Unlocking Mysteries of Plant-Microbe Interactions
Understanding plant susceptibility and resistance mechanism to fungal/bacterial pathogens
We still have only a very limited understanding of resistance or susceptibility mechanism of plant against fungal/bacterial pathogens. Currently, our lab is focused on understanding mustard (important rapeseed oil crop) against a broad host range predominantly necrotrophic fungal pathogen, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. We will be using multi-omics approaches (transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics) to identify the plant genes/ biological processes involved in this interaction. Further, we will be using crop editing tools to engineer the plants.
Elucidating virulence mechanism of fungal/bacterial pathogens
In an effort to gain a better understanding of pathogens (fungal/bacterial) virulence mechanism, we will be engineering the pathogen genes and elucidating their function. Further, we can develop environmentally friendly and sustainable strategies to control pathogens. We also intend to understand the dynamics and variation of different pathogenic strains isolated from different region by using comparative genomics as a tool. This will also help in understanding the evolutionary aspect of virulence/pathogenesis.
Discovering and Studying plant derived antimicrobial compounds
During plant-pathogen interaction antimicrobial compounds play a crucial role, I will be looking into novel antimicrobial compounds produced during lignin biosynthesis / secondary metabolism pathway to control phytopathogens. The better understanding of these important pathways and intermediates can also help in developing pathogen-resistant crops.