Crop Improvement


Research Interests

Engineering herbicide tolerance for integrated weed management, plant genome editing, CRISPR/Cas9 to improve traits of agronomic importance

Description of Research

Harsh agro climatic factors, pests/diseases, weeds and inherent genetic potential of crop plant limit its productivity. Our laboratory involved in developing multidisciplinary strategies to improve crop productivity. We have utilized entire ascorbate-glutathione pathway encoding genes for effectively deactivate environmental stress induced oxidative damage in multiple redox reactions to protect the rice plants from the adverse environmental conditions. In addition to environmental stresses weeds are the most serious biological constraint in agriculture. We have also developed transgenic rice plants simultaneously resistant to several herbicides with different mode of action for application of non-selective herbicides to kill all types of weeds without causing any injury to crop plant is one of the most advanced tool for integrated weed management in agriculture.

The pyramiding of important agronomical trait(s) into modern cultivars through plant breeding taking the advantage of existing natural or induced genetic variability is very time consuming. We have initiated targeted genome editing technology-using CRISPR/Cas9 to introduce the precise and predictable genetic modification(s) in the plant’s native genetic repertoire to create traits of agricultural value directly in an elite cultivar rapidly. Even though the genome editing CRISPR/Cas9 tool was initially introduced into the plant by transgenic approach, it is often unlinked to the targeted DNA editing and can be removed by crossing, leaving a non-transgenic plant line that carries only the desired DNA sequence change. This selective genome editing may not require stringent biosafety regulatory approvals and also allay the public anxiety and satisfy. The willingness of the public to accept food products made from genome engineered plants will give an added advantage to adapt these technologies for crop improvement.

Rice plants simultaneously resistant to several herbicides with different mode of action

Recent Publications

Pandey, P., Jitender Singh, Achary, V. M. M., Reddy, M. K. 2015. Redox homeostasis via gene families of ascorbate-glutathione pathway. Frontiers in Environmental Science (In Press)

Islam, T., Manna, M., Reddy, M.K. 2015 Glutathione peroxidase of Pennisetum glaucum (PgGPx) is a functional Cd2+ dependent peroxiredoxin that enhances tolerance against salinity and drought stress. PLOS ONE 10: e0143344 PubMed link

Manna, M., Islam, T., Kaul, T., Reddy, C. S. Fartyal, D. James, D., Reddy, M. K. 2015. A comparative study of effects of increasing concentrations of phosphate and phosphite on rice seedlings. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 37: 258

Jitender S., Reddy, P. S., Reddy, C. S., Reddy, M. K. 2015. Molecular cloning and characterization of salt inducible dehydrin gene from the C4 plant Pennisetum glaucum. Plant Gene 4: 55–63

Reddy, C. S., Achary, V. M. M., Manna, M., Singh, J., Kaul, T., Reddy, M. K. 2015. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Thermostable  Phytase from Bacillus subtilis (BSPhyARRMK33). Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 175: 3058-3067 PubMed link

Islam, T., Manna, M., Kaul, T., Pandey, P., Reddy, C. S., Reddy, M. K. 2015. Genome wide dissection of Arabidopsis and Rice for the identification and expression analysis of glutathione peroxidases reveals their stress-specific and overlapping response patterns. Plant Mol. Biol Rep. 33: 1413-1427