Research Groups

S. Leelavathi

Plant Transformation

Group Leader

Research Interests and Description

S. Leelavathi

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
110 067 New Delhi, India

E-mail: sadhulicgeb.res.in
Tel: +91-11-26741242
Fax: +91-11-26742316

Education

Andhra University, India, BSc, 1978
Meerut University, India, MSc, 1980       
Meerut University, India, MPhil, 1881
Calcutta University, India, PhD, 1988

Career History

Since 1999, Staff Research Scientist, Plant Transformation, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, India
1988 -1990, Research Associate (CSIR) ICGEB, New Delhi
1987 -1988, Senior Research fellow (CSIR) Bose Institute, Calcutta
1984 -1987, Senior Resarch Fellow, Bose Institute, Calcutta
1982 - 1984, Junior Research Fellow, Bose Institute, Calcutta

Teaching Activity

Faculty member, ICGEB, New Delhi, Ph.D. programme

Scientific Activity

Cotton improvement: Cotton is one of the most important economic fiber crop grown all over the world worth several billions of dollars. Although traditional breeding improved cotton to a great extent the time taken is very long and gene pool is limited. Genetic engineering tools were used to develop insect resistant cotton that helped the farmers to reduce the usage of pesticides. However, cotton transformation has several bottlenecks where regeneration of different varieties is very difficult and the whole process is very time consuming and difficult. We developed efficient protocols to cut down the time and improved the frequency of regeneration. Further we shortened the time period to develop transgenic plants by directly transforming the embryogenic callus with the required genes Some of the transgenic events with cry gene were found to be bioassay positive to confer resistance against Helicoverpa armigera and are being tested in the field. In all this work we have used  Coker 310, a genotype not cultivated anywhere in the world. Recurrent backcrossing is adopted to introgress the  foreign gene from Coker 310 into cultivated varieties, a time consuming process.
So also focus on developing a good regeneration system for cotton parental lines used for hybrid seed production in India. At present we developed very good regeneration system for Narasimha, a parent in several hybrids. More recently, we extended the transformation procedure with a view to introduce genes to confer  insect resistance. Our further research involves mining for useful genes from cotton genome for fiber quality using proteomic and transcriptomic studies combined with functional genomics.
Molecular farming: Chloroplasts are organelles which can express large amounts (>6% of total soluble protein) of foreign proteins without any adverse effects on  the plant growth and development.  Monoclonal antibodies and pharmaceutically important molecules are  being expressed in tobacco chloroplasts in collaboration with a research group in VTT,  Finland, to explore the possibility of using plants as bioreactors. Plant cell wall degrading enzymes are one class of molecules that we have been working for some time. Xylanase was taken as a model enzyme over expressed using chloroplast genetic engineering. We are actively collaborating with the University of Pavia, Italy, to express different cell wall degrading enzymes in chloroplasts of tobacco in view to utilize them in degrading carbohydrate polymers present in plant waste/biomass in the form of cell wall and convert them to simple carbohydrates that can be converted further into ethanol.

Selected publications

Dass, A., Zainul Abdin, M., Reddy, S.R., Leelavathi, S.2016. Isolation and characterization of the dehydration stress-inducible GhRDL1 promoter from the cultivated upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). J Plant Biochem Biotechnol (In press)

Nguyen, V.C., Nguyen, V.K., Singh, C.H., Devi, G.S., Reddy, V.S., Leelavathi, S. 2017. Fast recovery of transgenic submergence tolerant rice cultivars of North-East India by early co-cultivation of Agrobacterium with pre-cultured callus. Physiol Mol Biol Plant 23, 115-123 PubMed link

Pagliano, C., Bersanini, L., Cella, R., Longoni, P., Pantaleoni, L., Dass, A. Leelavathi, S., Reddy, V.S. 2017. Use of Nicotiana tabacum transplastomic plants engineered to express a His-tagged CP47 for the isolation of functional Photosystem II core complexes. Plant Physiol Biochem 111, 266-273 PubMed link

Kumar, S., Pandey, P., Kumar, K., Rajamani, V., Padmalatha,K. V., Dhandapani, G., Kanakachari, M., Leelavathi, S., Kumar, P.A., Reddy, V.S. 2016. Delineating the glycoproteome of elongating cotton fiber cells. Data Brief 5, 717–725 PubMed link

Kumar, S., Kanakachari, M., Gurusamy, D., Kumar, K., Narayanasamy, P., Padmalatha, K. V., Solanke, A., Gamanagatti, S., Hiremath, V., Katageri, I. S., Leelavathi, S., Kumar, P.A., Reddy, V.S. 2015. Genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of bollworm infested developing cotton bolls revealed the genes and pathways involved in the insect pest defense mechanism. Plant Biotechnol J 14, 1438-55 PubMed link

Longoni, P., Leelavathi, S., Enrico, D., Reddy, VS., Cella, R. 2015. Production by tobacco transplastomic plants of recombinant fungal and bacterial cell-wall degrading enzymes to be used for cellulosic biomass saccharification. Biomed Res Int doi.org/10.1155/2015/289759 PubMed link

Ritala, A., Leelavathi, S., Oksman-Caldentey, K-M., Reddy, V.S., Laukkanen, M-L. 2014. Recombinant barley-produced antibody for detection and immunoprecipitation of the major bovine milk allergen, beta-lactoglobulin. Transgenic Res. 

Pantaleoni, L., Longoni, P., Ferroni, L., Baldisserotto, C., Leelavathi S., Reddy, V.S., Pancaldi, S., Cella, R. 2013. Chloroplast molecular farming: efficient production of a thermostable xylanase by Nicotiana tabacum plants and long term conservation of the recombinant enzyme. Protoplasma In press

Kumar, S., Kumar K., Pandey, P., Rajamani, V., Padmalatha, K.V., Dhandapani, G., Kanakachari, M., Leelavathi, S., Kumar, P.A., Reddy, V.S.  2013. Glycoproteome of elongating cotton fiber cells. Mol. Cell. Proteomics. doi:10.1074/mcp.M113.030726

Padmalatha, K.V., Patil, D. P., Kumar, K., Dhandapani, D., Kanakachari, M., Phanindra, M.L.V., Kumar, S., Mohan, T.C., Parkas, A.H., Hiremath, H.V., Ishwarappa S.K., Leelavathi, S., Kumar, P.A.,  Reddy, V.S. 2012. Functional genomics of fuzzless-lintless mutant of Gossypium hirsutum cv. MCU5 reveal key genes and pathways involved in cotton fibre initiation and elongation. BMC Genomics, 13:624 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-624

Ajaya, K., Biswal, Gopal, K., Pattanayak, S., Pandey, S., Leelavathi, S., Reddy, V.S., Govindjee, Tripathy, B.C. 2012. Light Intensity-Dependent Modulation of Chlorophyll b Biosynthesis and Photosynthesis by Overexpression of Chlorophyllide a Oxygenase in Tobacco. Plant Physiol 159 433-449

Leelavathi, S.,  Reddy, V.S. 2012. Genetic transformation of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.): Progress and future challenges. Cotton Res J 2, 55-63

Venkata, P.K.,  Dhandapani, G., Kanakachari, M., Kumar, S., Dass, A., Patil, D.P., Rajamani, V., Kumar, K., Pathak, R., Rawat, B., Leelavathi, S., Reddy, P.S., Jain, N., Powar, K.N., Hiremath, V., Katageri, I.S., Reddy, M.K., Solanke, A.U., Reddy, V.S., Kumar, P.A. 2012. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of cotton under drought stress reveal significant down-regulation of genes and pathways involved in fibre elongation and up-regulation of defense responsive genes. Plant Mol Biol 78, 223-246

Leelavathi, S., Bhardwaj, A., Kumar, S., Das, A., Pathak, R., Pandey, S.S., Tripathy, B.C., Padmalatha, K.V, Dhandapani, G., Kanakachari, M., Kumar, P.A., Cella R., Reddy, V.S. 2011. Genome-wide transcriptome and proteome analyses of tobacco psaA and psbA deletion mutant. Plant Mol Biol 76, 407-423

Padmalatha, K. V., Dhandapani, G., Kanakachari, M., Kumar, S., Dass, A., Patil, D.P.,  Rajamani, V., Kumar, K., Pathak, R., Rawat, B., Leelavathi, S., Reddy, P.S., Jain, N., Powar, K.N., Hiremath, V., Katageri, I.S., Reddy, M.K., Solanke, A.U., Reddy, V.S., Kumar, P.A.  2011. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis of cotton under drought stress reveal significant down-regulation of genes and pathways involved in fibre elongation and up-regulation of defense responsive genes. Plant Mol. Biol. 78, 223-246

Khan, T., Reddy, V.S., Leelavathi, S. 2010. High frequency regeneration via somatic embryogenesis of an elite recalcitrant cotton genotype (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Plant Cell Tiss Org Cul 101, 323-330

Bharadwaj, A., Leelavathi1, S., Mazumdar-Leighton, S., Ghosh, A., Ramakumar, S., Reddy, V.S. 2010. The Critical Role of N- and C-Terminal Contact in Protein Stability and Folding[ of a Family 10 Xylanase under Extreme Conditions. PLOS One 5(6) e11347

Patents

Method of expressing foreign protein in plastid. US Patent number US 9,175,300

Produzione di cellulasi ricombinanti di Chaetamium globosum in piante ransplastomic di tobacco. Italian Patent no. 0001406669/Italy

Produzione di cellulasi termostabili in piante transplastomiche di tabacco e loro impiedo per la digestione di substrati cellulosici Patent No 0001423979/Italy.

ICGEB New Delhi

ICGEB Campus
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
110 067 New Delhi
INDIA
Tel: +91-11-26741358/1007
Fax: +91-11-26742316
icgebicgeb.res.in

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