Plant Functional Biology of Stress Responses for Improvement and Exploring Plant Genetic Resources
a) Plant stress biology
b) Plant allergens
c) Crop improvement through molecular breeding
d) Plant developmental biology
The current major projects in these four areas are as follows:
a) Plant stress biology:
· Studies on Phosphoinositide-specific Phospholipase C function during abiotic stress
· Understanding the epigenetic regulation involved in the transcription of stress induced genes in rice
· Functional analysis of the DNA Pol Lambda gene and the protein from indica rice cultivars (PI: Prof. Dibyendu Narayan Sengupta).
· Generation of homozygous salt tolerant transgenic rice plan
· Functional Genomics of UV stress related medicinal potential in Plants of NE India.
· A new monocot mannose binding plant lectin, CEA isolated from Colocasia esculanta was isolated that exhibits efficacy against mustard aphid, whitefly & other sap sucking insects
· A novel lectin like monomeric protein, mASAL has been designed by site directed mutagenesis of a stretch of five amino acid residues (DNSNN) basically forming a beta turn between the 11th and 12th beta strands of a dimeric insecticidal lectin, ASAL.
· The resultant mutant protein, mASAL demonstrating potential antifungal activity against severely damaging rice pest, Rhizoctonia solani causing sheath blight in rice both in vitro as well as in transgenic rice plants.
· Genomic and proteomic approaches to understand compatible and incompatible interactions of Vigna mungo with Mungbean Yellow Mosaic India virus (MYMIV).
· To understand the role of NAC domain transcription factors in resistance against the 'Black Spot' disease causing necrotrophic fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola
· Insights into mechanisms of regulation of Alternaria stress-responsive microRNA expression and significance of specific miRNA-mRNA interaction in the disease biology.
· Investigating the cause of symptom development in tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) infected tomato leaves.
· Analysis of membrane bound NAC transcription factors (NAC MTF) in tomato: insight into the mechanism of regulation of expression and biological functions.
· Functional characterization of U. maydis effector proteins
· Deciphering extracellular defence machinery of rice
· Exploitation of wild crucifer Rorippa indica for the development of aphid tolerant Brassica juncea lines through genomic and proteomic approaches.
b) Plant allergens:
· Plant Allergens: for the Improvement of Diagnostics and Therapeutics of Allergic Diseases
c) Crop improvement through molecular breeding:
· Development of improved sesame genotype with (1) better oil profile and (2) plant architecture through marker assisted (inter-specific) breeding
· Functional Genomics of Medicinal plants of NE India
· Development of gene specific molecular marker in mulberry, a plant of sericulture Interest
d) Plant developmental biology:
Investigating the role of novel non histone protein HMG (high mobility group), ARID/HMG, in modulation of chromatin architecture in plants
Faculty members associated with this programme:
Samir Ranjan Sikdar (Coordinator)
Arun Lahiri Majumder (INSA Senior Scientist)
Sampa Das (INSA Senior Scientist)
Amita Pal (UGC Emeritus Scientist)
Swati Sen-Mandi (ICMR Emeritus Medical Scientist)
Swati Gupta Bhattacharya
D.N Sengupta (Guest Scientist)