Moussa Benhamed

  Assistant Professor, Bioscience ​

  Office Location: Ibn Al Haytham (Building 2) · Level 3 · Room 3337
  Email: moussa.benhamed@kaust.edu.sa



Research Keywords
Plant development; stress; cell cycle; epigenetics; chromatin organization; histone modification; non coding RNA.


Research Interests
Plants have developed sophisticated ways to adapt to diverse biotic and abiotic stresses that would otherwise compromise their survival. DNA sequence polymorphisms are one strategy, but it may not suffice to provide ample leverage upon which the environment can select because point mutation based processes may be too slow to permit adequate adaptation. Thus, the success of photosynthetic eukaryotes likely is achieved by the adaptive dynamics and reversibility of regulatory epigenetic mechanisms on gene expression patterns. As such, plants represent an excellent system for exploring these mechanisms. The objective of our team is to better understand the role of chromatin remodeling and epigenetic regulation in plant stress response.


Main Techniques
ChIP-seq, FAIRE-seq, Mnase-seq, RNA-seq, Hi-C, 3C….

Members of the Lab

Dr Soonkap Kim: Post-doc

Dr Alaguraj Veluchamy: Post-doc bioinformatician


Selected Publications
Ariel F, Jegu T, Latrasse D, Romero-Barrios N, Christ A, Benhamed M, Crespi M. "Noncoding transcription by alternative RNA polymerases dynamically regulates an auxin-driven chromatin loop." Mol Cell. 2014 Aug 7;55(3):383-96. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2014.06.011. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Jégu T, Latrasse D, Delarue M, Hirt H, Domenichini S, Ariel F, Crespi M, Bergounioux C, Raynaud C, Benhamed M. "The BAF60 subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complex directly controls the formation of a gene loop at FLOWERING LOCUS C in Arabidopsis." Plant Cell. 2014 Feb;26(2):538-51. doi: 10.1105/tpc.113.114454. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

Jégu T, Latrasse D, Delarue M, Mazubert C, Bourge M, Hudik E, Blanchet S, Soler MN, Charon C, De Veylder L, Raynaud C, Bergounioux C, Benhamed M. "Multiple functions of Kip-related protein5 connect endoreduplication and cell elongation." Plant Physiol. 2013 Apr;161(4):1694-705. doi: 10.1104/pp.112.212357. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Neyret-Kahn H, Benhamed M, Ye T, Le Gras S, Cossec JC, Lapaquette P, Bischof O, Ouspenskaia M, Dasso M, Seeler J, Davidson I, Dejean A. "Sumoylation at chromatin governs coordinated repression of a transcriptional program essential for cell growth and proliferation." Genome Res. 2013 Oct;23(10):1563-79. doi: 10.1101/gr.154872.113. Epub 2013 Jul 26.

Benhamed M, Herbig U, Ye T, Dejean A, Bischof O. "Senescence is an endogenous trigger for microRNA-directed transcriptional gene silencing in human cells." Nat Cell Biol. 2012 Feb 26;14(3):266-75. doi: 10.1038/ncb2443.