Feras F Lafi

Feras F Lafi
Middle East University | MEU · Collage of pharmacy

PhD

About

161
Publications
10,395
Reads
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1,293
Citations
Introduction
My research interests is focused on studying microbial interactions with biological systems such as humans, animal, plants and the effect they exert on these systems (from a holobionts prospective). Big part of this interaction is selected through directed evolution to protect the host from infections. My research aims to discover how we can harness microbial abilities for human’s benefit in agriculture and in production of new classes of antibiotics.
Additional affiliations
August 2018 - present
Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2017 - July 2018
American University of Madaba
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
January 2014 - July 2016
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (161)
Article
Full-text available
The diversity of the culturable microbial communities was examined in two sponge species-Pseudoceratina clavata and Rhabdastrella globostellata. Isolates were characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The bacterial community structures represented in both sponges were found to be similar at the phylum level by the same fo...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystems of the Red Sea are among the least-explored microbial habitats in the marine environment. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities in the water column overlying the Atlantis II Deep and Discovery Deep in the Red Sea. Taxonomic classification of pyrosequencing reads of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons showed vertical strati...
Article
Full-text available
Marine sponges are associated with a remarkable array of microorganisms. Using a tag pyrosequencing technology, this study was the first to investigate in depth the microbial communities associated with three Red Sea sponges, Hyrtios erectus, Stylissa carteri and Xestospongia testudinaria. We revealed highly diverse sponge-associated bacterial comm...
Article
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Poribacteria were found in nine sponge species belonging to six orders of Porifera from three oceans. Phylogenetic analysis revealed four distinct poribacterial clades, which contained organisms obtained from several different geographic regions, indicating that the distribution of poribacteria is cosmopolitan. Members of divergent poribacterial cl...
Article
Full-text available
Microorganisms that inhabit unchartered unique soil such as in the highly saline and hot Red Sea lagoons on the Saudi Arabian coastline, represent untapped sources of potentially new bioactive compounds. In this study, a culture-dependent approach was applied to three types of sediments: mangrove mud (MN), microbial mat (MM), and barren soil (BS),...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Biosynthetic gene clusters produce a wide range of metabolites with activities that are of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Specific interest is shown towards those metabolites that exhibit antimicrobial activities against multidrug-resistant bacteria that have become a global health threat. Genera of the phylum Firmicutes are...
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Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) are known to increase plant tolerance to several abiotic stresses, specifically those from dry and salty environments. In this study, we examined the endophyte bacterial community of five plant species growing in the Thar desert of Pakistan. Among a total of 368 culturable isolates, 58 Bacillus strains were id...
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Recent advancements in the use of microbial cells for scalable production of industrial enzymes encourage exploring new environments for efficient microbial cell factories (MCFs). Here, through a comparison study, ten newly sequenced Bacillus species, isolated from the Rabigh Harbor Lagoon on the Red Sea shoreline, were evaluated for their potentia...
Article
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Deserts, such as those found in Saudi Arabia, are one of the most hostile places for plant growth. However, desert plants are able to impact their surrounding microbial community and select beneficial microbes that promote their growth under these extreme conditions. In this study, we examined the soil, rhizosphere and endosphere bacterial communit...
Data
Qualitative analysis of PGP traits and survival in abiotic stresses of endophytic bacterial collection from each plant species from Jizan. P Sol.—calcium phosphate solubilization; Sid.—siderophore production; ZnO, ZnCO3 Sol.—zinc oxide/carbonate solubilization; IAA—indole-acetic acid production; NaCl 5%—growth on 5% NaCl; PEG 8,000 20%—growth on 20...
Data
Effects of bacterial inoculation on A. thaliana plant growth under salinity stress. Representative images taken 16 DAT on ½MS supplemented with 100 mM NaCl. The shapes and symbols displayed below each image for each isolate are used for indicating the PGP traits possessed by the isolate, its ability to tolerate abiotic stresses, the host plant spec...
Data
Experimental design of the study. Geographic location of selected pioneer desert plant species (A). Samples used for 16S bacterial community analysis and isolation of culturable bacteria (B). Screening assays of culturable bacterial root endophytes for PGP traits (C) and salinity stress tolerance promotion on Arabidopsis thaliana (D). (TIF)
Article
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Background: The increasing spectrum of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a major global public health concern, necessitating discovery of novel antimicrobial agents. Here, members of the genus Bacillus are investigated as a potentially attractive source of novel antibiotics due to their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities. We specifically foc...
Article
Salinity severely hampers crop productivity worldwide and plant growth promoting bacteria could serve as a sustainable solution to improve plant growth under salt stress. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying salt stress tolerance promotion by beneficial bacteria remain unclear. In this work, six bacterial isolates from four different desert...
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Enterobacter sp. SA187 is an endophytic bacterium that has been isolated from root nodules of the indigenous desert plant Indigofera argentea. SA187 could survive in the rhizosphere as well as in association with different plant species, and was able to provide abiotic stress tolerance to Arabidopsis thaliana. The genome sequence of SA187 was obtai...
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Ochrobactrum intermedium strain SA148 is a plant growth-promoting bacterium isolated from sandy soil in the Jizan area of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the 4.9-Mb draft genome sequence of this strain, highlighting different pathways characteristic of plant growth promotion activity and environmental adaptation of SA148.
Article
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Acinetobacter radioresistens strain SA188 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plants Indigofera spp., collected in Jizan, Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the 3.2-Mb draft genome sequence of strain SA188, highlighting characteristic pathways for plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaptation.
Article
Full-text available
Enterobacter sp. Sa187 is a plant endophytic bacterium, isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea , collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of Sa187, highlighting several genes involved in plant growth–promoting activity and environmental adaption.
Article
Full-text available
Micrococcus luteus strain K39 is an endophyte bacterium isolated from roots of the desert plant Cyperus conglomeratus collected from the Red Sea shore, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. The draft genome sequence of strain K39 revealed a number of enzymes involved in salinity and oxidative stress tolerance or having herbicide-resistance activity.
Article
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Pseudomonas punonensis strain D1-6 was isolated from roots of the desert plant Erodium hirtum , near the Dead Sea in Jordan. The genome of strain D1-6 reveals several key plant growth–promoting and herbicide-resistance genes, indicating a possible specialized role for this endophyte.
Article
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Pseudomonas argentinensis strain SA190 is a plant endophytic-inhabiting bacterium that was isolated from root nodules of the desert plant Indigofera argentea collected from the Jizan region of Saudi Arabia. Here, we report the genome sequence of SA190, highlighting several functional genes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environment ada...
Article
Full-text available
Since the composition of soil directs the diversity of the contained microbiome and its potential to produce bioactive compounds, many studies has been focused on sediment types with unique features characteristic of extreme environments. However, not much is known about the potential of microbiomes that inhabit the highly saline and hot Red Sea la...
Article
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We isolated the plant endophytic bacterium Cupriavidus gilardii strain JZ4 from the roots of the desert plant Tribulus terrestris , collected from the Jizan region, Saudi Arabia. We report here the draft genome sequence of JZ4, together with several enzymes related to plant growth-promoting activity, environmental adaption, and antifungal activity.
Article
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Background Sponges (Porifera) harbor distinct microbial consortia within their mesohyl interior. We herein analysed the hologenomes of Stylissa carteri and Xestospongia testudinaria, which notably differ in their microbiome content. Results Our analysis revealed that S. carteri has an expanded repertoire of immunological domains, specifically Scav...
Article
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Microorganisms produce an enormous variety of chemical compounds. It is of general interest for microbiology and biotechnology researchers to have means to explore information about molecular and genetic basis of functioning of different microorganisms and their ability for bioproduction. To enable such exploration, we compiled 45 topic-specific kn...
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Mangroves are unique, and endangered, coastal ecosystems that play a vital role in the tropical and subtropical environments. A comprehensive description of the microbial communities in these ecosystems is currently lacking, and additional studies are required to have a complete understanding of the functioning and resilience of mangroves worldwide...
Article
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Sponge diseases have been widely reported, yet the causal factors and major pathogenic microbes remain elusive. In this study, two individuals of the sponge Crella cyathophora in total that showed similar disease-like characteristics were collected from two different locations along the Red Sea coast separated by more than 30 kilometers. The diseas...
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The central rift of the Red Sea contains 25 brine pools with different physicochemical conditions, dictating the diversity and abundance of the microbial community. Three of these pools, the Atlantis II, Kebrit and Discovery Deeps, are uniquely characterized by a high concentration of hydrocarbons. The brine-seawater interface, described as an anox...
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Abnormality and disease in sponges have been widely reported, yet how sponge-associated microbes respond correspondingly remains inconclusive. Here, individuals of the sponge Carteriospongia foliascens under abnormal status were collected from the Rabigh Bay along the Red Sea coast. Microbial communities in both healthy and abnormal sponge tissues...
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Using microscopic and molecular techniques combined with computational analysis, this study examined the structure and composition of microbial communities in biofilms that formed on different artificial substrates in a brine pool and on a seep vent of a cold seep in the Red Sea to test our hypothesis that initiation of the biofilm formation and sp...
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The encrusting sponge Myxilla (Ectyomyxilla) methanophila (Poecilosclerida: Myxillidae) is an epibiont on vestimentiferan tubeworms at hydrocarbon seeps on the upper Louisiana slope of the Gulf of Mexico. It has long been suggested that this sponge harbors methylotrophic bacteria due to its low δ (13)C value and high methanol dehydrogenase activity...
Article
Full-text available
The ecosystems of the Red Sea are among the least-explored microbial habitats in the marine environment. In this study, we investigated the microbial communities in the water column overlying the Atlantis II Deep and Discovery Deep in the Red Sea. Taxonomic classification of pyrosequencing reads of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons showed vertical strati...