Notable Research Findings & Products

Major Research Findings 

Akshay Pradhan’s lab has developed several genomic resources – They have performed the Genome sequencing of mustard. They have utilized molecular tagging and performed marker-assisted breeding of oil and meal quality traits and white rust resistance and QTL dissection of many yield traits in mustard.

BK Thelma’s lab has discovered putative causal genes X-linked intellectual disability; Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia; and risk genes for rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Functional characterization of pharmacologically relevant dopaminergic gene variants has been done and iPSCs from patients are being developed for functional characterization of the identified causal genes. First ever epidemiology data for inborn errors of metabolism in Delhi state has been generated.

MV Rajam’s lab has developed several novel strategies, based on RNAi and artificial microRNA, for the control of viral and fungal pathogens, and insect pests in crops thereby generating improved transgenic crops. Improved regeneration and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation protocols for important crops and Chlamydomonas (first report) have also been developed.

Pradeep Burma’s lab has developed strategies to optimize transgene expression in plants by targeting transcriptional as well as post-transcriptional processes. They have identified and synthesized novel promoters for constitutive expression and, also characterized both constitutive and tapetum-specific promoters. They have also demonstrated that accumulation of high levels of Cry1Ac protein is detrimental to plant regeneration and development.

Surajit Sarkar’s lab has identified and characterized several novel genetic suppressors of human neurodegenerative disorders which could potentially help in designing innovative and effective therapeutic approaches against these fatal human illnesses.

Jagreet Kaur’s lab has unraveled the genetic architecture of resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana against Alternaria blight using QTL- and Association mapping and candidate genes are being further scrutinized. They have also crystallized Arabidopsis non-symbiotic globin genes, Ahb1 and Ahb3 in collaboration with Dr. Suman Kundu (Prof., Dept of Biochemistry, UDSC) and Dr. Pravindra Kumar (IIT Roorkee).

Aruna Naorem’s lab has determined the role of a Parvulin, PinA- a novel peptidylprolylcis/ trans isomerase, in normal cell proliferation, cell-type patterning and morphogenesis in Dictyostelium discoideum, as the loss of PinA affected these processes.

Tapasya Srivastava’s lab has determined an epigenetic mechanism of cancer stem cell reprogramming in gliomas. Scriptaid, an HDAC inhibitor was shown to overcome chemoresistance in hypoxic lung cancer cells. They have determined rs16969968 as a strong predictor of lung cancer in north Indian population.

Kaustuv Datta’s lab has identified a GTPase localized to the mitochondrial ribosomes that is likely to respond to changes in ATP/ADP ratio and regulate cells ability to carry out respiration. They have also identified a separate GTPase that aids in joining of large and small mitochondrial ribosomal subunits.

Patents

# An insulator construct for controlling leaky gene expression of a lethal gene. Indian Patent No. 244022 (2001).

# DNA construct for obtaining improved fertility restorer lines in crop plants for hybrid seed production Indian patent No. 238973 (2003).

# Regulation of lethal gene expression in plants. US Patent No.: US6,833,494. (2004).

# A method for obtaining improved fertility restorer lines for transgenic male sterile crop plants and a DNA construct for use in said method. European patent 1644506 (2009).

# Method for obtaining improved fertility restorer lines for transgenic male sterile crop plants and a DNA construct for use in said method. US Patent No : 7,741,541B2 (2010).

# Regulation of lethal gene expression in plants. Canadian Patent 2 449 250 (2012).

# Method for Agrobacterium- mediated genetic transformation of Taxus baccata callus cultures, Indian Patent – Granted with Dabur Research Foundation, Noida (2001) .

Products developed

# Release of first ever CMS-based hybrid, DMH-1, in mustard giving >20% higher yield than best Indian varieties Hybrid, DMH-11, based on transgenic technologies (barnase-barstar system) is awaiting clearance from the Government.

# Two CMS-based hybrids - DMH-1 and DMH-4 in mustard under commercial cultivation

# White rust resistant mustard lines

# Canola quality mustard lines

# A battery of transgenic crops, including tomato, brinjal and rice have been developed for biotic stress resistance against viral, fungal pathogens and insect pests using RNAi and microRNA technology

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