Dr. Yahya Z. A. Gaafar

Image Yahya Zakaria Abdou Gaafar
Research Scientist

Molecular Plant Virology

Virus-Vector-Host interactions

Virus diagnostics

Professional activities / interests

Plant viruses and viroids characterisation (biological, morphological, serological, and molecular).

Plant viruses and viroids molecular epidemiology.

Investigating Virus-Vector-Host interactions (histology, cytology, genomes, and proteomics).

Development of molecular and biotechnological approaches for plant virus/ viroid diseases’ control.

Development and optimisation of innovative methods for plant viruses and viroids’ propagation, purification, detection, and identification.

Education and awards

Doctor of natural sciences 2019
Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany
Thesis: Plant virus identification and virus-vector-host interactions

Master of science 2014
Ghent University, Belgium
Thesis: Caenorhabditis elegans - Orsay virus interaction: infection dynamics, antiviral inheritance, and genetic architecture of susceptibility

Bachelor of sciences 2007
Cairo University, Egypt
Major: Biotechnology

International experience and/or work

Research Scientist 2020 – 2022
Julius Kühn-Institut, Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics, Germany

Key publications

Gaafar, Y. Z. A.; Westenberg, M.; Botermans, M.; László, K.; Jonghe, K. de; Foucart, Y.; Ferretti, L.; Kutnjak, D.; Pecman, A.; Mehle, N.; Kreuze, J.; Muller, G.; Vakirlis, N.; Beris, D.; Varveri, C.; Ziebell, H. (2021). Interlaboratory comparison study on ribodepleted total RNA high-throughput sequencing for plant virus diagnostics and bioinformatic competence. In Pathogens 10. DOI: 10.3390/pathogens10091174.

Gaafar, Y. Z. A.; Rabenstein, F.; Zia, A.; Gaafar, A. Z. A.; Ziebell, H. (2021): Molecular characterisation of a new tenuivirus from Festuca sp. In Virus Res. 304, 198509. DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2021.198509.

Gaafar, Y. Z. A.; Herz, K.; Hartrick, J.; Fletcher, J.; Blouin, A. G.; MacDiarmid, R.; Ziebell, H. (2020): Investigating the pea virome in Germany - old friends and new players in the field(s). In Front. Micro. 11, 583242. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.583242.

Gaafar, Y. Z. A.; Ziebell, H. (2020): Comparative study on three viral enrichment procedures based on RNA extraction for plant virus/viroid detection using high throughput sequencing. In PLOS One. 15, e0237951. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237951.

Gaafar, Y. Z. A.; Ziebell, H. (2019): Aphid transmission of nanoviruses. In Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 104, e21668. doi: 10.1002/arch.21668.

Gaafar, Y. Z. A.; Richert-Pöggeler, K. R.; Maaß, C.; Vetten, H.-J.; Ziebell, H. (2019): Characterisation of a novel nucleorhabdovirus infecting alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In Virol. J. 16 (1), p. 113. DOI: 10.1186/s12985-019-1147-3.

Research facility

8801 Saanich Road E.
North Saanich, BC V8L1H3


Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Centre for Plant Health, North Saanich, Canada



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