Sanjay Kapoor

Professor & Head of the Department

E-mail: ;
Tel: +91-11-2415-7192
LAB Focus: 
Understanding of Molecular Mechanisms and Components Involved in Plant Reproductive Development and Grain Yield in Rice

Research Interests:
Our laboratory has the goal of understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate key events during plant reproductive development. We use a wide array of experimental and computational approaches for hypothesis building and testing. These include high throughput microarrays, gene function analysis in transgenics, high-resolution imaging, and bioinformatics.
We focus on the development of the anther and the seed because the development of male gametophytes has a major impact on the capability of the plant's progression to the next generation, and seeds are storehouses of food that not only provides nourishment to the growing seedling but also humans. These organs also provide exciting model systems to study the intricacies of gene regulatory mechanism during reproductive development, because of the sheer diversity of cell types produced in a short span of time and space, that are as yet poorly understood.
Our experimental organism is predominantly rice (Oryza sativa), because it is the model crop, a monocot equivalent of Arabidopsis thaliana, that also is a major cereal catering to the dietary carbohydrate requirements of more than half of the humanity. We also use tobacco BY-2 cell lines, Physcomitrella patens (a moss & an early land plant), and Arabidopsis to validate the universality and/or specificity of identified concepts, whenever they offer an experimental advantage.



(Click here for a complete list of Publications)

  1. Li S, Nayar S, Jia H, Kapoor S, Wu J, Yukawa Y. 2020. The Arabidopsis Hypoxia Inducible AtR8 Long Non-Coding RNA also Contributes to Plant Defense and Root Elongation Coordinating with WRKY Genes under Low Levels of Salicylic Acid. Non-coding RNA 6, 1–21.
  2. Parihar V, Arya D, Walia A, Tyagi V, Dangwal M, Verma V, Khurana R, Boora N, Kapoor S, Kapoor M. 2019. Functional characterization of LIKE HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN 1 in the moss Physcomitrella patens: its conserved protein interactions in land plants. Plant Journal 97, 221–239.
  3. Rao GS, Deveshwar P, Sharma M, Kapoor S, Rao KV. 2018. Evolvement of transgenic male-sterility and fertility-restoration system in rice for production of hybrid varieties. Plant Molecular Biology 96, 35–51.
  4. Ranjan R, Khurana R, Malik N, Badoni S, Parida SK, Kapoor S, Tyagi AK. 2017. BHLH142 regulates various metabolic pathway-related genes to affect pollen development and anther dehiscence in rice. Scientific Reports 7, 43397.
  5. Chawla M, Verma V, Kapoor M, Kapoor S. 2017. A novel application of periodic acid–Schiff (PAS) staining and fluorescence imaging for analysing tapetum and microspore development. Histochemistry and Cell Biology 147, 103–110.
  6. Nayar, S., Sharma, R., Tyagi, A.K. and Kapoor, S. 2013. Functional delineation of rice MADS29 reveals its role in embryo and endosperm development by affecting hormone homeostasis. Journal of Experimental Botany (doi:10.1093/jxb/ert231)
  7. Baranwal V, Mikkilineni V, Zehr-Barwale U, Tyagi AK and Kapoor S. 2012. Heterosis: Emerging ideas about hybrid vigour. Journal of Experimental Botany doi:10.1093/jxb/ers291.
  8. Sharma R, Agarwal P, Ray S, Deveshwar P, Sharma P, Sharma N, Nijhawan A, Jain M, Singh AK, Singh VP, Tyagi AK and Kapoor S. 2012. Expression dynamics of metabolic and regulatory components across stages of panicle and seed development in indica rice. Functional & Integrative Genomics. doi: 10.1007/s10142-012-0274-3.
  9. Deveshwar P, Bovill WD, Sharma R,  Able  JA and Kapoor S. 2011. Analysis of anther transcriptomes to identify genes contributing to meiosis and male gametophyte development in rice. BMC Plant Biology 11:78.
  10. Kapoor, M., Arora, R., Lama, T., Nijhawan, A., Khurana, J.P., Tyagi, A.K., and Kapoor, S. 2008. Genome-wide identification, organization and phylogenetic analysis of Dicer-like, Argonaute and RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase gene families and their expression analysis during reproductive development and stress in rice. BMC Genomics 9.
  11. Arora R, Agarwal P, Ray S, Singh AK, Singh VP, Tyagi AK Kapoor S. 2007. MADS-box gene family in rice: Genome-wide identification, organization and expression profiling during reproductive development and stress. BMC Genomics 8:242.
  12. Kapoor S., Kobayashi T. and Takatsuji H. 2002. Silencing of Tapetum-specific Zinc-finger Gene, TAZ1, Causes Premature Degeneration of Tapetum and Pollen Abortion in Petunia. Plant Cell 14:2353-2376.
  13. Kapoor S. and Sugiura M. 1999. Identification of Two Essential Sequence Elements in the Nonconsensus Type II PatpB-290 Plastid Promoter by Using Plastid Transcription Extracts from Cultured Tobacco BY-2 Cells. Plant Cell. 11: 1799–1810.
  14. Kapoor S., Suzuki J.Y. and Sugiura M. 1997. Identification and functional significance of a new class of non-consensus type plastid promoters. Plant J. 11:327-337.
  15. Kapoor S., Maheshwari S.C.  and Tyagi A.K. 1993. Organ-specific expression of rice plastid genes.  Plant Cell Physiol. 34: 943-947.


  1. 'Method of lowering pollen fertility by using tapetal layer-specific zinc finger transcription factor gene’ 
    • Inventor; Hiroshi Takatsuji, Sanjay Kapoor, Akira Kobayashi.
    • Australlia patent, No. 779285, 2005.1.13, 
    • Korea Patent No.455620, 2004.10.26., 
    • China Patent, No. CH0261275P, 2005.9.9.
  2. ‘Method of making sterile petunia plants by transformation with a nucleic acid encoding a zinc finger transcription factor’ 
    • Inventor; Hiroshi Takatsuji, Sanjay Kapoor, Akira Kobayashi.
    • Australlia patent, No. 779284, 2005.1.13, 
    • Korea Patent No.455621, 2004.10.26., 
    • US Patent, No.6,989,473, 2006.1.24.
  3. 'Rice Nucleic Acid Sequences Associated With Panicle Development and Uses Thereof' 
    • Inventors: Kapoor Sanjay, Tyagi K. Akhilesh and Arora Rita
    • India Patent No. 157/DEL/2007 (Pending)
  4. 'Nucleic Acid Sequences Form Rice Involved in Seed Development and Uses Thereof'
    • India Patent No. 160/DEL/2007 (Pending)
    • Inventors: Tyagi K. Akhilesh, Kapoor Sanjay and Agarwal Pinky
  5. 'Tissue-specific promoter and uses thereof'
    • India No. 1146/DEL/2011 (Pending)
    • Inventors: Kapoor Sanjay, Tyagi K. Akhilesh and Deveshwar Priyanka
    • 'Tissue-specific promoter and uses thereof'
  6. Abiotic and Heavy Metal Stress-inducible BLEC-Str8 Promoter from Rice.
    • Indian Patent Application no.1403/DEL/2011(Pending)
    • Inventors: Tyagi K. Akhilesh, Kapoor Sanjay and Dhar Swatismita