Ramesh V. Sonti

Prof. Ramesh V. Sonti, Director, ICGEB India and Group Leader, Plant-microbe Interactions

Director, New Delhi Component

Group Leader,
Plant-microbe Interaction

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
ICGEB Campus
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg
110 067 New Delhi, India
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, Post-doc, 1991-93
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA, PhD, 1990
University of Hyderabad, India, MPhil, 1983
University of Hyderabad, India, MSc, 1982
Andhra University, India, BSc, 1980

Career History

Since 2023, Director, ICGEB New Delhi
2021-2022, Professor and Chair of Biology, IISER Tirupati, India
2020-2021, J.C. Bose Fellow, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India
2020, Chief Executive Officer, DBT-Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing, Mohali, India
2020, Executive Director, DBT-National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali, India
2017-2020, Director, DBT National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, India
1993-2017, Scientist and Group Leader, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India

Scientific Activity

My lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms of attack and defense in the interaction between plants and their pathogens. Our model is the interaction between the bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and it’s host plant which is rice. A major focus of our current research is to identify the rice functions that are involved in induction of innate immunity and Xoo effector proteins that work inside rice cells to suppress innate immune responses. Of particular interest are immune responses that are induced by Xoo secreted rice cell wall degrading enzymes. In addition, we are using molecular marker/genomics assisted selection methods for improvement of rice cultivars for enhanced biotic stress tolerance.

Teaching Activity

Involved in teaching courses in Genetics and Plant Stress Biology to advanced undergraduate and doctoral students, and a basic course in Molecular Biology and Genetics to second-year undergraduate students.

Selected publications

Ramesh RV on Pubmed

Suppression of XopQ–XopX-induced immune responses of rice by the type III effector XopG. 2022. Deb, S., Gokulan, C.G., Nathawat R., Patel, H.K., Sonti, R.V. Mol Plant Pathol. 23, 634-648

Role of the FnIII domain associated with a cell wall-degrading enzyme cellobiosidase of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. 2022. Nathawat, R., Maku, R.V., Patel, H.K., Sankaranarayanan, R., Sonti, V.R. Mol Plant Pathol. 23, 1011-1021

Dual Activities of Receptor-like Kinase OsWAKL21.2 Induce Immune Responses. 2020. Malukani, K.K., Ranjan, A., Hota S.J., Patel, H.K., Sonti, R.V. Plant Physiol. 183, 1345-1363

Interaction of the Xanthomonas effectors XopQ and XopX results in induction of  rice immune responses. 2020. Deb, S., Ghosh, P., Patel, H.K., Sonti, R.V. Plant J., 104, 332-350

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae XopQ protein suppresses rice immune responses through interaction with two 14‐3‐3 proteins but its phospho‐null mutant induces rice immune responses and interacts with another 14‐3‐3 protein. 2019. Deb, S., Gupta, M.K., Patel, H.K., Sonti, R.V. Mol Plant Pathol. 20, 976-989

Rice Leaf Transcriptional Profiling Suggests a Functional Interplay Between Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Lipopolysaccharide and Extracellular Polysaccharide in Modulation of Defense Responses During Infection. 2017. Girija, A.M., Kinathi, B.K., Madhavi, M.B., Ramesh, P., Vungarala, S., Patel, H.K., Sonti, R.V. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 30, 16-27

Action of multiple cell wall degrading enzymes is required for elicitation of innate immune responses during Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae infection in rice. 2016. Tayi, L., Maku, R., Patel, H.K., Sonti, R.V. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 29, 599-608