Ali Idris

Research Scientists

Research Interests

My research interests focus on red palm weevil and begomoviruses and associated satellites and their whitefly vector.  The goal is to use biotechnologies to reduce chemical pesticides in management of these insect pests and begomoviral diseases.


Selected Publications

  •  Idris, AM, NM Abdullah and JK Brown 2012. Leaf curl diseases of two solanaceous species in Southwest Arabia are caused by a monopartite begomovirus evolutionarily most closely related to a species from the Nile Basin and unique suite of betasatellites. Virus Research (in press).

  • Idris, AM, M.S. Shahid, RW Briddon, AJ Khan, J-K Zhu and JK Brown 2011. An unusual alphasatellite associated with monopartite begomoviruses attenuates symptoms and reduces betasatellite accumulation. Journal of General Virology 92:706-717.

  • Idris, AM, JR Tuttle, D Robertson, C Haigler, JK Brown 2010. Differential Cotton leaf crumple virus-VIGS-mediated gene silencing and viral genome localization in different Gossypium hirsutum genetic backgrounds. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology 75:13-22.

  • Idris, AM, K Mills-Lujan, K Martin, and JK Brown 2008. Melon chlorotic leaf curl virus: characterization and differential reassortment with closest relatives reveals adaptive virulence in the Squash leaf curl virus clade, and host shifting by the host-restricted Bean calico mosaic virus. Journal of Virology 82:1959-1967.

  • Idris, AM, R Briddon, SE Bull, and JK Brown 2005. Cotton leaf curl Gezira virus-satDNAs represents a divergent, geographically- isolated Nile Basin lineage: Predictive identification of a satDNA REP binding motif. Virus Research 109:19-32.


  • 1992-97 PhD in Plant Sciences (virology), University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • 1990-91 MS in Crop Sciences (Plant Protection, virology), Agricultural University,Wageningen, The Netherlands

Professional Profile

  • 07/12 to present :Senior Research Scientist, Center for Desert agriculture,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal,Saudi Arabia.
  • 07/09-07/12       :Team Leader, Plant Stress Genomic Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal,Saudi Arabia.
  • 07/06-06/09       :Assistant Research Scientist, School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • 05/97-07/06       :Research Associate (virology), School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • 01/92-05/97       :Student Research Associate, School of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • 06/86-12/89       :Assistant Research Scientist, Botany and Plant Pathology Section, Gezira Research Station, Agricultural Research Corporation, Wad Medani, Sudan.
  • 07/83-05/86       :Assistant Entomologist, Gezira Board, Wad Medani, Sudan.