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S. Manjula, PhD

Scientist E-II

+91-471-2529451

smanjula@rgcb.res.in

manjula
manjula

S. Manjula, PhD

Scientist E-I

+91-471-2529451

smanjula@rgcb.res.in

  • Profile

    • Ph.D Botany – 2001 (University of Kerala)
    • M.Sc Genetics & Plant Breeding (University of Kerala)
  • Research

    Molecular analysis of Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMP) – triggered immunity in Piper nigrum

    Plants are constantly exposed to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses and have evolved a complex network of signal transduction pathways leading to transcriptome, metabolome and proteome reprogramming. Pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) – triggered immunity (PTI) is thought to be the main mediator of disease resistance and immunity in plants. In Piper nigrum (black pepper), resistance against major pathogens remains a major challenge that could be amendable only through detailed molecular analysis of changes associated with innate immune responses of the plant. Presently, there is a huge dearth of information regarding the immune responses in black pepper. Our study aims at elucidating the global genome and proteome changes associated with innate immune response of Piper nigrum. We are studying the basic mechanism of PAMP induced immune responses in Piper nigrum with special attention to BAK1/SERK3 perception. Analysis of global proteome changes associated with PAMP perception will help in identifying novel and relevant protein/ peptide candidates that could help induce durable resistance in Piper nigrum.

    Functional genomic approaches for defense gene validation in spices

    RNAi refers to several different types of gene silencing mediated by small, dsRNA molecules. Because transgene-induced RNAi has been effective at silencing one or more genes in a wide range of plants, this technology bears potential as a powerful functional genomics tool across the plant kingdom. There are several ways of activating the RNAi pathway in plants. The various RNAi techniques have advantages and disadvantages with respect to how persistent their effects are and the range of plants to which they can be applied. These include the use of hairpin RNA-expressing vectors, particle bombardment, Agrobacterium- mediated transformation and virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). In our lab, we have developed VIGS-mediated RNAi platform for gene functional validation studies in Piper species. We are currently targeting a set of candidate defense genes identified in the spice crops. In parallel, we are also conducting over expression studies for functional evaluation of the selected candidate defense genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

  • Publications

    Peer-reviewed publications

    1. Mahadevan, C., Krishnan, A., Saraswathy, G.G., Surendran, A., Jaleel, A. and Sakuntala, M., 2016. Transcriptome-assisted label-free quantitative proteomics analysis reveals novel insights into Piper nigrum-Phytophthora capsici phytopathosystem. Frontiers in Plant Science., 7, p.785.
    2. Mahadevan, C., Jaleel, A., Deb, L., Thomas, G., & Sakuntala, M. (2015). Development of an efficient virus induced gene silencing strategy in the non-model wild ginger-Zingiber zerumbet and investigation of associated proteome changes. PLoS One. 2015; 10(4): e0124518.
    3. Anu, K., Jessymol, K.K., Chidambareswaren, M., Gayathri, G.S., & Manjula, S. (2015). Down-regulation of osmotin (PR5) gene by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) leads to susceptibility of resistant Piper colubrinum Link. to the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici Leonian. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. Vol. 53 (6), 329-334.
    4. Krishnan, A., Mahadevan, C., Mani, T., & Sakuntala, M. (2015) Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) for elucidation of pathogen defense role of serine/threonine protein kinasein the non-model plant Piper colubrinum Link. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC) .
    5. Anu K, Chidambareswaren M, Gayathri G S and Manjula S. Cloning and sequence characterization of a partial Piper colubrinum phytoene desaturase (PcPDS) gene homologue for virus-induced gene silencing. Biotec.Res.J 2015: Vol 1(1);113-118.
    6. Nair, N. R., Chidambareswaren, M., & Manjula, S. (2014). Enhanced heterologous expression of biologically active human granulocyte colony stimulating factor in transgenic tobacco BY-2 cells by localization to endoplasmic reticulum. Molecular biotechnology56(9), 849-862.
    7. Mani, T., Sivakumar, K. C., & Manjula, S. (2012). Expression and functional analysis of two Osmotin (PR5) isoforms with differential antifungal activity from Piper colubrinum: Prediction of structure–function relationship by bioinformatics approach. Molecular biotechnology, 52(3), 251-261.
    8. Satheesan, J., Narayanan, A. K., & Sakunthala, M. (2012). Induction of root colonization by Piriformospora indica leads to enhanced asiaticoside production in Centella asiatica. Mycorrhiza, 22(3), 195-202.
    9. Mani, T., & Manjula, S. (2011). Optimization of Agrobacterium-mediated transient gene expression and endogenous gene silencing in Piper colubrinum Link. by vacuum infiltration. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC),105(1), 113-119.
    10. Jisha, S., Sreeja, S., & Manjula, S. (2011). In vitro & in vivo estrogenic activity of glycoside fractions of Solanum nigrum fruit. The Indian journal of medical research134(3), 369.
    1. Chidambareswaren M and S Manjula. "Comparative transcriptomics analysis of Phytophthora capsici - Piper nigrum phytopathosystem. Poster presented at the 17th Annual Oomycete Molecular Genetics Meeting" in Malmo, Sweden June 15-17, 2016, co-funded by USDA NIFA Award # 2016-67013-24729.
    2. Chidambareswaren M, Anu K, S Manjula. Transcriptome assisted label-free proteomic analysis of Phytophthora capsici X Piper nigrum L. phytopathosystem. Oral presentation at the 3rd International symposium Phytophthora: Taxonomy, Genomics, Pathogenicity, Resistance and Disease Management Sep 9-12, 2015, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
    3. Anu.K, Chidambareswaren M, Gayathri G S, S Manjula*. Optimization of virus-induced gene silencing as an efficient functional genomics tool in Piper colubrinum. International conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology, Nov 22-25, 2015. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
    4. Anu.K, Chidambareswaren M, Gayathri G S, S Manjula*. Optimization of virus-induced gene silencing as an efficient functional genomics tool in Piper colubrinum. International conference on New Horizons in Biotechnology, Nov 22-25, 2015. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
    5. M Chidambareswaren, K Anu and S Manjula*. Transcriptome assisted label-free proteomic analysis of Phytophthora capsici X Piper nigrum L. phytopathosystem. on 3rdInternational symposium Phytophthora: Taxonomy, Genomics, Pathogenecity, Resistance and Disease Management Sep 9-12, 2015, Bangalore, Karnataka.
    6. K Anu, M Chidambareswaren, S Manjula. Virus-induced gene silencing as a reverse genetics approach for functional genomics in Piper colubrinum  International Conference on Biosciences- State of the art advancements Sep 11- 12, 2014, Kottayam, Kerala.
    7. Anu K, Jessymol K K, Chidambareswaren M, Gayathri G S and Manjula S. Down regulation of osmotin (PR5) gene by Virus-Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) leads to susceptibility of resistant Piper colubrinum Link. to the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici. International Conference on Emerging Trends in Biotechnology, Nov 6-9, 2014, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
    8. Chidambareswaren M, Anu K, S Manjula. 2013. VIGS-mediated transient gene silencing of Piper nigrum SERK3 and its validation by a rapid label-free proteomics approach. Poster presented at the “Plant Biology 2013” organized by the American Society for Plant Biologist (ASPB) at Providence, Rhode Island, USA during July 20-24th, 2013.
    9. Jisha S, Anith KN, Chidambareswaren M and S Manjula. 2013. ‘Physiological, biochemical and molecular events associated with root colonization of Piriformospora indica in the medicinal plant Centella asiatica: Implications on host biotic and abiotic stress tolerance’. Poster presented at the ‘7th International Conference on Mycorrhyza (ICOM7)” held at the Habitat Centre, New Delhi from 5th-7th January, 2013.
    10. R.NishaNair & S.Manjula, “Tobacco as a model system for the expression of biologically active recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor”, in the International Seminar on World bioheritage concerns over climate change, with a special reference to ethnic vegetables held at S. N. College, Chempazhanthy, Thiruvananthapuram during 7th – 8th September 2012.
  • Team


    Chidambareswaren M, PhD Student

    Molecular analysis of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)- triggered immunity in black pepper(Piper nigrum L ).

    Perception of an elicitor or a pathogen by a plant is a dynamic process with multitude roles for genes and protein. An important question pertaining to such a plant-pathogen interaction would be to delineate the roles of the genetic components involved in the plant as well as the pathogen. When it comes to plant immunity, it comprises of two layers, namely Pattern triggered immunity (PTI) and Effector-triggered immunity (ETI). During these processes, there arises a constant interaction between the host and the pathogen within the host apoplast as well as at the cell wall and cell membrane levels. Black pepper (Piper nigrum L) is a spice crop well known for its culinary and medicinal uses worldwide. Production of black pepper has significantly been affected by Phytophthora capsici, an oomycete pathogen which causes quick wilt in many crop plants. Efforts on classical breeding of cultivated black pepper have yielded little results and a systematic understanding of this pathosystem of Piper nigrum - Phytophthora capsici has not been possible owing to lack of genome or proteome information. We believe that it would be imperative to take a multi-dimensional approach of molecular, cellular, genomics and proteomics studies for understanding and designing alternative strategies for disease resistance and crop improvement in black pepper. My research question thus focuses on understanding the basic signaling signatures of PAMP vs. PRRs leading to PTI in black pepper. We have developed a proteomics and transcriptomics based library for understanding the changes involved during selective biotic stress in P. nigrum.


    Scholarships :Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships 2015-2016 carried out at the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR-97331.

    chidam
    chidam

    Chidambareswaren M, PhD Student

    Molecular analysis of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)- triggered immunity in black pepper(Piper nigrum L ).

    Perception of an elicitor or a pathogen by a plant is a dynamic process with multitude roles for genes and protein. An important question pertaining to such a plant-pathogen interaction would be to delineate the roles of the genetic components involved in the plant as well as the pathogen. When it comes to plant immunity, it comprises of two layers, namely Pattern triggered immunity (PTI) and Effector-triggered immunity (ETI). During these processes, there arises a constant interaction between the host and the pathogen within the host apoplast as well as at the cell wall and cell membrane levels. Black pepper (Piper nigrum L) is a spice crop well known for its culinary and medicinal uses worldwide. Production of black pepper has significantly been affected by Phytophthora capsici, an oomycete pathogen which causes quick wilt in many crop plants. Efforts on classical breeding of cultivated black pepper have yielded little results and a systematic understanding of this pathosystem of Piper nigrum - Phytophthora capsici has not been possible owing to lack of genome or proteome information. We believe that it would be imperative to take a multi-dimensional approach of molecular, cellular, genomics and proteomics studies for understanding and designing alternative strategies for disease resistance and crop improvement in black pepper. My research question thus focuses on understanding the basic signaling signatures of PAMP vs. PRRs leading to PTI in black pepper. We have developed a proteomics and transcriptomics based library for understanding the changes involved during selective biotic stress in P. nigrum.


    Scholarships :Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellowships 2015-2016 carried out at the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR-97331.

    Anu K, PhD Student

    Plants are constantly confronted with a wide variety of potential pathogens within their environment. Nevertheless, the development of disease is the exception rather than the rule, due to the highly efficient nature of the coordinated systems of passive and active defences that have evolved in plants. Identification and functional validation of candidate defense genes will aid biotechnological approaches for crop breeding, especially in situations where conventional breeding programmes hold limited promise. Ancient plant varieties and wild relatives are very important in this context because they are the most common sources of enhanced plant disease resistance and hence are often valuable resources of defense genes. Our ongoing efforts in this direction have led to the identification of some candidate defense genes from a wild Piper species - Piper colubrinum Link which is highly resistant to all major pathogens attacking cultivated black pepper-Piper nigrum. Hence my focus is on cloning and characterization of candidate defense genes from P.colubrinum and their defense functional validation by virus induced gene silencing.
    Email Id: anuk@rgcb.res.in

    Anu K
    Anu K

    Anu K, PhD Student

    Plants are constantly confronted with a wide variety of potential pathogens within their environment. Nevertheless, the development of disease is the exception rather than the rule, due to the highly efficient nature of the coordinated systems of passive and active defences that have evolved in plants. Identification and functional validation of candidate defense genes will aid biotechnological approaches for crop breeding, especially in situations where conventional breeding programmes hold limited promise. Ancient plant varieties and wild relatives are very important in this context because they are the most common sources of enhanced plant disease resistance and hence are often valuable resources of defense genes. Our ongoing efforts in this direction have led to the identification of some candidate defense genes from a wild Piper species – Piper colubrinum Link which is highly resistant to all major pathogens attacking cultivated black pepper-Piper nigrum. Hence my focus is on cloning and characterization of candidate defense genes from P.colubrinum and their defense functional validation by virus induced gene silencing.
    Email Id: anuk@rgcb.res.in

    Supriya S, PhD Student

    My research focuses on understanding the plant innate immune system of Piper nigrum L. (black pepper), a major spice crop of Kerala. Through my dissertation, I intend to explore the molecular components of basal immunity of black pepper through a set of RNA and protein expression studies, as well as identify, characterize, and explore the role of R-genes in black pepper paving the way to addressing questions pertaining to Piper nigrum - Phytophthora capsici pathosystem.

    chidam
    chidam

    Supriya S, PhD Student

    My research focuses on understanding the plant innate immune system of Piper nigrum L. (black pepper), a major spice crop of Kerala. Through my dissertation, I intend to explore the molecular components of basal immunity of black pepper through a set of RNA and protein expression studies, as well as identify, characterize, and explore the role of R-genes in black pepper paving the way to addressing questions pertaining to Piper nigrum–Phytophthora capsici pathosystem.

    Gayathri G S, Research Assistant

    I provide support to the different ongoing research programmes in the laboratory. Responsibilities include lab management, maintenance of plant tissue culture facility, growth and maintenance of transgenic and non-transgenic lines of Arabidopsis thaliana Col 0, Nicotiana benthamiana, Nicotiana tabacum, Piper nigrum and Piper colubrinum.

    gayathri gs
    gayathri gs

    Gayathri G S, Research Assistant

    I provide support to the different ongoing research programmes in the laboratory. Responsibilities include lab management, maintenance of plant tissue culture facility, growth and maintenance of transgenic and non-transgenic lines of Arabidopsis thaliana Col 0, Nicotiana benthamiana, Nicotiana tabacum, Piper nigrum and Piper colubrinum.

  • Alumni