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mnazalan

 

Professor
B.Sc., Melbourne, Aust.
Ph.D., Cornell, USA
Ext. 6159; nazalan@usm.my
Molecular Genetics

 

 

Research Profile

Our laboratory is very interested in understanding how genes are regulated. Paenibacillus durus, P. macerans and P. polymyxa belong to a group of Gram positive, facultatively aerobic rod bacteria with the ability to fix nitrogen. Our laboratory studies the regulation of nitrogen fixation genes within this group of bacteria. The nifHDK homologues of P. durus, P. polymyxa and P. macerans have been successfully cloned and characterized and their regulations are currently being studied using various molecular techniques. Genome sequencing of these bacteria are being performed to understand the evolution of their nitrogen fixation system.

We are also investigating a group of highly adaptive bacteria known as Burkholderia, a genus of highly adaptive proteobacteria unfortunately best-known for its pathogenicity. The genus represents a diverse group of pathogenic as well as non-pathogenic bacteria. Besides being a foe to human and animals, there are some environmentally-important members who are friendly to plants. Burkholderia vietnamiensis is a member species known for its rhizosphere colonizing ability and its ability to fix nitrogen gas. B. vietnamiensis forms fan-shaped nodules in the root of the legume Mimosa pigra and M. pudica and fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere by converting it to ammonia. B. vietnamiensis is also known as a member of the “cepacia group”. It is interesting to note that the pathogenic Burkholderia strains, including B. pseudomallei and B. cepacia infect humans and animals whilst B. vietnamiensis infects both plants and humans as an opportunistic agent. Our lab is currently embarking a study on this particular species to under its mode of infection in plants and animals.

We are also currently working on the Systems Biology of Glaciozyma antarctica, a yeast strain isolated from sea ice in Antarctica. Systems Biology is a constantly developing field of study that bridges many different disciplines of science seeking to understand the control of complex networks in an organism. It allows cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas and expertise between experimentalists and computational biologists interested in the organization of how genetic and molecular functions act together. This project involves transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of G. Antarctica. Many genes were found to be induced and repressed as a result of cold shock and heat shock treatments. All these data are integrated together to develop a platform to enable us to understand the regulation of complex cellular networks.


Current Research

1. Evolution and genomics of Burkholderia species.
2. Study of nitrogen fixation genes in Gram positive bacteria
3. Systems biology of Glaciozyma antarcticum PSY62
4. Genomic study of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the pathogen for melioidosis.


Collaborators

  • Malaysia Genome Institute
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
  • University of Hawaii
  • RIKEN, Japan
  • Nancy-Université, France

Selected Publications

1. Rahman AY, Usharraj AO, Misra BB, Thottathil GP, Jayasekaran K, Feng Y, Hou S, Ong SY, Ng FL, Lee LS, Tan HS, Sakaff MK, Teh BS, Khoo BF, Badai SS, Aziz NA, Yuryev A, Knudsen B, Dionne-Laporte A, McHunu NP, Yu Q, Langston BJ, Freitas TA, Young AG, Chen R, Wang L, Najimudin N, Saito JA, Alam M. 2013. Draft genome sequence of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. BMC Genomics 14(1):75.

2.Noor Haza Fazlin Hashim, Izwan Bharudin, Douglas Law Sie Nguong, Sakura Higa, Farah Diba Abu Bakar, Sheila Nathan, Amir Rabu, Hidehisa Kawahara, Rosli Md. Illias, Nazalan Najimudin, Nor Muhammad Mahadi and Abdul Munir Abdul Murad. 2013. Characterization of Afp1, an antifreeze protein from the psychrophilic yeast Glaciozyma antarctica PI12. Extremophiles. 17(1):63-73.

3.Sook Yee Boo, Clemente Michael Vui Ling Wong, Kenneth Francis Rodrigues, Nazalan Najimudin, Abdul Munir Abdul Murad, Nor Muhammad Mahadi. 2012. Thermal stress responses in Antarctic yeast, Glaciozyma antarctica PI12, characterized by real-time quantitative PCR. Polar Biol. DOI 10.1007/s00300-012-1268-2

4.Salwani Shaffie, Amir Hamzah Ghazali and Nazalan Najimudin. 2012. Estimation of Nitrogenase Enzyme Activities and Plant Growth of Legume and Non-legume Inoculated with Diazotrophic Bacteria. Malaysian Journal of Microbiology, Vol 8(2) : 123-126

5.Yuen, Chee Wah, Eugene Boon Beng Ong, Suriani Mohamad, Uyub Abdul Manaf, and Nazalan Najimudin. 2012. Construction and Characterization of a Burkholderia pseudomallei wzm Deletion Mutant. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 22(10), 1346–1352

6.Yam H, Abdul Rahim A, Gim Luan O, Samian R, Abdul Manaf U, Mohamad S, Najimudin N. (2012). Validation of a Burkholderia pseudomallei Hypothetical Protein and Determination of Its Translational Start Codon Using Chromosomal Integration of His-Tag Coding Sequence. Protein J. Mar;31(3):246-9.

7.Eugene Boon-Beng Ong, Tengku Sifzizul Tengku Muhammad, Mohd Razip Samian and Nazalan Najimudin. (2011) Purification of the Bacillus subtilis Regulatory Protein AlsR and the Localization of its Binding Site. Asia Pac. J. Mol. Biol. Biotechnol. 19 (1): 29 – 37

8.Choo, Q.C., Samian, M.R., and Najimudin, N. (2003) Phylogeny and characterization of nifH homologous genes from Paenibacillus azotofixans. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69:3658-3662

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