Abdelali (Ali) Hannoufa, Ph.D.

Image Mathieu Rioux
Research Scientist, Adjunct Professor

Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor in Genomics and Biotechnology

Current research and/or projects

  1. Discovery Research towards crop Improvement 

  2. Abiotic stress response in plants 

  3. RNAi Trap Plants for Horticulture 

  4. Novel Biological for Mitigation of Abiotic Stresses in Forage Legumes and Reduced Methane Emissions by Ruminants

  5. Development of IPM tools using genomic and ecological approaches for the control of insect pests in greenhouses 

  6. Improving productivity and persistence of alfalfa under extreme weather events 

Education and awards

Ph.D.  in Plant Molecular Biology, York University, 1996

M.Sc. in Plant Biochemistry, Concordia University, 1991

Key publications

  1. Hannoufa A, Feyissa BA, Kohalmi SE (2020) Medicago sativa L (alfalfa) employs molecular physiological strategies to regulate drought response through the miR156-SPL13-DFR module. XXVIII Plant and Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, CA, USA, January 11-15, 2020

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Ben-Abdallah, S., Cáceres, L.A., Wang, Z., Renaud, B.J., Lachâal, M., Karray-Bouraoui, N., Hannoufa, A., Scott, I.M. (2019). Host plant defenses of black (Solanum nigrum L.) and red nightshade (Solanum villosum Mill.) against specialist Solanaceae herbivore Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), 101(2), http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/arch.21550

    2019 - View publication details

  3. Scott, I.M., A. Hannoufa, S. Hughes, W. Laur, T. McDowell and J. Renaud. 2018. Using transgenic plants as greenhouse trap crops: prospects and lessons learned. Platform presentation at the Joint Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada and British Columbia, Vancouver B.C., Nov. 11-14, 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

  4. Singer, S.D., Hannoufa, A., Acharya, S. (2018). Molecular improvement of alfalfa for enhanced productivity and adaptability in a changing environment, 41(9), 1955-1971. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.13090

    2018 - View publication details

  5. Lei, Y., Hannoufa, A., Prates, L.L., Shi, H., Wang, Y., Biligetu, B., Christensen, D., Yu, P. (2018). Effects of TT8 and HB12 Silencing on the Relations between the Molecular Structures of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Plants and Their Nutritional Profiles and in Vitro Gas Production, 66(22), 5602-5611. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01573

    2018 - View publication details

  6. Puri A, Hannoufa A, Marsolais F (2018) Quantitative proteome analysis of alfalfa in drought stress under the influence of miR156 (Medicago sativa). North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference. Logan, Utah, June 4-6

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Gao, R., Feyissa, B.A., Croft, M., Hannoufa, A. (2018). Gene editing by CRISPR/Cas9 in the obligatory outcrossing Medicago sativa, 247(4), 1043-1050. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-018-2866-1

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Gao, R., Wang, Y., Gruber, M.Y., Hannoufa, A. (2018). MiR156/SPL10 modulates lateral root development, branching and leaf morphology in arabidopsis by silencing AGAMOUS-LIKE 79, 8 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.02226

    2018 - View publication details

  9. Chen, C., Li, C., Wang, Y., Renaud, J., Tian, G., Kambhampati, S., Saatian, B., Nguyen, V., Hannoufa, A., Marsolais, F., Yuan, Z.C., Yu, K., Austin, R.S., Liu, J., Kohalmi, S.E., Wu, K., Huang, S., Cui, Y. (2017). Cytosolic acetyl-CoA promotes histone acetylation predominantly at H3K27 in Arabidopsis, 3(10), 814-824. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41477-017-0023-7

    2017 - View publication details

  10. Aung, B., Gao, R., Gruber, M.Y., Yuan, Z.C., Sumarah, M., Hannoufa, A. (2017). MsmiR156 affects global gene expression and promotes root regenerative capacity and nitrogen fixation activity in alfalfa, 26(4), 541-557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-017-0024-3

    2017 - View publication details

  11. Hughes, S., Scott, I., Croft, M., McDowell, T., Bernards, M., & Hannoufa, A. (2017). “Plant volatiles in insect pest control: a promising new tool for IPM.” Plants From Sea to Sky: Joint Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science. Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 4-7 2017, Poster.

    2017 - View publication details

  12. Matthews CDR, Amyot L, Smith DR, Hannoufa A. Investigating the role of the miR156-SPL network in heat stress response in Medicago sativa. Poster session presented at: Plants From Sea to Sky. A joint meeting of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science; 2017 Jun 4-7; Vancouver, British Columbia

    2017 - View publication details

  13. Hughes S, Scott I, Bernards B, Hannoufa A. (2017) Developing a sustainable insect pest management system by manipulating plant volatile emissions. International Organisation for Biological Control Canada 2017 Meeting, June 4-8, 2017, Niagara Falls, ON

    2017 - View publication details

  14. Scott I, Hughes S, Laur W, Caceres L, Challa S, Hannoufa A. (2017) Modifying the expression of plant volatiles to affect the behaviour of greenhouse insect pests. International Organisation for Biological Control Canada 2017 Meeting, June 4-8, 2017, Niagara Falls, ON

    2017 - View publication details

  15. Arshad, M., Feyissa, B.A., Amyot, L., Aung, B., Hannoufa, A. (2017). MicroRNA156 improves drought stress tolerance in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) by silencing SPL13, 258 122-136. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2017.01.018

    2017 - View publication details

  16. Arshad, M., Gruber, M.Y., Wall, K., Hannoufa, A. (2017). An insight into microRNA156 role in salinity stress responses of alfalfa, 8 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.00356

    2017 - View publication details

  17. Lei Y., Hannoufa A. and Yu P.* (2017) The Use of Gene Modification and Advanced Molecular Structure Analyses towards Improving Alfalfa Forage. Int J Mol Sci. 18, 298 (doi:10.3390/ijms18020298)

    2017 - View publication details

  18. Hannoufa A., Gao R., Arshad M., Feyissa B., Amyot L., Aung B. (2017) MiR156/SPL regulatory pathway controls vegetative development, flowering time and drought tolerance in alfalfa. Plant and Animal Genomics Conference. San Diego, CA, January 14-18, Poster#695

    2017 - View publication details

  19. Wang, Z., Wang, Y., Kohalmi, S.E., Amyot, L., Hannoufa, A. (2016). SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 2 controls floral organ development and plant fertility by activating ASYMMETRIC LEAVES 2 in Arabidopsis thaliana, 92(6), 661-674. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11103-016-0536-x

    2016 - View publication details

  20. Li, X., Hannoufa, A., Zhang, Y., Yu, P. (2016). Gene-silencing-induced changes in carbohydrate conformation in relation to bioenergy value and carbohydrate subfractions in modeled plant (Medicago sativa) with Down-Regulation of HB12 and TT8 transcription factors, 17(5), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms17050720

    2016 - View publication details

Research facility

1391 Sandford Street
London, ON N5V 4T3


Adjunct Professor – University of Western Ontario

Member – University of Saskatchewan, College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Vice President – Canadian Association for Plant Biotechnology

Member, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists