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Muhammad Arif Uz Zaman Defends Ph.D. Thesis

Muhammad Arif Uz Zaman successfully defended his Plant Sciences Ph.D. thesis, “Delineating Root System Architecture in Rapeseed/Canola (Brassica napus L.) Through Molecular and Transcriptomic Approaches”, October 26, 2018 at North Dakota State University.
Muhammad Arif Uz Zaman Defends Ph.D. Thesis

Muhammad Arif Uz Zaman (left) and advisor Dr. Mukhlesur Rahman

December 7, 2018

Muhammad Arif Uz Zaman successfully defended his Plant Sciences Ph.D. thesis, “Delineating Root System Architecture in Rapeseed/Canola (Brassica napus L.) Through Molecular and Transcriptomic Approaches”, October 26, 2018 at North Dakota State University. His advisor is Mukhlesur Rahman, assistant professor and oilseed breeder in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Arif Uz Zaman phenotyped over 200 canola genotypes for different root architectural traits to perform genome wide association mapping with a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) marker panel consisting of approximately 42,000 markers. He detected 83 significant SNPs for different root architectural traits, which can be used in marker-assisted selection (MAS) after validation. He also identified 37 candidate genes related to root growth and development within close proximity of the physical position of the significant markers. In addition, he conducted a RNA sequencing study to identify significantly different expressed genes between spring and winter canola at two time points, 30 days and 60 days after planting. He concluded that cytokinin and gibberellin signaling might account for root system variation between spring and winter canola.

Arif Uz Zaman is from Bangladesh and received his B.Sc. degree in Agriculture at Khulna University in his home country. He chose to attend North Dakota State University for his Ph.D. because the Department of Plant Sciences is “renowned for state-of-the-art plant breeding programs” for many major crops of the United States.

While at NDSU, he participated in campus and off-campus organizations.

  • Treasurer, Bangladeshi Student Organization, NDSU (2012-2013)
  • Vice President, Bangladeshi Student Organization, NDSU (2014-2015)
  • Secretary, Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association, NDSU (2015-2016)
  • Membership coordinator and event organizer, Distressed Children and Infants International - North Dakota Chapter (2016-2018)

He received scholarships and a fellowship during his graduate studies.

  • Jack F. Carter Plant Sciences Graduate Scholastic and Leadership Scholarship (2017)
  • Prem Jauhar Crop Science Research Award  (2017)
  • Devin Miller Memorial Scholarship (2016)
  • Glenn S. Smith International Graduate Fellowship (2015)

He also received a travel award for the 10th Annual University of Minnesota Plant Science Symposium (2015).

The months of June through October 2018, Arif Uz Zaman interned as a research associate in molecular biology at Mayville State University.

He has accepted a position as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

His graduate committee included Rahman, Dr. Phillip McClean, Dr. David Horvath, and Dr. Louis del Rio Mendoza.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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