Specialization: Plant Biotechnology and Genomics
Somatic embryogenesis is unique to plant cells and is the founding basis of plant totipotency. Our work on wheat leaf bases has indicated that somatic embryogenesis can be induced by brief exposures to 2,4-D. Present investigations concentrate on understanding the auxin-mediated induction of somatic embryogenesis and employs a systems approach to understand the molecular basis of auxin action.
Work on wheat biotechnology is being directed towards obtaining transgenics with genes like bar for herbicide resistance, pin II for insect resistance and HVA1 for drought tolerance in bread and durum wheat. Towards enhancing the nutritional status of this important crop, a sub-project aimed at isolating the vitamin A & E biosynthetic pathway genes from wheat is also underway. As wheat is a temperate crop, it is prone to heat stress during the grain filling stages, hence a program to understand the gene expression profile of wheat under heat stress, at different growth stages. Presently, focus is on understanding the molecular basis of heat tolerance in wheat using comparative genomic approaches. Additionally, physical mapping of chromosome 2A of wheat is in progress under the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC).
In the area of Seribiotechnology, regeneration protocols have been established in mulberry (Morus indica) from seedling and mature, field grown tissues and used for raising mulberry transgenics with HVA1, osmotin and bch1 genes which confer tolerance to abiotic stresses. Transcriptomic approaches are being deployed to understand mechanisms of abiotic tolerance in mulberry. The complete chloroplast genome of Morus has been sequenced and comparative genomics approaches used to resolve the taxonomic position of the order Rosales.
List of important research publications
- Chauhan, H., Khurana, N., Tyagi, A.K., Khurana, J.P., Khurana, P. 2011. Identification and characterization of high temperature stress responsive genes in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and their regulation at various stages of development. Plant Molecular Biology 75: 35-51.
- Chauhan, H., Khurana, P. 2011. Development of drought tolerant transgenic doubled haploid in wheat through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Plant Biotech. J. 9: 408-417.
- CHAUDHARY, N., KHURANA, P. 2010. Carotenoid biosynthesis genes in rice: Structural analysis, genome-wide expression profiling and phylogenetic analysis. Mol. Genet. Genomics 283: 13-33.
- DAS, M., CHAUHAN, H., CHHIBBAR, A., HAQ, Q.M.R., KHURANA, P. 2010. High-efficiency transformation and selective tolerance against biotic and abiotic stress in mulberry, Morus indica cv. K2, by constitutive and inducible expression of tobacco osmotin.. Transgenic Research 20: 231-246.
- SINGLA, B., TYAGI, A.K., KHURANA J.P., KHURANA, P. 2007. Gene expression profile during somatic embryogenesis in wheat (Triticum aestivum) leaf base system. Plant Mol. Biology 65: 677-692.
- RAVI, V., KHURANA , J.P., TYAGI, A.K., KHURANA, P. 2006. Rosales sister to Fabales: towards resolving the rosid puzzle. Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 44: 488-493.
- RAVI, V., KHURANA, J.P., TYAGI, A.K., KHURANA, P. 2006. The chloroplast genome of mulberry (Morus indica cv. K2): complete nucleotide sequence, gene organization and comparative analysis. Tree Genetics & Genomes 3: 49-59.
- INTERNATIONAL RICE GENOME SEQUENCING PROJECT, 2005. The map-based sequence of the rice genome. Nature 436: 793-800.
- PATNAIK, D., KHURANA, P. 2003. Genetic transformation of Indian bread (T. aestivum) and pasta (T. durum) wheat by particle bombardment of mature embryo-derived calli. BMC Plant Biology 3: 5-16.
- GHARYAL, P.K., HO, S.C., WANG, J.L., SCHINDLER, M. 1989. Bradyrhizobium japonicum lipopolysaccharide inhibits symplastic communication in soybean (Glycine max) cells. J. Biol. Chem. 264: 12119-12121.