School of Biology

Staff Profile

Dr Tahar Taybi

Senior Research Scientist



2009 HEPCAP, Newcastle University

1995 Ph.D. Molecular Plant Physiology, Pierre & Marie Curie
University, Paris France. With European Doctor Label, Honours

1990 MSc. Plant Biochemistry and Physiology, Pierre & Marie Curie
University, Paris France. Honours

1988 BSc. Plant Biology, Med 1st University, Oujda Morocco, Honours

Previous Positions

• 2000-2005: Senior PDRAS at the School of Biology, University of Newcastle UK
• 1996-1999: PDRAS at the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA
• 1993-1994: RA, Phytopharmacy Laboratory, INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research) Verssailles France
• 1994: Visiting Scientist to the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany




Research Interests


Metabolic plasticity is the key to plant success in stressful and changing environments. To understand the mechanisms underpinning this plasticity, I am studying the modulation of the transcriptome and the proteome under salt-stress, water-stress in species adapted to salinity and drought like Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, Ananas comosus and Clusia. My objective is to contribute to the elucidation of the key regulations and the mechanisms involved in the production of adequate physiological responses to these environmental stressors and their evolution in different plant systems. The regulation of the mechanisms involved in stress-resistance is based on the integration of different inputs including the stress-signals per se, the metabolic inputs and the control by the circadian clock. My research involves three complementary areas:

(1) The regulation of the expression of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in response to salinity in M. crystallinum and to drought in Clusia minor and anans comosus as an integrated multigene response to stress and to the circadian clock

(2) The regulation of starch metabolism and sugar transport as an integrated output of environmental factors and the circadian clock. The way starch degradation is controlled on long term by stresses and on short term by the circadian clock is studied in different systems

(3) The signalling processes involved in the control of CAM and starch degradation in response to environmental factors (water-stress, salinity...), their specificity and cross-talk as well as evolution are investigated in different systems

The ultimate goal is to provide tools and build a core of knowledge on the regulation of stress responses for use in Biotechnology and Agriculture.

Other Expertise

My main expertise is in gene technology applied in plant Biotechnology and beyond

Current Work

Signalling processes involved in the regulation of responses to water-and salt-stress

Mechanism and significance of the autonomy of circadian clocks in plants

Regulation of crassulacean cid metabolism

Regulation of starch metabolism

Detection and Quantification of Genetically Modified Organisms

Future Research

Engineering controled drought and salt-resistance in plants using signalling genes

Detection and quantification of Genertically Modified Organismes In seed stocks, foods and feeds

Postgraduate Supervision

Contributing supervisor of 2 Ph.D. students
Supervisor of 3 MSc. Students

Esteem Indicators

Active reviewer for different journals including (last 2 years) Annals of Applied Biology, Functional Plant Biology, Plant Physiol. Biochem, TREES-Structure and Function
Evaluating expert for BBSRC, NERC and USDA
Invited speaker to several international conferences


NERC- Ecological significance of the circadian controls in plants
Royal Society- Regulation of starch degradation in plants with crassulacean acid metabolism. Self raised more than £25k of funding

Industrial Relevance

Preservation and extension of shelf-life of fresh produce
Product authentification and traceability using DNA methods


Apparatus and method for ozone preservation of crops. WO2005/013729


Undergraduate Teaching

Stage 1: Introduction to Genetics (ACE1013)
Stage 2: Plant Biology 2 (BIO2004), Acting Module Leader and Contributor
Stage 2: Biology Research Communication (BIO2001)
Stage 3: Plant Biology 3 (BIO3004)
Stage 3: Research Projects (BIO3096)

Postgraduate Teaching

Polymerase Chain Reaction and Cloning Methotodologies: a 4-day theory and practice course for postgrads and research and Technical personnel from academia, hospitals and the private sector

Introduction to Quantitative PCR: a 2-day workshop for postgrads and research and Technical staff from academia and the private sector