Ahmad Faizal, Dr.

Secondary Metabolites

Ahmad Faizal is interested in the field of plant secondary metabolite and metabolic engineering. He developes strategies to modulate a triterpene saponin (a class of secondary metabolite) production from medicinal plants. These are including the classic tissue culture techniques, polyploidization, genetic engineering of uncommon plant species using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, flow cytometry, and metabolic engineering.

Production of starch and protein from duckweed

These plants are very simple, lacking an obvious stem or leaves. The greater part of each plant is a small organized “thallus” or “frond” structure only a few cells thick, often with air pockets that allow it to float on or just under the water surface. Depending on the species, each plant may have no root or may have one or more simple rootlets. In this project, biomass, starch and protein content of local duckweed isolates were investigated.


Medicinal Mosses and Ferns

It is estimated that more than about 25% of modern drugs used today are derived from plants. As a part of drug discovery, we develop tool to screen and select plant that possess interesting bioactivities. Among the medicinal plants, mosses (bryophytes) and small ferns are of our interest since these groups have not been given enough attention due lack chemistry information and the quantity for analysis. Previous study reported that both moss and ferns are rich in terpenoids compounds, phenols glycosides, fatty acids, including some rare aromatic compounds.


Elucidation of saponin biosynthesis in Javanese ginseng

For centuries, people have used a plethora of plants or plant-derived products with varying success to treat and cure diseases and injuries. However, only a small fraction of the immense diversity of plant metabolites has been explored for the production of new medicines and other products important to human well-being. The continuous need for new compounds with important medicinal activities has lead to the identification and characterization of various plant-derived natural products. As a part of this program, we study the production of potential pharmaceutical compound, mainly saponin from Talinum paniculatum or widely known as Javanese ginseng.


Formation of artificial agarwood

Naturally synthesized agarwood requires a lengthy process of up to thirty years, which impede its continuous production. Therefore, recent effort has been allocated to the elucidation of agarwood formation to stimulate its process rapidly. In this study, we artificially induced agarwood formation by injection and inoculation of cultivated Aquilaria malaccensis with strains of Fusarium solani isolated from different places in Indonesia.




Parts of the project has been published in:

Ahmad Faizal, Rizkita Rachmi Esyanti, Elfa Norisda Aulianisa, Iriawati, Erdy Santoso, and Maman Turjaman. 2016. Formation of agarwood from Aquilaria malaccensis in response to inoculation of local strains of Fusarium solani. Trees, 31: 189-197 doi: 10.1007/s00468-016-1471-9. 



Dr. Ahmad Faizal

Lab Micropropagation and Transformation

School of Life Sciences and Technology - Institut Teknologi Bandung

Labtech. Building XI

Ganesa 10, 40132 Bandung. Indonesia



PhD Students

Rinda KiranaInteraction between Bactrocera-chili peppers

Fruit fly is one of the major pests of commercial fruits in Indonesia. Potentially, this pest causes estimated losses up to 100%. Despite many reports describing fruit fly species, only few studies has been done to elucidate their association with chili peppers.

Heri AndriantoElectrical Engineering

Heri is working in Information Technology Research Group and currently developing a reliable chlorophyll meter tool to monitor nutrient deficiency in plants.

Master Students

Visi Tinta Manik-Biotechnology-

Visi is working on establishment of hairy root lines and analysis of secondary metabolite production in the medicinal plant Talinum paniculatum (Javanese ginseng)

Yesy John Mba’u-Biotechnology-

Agroinfiltration of potato

Ika Qurrotul AfifahBiotechnology

Ika Qurrotul Afifah obtained her bachelor in 2014 at the University of Airlangga where she investigated carbohydrate binding module (CBM) beta-xylosidase from thermophilic bacteria. Presently, she works to characterize beta-amyrin synthase activity in saponin biosynthetic pathway in Javanese ginseng.

Sulistyani PancaningtyasBiotechnology

Sulis is working on a project to study the expression of embryogenesis-associated genes SERK and BABY BOOM on local varieties of Theobroma cacao 

Undergraduate Students

Aggy AgathaBiology

Aggy is developing Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation on Javanese ginseng

Mohamad Yusuf FahrezaBiology

Yusuf has just started a project on in vitro culture of bryophytes

Alda Widya Prihartini AzarGraduated 2016
Anggita Veningtia SariBioengineering

Saponin production from adventitious root of javanese ginseng

Fahroziah AssyifaBioengineering

Production of saponin from javanese ginseng adventitious root

Putu Eka Satya YudaBioengineering

Saponin production from javanese ginseng adventitious root

Cintya Nursyifa Juwita SariBioengineering

Characterization of starch from duckweed

Anca Awal SembadaBioengineering

Cultivation of duckweed

Panji Satria NugrahaBioengineering

Production of protein from duckweed

Nadia Puji UtamiBiology

Callus culture of Aquilaria malaccensis

Galih Ganiyasa SusantoBiology

Induction of artificial agarwood


Ahmad Faizal, Rizkita Rachmi Esyanti, Elfa Norisda Aulianisa, Iriawati, Erdy Santoso, and Maman Turjaman. 2017. Formation of agarwood from Aquilaria malaccensis in response to inoculation of local strains of Fusarium solani. Trees, 31: 189-197. [ fulltext ]


Hans Indra Pramana, Rizkita Rachmi Esyanti, and Ahmad Faizal. 2016. The efficiency of growth medium bioconversion into banana (Musa acuminata, AA) plantlet biomass in temporary immersion system (TIS) RITA® bioreactor with different immersion periods. IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Applied, Natural and Social Sciences, 4: 133-140. [ fulltext ]

Kenn Foubert, Taposh Gorella, Ahmad Faizal, Paul Cos, Louis Maes, Sandra Apers, Danny Geelen, and Luc Pieters. 2016. Triterpenoid saponins from Maesa argentea leaves. Planta Medica, DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-118189. Published online 13 October 2016. [ fulltext ]


Tessa Moses, Jacob Pollier, Ahmad Faizal, Sandra Apers, Luc Pieters, Johan M Thevelein, Danny Geelen, and Alain Goossens. 2015. Unraveling the triterpenoid saponin biosynthesis of the African shrub Maesa lanceolata. Molecular plant, 8: 122-135. [ fulltext ]

Ahmad Faizal and Danny Geelen. 2015. Studies on saponin production in tropical medicinal plants Maesa argentea and Maesa lanceolata. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1677: 090009. [ fulltext ]

Feby Mayorazaki, Rizkita Rachmi Esyanti, and Ahmad Faizal. 2015. Enhancement of photosynthetic rate through photoperiod using LED in cucumber (Cucumis sativus). MATTER: International Journal of Science and Technology, 2015: 1-12. [ fulltext ]

Muhammad Fahri Riadi, Rizkita Rachmi Esyanti, and Ahmad Faizal. 2015. The effect of LED light on production of female flowers in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). MATTER: International Journal ofScience and Technology, 2015: 13-23. [ fulltext ]

Muhammad Maulana Malikul Ikram, Rizkita Rachmi Esyanti, and Ahmad Faizal. 2015. The effect of photoperiodism with LED light on productivity of female flower in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). MATTER: International Journal of Science and Technology, 2015: 24-34. [ fulltext ]


Norhayati Daud, Ahmad Faizal, and Danny Geelen. 2013. Adventitious rooting of Jatropha curcas L. is stimulated by phloroglucinol and by red LED light. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, 49: 183-190. [ fulltext ]

Ahmad Faizal and Danny Geelen. 2013. Saponins and their role in biological processes in plants. Phytochemistry Reviews, 12: 877-893. [ fulltext ]


Kenn Foubert, Annelies Breynaert, Mart Theunis, Rita Van Den Bossche, Guido RY De Meyer, André Van Daele, Ahmad Faizal, Alain Goossens, Danny Geelen, Edward M Conway, Arnold Vlietinck, Luc Pieters, and Sandra Apers. 2012. Evaluation of the anti-angiogenic activity of saponins from Maesa lanceolata by different assays. Natural Product Communications, 7: 1149-1154. [ fulltext ]

Ahmad Faizal and Danny Geelen. 2012. Agroinfiltration of intact leaves as a method for the transient and stable transformation of saponin producing Maesa lanceolata. Plant Cell Reports, 31: 1517-1526. [ fulltext ]


Ahmad Faizal, Ellen Lambert, Kenn Foubert, Sandra Apers, and Danny Geelen. 2011. In vitro propagation of four saponin producing Maesa species . Plant Cell Tissue Organ Culture, 106: 215-223. [ fulltext ]

Ellen Lambert, Ahmad Faizal, and Danny Geelen. 2011. Modulation of triterpene saponin production: In vitro cultures, elicitation and metabolic engineering. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 164: 220-237. [ fulltext ]

NoCourse CodeCourseCredit Unit
1BE-2201Plant Biology (Laboratory)1
2BI-2204Project in Plant Science2
3BE-4202Plant as Production System3
4BA-2101Plant Physiology and Development4
5BI-4097Final Project 10.5