Department of Biological Sciences

meshackMeshack Afitlhile, Associate Professor

Lipid biochemistry and jasmonates

Contact Information:

(309) 298-2534
Waggoner Hall 311


Postdoctoral training – Umass, Amherst (2001-2003) Ph.D. - University of Kentucky, 2001 M.S. – Rhodes University, South Africa (1993)

Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 100 Biological Concepts
  • BIOL 330 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BOT 430G Plant Physiology

Research Interests:

My laboratory uses T-DNA insertion mutants of Arabidopsis to evaluate the role of major chloroplast receptors in the import of cytoplasm synthesized fatty acid desaturases. We employ conditions that promote de novo lipid synthesis, which help us evaluate the role of each receptor complex in the import of different fatty acid desaturases.


  • Afitlhile, Meshack, Kayla Duffield-Duncan, Morgan Fry, Samantha Workman, Sue Hum-Musser, David Hildebrand. 2015. The toc132toc120 heterozygote mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana accumulates reduced levels of hexadecatrienoic acid. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 96: 426-435.
  • Afitlhile, Meshack, Morgan Fry, Samantha Workman. 2015. The TOC159 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana accumulates altered levels of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 87:  61-72.
  • Afitlhile, Meshack, Samantha Workman, Kayla Duffield, Danielle Sprout, and Mark Berhow.  2013.  A mutant of the Arabidopsis thaliana TOC159 gene accumulates reduced levels of linolenic acid and monogalactosyldiacylglycerol.  Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 73: 344-350.
  • Afitlhile, Meshack, Hirotada Fukushige, Mikio Nishimura, and David Hildebrand. 2005. A defect in glyoxysomal fatty acid b–oxidation reduces jasmonic acid accumulation in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 43(6):603–609.
  • Afitlhile, Meshack, Hirotada Fukushige, and David Hildebrand. 2005. Allene oxide synthase and hydroperoxide lyase product accumulation in Artemisia species. Plant Science 169(1):139–146.
  • Smith, M.D., C.M. Rounds, F. Wang, K. Chen, Meshack Afitlhile, and D.J. Schnell. 2004. atToc159 is a selective transit peptide receptor for the import of nucleus-encoded chloroplasts proteins. Journal of Cell Biology 165(3):323–334.
  • Afitlhile, Meshack, Hirotada Fukushige, and David Hildebrand. 2004. Labeling of major plant lipids and jasmonic acid using [1-14C] lauric acid. Phytochemistry 65(19):2679-2684.
  • Wang, Cunxi, Christopher A. Zien, Meshack Afitlhile, Ruth Welti, David F. Hildebrand, and Xuemin Wang. 2000. Involvement of Phospholipase D in Wound-Induced Accumulation of Jasmonic Acid in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, Vol. 12, 2237-2246.