Plant Transcription Regulation

PLANT BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY / Development and Architecture

Research Interests

Structure and Function of Mediator Complex; Plant Development and Architecture Regulated by Mediator Complex; Epigenetic Regulation of Transcription.

Description of Research

Modelled structure of Arabidopsis Mediator complex. Different mediator subunits are shown in different colors.

Structure and Function of Plant Mediator Complex
In the last two decades, the Mediator complex has emerged as the key component of RNA pol II-dependent transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Most of the knowledge about mechanistic details of Mediator functioning has come from studies in yeast and metazoan systems. Our lab is studying different aspects of Mediator functioning in plants. We are using Arabidopsis and rice as model systems. We have explained the role of Intrinsically Disorder Regions (IDRs) in the evolution of the diversified role of Mediator functioning and establishing an extensive protein-protein interaction network. In another study, we delineated the interaction map of the Arabidopsis Mediator complex and expounded its structural topology. Now, we are trying to characterize the transcriptional network being controlled by different Mediator subunits as important regulatory nodes. We are also looking at the functional relevance of individual Mediator subunits in different signalling pathways affecting growth, development, and architecture of plants. We are also interested to know if Mediator collaborates with epigenetic modulators or affects the chromatin structure during gene regulation.

Epigenetic Regulation of Transcription
Epigenetic modifications of chromatin play a very important role in programming the gene expression network. Our preliminary data revealed the interaction of Mediator subunits with different chromatin modifiers. So, in the follow-up study, we are interested to know the involvement of Mediator in epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. There are many genomic loci that are epigenetically modified during reproductive phases of the plant life cycle. However, we do not know how these epigenetic modifications drive different phases of seed development. So, our laboratory is also interested in unravelling the basic aspect of epigenetic regulation of seed development.

Characterisation of novel phytochemicals possessing anticandida activity
Infections caused by pathogenic fungi are very serious threat as billions of people all over the world are affected by them. Candida species have been found to be the main cause of widespread fungal infections ranking fourth among the hospital-acquired infections. Since, azole and other current treatment of Candida infection often lead to proliferation of resistant Candida species, use of plant extract will be useful. We are interested in purification and characterization of anticandida activities from different plants.  

Recent Publications

Bhardwaj, R., Thakur, J.K., Kumar, S. 2021. MedProDB: A database of Mediator proteins. Comput Struct Biotechnol J 19, 4165-4176

Agrawal, R., Fajkus, J., Thakur, J.K. 2021. The kinase module of Mediator complex: an important signalling processor for development and survival of plants. J Expl Bot 72, 224-240 PubMed link

Kumar, A., Daware, A., Kumar, A., Kumar, V., Gopala Krishnan, S., Mondal, S., Patra, B.C., Singh, A.K., Tyagi, A.K., Parida, S.K., Thakur, J.K. 2020. Genome-wide analysis of polymorphisms identified domestication-associated long low diversity region carrying important rice grain size/weight QTL. Plant J 103, 1525-1547 PubMed link

Dwivedi, N., Maji, S., Waseem, M., Kumar, V., Parida, S.K., Thakur, J.K. 2019. The Mediator subunit OsMED15a is a transcriptional co-regulator of seed size/weight-modulating genes in rice. Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech 1862, 194432 PubMed link

Maji, S., Dahiya, P., Waseem, M., Dwivedi, N., Bhat, D.S., Dar, T., Thakur, J.K. 2019. Interaction map of Arabidopsis Mediator complex expounding its topology. Nucl Acids Res 47, 3904-3920 PubMed link

Kumar, V., Waseem, M., Dwivedi, N., Maji, S., Kumar, A., Thakur, J.K. 2018. KIX domain of AtMed15a, a Mediator subunit of Arabidopsis is required for its interaction with different proteins. Plant Signal Behav 13, e1428514 PubMed link

Patent
Recombinant microorganisms and uses thereof. Inventors; Thakur JK, Dahiya P and Bhat D. Patent No. 326127, Application No. 3699/DEL/2012