Abdelali (Ali) Hannoufa, Ph.D.

Image Mathieu Rioux
Research Scientist, Adjunct Professor

Research Scientist and Adjunct Professor in Genomics and Biotechnology

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Current research and/or projects

  1. Discovery Research towards Alfalfa Improvement 

  2. Alfalfa Stress Tolerance 

  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

For a complete list of Publications: Abdelali Hannoufa on AAFC Online

  1. Matthew C, Arshad M, and Hannoufa A (2018) Alfalfa response to heat stress is modulated by microRNA156.  Physiologia Plantarum, DOI: 10.1111/ppl.12787

  2. Wei S ,Li X, Gruber MY, Feyissa BA, Amyot L and Hannoufa A (2018) COP9 signalosome subunit 5A affects phenylpropanoid metabolism, trichome formation and transcription of key genes of a regulatory tri-protein complex in Arabidopsis. BMC Plant Biology (2018) 18:134, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-018-1347-9

  3. Arshad M., Gruber MY, and Hannoufa A (2018) Transcriptome analysis of microRNA156 overexpression alfalfa roots under drought stress.Scientific Reports DOI : 10.1038/s41598-018-27088-8

  4. Lei Y., Hannoufa A. , Prates L.L., Shi H., Wang Y.,Biligetu B. Christensen D., and 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.J. Agr. Food Chem. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01573

  5. Hossain Z, Pillai BV-S, Gruber MY, Yu M, Amyot L, Hannoufa A (2018) Transcriptome profiling of Brassica napus stem sections in relation to differences in lignin content. BMC Genomics. 19:255, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-018-4645-6

  6. Hegedus D; Gruber M; Alahakoon U; Taheri A; Nagubushana N; Zhou R; Aung B; Sharpe A; Hannoufa A; Bonham-Smith P (2018) The biochemical composition and transcriptome of cotyledons from Brassica napus lines expressing the AtGL3 transcription factor and exhibiting reduced flea beetle feeding. BMC Plant Biology 18(1):64. doi: 10.1186/s12870-018-1277-6.

  7. Lei Y, Hannoufa A, Christensen D, Prates LL, Shi H, Yu P (2018) Molecular structural changes detected by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy in response to silencing of TT8 and HB12 genes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 19,1046; doi:10.3390/ijms19041046

  8. Gao R, Feyissa BA, Croft M, Hannoufa A (2018) Gene editing by CRISPR/Cas9 in the obligatory outcrossing Medicago sativa.Planta, 247, 1043-1050; DOI: 10.1007/s00425-018-2866-1

  9. Liu, W.T., Aung, B., Hannoufa, A., Xing, T. and Tian, L.N. (2018) Recent Progress of Transgenic Technology Development for Alfalfa. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 9, 467-482. DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2018.93035

  10. Gao R, Wang Y, Gruber MY, Hannoufa A (2017) miR156/SPL10 modulates lateral root development, branching and leaf morphology in Arabidopsis by silencing AGAMOUS-LIKE 79. Frontiers in Plant Science, section Plant Cell Biology 8:2226. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.02226

  11. Gao R, Gruber MY, Amyot L and Hannoufa A (2017) SPL13 regulates shoot branching and flowering time in Medicago sativa.Plant Mol Biol. 96:119-133. doi: 10.1007/s11103-017-0683-8. 

  12. Singer S.D., Hannoufa A., Acharya S. (2017) Molecular improvement of alfalfa for enhanced productivity and adaptability in a changing environment.Plant, Cell and Environment. doi: 10.1111/pce.13090. Review

  13. Aung B, Gao R, Gruber MY, Yuan Z-C, Sumarah M, Hannoufa A. (2017). MsmiR156 affects global gene expression and promotes root regenerative capacity and nitrogen fixation activity in alfalfa. Transgenic Res. 26: 541-557

  14. Arshad M., Feyissa B.A., Amyot L., Aung B., and Hannoufa A. (2017) MicroRNA156 improves drought resistance in alfalfa. Plant Sci. 258:122-136

  15. Arshad M, Gruber MY, Wall K, Hannoufa A. (2017) An Insight into microRNA156 Role in Salinity Stress Responses of Alfalfa. Front Plant Sci. 8:356

  16. 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)

  17. Laur, W., Hughes, S., Caceres, L., Challa, S., Hannoufa, A., & Scott, I (2017). “Modifying the expression of plant volatiles to affect the behaviour of greenhouse insect pests.”, International Organization for Biological Control and Integrated Control West Palaearctic Regional Section Bulletin 124: 31-36.

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


Adjunct Professor – University of Western Ontario

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

Vice President – Canadian Association for Plant Biotechnology

Member – Board of Directors, Plant Canada

Member, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists