Doctor Jamil Chowdhury

Jamil ChowdhuryI am a molecular biologist with a broad interest in uncovering the underlying mechanisms of how plants interact with pathogenic and symbiotic microorganisms at the genetic and molecular levels. My research involves finding options for plant to interact with better partners for greater adaptability to the harsh conditions.

I hold a PhD in agricultural and natural resource sciences from the University of Adelaide in Australia where I have specialized in molecular biology of the plant cell wall and pathogen interactions. I then moved to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences to pursue my interest in the molecular dialogues between forest trees and ectomycorrhizal fungi by exploring the genetic and metabolite changes in both plant and fungal partners during the interactions. After completing this project I started my second postdoctoral project at the Umea University in Sweden where I investigated how the bacterial pathogens like Pseudomonas syringae trigger specific plant transcription factors to access specific plant metabolites and how modification of the plant genome can deny pathogens accessing these metabolites.

As a research fellow at the HIE, I investigate pine root microbiomes, specifically how their diversity is altered by different fertilizer and fungicide application practices in nurseries across Australia. The investigation aims at minimizing the use of fertilizers and fungicides by restoring the root microbiome with beneficial microorganisms.

You can find more about my research and related activities on my personal website (opens in a new window).

Fields of research

Plant-microbe interactions, Plant pathology, Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis, plant cell wall biology and plant resistance mechanisms.

Awards and recognition

  • Kempe Post-doctoral fellowship, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden (2016)
  • Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence award, The University of Adelaide (2016)
  • Adelaide Scholarship International, The University of Adelaide (2012 -2016)
  • Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics Prize (2011)
  • Faculty of Science outstanding achievement award, The University of Adelaide (2010)
  • Australia Awards Scholar, The University of Adelaide (2010-2011)


Project Title: Discovering the role of Proanthocyanidin in roots as a mediator of defense responses during ectomycorrhiza establishment.
Type: Postdoctoral research
Funding body: Kempe foundation, Sweden.
Year 2021- 2023

Project title:  The role of tannin and cell wall interactions on ectomycorrhizal development in Swedish aspen
Type: Research support
Funding body: Gunnar and Ruth Björkman's fund for botanical research in Norrland.
Year 2019.

Project title:  The role of phenolics on ectomycorrhizal development in Swedish aspen
Type: Research support
Funding body: Gunnar and Ruth Björkman's fund for botanical research in Norrland.
Year 2018.


Chowdhury J, Ferdous J, Lihavainen J, Albrectsen BR, Lundberg-Felten J, (2023) 'Fluorogenic properties of 4-dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde (DMACA) enable high resolution imaging of cell-wall-bound proanthocyanidins in plant root tissues', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.13, Article no.1060804

Chowdhury J, Kemppainen M,  Nicolas D, Iryna S, Jingjing Z, Takahashi-Schmidt J, Pardo AG, Felten JL, (2022) 'Laccaria bicolor pectin methylesterases are involved in ectomycorrhiza development with Populus tremula x Populus tremuloides', New Phytologist, vol.236, pp  639-655

Kemppainen M, Chowdhury J, Lundberg-Felten J, Pardo A, (2020) 'Fluorescent protein expression in the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor: a plasmid toolkit for easy use of fluorescent markers in basidiomycetes', Current  Genetics, vol.66, pp 791–811

Chowdhury J, Coad BR, Little A, (2019) 'Cell Wall Responses to Biotrophic Fungal Pathogen Invasion', Annual plant reviews online, vol.2, pp 1001-1030

Chowdhury J, Lück S, Rajaraman J, Douchkov D, Shirley NJ, Schwerdt JG, Schweizer P, Fincher GB, Burton RA, Little A, (2017) 'Altered Expression of Genes Implicated in Xylan Biosynthesis Affects Penetration Resistance against Powdery Mildew', Frontiers in plant science, vol.8, p 445

Ferdous J, Sanchez‐Ferrero JC, Langridge P, Milne L, Chowdhury J, Brien C, Tricker PJ, (2017) 'Differential expression of microRNAs and potential targets under drought stress in barley', Plant, cell & environment, vol.40, no.1, pp 11-24

Chowdhury J, Schober MS, Shirley NJ, Singh RR, Jacobs AK, Douchkov D, Schweizer P, Fincher GB, Burton RA, Little A, (2016) 'Down‐regulation of the glucan synthase‐like 6 gene (HvGsl6) in barley leads to decreased callose accumulation and increased cell wall penetration by Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei', New Phytologist, vol.212, no.2, pp 434-443

Douchkov D, Lueck S, Hensel G, Kumlehn J, Rajaraman J, Chowdhury J, Johrde A, Doblin MS, Beahan CT, Kopischke M, Fuchs R, Lipka V, (2016) 'The barley (Hordeum vulgare) cellulose synthase‐like D2 gene (HvCslD2) mediates penetration resistance to host‐adapted and nonhost isolates of the powdery mildew fungus', New Phytologist, vol.212, no.2, pp 421-433

Houston K, Tucker MR, Chowdhury J, Shirley N, Little A, (2016) 'The plant cell wall: a complex and dynamic structure as revealed by the responses of genes under stress conditions', Frontiers in plant science, vol.7, p 984

Chowdhury J, Henderson M, Schweizer P, Burton RA, Fincher GB, Little A, (2014) 'Differential accumulation of callose, arabinoxylan and cellulose in nonpenetrated versus penetrated papillae on leaves of barley infected with Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei', New Phytologist, vol.204, no.3, pp 650-660