Plant interacts with several of their ecological partners, such as pathogens, endophytes, herbivores, pollinators etc. throughout their life cycles. During interactions with environments or ecological partners plants produce a vast range of specialized chemicals which are required to perceive and tolerate environmental stress or response to partner organisms. These chemicals, collectively called specialized metabolites, are structurally diverse and majorly consist of metabolites traditionally described as secondary metabolites (metabolites do not directly involve in central metabolism). Moreover, these metabolites aid plants to achieve adaptability in diverse and challenging environments by developing defense and fitness. Apart from that, for adaptation and fitness building plants produce specific functional metabolites which regulate molecular mechanism of both growth and defense physiology of plants.
My lab is interested in understanding the molecular mechanism of metabolic adaptability of plants in different biotic and abiotic stressed condition that is achieved by altering specialized metabolite biosynthesis or by establishing mutualistic interaction with beneficial endophytes. We also interested to explore molecular regulator of plant's growth promotion during interaction with growth promoting endophyte i.e. Piriformospora indica. We conduct metabolome and transcriptome study by applying molecular bio-techniques, computational statistical framework led by chemoinformatics, bioinformatics and machine learning for identification of biomarkers that are crucial for growth and stress adaptation. The broader aim of these investigations is to build up 'easy to adapt strategies' to increase crop yield.
Specific research topics
- Exploration of rice 'metabolome' and 'hormonome' plasticity in adaptation of biotic and abiotic stress during interaction with growth promoting endophyte Piriformospora indica
- Identification and functional characterization of growth and defense related biomarkers (metabolites, genes and pathways) in rice and elucidation of molecular mechanisms of biomarker mediated regulation of growth and defense in order to develop strategies for improvement of crop yield.
- Identification and functional characterization of growth and defense related biomarkers in Ginger during interaction with growth promoting endophyte Piriformospora indica and investigation of metabolic basis of susceptibility and resistance in Zinigiber species against soft rot disease.