Song Beng Kah

Senior Lecturer
School of Science

Secondary: +603 5514 6119
Room 4-8-18

Dr Song Beng Kah completed a BSc in cell and molecular biology in 1996 and MSc in Genetics in 1999 from National University of Malaysia. Before pursuing the PhD, he was employed as a high school teacher working mainly in the area of science and biology education for about two years. Dr Song then returned to National University of Malaysia to undertake a PhD researching the yield-related genes and comparative genomics of rice species, completing in 2006. While completing his PhD he worked as tutor and graduate research assistant in the National University of Malaysia, and performed one year of research attachment at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, Scotland. After graduating, he joined Monash University Malaysia as a lecturer in genetics. Dr Song was an Honorary Research Scientist at the Washington University in St. Louis, USA, researching population genetics and evolution of rice (2011 – 2013, 2016). In 2014, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer.  Dr Song has teaching and research responsibilities in genomics and molecular genetics. In collaboration with local and international institutions, his research focuses on genomics and genetic underlying agronomic traits in rice and other higher eukaryotes. Dr Song serves a number of societies including the Genetics Society of Malaysia and the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  In his spare time, he is involved in TaiJi martial arts activities and occasionally publish series of education- and science-related articles in local dailies.


  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Monash University, 2016
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2006
  • Diploma in Education (Biology and Chemistry), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2000
  • Master of Science in Genetics, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science (Cell and Molecular Biology), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 1996


  • Molecular genetics

Research Interests

Next generation sequencing based genetics, genomics, transcriptomics and population studies of plant species (i.e. rice, medicinal plants); molecular evolution, genome analysis of plant and protozoan parasites; comparative genomics as a tool for plant improvement.


  • BTH3752 (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology)
  • GEN3040 (Genomics and its Applications)

Book chapters

Song, B.K. 2017. University education leading students to a fulfilling career. In: Wing Keong Phoon (ed.). Challenges of the Tertiary Education in Malaysia (in Chinese), Kuala Lumpur: Mentor Publishing Sdn Bhd (in press).

Song, B.K. 2017. World university rankings. In: Wing Keong Phoon (ed.). Challenges of the Tertiary Education in Malaysia (in Chinese), Kuala Lumpur: Mentor Publishing Sdn Bhd (in press).

Scholarly Journals

Farheena Iqbal, Qasim Ayub, Beng Kah Song, Robyn Wilson, Muhammad Fahim, Sadequr Rahman. 2020. Sequence and phylogeny of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Himalayan jungle crow (Corvidae: Corvus macrorhynchos intermedius) from Pakistan. Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 5(1), 348-350

Cynthia C. Vigueira, Xinshuai Qi, Beng-Kah Song*, Lin-Feng Li, Ana L. Caicedo, Yulin Jia, and Kenneth M. Olsen. 2019. Call of the wild rice: Oryza rufipogon shapes weedy rice evolution in Southeast Asia. Evolutionary Applications 12: 93–104.

Ting Xiang, Neik, Jing-Yun, Chai, Seow-Yeen, Tan, Yongxia, Cui, Jayasyaliny Jayaraj, Su-Sin, Teo, Kenneth M. Olsen and Beng-Kah Song*. 2019. When West meets East: The origins and spread of weedy rice between continental and island Southeast Asia. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics (Early online July 10).

Muniandy, K., Tan, M.H., Song, B.K. et al. 2019. Comparative Sequence and Methylation Analysis of Chloroplast and Amyloplast Genomes from Rice. Plant Molecular Biology.

Urszula Krzeminska, Robyn Wilson, Beng Kah Song, Christopher M Austin, Paul Sunnucks, Alexandra Pavlova, Chris Greening, Hernán E Morales, Sadequr Rahman. 2018. Population mitogenomics provides insights into evolutionary history, source of invasions and diversifying selection in the House Crow (Corvus splendens). Heredity 120(4): 296-309.

Ting Xiang Neik, Beng Kah Song, Paul Davidson. 2017. Popularity of various teaching methods in a post-secondary biology class of a Malaysian private institution. ASEAN Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 8(1): 1-25.

Nur Binti Omar, Robyn Fay Wilson, The Ser-Huy, Urszula Krzemińska, Sharifah Syed Hassan, Song Beng Kah, Sadequr Rahman. 2017. Genetic diversity of commercial chickens consumed in Selangor, Malaysia. Malays. Appl. Biol. 46(2): 1–6.

Yongxia Cui, Beng Kah Song*, Lin-Feng Li, Ya-Ling Li, Zhongyun Huang, Ana L. Caicedo, Yulin Jia and Kenneth M. Olsen. 2016. Little White Lies: Pericarp Color Provides Insights into the Origins and Evolution of Southeast Asian Weedy Rice. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics 6(12): 4105–4114.

Gopal Ji Tiwari, May Ying Chiang, Jeremy Ryan De Silva, Beng Kah Song, Yee Ling Lau, Sadequr Rahman. 2016. Lipase genes expressed in rice bran: LOC_Os11g43510 encodes a novel rice lipase. Journal of Cereal Science 71: 43-52.

Edi Sudianto, Ting-Xiang Neik, Sheh May Tam, Tse-Seng Chuah, Akmal Adilah Idris, Kenneth M. Olsen, and Beng-Kah Song*. 2016. Morphology of Malaysian weedy rice (Oryza sativa): diversity, origin and implications for weed management. Weed Science 64(3):501-512.

Urszula Krzemińska, Robyn Wilson, Beng Kah Song, Sampath Seneviratne, Sharif Akhteruzzaman, Joanna Gruszczyńska, Wiesław Świderek, Teh Ser Huy, Christopher M. Austin, Sadequr Rahman. 2016. Genetic diversity of native and introduced populations of the invasive house crow (Corvus splendens) in Asia and Africa. Biological Invasions 18: 1867.

Cheronie Shely Stanis, Beng Kah Song, Tock Hing Chua, Yee Ling Lau, Jenarun Jelip. 2016. Evaluation of New Multiplex PCR Primers for the Identification of Plasmodium Species Found in Sabah. Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences 46: 1-12.

Chua TH, Stanis CS, Song BK, Lau YL, Jelip P, Lau TY. 2015. Developing New Primers for Molecular Identification of Plasmodium spp. Recorded in Sabah. Borneo Journal of Medical Sciences 9: 3-10.

Urszula Krzeminska, Robyn Wilson, Sadequr Rahman, , Beng Kah Song, Sampath Seneviratne, Han Ming Gan, Christopher M Austin. 2015. Mitochondrial genomes of the jungle crow Corvus macrorhynchos (Passeriformes: Corvidae) from shed feathers and a phylogenetic analysis of genus Corvus using mitochondrial protein coding genes. Mitochondrial DNA: 1–3.

Urszula Krzeminska, Sadequr Rahman, Robyn Wilson, , Beng Kah Song, Han Ming Gan, Mun Hua Tan, Christopher M Austin. 2014. The complete mitochondrial genome of the invasive house crow Corvus splendens (Passeriformes: Corvidae). Mitochondrial DNA: 1–2.

Soon Li, Lee; Tam, Cai Lian; Song, Beng Kah; Neik, Tina. 2015. The mediating role of depressive symptom severity in the relationship between Obsessive-compulsive disorder and Quality of Life. Asian Social Science 11(1): 97-102.

Song, Beng-Kah*; Chuah, Tse-Seng; Tam, Sheh-May; Olsen, Kenneth M. 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.

Chong, Y.V., Chua T.H. and Song B.K. 2014. Genetic variations of Chrysomya megacephala populations in Malaysia (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Advances in Entomology 2(1): 49-56.

Song, B.K.*, Pan, M.Z., Blake, D. & Wan, K.L. 2014. Sequence analysis of the PIP5K locus in Eimeria maxima provides further evidence for eimerian genome plasticity and segmental organization. Genetics and Molecular Research 13(3): 5803-5814.

Edi Sudianto, Song Beng-Kah, Neik Ting-Xiang, Nestor E. Saldain, Robert C. Scott, and Nilda R. Burgos (2013) , Clearfield® rice: Its development, success, and key challenges on a global perspective, Crop Protection, 49: 40-51.

Yee-Song Law, Ranganath Gudimella, Beng-Kah Song, Wickneswari Ratnam and Jennifer Ann Harikrishna (2012), Molecular Characterization and Comparative Sequence Analysis of Defense-Related Gene, Oryza rufipogon Receptor-Like Protein Kinase 1, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 13: 9343-9362

Goh, M.Y., Pan, M.Z., Blake, D., Wan, K.L. & Song, B.K.* 2011. Eimeria maxima phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase: locus sequencing, characterization and cross-phylum comparison. Parasitology Research.  108(3): 611–620.

Song, B.K.*, Waugh, R., Marshall, D., Nadarajah, K. & Wickneswari, R. 2011. Comparative physical mapping using overgo-tagged site reveals strong conservation of synteny between cultivated and common wild rice in the 1.2Mb yld1.1 region. Asia Pacific Journal of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 19(4): 157 -168.

Chua, T.H., Song, B.K. & Chong, Y.V. 2010. Development of allele-specific SNP-based PCR markers in cytochrome oxidase I (COI) for the differentiation of Bactrocera payaye and B. carambolae (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 103(6): 1994-1999.

Song, B.K.*, Hein, I., Druka, A., Waugh, R., Marshall, D., Nadarajah, K., Yap, S.J., & Wickneswari, R. 2009. The 172-kb genomic DNA region of the O. rufipogon yld1.1 locus: comparative sequence analysis with O. sativa ssp. japonica, and O. sativa ssp. indica. Functional & Integrative Genomics 9: 97–108.

Song, B.K.*, Nadarajah, K. & Wickneswari, R. 2007. A non-redundant strategy for identification of a minimum tiling path BAC contig spanning approximately 390 kb of the QTL yld1.1 in Oryza rufipogon. Korean Journal of Genetics 29(4): 447-458.

Song, B.K.*, Nadarajah, K., Romanov, M.N. & Wickneswari, R. 2005. Cross-species bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library screening via overgo-based hybridization and BAC-contig mapping of a yield enhancement quantitative trait locus (QTL) yld1.1 in the Malaysian wild rice Oryza rufipogon. Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 10(3): 425-437.

Song, B.K., Mahani, M.C., Wickneswari, R. & Normah, M.N. 2000. Genetic relatedness among Lansium domesticum accessions using RAPD markers. Annals of Botany 86: 299-307.

Research Grants

  • Song, BK, 2019-2022, Genomic variations and association study of agronomic traits in Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand weedy rice (Oryza sativa L.), Monash University Malaysia-ASEAN Sustainable Development Research Grant, RM250,000
  • Song, BK, 2016, Development of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) using MiSeq for assessment of population genetics and contemporary evolution of Sabah weedy rice, Ministry of Higher Education, RM150 000

PhD Students (Present)

  1. Lee Da Yi
  2. Hazel Yean Ru Ann
  3. Md Mainul Hasan Sarker
  4. Maggie Sudo Pui San
  5. Vani Juliyanti (Co-supervisor)
  6. Farooq Omar Maan al-Ajli (Co-supervisor)
  7. Isra Ahmad Farouk (Co-supervisor)
  8. Farheena Iqbal (Co-supervisor)
  9. Md Hamed Hussain (Co-supervisor)
  10. Hira Javaid (Co-supervisor)

PhD Students (Completed)

  1. Girija Thiruvengadam  (PhD, co-supervisor, graduated 2012)
  2. Gopal Ji Tawari (PhD, co-supervisor, graduated 2017)
  3. Urszula Krzeminska (PhD, co-supervisor, graduated 2018)
  4. Mohana Eswari Ragu (PhD, co-supervisor, graduated 2018)
  5. Kanagesswari Muniandy (Co-supervisor, graduated 2019)
  6. Chrystine Yan Zou Yi (Co-supervisor)

Masters (Present)


Masters (Completed)

  1. Lee Sau Peng (MSc, main-supervisor, graduated 2013);
  2. Puviarasi Meganathan (MSc, main-supervisor, graduated 2014)
  3. Ong Poh Teck (Co-supervisor)
  4. Rupini Yesudasan (MSc, main-supervisor, graduated 2019);
  5. Jayasyaliny Jayaraj (MSc, main-supervisor, graduated 2019)
  6. Shaheena Shehnaz Ahmad Riffaei Thowfeek (MSc, co-supervisor)

Honours Students (Completed)

  1. Sara Jane Chiu Soo Hoon
  2. Charlene Priscilla Poore
  3. Goh Mei Yen
  4. Shabnam Zaman
  5. Tang Mun Yen
  6. Edi Sudianto
  7. Chai Jing Yun
  8. Tan Seow Yeen
  9. Low Min Yang
  10. Kanagesswari Muniandy (Co-supervisor)
  11. Farooq Omar Maan Al-Ajli (Co-supervisor)

Membership in Academic Editorial Committees

Journal reviewer

  • Scientific Reports
  • Genes
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences
  • Pest Management Science
  • Weed Science
  • Plant Molecular Biology Reporter
  • Annals of Applied Biology
  • Journal of Heredity
  • Sains Malaysiana

Professional membership

Member of Genetics Society of Malaysia, Malaysian Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology