Simon Krattinger

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Plant Science​​​​


Bldg.2, Level3, Office 3275

Contact Information:

Bldg.2, office 3275

Thuwal, 23955-6900, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Phone: (+966) 12 808 26 68


Research Interests

​Professor Krattinger’s research focuses on cereal genomics and plant-pathogen interactions. His group develops novel genomic approaches to unravel the genetic and molecular basis of stress adaptation in cereals, with a particular interest in the perception, signaling and response to fungal pathogens in wheat.
Cereal crop plants such as wheat, rice, maize and barley are of paramount importance to ensure global food security. Disturbances caused by pathogens, pests and adverse climatic conditions pose a constant threat to cereal production. However, our current knowledge of the fundamental molecular processes that make certain cereal plants resilient to these stresses is still limited. Research on the genetic and molecular basis of stress perception, signaling and adaptation is therefore of uttermost relevance but also of great scientific interest.
An important aspect of our work consists in the translation of basic knowledge into breeding, with the ultimate aim to develop highly resistant crop cultivars.

Selected Publications

  1. Athiyannan N, Abrouk M, Boshoff WHP, Cauet S, Rodde N, Kudrna D, Mohammed N, Bettgenhaeuser J, Botha KS, Derman SS, Wing RA, Prins R*, Krattinger SG* (2022) Long-read genome sequencing of bread wheat facilitates disease resistance gene cloning. Nature Genetics 54: 227-231.
  2. Athiyannan N, Aouini L, Wang Y, Krattinger SG* (2022) Unconventional R proteins in the botanical tribe Triticeae. Essays in Biochemistry 2022: EBC20210081.
  3. Krattinger SG and Keller B (2022) Oat genome – sequence of a superfood. Nature Plants 8: 602-603 (News & Views article).
  4. Wulff BBH and Krattinger SG* (2022) The long road to engineering durable disease resistance in wheat. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 73: 270-275.
  5. Abrouk M, Athiyannan N, Muller T, Pailles Y, Stritt C, Roulin AC, Chu C, Liu S, Morita T, Handa H, Poland J, Keller B, Krattinger SG* (2021) Population genomics and haplotype analysis in spelt and bread wheat identifies a gene regulating glume color. Communications Biology 4:375.
  6. Kolodziej MC, Singla J, Sanchez-Martin J, Zbinden H, Simkova H, Karafiatova M, Dolezel J, Gronnier J, Poretti M, Glauser G, Zju W, Koster P, Zipfel C, Wicker T*, Krattinger SG*, Keller B* (2021) A membrane-bound ankyrin repeat protein confers race-specific leaf rust disease resisatnce in wheat. Nature Communications 12:956.
  7. Abrouk M, Ahmed HI, Cubry P, Simonikova D, Cauet S, Pailles Y, Bettgenhaeuser J, Gapa L, Scarcelli N, Couderc M, Zekraoui L, Kathiresan N, Cizkova J, Hribova E, Dolezel J, Arribat S, Berges H, Wieringa JJ, Gueye M, Kane NA, Leclerc C, Causse S, Vancoppenolle S, Billot C, Wicker T, Vigouroux Y, Barnaud A*, Krattinger SG* (2020) Fonio millet genome unlocks African orphan crop diversity for agriculture in a changing climate. Nature Communications 11:4488.
  8. Wang Y, Subedi S, de Vries H, Doornenbal P, Vels A, Hensel G, Kumlehn J, Johnston PA, Qi X, Blilou I, Niks RE*, Krattinger SG* (2019) Orthologous receptor kinases quantitatively affect the host status of barley to leaf rust fungi. Nature Plants 5: 1129-1135.
  9. Thind AK, Wicker T, Simkova H, Fossati D, Moullet O, Brabant C, Vrana J, Dolezel J, Krattinger SG* (2017) Rapid cloning of genes in hexaploid wheat using cultivar-specific long-range chromosome assembly. Nature Biotechnology 35: 793-796.
  10. Krattinger SG, Lagudah ES, Spielmeyer W, Sing RP, Huerta-Espino J, McFadden H, Bossolini E, Selter LL, Keller B (2009) A putative ABC transporter confers durable resistance to multiple fungal pathogens in wheat. Science 323: 1360-1363.


  • Ph.D., Plant Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2009
  • M.Sc., Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland 2005​​

Professional Profile

  • Current: Assistant Professor of Plant Science, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2013-2017: Group Leader, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2013: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2010-2012: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia​

Scientific and Professional Membership

 ● Swiss society for phytiatry, Swiss society of agronomy

KAUST Affiliations

Plant Science Program

Bioscience Program

Center for Desert Agriculture

Research Interests Keywords

Genomics Genetics Plant-pathogen interactions fungal diseases Wheat Cereals disease resistance