Plant Stress Biology


Research Interests

Functional genomics of abiotic stress response; Generating climate resilient crops; Enhancing multiple stress tolerance, grain yield, biomass and nutrition in crop plants

Description of Research

Globally, abiotic stresses are amongst the major limitations for sustainable agriculture. Today’s plant science faces a major challenge to achieve the goal of developing climate-resilient crops that can tolerate diverse environmental stresses. Two such major impediments are: a lack of sufficient understanding of the molecular mechanisms of stress response, and technological limitations in translating the proof-of-concept studies from model to crop plants. Dr. Sneh Pareek’s group has been involved in understanding the mechanism of stress-tolerance in plants. Not only this, using multi-pronged approach, her group has developed stress tolerant high yielding rice plants. The group has demonstrated that restricting the accumulation of a cytotoxin-methylglyoxal (via genetic manipulation of enzymes of the glyoxalase pathway) can impart tolerance to multiple abiotic and biotic stresses. The group has reported interesting insights into the regulation of plant glyoxalases, such as Ni2+-dependence of Glyoxalase I and GSH-responsive activity of Glyoxalase II.

Efforts have also resulted in the discovery of a novel single enzyme route for rapid detoxification of methylglyoxal in rice. Dr. Sneh Pareek’s work has resulted in unveiling the cross-talk between diverse aspects of plant stress responses, such as chromatin dynamics and stress adaptation, biotic and abiotic stresses, and stress response and grain yield. Besides these fundamental discoveries, her group is actively pursuing translational goals under which salinity and drought stress-tolerant marker-free rice plants have been developed, which are currently undergoing evaluation under industrial partnership.

The Group has recently demonstrated the role of SOS pathway genes and silicon in enhancing yields under salinity stress in rice (Gupta et al., Plant Physiol Biochem, 2021; Kumar et al., Physiol. Plant, in press, 2022). The group has also shown that plant glyoxalase III enzymes have undergone structural and functional divergence during the course of evolution (Kumar et al., Antioxidants 2021). In addition, the group looked at the rewilding aspects of the staple crops for lost halophytism (Rawat et al., Mol. Plant, 2022). The Group has also highlighted optimized breeding strategies that will enable longterm genetic gains for ensuring the sustainability of agriculture under climate change (Anders et al., Trends Plant Sci, 2021).

Realising multiple stress tolerance and enhanced yield in rice via efficient detoxification of methylglyoxal and regulation of cytokinin homeostasis.

Recent Publications

Gupta, B.K., Sahoo, K.K., Ghosh, A., Tripathi, A.K., Anwar, K., Das, P., Singh, A.K., Pareek, A., Sopory, S.K., Singla-Pareek, S.L. 2018. Manipulation of glyoxalase pathway confers tolerance to multiple stresses in rice. Plant Cell Environ 41, 1186-1120 PubMed link

Joshi, R., Sahoo, K.K., Tripathi, A.K., Kumar, R., Gupta, B.K., Pareek, A., Singla-Pareek, S.L. 2018. Knockdown of an inflorescence meristem-specific cytokinin oxidase – OsCKX2 in rice reduces yield penalty under salinity stress condition. Plant Cell Environ 41, 936-946 PubMed link

Joshi, R., Singla-Pareek, S.L., Pareek, A. 2018. Engineering Abiotic Stress Response in Plants for Biomass Production. J Biol Chem 6, 293, 5035-5043 PubMed link

Lakra, N., Kaur, C., Anwar, K., Singla-Pareek, S.L., Pareek, A. 2018. Proteomics of contrasting rice genotypes: Identification of potential targets for raising crops for saline environment. Plant Cell Environ 41, 947-969 PubMed link

Kaur,C., Tripathi, A,K, Nutan, K.K., Sharma, S., Ghosh, A., Tripathi, J.K., Pareek, A., Singla-Pareek, S.L., Sopory, S.K. 2017. A nuclear-localized rice glyoxalase I enzyme, OsGLYI-8 functions in the detoxification of methylglyoxal in the nucleus. Plant J 89, 565-576 PubMed link

Tripathi, A.K., Pareek, A., Singla-Pareek, S.L. 2016. A NAP-Family Histone Chaperone Functions in Abiotic Stress Response and Adaptation. Plant Physiol 171, 2854-2868 PubMed link