Recent ICGEB Scientific Publications

The success of our investigations can also be measured from a series of bibliographic parameters, including the number of publications in top international scientific journals.

Our Vision: to be the world’s leading intergovernmental organisation for research, training, and technology transfer in the field of Life Sciences and Biotechnology; our Mission: to combine scientific research with capacity enhancement, thereby promoting sustainable global development.

Published in Nature Cell Biology in March 2023, a team of scientists including Serena Zacchigna, Cardiovascular Biology, and Alessandro Marcello, Molecular Virology, ICGEB, identified a mechanism of cellular DNA damage induced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes cellular ageing and chronic inflammation. Link to paper: Gioia U, Tavella S, Martínez-Orellana P. et al. (2023) SARS-CoV-2 infection induces DNA damage, through CHK1 degradation and impaired 53BP1 recruitment, and cellular senescence. Nature Cell Biology.


Ved Prakash Dwivedi, Immunobiology published in a study on the supplement Withaferin A in Microbiology Spectrum. Link to paper: Withaferin A Protects against Primary and Recurrent Tuberculosis by Modulating Mycobacterium-Specific Host Immune Responses


In January, a joint-publication commentary, including Lawrence Banks, Tumour Virology, amongst the authors, was published in the Journal of Virology. Link to paper: “Virology under the microscope – A call for rational discourse”


In February 2023, ICGEB Plant Transcription Regulation Group Leader, Jitendra Thakur published in the journal Plant Physiology. Link to paper: Agrawal R, Singh A, Giri J, Magyar Z, Thakur JK (2023). MEDIATOR SUBUNIT 17 is required for transcriptional optimization of root system architecture in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology.

Jitendra Thakur

Here describes the agricultural impact of the findings that focus on root system architecture.

By Jitendra Thakur

Alarmingly, as the global population increases, agricultural land area is reducing. In order to feed growing populations, there is an urgency to improve crop productivity. In the last 50-60 years, the global population, especially the population of developing nations, has more than doubled. No doubt, the Green Revolution of the 1960s helped the developing countries to double their crop yield, but the benefits of this revolution seem to have peaked.

Due to technical difficulties in studying the hidden half of the plants, root has been largely ignored by the plant breeders engaged in increasing yield, and so the root system architecture (RSA) was not a major selection criterion in the first generation green revolution programmes. However, roots are critical for plant growth and development. Roots not only anchor the plants to the soil but also help in nutrient and water uptake. Moreover, roots also function as sensors of environmental cues and so help in responses against different biotic and abiotic stresses. As a matter of fact, depending on the nutrient and environmental conditions, plants do alter their RSA.

Thus, there is an urgency to understand the basics of root development and overall RSA, so that optimal use of these can be made in arable land and increase the crop yield. For the next generation Green Revolution we must give due importance to RSA. In the latest report from the Plant Transcription Regulation Group at ICGEB New Delhi, the role of Mediator Complex in determining the RSA in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has been described. The Mediator is a huge complex consisting of several subunits and plays a central role in regulating the process of transcription. There are different intrinsic and extrinsic signals that influence the overall RSA. In this study, Mediator subunit MED17 was found to be the nodal point for integrating sugar and auxin signalling pathways for controlling the auxin-responsive and cell cycle genes to adjust the extent of primary and lateral root development constituting the overall RSA. Thus, this study highlights the function of Mediator as the transcriptional processor for optimal Root System Architecture in plants.

This paper has been published in the latest issue of Plant Physiology, and the study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.


In a recent video, Jitendra Thakur and his team describe their project on engineering rice to defeat hunger

In 2022, research carried out in the laboratories has generated 225 publications in peer-reviewed international journals.