Plant Resilience; Sustainable Plant Production; Developing Technologies and Human Health

Highlighting recent ICGEB scientific publications on hot topics in science.

Published on 17 June in the Journal of Experimental Botany, Jitendra Thakur and team, Plant Transcription Regulation Group, review the role of Mediator complex as an important regulator of root system architecture. Involved in different developmental and stress-adaptation conditions, ranging from embryo, root, and shoot development to flowering and senescence, their role has also been appreciated in nutrient acquisition through root. The review discusses all known functions of Mediator subunits during root development and highlights the role of Mediator as a nodal point for processing different hormone signaling that regulates root morphogenesis and growth.

Link to paper.

On 14 June, the Benvenuti lab published a paper in OncoImmunology, reporting that T cells interactions are suppressed in advanced lung tumors. Bringing forward the lab’s work on dendritic cells, critical regulators of anti-tumoral T-cell responses, the paper looks at the stability of cDC1-CD8 interactions during cancer progression, finding that, while abundant and productive at the early stages of tumour development, these progressively diminish in advanced tumors.

Link to paper.

In a recent video produced by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India work by Shashi Kumar, Group Leader of Metabolic Engineering at ICGEB New Delhi, on remediating wastewater has been featured. Ethanol production from distilleries generates large amounts of Spent Wash, a dark brown wastewater containing hazardous melanoidin. This pigment inhibits the photosynthetic activity of plants. Indian distilleries produce huge quantities of Spent Wash that can be cost-effectively remediated by passing through a biochar filter. Algae biomass can be processed directly as wet biomass through Hydrothermal liquefication (HTL/autoclaving) to produce bio-crude oil and biochar. Biocrude oil can be processed further through the existing refinery to produce biofuel. A team of researchers led by Dr. Kumar at ICGEB has developed a solution to process the algal biomass to produce the BioProduct- Biochar and Biocrude Oil. Biochar after filtration can be added to compost to create new biofertilizers that fix carbon in soil (carbon credit) and enrich soil fertility to improve crop productivity (40% higher tomato productivity). This innovative approach turns environmental problems into a valuable resource, supporting sustainable agriculture and a cleaner environment.

Amongst latest ICGEB Open Source scientific publications, we celebrate recent work by WE-STAR Alumnae: HALLA HADI Elshwekh from Libya, Ironya Ogar, from Nigeria, Deeya Jahajeeah from Mauritius and Paidamoyo Mataranyika, Ph.D. from Zimbabwe, together with ICGEB national Liaison Officers, Principal Investigators and labs, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (links below):