D.G.; Lakhssassi, N.; Cacciola, F.; Ibrahim, S.A. Optimization of Ultrasonicated Kaempferol Extraction from Ocimum basilicum Using a Box–Behnken Design and Its Densitometric Validation. Foods, 2020, 9, 1379.
  • Al-sahlany STG, Altemimi AB, Al-Manhel AJA, Niamah AK, Lakhssassi N, and Ibrahim S. Purification of Bioactive Peptide with Antimicrobial Properties Produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Foods, 2020. 9 (3), 324.
  • Al-Hashimi AG, Ammar AB, Cacciola F, and Lakhssassi N. Development of a Millet Starch Edible Film Containing Clove Essential Oil. Foods, 2020. 9 (2), 184.
  • Asaad Rehman Saeed Al-Hilphy, Ammar B. Al-Temimi, Hassan Mehdi, Uttpal Anand, Gonzalo Delgado Pando, and Naoufal Lakhssassi. Ultrasound applications in poultry meat processing: A systematic review. Journal of Food Science, 2020. 85(6). DOI: 10.1111/1750-3841.15135.
  • Alaa R. Abdulstar, Ammar Altemimi, Asaad Rehman Saeed Al-Hilphy, Dennis Watson, and Naoufal Lakhssassi. Water distillation using an Ohmic heating apparatus. International Journal of Ambient Energy, 2020. 10.1080/01430750.2020.1773924.Jiazheng Yuan, Nacer Bellaloui, Naoufal Lakhssasi,  Samer M. AbuBakr, Safiah Kassem, Zakariah Kassem, Sakinah Kassem, Courtney Barnes, Aeisha McLelland, Barbara Brown, Wendy Adams, Tarik El-Mellouki, Khalid Meksem, and My Abdelmajid Kassem. Evaluation of Yield Performance of Soybean Mutant FM6-847 in North Carolina. Atlas Journal of Plant Biology, 2020, pp. 96–105.
  • Zhou Zhou*, Naoufal Lakhssassi*, Mallory A. Cullen, Abdelhalim El Baz, Tri D. Vuong, Henry T. Nguyen, and Khalid Meksem. Assessment of phenotypic variations and correlation among seed composition traits in mutagenized soybean populations. Genes, 2019. 27;10(12). pii: E975. doi: 10.3390/genes10120975.
  • Naoufal Lakhssassi, Gunvant Patil, Sarbottam Piya, Zhou Zhou, Azam Baharlouei, Abdelmajid Kassem, David Lightfoot, Dr. Tarek Hewezi, Abdelali Barakat, Henry Nguyen, and Khalid Meksem. Genome reorganization of the GmSHMT gene family in soybean showed a lack of functional redundancy in resistance to soybean cyst nematode. Scientific report, 2019. 9:1506 |
  • Gunvant B. Patil*, Naoufal Lakhssassi*, Jinrong Wan, Li Song, Zhou Zhou, Mariola Klepadlo, Tri D. Vuong, Adrian O. Stec, Sondus S. Kahil, Vincent Colantonio, Babu Valliyodan, Hollis Rice, Sarbottam Piya, Tarek Hewezi, Robert M. Stupar, Khalid Meksem and Henry T. Nguyen. Whole genome re-sequencing reveals the impact of copy number variants of the Rhg4 gene on broad-based resistance to soybean cyst nematode. Plant Biotechnology, 2019. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13086.
  • Vitor Amorim-Silva, Álvaro García-Moreno, Araceli Castillo, Naoufal Lakhssassi, Alicia Esteban, Abel Rosado, Jéssica Pérez-Sancho, Yansha Li, Pepa Pérez-Rodriguez, Victoriano Valpuesta, Cyril Zipfel, Alberto Macho, Miguel A Botella. TTL proteins scaffold brassinosteroid signaling components at the plasma membrane to optimize signal transduction in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 2019. (31):1807–1828, doi/10.1105/tpc.19.00150.
  • Uttpal Anand, Nadia Jacobo, Ammar Altemimi, and Naoufal Lakhssassi. A Comprehensive Review on Medicinal Plants as Antimicrobial Therapeutics: Potential Avenues of Biocompatible Drug Discovery. Metabolites, 2019. DOI: 10.3390/metabo9110258.
  • Ammar Altemimi, Salah Naji Aziz, Asaad R. S. Al-HiIphy, Naoufal Lakhssassi, Dennis G. Watson, and Salam A. Ibrahim. Critical review of radio-frequency (RF) heating applications in food processing. Food Quality and Safety, 2019. 1-11. doi:10.1093/fqsafe/fyz002.
  • Alya Alsaad, Ammar B Altemimi, Salah Naji Aziz, Naoufal Lakhssassi. Extraction and Identification of Cactus Opuntia dillenii Seed Oil and its Added Value for Human Health Benefits. Pharmacognosy Journal, 2019. 11(3):579-587.
  • James Anderson*, Naoufal Lakhssassi*, Stella K. Kantartzi, and Khalid Meksem. Non-hypothesis Analysis of a Mutagenic Soybean (Glycine max [L.]) Population for Protein and Fatty Acid Composition. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society, 2018. DOI 10.1002/aocs.12063.
  • Lakhssassi N, Colantonio V, Flowers ND, Zhou Z, Henry J, Liu S, Meksem K. Stearoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Desaturase Mutations Uncover an Impact of Stearic Acid in Leaf and Nodule Structure. Plant Physiology, 2017. Jul;174(3):1531-1543. doi: 10.1104/pp.16.01929. Epub 2017 May 1.Lakhssassi N, Liu S, Bekal S, Zhou Z, Colantonio V, Lambert K, Barakat A, Meksem K. Characterization of the Soluble NSF Attachment Protein gene family identifies two members involved in additive resistance to a plant pathogen. Scientific Reports, 2017. Mar 24;7:45226. doi: 10.1038/srep45226.
  • Lakhssassi N, Zhou Z, Liu S, Colantonio V, AbuGhazaleh A, Meksem K. Characterization of the FAD2Gene Family in Soybean Reveals the Limitations of Gel-Based TILLING in Genes with High Copy Number. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2017. Mar 13;8:324. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00324. eCollection 2017.
  • Liu S, Kandoth PK, Lakhssassi N, Kang J, Colantonio V, Heinz R, Yeckel G, Zhou Z, Bekal S, Dapprich J, Rotter B, Cianzio S, Mitchum MG, Meksem K. The soybean GmSNAP18 gene underlies two types of resistance to soybean cyst nematode. Nature Communications, 2017. Mar 27;8:14822. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14822.
  • Kandoth PK, Liu S, Prenger E, Ludwig A, Lakhssassi N, Heinz R, Zhou Z, Howland A, Gunther J, Eidson S, Dhroso A, LaFayette P, Tucker D, Johnson S, Anderson J, Alaswad A, Cianzio SR, Parrott WA, Korkin D, Meksem K, Mitchum MG. Systematic Mutagenesis of Serine Hydroxymethyltransferase Reveals an Essential Role in Nematode Resistance. Plant Physiology, 2017. Nov;175(3):1370-1380. doi: 10.1104/pp.17.00553. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
  • Altemimi A, Lakhssassi N, Baharlouei A, Watson DG, Lightfoot DA. Phytochemicals: Extraction, Isolation, and Identification of Bioactive Compounds from Plant Extracts. Plants, 2017. Sep 22;6(4). pii: E42. doi: 10.3390/plants6040042.
  • Altemimi A*, Lakhssassi N*, Abu-Ghazaleh A, Lightfoot DA. Evaluation of the antimicrobial activities of ultrasonicated spinach leaf extracts using RAPD markers and electron microscopy. Arch Microbiol., 2017. Dec;199(10):1417-1429. doi: 10.1007/s00203-017-1418-6. Epub 2017 Aug 1.
  • Suad A. Al-Saedi*, Naoufal Lakhssassi*, My Abdelmajid Kassem, Ibrahim B. Razaq, Norrya A. Ali and Khalid Meksem. Characterization of diversity of Bradyrhizobia on cowpea in Iraq. Atlas Journal of Biology, 2017. May; pp. 392–401 ISSN 2158-9151.
  • Bekal S, Domier LL, Gonfa B, Lakhssassi N, Meksem K, Lambert KN. A SNARE-Like Protein and Biotin Are Implicated in Soybean Cyst Nematode Virulence. PLoS One, 2015. Dec 29;10(12):e0145601. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145601. eCollection 2015
  • Lakhssassi N, Doblas VG, Rosado A, del Valle AE, Posé D, Jimenez AJ, Castillo AG, Valpuesta V, Borsani O, Botella MA. The Arabidopsis tetratricopeptide thioredoxin-like gene family is required for osmotic stress tolerance and male sporogenesis. Plant Physiology, 2012. Mar;158(3):1252-66. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.188920. Epub 2012 Jan 9.
Book Chapters:
  • Liu Shiming, Naoufal Lakhssassi, Zhou Zhou, Vincent Colantonio, My Abdelmajid Kassem, and Khalid Meksem.Soybean Genomic Libraries, TILLING, and Genetic Resources. Springer-Nature soybean genome book, 2017. DOI