Sheffield Institute for Nucleic Acids

Dr Karim Sorefan

Research Interests

Dr Sorefan is interested in the gene regulatory mechanisms controlling plant development. This work is important to improve crop and maintain food security.  His lab is investigating how plant hormones coordinate gene expression, the gene regulatory mechanisms controlling seed size, and how leaf development is regulated.  His group uses next generation sequencing approaches to investigate the expression of genes and microRNAs.

Recently, interests have developed in how G-quadruplex secondary structures could regulate gene expression. G-quadruplexes (G4) are DNA and RNA secondary structures that are of great interest because they regulate fundamental biological processes and are associated with human diseases and cancer. As yet very little is known about their function in any multicellular context or in plant biology.


  • Crowe, N., T.E. Swingler, L. Le, K. Sorefan, H. Pais, M.J. Barter, S.T. Donell, D.A. Young, T. Dalmay, and I.M. Clark. 2013. “Identification and Characterisation of Novel microRNAs Involved in Osteoarthritis.” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 21 (April).
  • Sorefan, Karim, Helio Pais, Adam E Hall, Ana Kozomara, Sam Griffiths-Jones, Vincent Moulton, and Tamas Dalmay. 2012. “Reducing Ligation Bias of Small RNAs in Libraries for next Generation Sequencing.” Silence 3 (1): 4.
  • Fuentes, Sara, Karin Ljung, Karim Sorefan, Elizabeth Alvey, Nicholas P Harberd, and Lars Østergaard. 2012. “Fruit Growth in Arabidopsis Occurs via DELLA-Dependent and DELLA-Independent Gibberellin Responses.” The Plant Cell 24 (10): 3982–96.
  • Jiang, Kun, Karim Sorefan, Michael J Deeks, Michael W Bevan, Patrick J Hussey, and Alistair M Hetherington. 2012. “The ARP2/3 Complex Mediates Guard Cell Actin Reorganization and Stomatal Movement in Arabidopsis.” The Plant Cell 24 (5): 2031–40.
  • Mohorianu, Irina, Frank Schwach, Runchun Jing, Sara Lopez-Gomollon, Simon Moxon, Gyorgy Szittya, Karim Sorefan, Vincent Moulton, and Tamas Dalmay. 2011. “Profiling of Short RNAs during Fleshy Fruit Development Reveals Stage-Specific sRNAome Expression Patterns.” The Plant Journal : For Cell and Molecular Biology 67 (2): 232–46.
  • Arnaud, Nicolas, Thomas Girin, Karim Sorefan, Sara Fuentes, Thomas A. Wood, Tom Lawrenson, Robert Sablowski, and Lars Østergaard. 2010. “Gibberellins Control Fruit Patterning in Arabidopsis Thaliana.” Genes and Development 24 (19): 2127–32.
  • Sorefan, Karim, Thomas Girin, Sarah J Liljegren, Karin Ljung, Pedro Robles, Carlos S Galván-Ampudia, Remko Offringa, Jirí Friml, Martin F Yanofsky, and Lars Østergaard. 2009. “A Regulated Auxin Minimum Is Required for Seed Dispersal in Arabidopsis.” Nature 459 (7246). 583–86.
  • Li, Yunhai, Khoon Lee Kee, Sean Walsh, Caroline Smith, Sophie Hadingham, Karim Sorefan, Gavin Cawley, and Michael W. Bevan. 2006. “Establishing Glucose- and ABA-Regulated Transcription Networks in Arabidopsis by Microarray Analysis and Promoter Classification Using a Relevance Vector Machine.” Genome Research 16 (3): 414–27.
  • Li, Yunhai, Karim Sorefan, Georg Hemmann, and Michael W Bevan. 2004. “Arabidopsis NAP and PIR Regulate Actin-Based Cell Morphogenesis and Multiple Developmental Processes.” Plant Physiology 136 (3): 3616–27.
Dr Karim Sorefan
Lecturer in Developmental Molecular Genetics
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
+44 (0)114 222 2720