Dr Tam Sheh May

Senior Lecturer

Ph.D in Plant Systematics and Evolution (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)

  • Plant molecular genetics & genomics
  • Plant transformation
  • Tomato growth & development, tomato home gardening

Research Interests
  • Evolutionary Genetics– plant genetic diversity, phylogenetics, population genetics
  • Plant biotechnology, molecular genetics (tomato, Acacia mangium)
  • Transposable element - host evolution

Research Grants Awarded
  • Transcriptomics study of the methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) biosynthesis pathway in Impatiens balsamina L. MOE FRGS (2015-2017).
  • Functional study of specific microRNAs in the lignin biosynthesis pathway to manipulate lignin level production in industrial pulp plants. MOSTI e-Science fund (2013-2015).
  • Molecular phylogeny of Bulbophyllum species from Peninsular Malaysia: implications for pollinator-floral traits co-evolution. MOHE FRGS (2011-2013).
  • Comparative analysis and identification of genes and networks involved in the regulation of homeologous recombination of the model crop tomato. Taylor’s University Research Grant (2013-2014).
  • Determination of genetic variability and development of molecular markers for weedy rice. MOA (2010-2012). Co-researcher.

Peer Reviewed Papers (10 most significant)
  • Sudianto, E, T-X Neik, SM Tam, T-S Chuah, AA Idris, KM Olsen and B-K Song. 2016. Morphology of Malaysian weedy rice (Oryza sativa): diversity, origin and implications for weed management. Weed Science (In press). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1614/WS-D-15-00168.1
  • Song, B-K, T-S Chuah, SM Tam and K Olsen. 2014. Malaysian weedy rice shows its true stripes: wild Oryza and elite rice cultivars shape agricultural weed evolution in Southeast Asia. Molecular Ecology 23: 5003–5017
  • Azman, AS, C Mhiri, M-A Grandbastien and SM Tam. 2014. Transposable elements and the detection of somaclonal variation in plant tissue culture: a review. Malaysian Applied Biology Journal 43(1): 1-12
  • Ort, B, CS Cohen, KE Boyer, LR Reynolds, LR, SM Tam, and S Wyllie-Echeverria. 2014. Conservation of eelgrass (Zostera marina) genetic diversity in a mesocosm-based restoration experiment. PLoS ONE 9(2): e89316
  • Tam, SM, JB Hays and RT Chetelat. 2011. Effects of suppressing the DNA mismatch repair system on homeologous recombination in tomato. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123: 1445-1458
  • Tam, SM, S Samipak, A Britt and RT Chetelat. 2009. Characterization of the DNA Mismatch repair MutS homologues MSH2 and partial MSH7 from tomato. Genetica 137: 341-354
  • Tam SM, V Lefebvre, A Palloix, A-M Sage-Palloix, C Mhiri and M-A Grandbastien. 2009. LTR-retrotransposons Tnt1 and T135 markers reveal genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships of domesticated peppers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 119: 973-989
  • Tam SM, M Causse, C Garchery, H Burck, C Mhiri and M-A Grandbastien. 2007. The distribution of copia-type retrotransposons and the evolutionary history of tomato and related wild species. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20: 1056-1072
  • Grandbastien M-A, C Audéon, E Bonnivard, JM Casacuberta, B Chalhoub, A-PP Costa, QH Le, D Melayah, M Petit, C Poncet, S-M Tam, M-A Van Sluys and C Mhiri. 2005. Stress activation and genomic impact of Tnt1 retrotransposons in Solanaceae. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 110: 229-241
  • Tam SM, C Mhiri, A Vogelar, M Kerveld, S Pearce and M-A Grandbastien. 2005. Comparative analyses of genetic diversities within tomato and pepper collections detected by retrotransposon-based SSAP, AFLP and SSR. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 110: 819-831

Book Chapters (10 most significant)
  • Tam SM, C Mhiri and M-A Grandbastien. 2007. Transposable elements and the analysis of plant biodiversity. In: Functional Plant Genomics. Morot-Gaudry J-F, P Lea and J-F Briat (eds.). INRA/Science Publishers, Enfield, NH, USA

Conference Abstracts/Proceedings (10 most significant)
  • HH Tea and SM Tam. 2016. Effect of partial shade and reduced temperature on tomato growth and development in lowland Selangor. 26th Malaysian Society of Plant Physiology Conference, Kuching, Malaysia.
  • Elson YY Tan and SM Tam. 2016. Exploratory analysis of transposable elements in the partial genome of Ludisia discolor (Orchidaceae). 27th Intervarsity Biochemistry Seminar, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia.
  • SM Tam and RT Chetelat. 2015. Regulation of homeologous recombination in the model crop tomato. Malaysian Genetic Congress, Serdang, Malaysia.
  • SM Tam, LE Wahba and W Ratnam. 2014. Effects of over-expressions of novel putative miRNAs 1(21), 2(21), 1(22) and 256(21) identified from secondary xylem tissues of Acacia mangium on lignin biosynthesis. IUFRO Acacia 2014 Conference, Hue, Vietnam.
  • KF Lee, PT Ong, R Kiew and SM Tam. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of Bulbophyllum (Orchidaceae) from Peninsular Malaysia: Implications for pollinator-floral traits co-evolution. The 8th International Flora Malesiana Symposium, Singapore.
  • SM Tam and RT Chetelat. 2010. Translational genomics of meiotic transcriptomes to manipulate genetic recombination. Plant and Animal Genomes conference. San Diego, USA.
  • SM Tam and RT Chetelat 2006. The roles of mismatch repair genes MSH2 and MSH7 in homeologous recombination in tomato. PAA/Solanaceae Meeting. Wisconsin, Madison, USA.
  • SM Tam, C Mhiri and M-A Grandbastien. 2005. Retrotransposons as tools for the assessment of genetic diversity in Solanaceae. 2nd Solanaceae Genome Workshop. Ischia, Italy.
  • SM Tam, C Mhiri and M-A Grandbastien. 2003. Utilising retrotransposons as a tool for studying the genetic diversities and interspecific relationships of tomato, pepper and wild relatives. French Transposable Element network annual meeting, Montpellier, France.
  • SM Tam, C Mhiri and M-A Grandbastien. 2003. Utilising retrotransposons as a tool for studying the genetic diversities of tomato and pepper. The 7th Evolution Biology Meeting, Marseille, France.

Scholarly Activities/Industry Experience/Consultation (10 most significant)
  • Director, Centre for Research Development (CRD), Taylor’s University (2013)
  • Associate Dean Postgraduate, Research & Innovation (School of Biosciences), Taylor’s University (2013)
  • Lecturer, Monash University Malaysia (2009 – 2012)
  • Assistant Specialist, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of California Davis, USA (2005 – 2009)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, San Francisco State University, USA (2005)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France (2002-2004)
  • Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar (1998-2002)
  • Consultations: tomato growth & home gardening kit, AAS garden soil analysis, natural soap products using local algae extracts

Professional Affiliations
  • Member, Malaysian Society of Plant Physiology