My research work is primarily focused towards improvement/ protection of crop plants through Biotechnological approach.
The yield of economically important crop plants like mustard, tomato are severely affected by the attack of insects (aphids, whitefly, etc.) and plant pathogenic virus, bacteria, and fungi.
During Ph. D, I have developed aphid (Lipaphis erysimi) resistant transgenic mustard plants by expressing a novel lectin- Colocasia esculenta tuber agglutinin, from tubers of C. esculenta. Additionally, another well-characterized lectin from garlic leaf- Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL) was utilized to interfere with the whitefly vectored, GroEL mediated transmission of tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV).
My Post Doctoral work was aimed at developing Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus (ToLCNDV) resistance in tomato using CRISPR/Cas9 technology.
The yield of tomato is also compromised by fungal diseases like early blight, late blight and other viruses like Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, Tomato mosaic virus (TMV), etc. in the Indian context. I’ll be interested in the management of such diseases using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. My long term goal is the study and management of biotic and abiotic stresses and nutritional enhancement of conventional and under-utilized crops for providing better food security.
B.Sc. (Hons.) in Botany, Visva Bharati (1999-2002)
M.Sc. in Biotechnology, Visva Bharati (2002-2004)
Ph. D in Biotechnology, Bose Institute/ University of Calcutta (2011-2017), Supervisor: Prof. Sampa Das
Research / Administrative Experience+
After my M. Sc in Biotechnology, I’ve completed industrial training programme organized by Biotech Consortium India Limited (sponsored by Department of Biotechnology) in the area of Plant Tissue Culture and Biotechnology. Later, during my industrial exposure as Research Fellow, I was involved in micropropagation and genetic engineering of Jatropha curcas- an important source of biofuel.
Afterwards, as Project Fellow at Bose Institute, I’ve studied several novel plant- lectins for their insecticidal efficacy and developed transgenic plants expressing such lectins.
During my Ph. D, I’ve developed transgenic Indian mustard expressing a novel lectin- Colocasia esculenta tuber agglutinin, from tubers of C. esculenta with enhanced resistance against mustard aphid. Additionally, I’ve studied how another lectin from garlic leaf- Allium sativum leaf agglutinin (ASAL) can be utilized to interfere with the whitefly vectored, GroEL mediated tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV) transmission. In addition to these, I’ve worked as co-author in the development of selectable marker-free, insect resistant, transgenic mustard (Brassica juncea) plants using Cre/lox mediated recombination.
After completion of my Ph. D, I joined National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi with National Post Doctoral Fellowship (N-PDF) under the guidance of Dr. Manoj Prasad. During my Post Doctoral work, I targetted different viral genes of Tomato Leaf Curl New Delhi Virus (ToLCNDV) via CRISPR/Cas9 technology for the development of ToLCNDV resistance in tomato. Transgenic tomato plants were developed expressing guide RNAs targeting the said viral genes of ToLCNDV. The said work was further extended by targeting several host genes/ elements to elucidate the underlying mechanism of tolerance in varieties which show tolerance against this disease.
Teaching / Other Experience+
My keen interest is to provide students with sound knowledge in Life Sciences and Biotechnology and carry out significant research in the relevant field. My fields of interest are Molecular Biology, Plant Tissue culture, Recombinant DNA technology and Genetic engineering, Techniques in Molecular Biology and related topics. Although, until now, I was not involved in professional teaching, my experience in guiding many M. Sc students and junior research scholars will be helpful in this regard.
Post Graduate Supervision+
Life member of The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
Das A., Sharma N., Prasad M (2019) CRISPR/Cas9: A novel weapon in the arsenal to combat plant diseases. Frontiers in Plant Science. 9:2008. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.02008.
Das A., Ghosh P., Das S (2018) Expression of Colocasia esculenta tuber agglutinin in Indian mustard provides resistance against Lipaphis erysimi and the expressed protein is non-allergenic. Plant Cell Reports, 37, 849–863.
Das A., Roy A., Hess D., Das S. (2013) Characterization of a highly potent insecticidal lectin from Colocasia esculenta tuber and cloning of its coding sequence. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 4, 408-416. doi:10.4236/ajps.2013.42A053.
Bala A., Roy† A., Das† A., Chakraborti D., Das S. (2013) Development of selectable marker free, insect resistant, transgenic mustard (Brassica juncea) plants using Cre/lox mediated recombination. BMC Biotechnology 2013, 13:88. doi:10.1186/1472-6750-13-88. †Equal authorship.
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