Yaseen Mottair

Yaseen Mottiar

PhD Candidate


Twitter: @ymottiar
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ymottiar
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yaseen_Mottiar
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=X5n_VB0AAAAJ&hl=en


Exploring the plasticity of lignification

Research Interests

Lignin is a complex polyphenolic constituent of the secondary cell walls of vascular plants. It is important for structural support, water conduction and plant defence, and it accounts for roughly 18-35 % of woody biomass. But lignin poses a major challenge for industrial processing, particularly in the pulp and paper and biofuels industries. Through genetic engineering, it is possible to produce experimental plants with altered lignin content, composition and structure. My research aims to explore alternative approaches in the area of lignin engineering. In particular, I am developing new strategies to control the metabolic flux through the shikimate pathway which allocates carbon invested from photosynthate into the production of lignin and other phenylpropanoids. I am also exploring new avenues in the area of designer lignins with a goal towards reducing lignin recalcitrance and improving biomass utilisation efficiency.


MSc, Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto (2012)
BASc, Chemical Engineering, University of Ottawa (2008)
BSc (Honours), Biochemistry, University of Ottawa (2007)


Mottiar Y, Gierlinger N, Jeremic D, Master ER, Mansfield SD (2020). Atypical lignification in eastern leatherwood (Dirca palustris). New Phytologist, forthcoming manuscript.

Kuglerova L, Garcí a L, Pardo I, Mottiar Y, Richardson JS (2017). Does leaf litter from invasive plants contribute the same support of a stream ecosystem function as native vegetation? EcoSphere 8(4): e01779.

Mottiar Y, Vanholme R, Boerjan W, Ralph J, Mansfield SD (2016). Designer lignins: Harnessing the plasticity of lignification. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 37: 190-200.

Cass CL, Peraldi A, Dowd PF, Mottiar Y, Santoro N, Karlen SD, Bukhman YV, Foster CE, Thrower N, Bruno LC, Moskvin OV, Johnson ET, Willhoit ME, Phutane M, Ralph J, Mansfield SD, Nicholson P, Sedbrook JC (2015). Effects of PHENYLALANINE AMMONIA LYASE (PAL) knockdown on cell wall composition, biomass digestibility, and biotic and abiotic stress responses in Brachypodium. Journal of Experimental Botany 66(14): 4317-4345.

Mottiar Y, Chafe PDJ, Ribbens E (2015). Imperfect flowers of Opuntia fragilis in Kaladar, Ontario. Haseltonia 20: 22-25.

Wan S, Greenham T, Goto K, Mottiar Y, Johnson AM, Staebler JM, Zaidi MA, Shu Q, Altosaar I (2014). A novel nitrous oxide mitigation strategy: Expressing nitrous oxide reductase from Pseudomonas stutzeri in transgenic plants. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 94(6): 1013-1023.

Doering J, Doering M, Mottiar Y, Booth T (2013). Mycological diversity on Jack Pine and Black Spruce bark by Payuk Lake, Manitoba. Proceedings of Manitoba’s Undergraduate Science and Engineering Research 1(1): 27-33.

Mottiar Y (2013). Iodine biofortification through plant biotechnology. Nutrition 29(11): 1431.

Wan S, Goto K, Mottiar Y, Staebler JM, Johnson AM, Voronova A, Blais DR, Zaidi MA, Altosaar I (2012). Bacterial nitrous oxide reductase expressed in transgenic plants: Evidence for sufficient anaerobicity to permit activity. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 92(7): 1283-1294.

Mottiar Y (2012). On the discovery of Eastern Leatherwood (Dirca palustris). Canadian Field-Naturalist 126(1): 86-88.

Wan S, Mottiar Y, Johnson AM, Goto K, Altosaar I (2012). Expression of the nos operon proteins from Pseudomonas stutzeri in transgenic plants to assemble nitrous oxide reductase. Transgenic Research 21(3): 593-603.

Jugnia L-B, Mottiar Y, Djuikom E, Cabral AR, Greer CW (2012). Effect of compost, nitrogen salts and NPK fertilizers on methane oxidation potential at different temperatures. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 93(6): 2633-2643.

Mottiar Y, Altosaar I (2011). Iodine sequestration by amylose to combat iodine deficiency disorders. Trends in Food Science and Technology 22(6): 335-340.

Zaidi MA, Narayanan M, Sardana R, Taga I, Postel S, Johns R, McNulty M, Mottiar Y, Mao J, Loit E, Altosaar I (2006). Optimizing the tissue culture media for efficient transformation of different indica rice genotypes. Agronomy Research 4(2): 563-575.