Plant Transcription Regulation

PLANT BIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY / Biotic and Abiotic Stress

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

Maji S, Waseem M, Sharma MK, Singh M, Singh A, Dwivedi N, Thakur P, Cooper DG, Bisht NC, Fassler JS, Subbarao N, Khurana JP, Bhavesh NS and Thakur JK (2024) MediatorWeb: A protein-protein interaction network database for the RNA Polymerase II Mediator complex, and its utility. FEBS J https://doi.org/10.1111/febs.17225

Singh J*, James D, Das S, Patel MK, Sutar RR, Achary VMM, Goel G, Gupta JK, Reddy MK, Jha G, Sonti RV, Foyer CH, Thakur JK*, Tripathy BC* (2024). Co-overexpression of SWEET sucrose transporters modulates sucrose synthesis and defence responses to enhance immunity against bacterial blight in rice. Plant Cell and Environment https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.14901 (*Corresponding authors)

Agrawal R, Singh A, Giri J, Magyar Z and Thakur JK (2023). MEDIATOR SUBUNIT 17 is required for transcriptional optimization of root system architecture in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology https://doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiad129

Singh J, Das S, Kapuganti JG, Ranjan A, Foyer CH and Thakur JK (2023) Physiological implications of SWEETs in plants and their potential applications in improving source-sink relationships for enhanced yield. Plant Biotechnology Journal https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13982

Agrawal, R., Sharma, M., Dwivedi, N., Maji, S., Thakur, P., Junaid, A., Fajkus, J., Laxmi, A., Thakur. J.K. 2022. MEDIATOR SUBUNIT 17 integrates jasmonate and auxin signaling pathways to regulate thermomorphogenesis. Plant Physiology doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiac220

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

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