National Institute of Plant Genome Research
Digital India   Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav     
    Dr. Jitendra K. Thakur
    Staff Scientist VI, Plant Mediator Lab
    M.Phil., Ph.D. University of Delhi South Campus
    Phone: 91-11-26741612/14/17 Extn. 221
    Direct: 91-11-26735221
JKT Lab Website

Frontiers in Plant Science is pleased to announce a Special Issue on research topic "Engagement of Transcription Cofactors in the Developmental Processes and Response to Environmental Cues" edited by Jitendra K. Thakur, Zhonglin Mou, Jiri Fajkus, Junqi Song and Sneh Lata Singla-Pareek. Submissions on any aspect of plant transcription cofactors are welcome. ... CLICK HERE

Visiting Faculty (April - August 2014): Department of Biochemistry & Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA.
Scientist (Oct 2009 - present): National Institute for Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, India.
Assistant Professor (Sep 2008- Sep 2009): Indian Institute of Science Education & Research - Kolkata, Mohanpur, India.
Research Fellow (Jan 2004 - Aug 2008): Harvard Medical School/MGH Cancer Center, Boston, USA.
 Awards, Scholarships & Fellowships
Fellowship for Medical Discovery (ECOR-FMD), Massachussets Genreal Hospital, Boston, USA. 2006-2008
Financial Aid Award, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA. 2006
Keystone Scholarship 2002
IAPTC&B Fellowship 2002
Fellow: The National Academy of Sciences, India
Prof. Archana Sharma Memorial Award given by Indian Science Congress Association. 2017
Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award (IYBA) from DBT, Govt. of India. 2008
INSA (Indian National Science Academy) medal for Young Scientist. 2008
Junior and Senior Research Fellowships, CSIR-UGC-NET, 2000-2003
DBT scholarship for M.Sc.(Biotechnology). 1994-1996
Membership of Academic Honours Society of Mathematics on the basis of merit. Christian College, Lucknow. 1993
 Research Interests
1. Architecture and function of plant Mediator complex
In last two decades, 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 role of Intrinsically Disorder Regions (IDRs) in the evolution of diversified role of Mediator functioning and establishing extensive protein-protein interaction network. In another study, we delineated interaction map of 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 switches. We are also looking at the functional relevance of individual Mediator subunits in different signalling pathways affecting growth and development of plants. We are also interested to know if Mediator collaborates with or affects the chromatin structure during gene regulation.
2. Epigenetic regulation of seed development
Epigenetic modifications of chromatin play very important role in programming the gene expression network. Available literature suggests that many genomic loci are epigenetically modified during reproductive phases of plant life cycle. However, we do not know how these epigenetic modifications drive different phases of seed development. Our laboratory is interested in unravelling the basic aspect of epigenetic regulation of seed development in rice.
3. Characterization 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 to purification and characterization of anticandida activities from different plants.
 Group Members
Dr. Jitender Singh RA
Dr. Alim Junaid SRF
Mr. Shubhashis DasPh.D student
Mr. Sourobh MajiPh.D student
Mr. Angad KumarPh.D student
Ms. Rekha AgrawalPh.D student
Ms. Pallabi ThakurPh.D student
Ms. Anjitha Kumari SRF
 Former Lab Members
Dr. Malini Nagulapalli Research Associate
Dr. Subhasis Samanta Research Associate
Dr. Nidhi Dwivedi Ph.D student
Dr. Pradeep Dahiya Ph.D student
Dr. Vinay Kumar Ph.D student
Ms. Rupali Kumari Ph.D student
Dr. Arvind Rai SRF
Ms. Harshita Bharti Saxena JRF
Dr. Divya S. BhatResearch Associate
Dr. Tanvir-Ul-Hassan DarResearch Associate
Ms. Richa Pasrija JRF
 Selected Publications
Bhardwaj R, Thakur JK* and Kumar S* (2021) MedProDB: A database of Mediator proteins. Comput Struct Biotechnol J: 19: 4165-4176 (* corresponding authors)
Sharma N, Sahu PP, Prasad A, Muthamilarasan M, Waseem M, Khan Y, Thakur JK, Chakraborty S and Prasad M (2021) The Sw5a gene confers resistance to ToLCNDV and triggers an HR response after direct AC4 effector recognition. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 118 (33)
Kumar V, Thakur JK and Prasad M (2021) Histone acetylation dynamics regulating plant development and stress responses. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 78: 4467-4486.
Agrawal R, Fajkus J and Thakur JK (2021) Kinase module of Mediator complex: Important signalling processor for development and survival of plants. Journal of Experimental Botany 72: 224-240.
Balasubramani GL, Rajput R, Gupta M, Dahiya P, Thakur JK  Bhatnagar R and Grover A (2020) Structure-based drug repurposing to inhibit the DNA gyrase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Biochemical journal  477: 4167-4190.
Singh P, Verma P, Parida SK, Thakur JK and Giri J (2020) Genome-wide association study for phosphate deficiency responsive root hair elongation in Chickpea. Functional & Integrative Genomics 20: 775-786.
Kumar A, Daware A, Kumar A, Kumar V, Krishnan S Gopala, Mondal S, Patra BC, Singh AK, Tyagi AK, Parida SK and Thakur JK (2020). Genome-wide analysis of polymorphisms identified domestication-associated low diversity region carrying important grain size QTL. Plant Journal 103: 1525-1547

(Covered by Nature India, Vigyan Prasar, Careers360, BioTech Times and Vijayavani Kannada)
Kumar A, Kumar S, Singh KBM, Prasad M and Thakur JK (2020). Designing a mini-core collection effectively representing 3004 diverse rice accessions. Plant Communications 1: 100049
Chauhan S, Samanta S, Sharma N, Thakur JK, Dev K and Souriranjan A (2019) Saccharomyces cerevisiae Polo-like kinase, cdc5 exhibits ATP-dependent Mg2+-enhanced kinase activity in vitro. Heliyon 5(12): e03050.
Dwivedi N, Maji S, Waseem M, Kumar V, Parida SK and Thakur JK (2019) The Mediator subunit OsMED15a is a transcriptional co-regulator of seed size/weight-modulating genes in rice. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanism 1862: 194432. (Covered in news media like The Hindu, Deccan Heralds, Nature India and Vigyan Prasar)
Maji S, Dahiya P, Waseem M, Dwivedy N, Bhat DS, Dar T and Thakur JK (2019). Interaction map of Arabidopsis Mediator complex expounding its topology. Nucleic Acids Res. 47: 3904-3920.
Patel MK, Das S and Thakur JK (2018). GC-MS based analysis of Methanol: chloroform extracted fatty acid profiling from plant tissues. Bio. Protoc. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3014.
Nagpal N, Sharma S, Maji S, Durante G, Ferracin M, Thakur JK* and Kulshreshtha R* (2018). Essential role of MED1 in the transcriptional regulation of ER-dependent oncogenic miRNAs in breast cancer Sci. Rep. 8:11805 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-29546-9. (* Corresponding authors)
Kumar V, Waseem M, Dwivedi N, Maji S, Kumar A and Thakur JK (2018). KIX domain of AtMed15a, a Mediator subunit of Arabidopsis, is required for its interaction with different proteins. Plant Signal Behav. Doi: 10.1080/15592324.2018.1428514
Prakash P, Zeeshan M, Saini E, Muneer A, Khurana S, Kumar Chourasia B, Deshmukh A, Kaur I, Dabral S, Singh N, Anam Z, Chaurasiya A, Kaushik S, Dahiya P, Kalamuddin M, Kumar Thakur J, Mohmmed A, Ranganathan A, Malhotra P (2017). Human Cyclophilin B forms part of a multi-protein complex during erythrocyte invasion by Plasmodium falciparum. Nat Commun. Doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01638-6
Yadav A, Thakur JK, Yadav G. (2017) KIXBASE: A comprehensive web resource for identification and exploration of KIX domains. Sci Rep. 14924. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-14617-0.
Samanta S and Thakur JK (2017) Characterization of Mediator complex and its associated proteins from rice. Methods Mol Biol. 1629: 123-140
Ghosh S, Kaushik A, Khurana S, Varshney A, Singh AK, Dahiya P, Thakur JK, Sarin SK, Gupta D, Malhotra P, Mukherjee SK, Bhatnagar RK (2017) An RNAi-based high throughput screening assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of hepatitis B virus replication. J Biol Chem. 292:12577-12588.
Dahiya P, Bhat DS and Thakur JK (2016) Expression of AtMed15 of Arabidopsis in yeast causes flocculation and increases ethanol production in yeast culture. Scientific Reports 6, 27967. Doi:10.1038/srep27967.
(Covered in news media like The Telegraph, Nature India and Vigyan Prasar)
Malik N*, Dwivedi N*, Singh AK, Parida SK, Agarwal P, Thakur JK, Tyagi AK (2016) An integrated genomic strategy delineates candidate Mediator genes regulating grain size and weight in rice. Scientific Reports6:23253. Doi10.1038/srep23253
Nagulapalli M, Maji S*, Dwivedi N*, Dahiya P and Thakur JK (2016) Evolution of disorder in Mediator complex and its functional relevance. Nucleic Acids Res. 44: 1591-1612.
(Awarded Best Paper Award in SubDIC category during BTISNet meeting, 2016)
Samanta S Thakur JK (2015) Importance of Mediator complex in the regulation and integration of diverse signalling pathways in plants. Front. Plant Sci. 6:757 doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00757
Thakur JK, Yadav A and Yadav G (2013) Molecular recognition by the KIX domain and its role in gene regulation. Nucleic. Acids Res. (In Press)
Sharma S, Verma S, Vasudevan M, Samanta S, Thakur JK, Kulshreshtha R (2013) The interplay of HuR and mir-3134 in regulation of AU rich transcriptome. RNA Biol 10: 1283-1290.
Thakur JK, Agarwal P, Parida SK, Bajaj D and Pasrija R (2013) Sequence and expression analyses of KIX domain proteins suggest their importance in seed development and determination of seed size in rice, and genome stability in Arabidopsis. Mol. Genet. Genomics 288: 329-346.
Pasrija R, Thakur JK (2013) Tissue specific expression profile of Mediator genes in Arabidopsis. Plant Signal Behav 8: 5, e23983.
Pasrija R, Thakur JK (2012) Analysis of differential expression of Mediator subunit genes in Arabidopsis. Plant Signal & Behav 7: 1676-1686.
Naar AM and Thakur JK (2009) Nuclear Receptor-Like transcription factors in fungi. Genes & Development 23: 419-32.
Thakur JK, Arthanari H, Yang F, Chau KH, Wagner G and Naar AM (2009) Mediator subunit Gal11p/MED15 is required for fatty acid-dependent gene activation by yeast transcription factor Oaf1p. J Biol Chem 284: 4422-4428.
Thakur JK, Arthanari H, Yang F, Breger J, Fan X, Sun J, Li D, Struhl K, Moye-Rowley S, Mylonakis E, Cormack B, Wagner G and Naar AM (2008) A nuclear receptor-like pathway regulating multidrug resistance in fungi. Article in Nature 452: 604-609. [Covered in News & Views section by Andre Goffeau, Nature, 2008, 452: 541-542; in Perspective section by Monk and Goffeau, Science, 2008, 321: 367-369] [F1000 factor 9.8 Exceptional;]
Thakur JK, Jain M, Tyagi AK and Khurana JP (2005) Exogenous auxin enhances the degradation of a light down-regulated and nuclear-localized OsiIAA1, an Aux/IAA protein from rice, via proteasome. Biochemica et Biophysica Acta 1730: 196-205.
Thakur JK, Malik MR, Bhatt V, Reddy MK, Sopory SK, Tyagi AK and Khurana JP (2003) A POLYCOMB group gene of rice, OsiEZ1, codes for a nuclear-localized protein expressed preferentially in young seedlings and during reproductive development. Gene 314: 1-13.
Thakur JK, Tyagi AK and Khurana JP (2001) OsIAA1, an Aux/IAA cDNA from Rice, and Its Expression as Influenced by Auxin and Light. DNA Research 8(5): 193-203.
Thakur JK, Dahiya P and Bhat DS (2012) Recombinant microorganisms and uses thereof. [Provisional Indian Patent Application No. 3699/DEL/2012]
 Book Edited
Gene and Protein Engineering; Biotechnology Volume 5. Guest Editor Jitendra K. Thakur. Studium Press LLC, USA.
 Book Chapters
Singh J and Thakur JK (2018) Photosynthesis and abiotic stress in plants. In Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants. pp 27-46. Springer Nature Publications
Samanta S and Thakur JK (2017) Characterization of Mediator complex and its associated proteins from rice. In Methods Mol Biol. 1629: 123-140. Springer Nature Publications
Dwivedi N, Kumar V and Thakur JK (2017) Convergence of stress-induced hormone signaling pathways on a transcriptional co-factor. In Mechanism of Plant Hormone Signaling Under Stress. pp 285-317. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Samanta S and Thakur JK. Role of plant Mediator complex in stress response. In Elucidation of Abiotic Stress Signaling in Plants. Springer Science+Business Media LLC, New York, USA.
Khurana JP, Tripathi L, Kumar D, Thakur JK and Meghna R. Malik. Cell Differentiation in Shoot Meristems - A Molecular Perspective.In Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Markers, In: Srivastava, P.S., Narula, A. and Srivastava, S. (eds.), Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Markers, pp. 366-385, Anamaya Publishers, New Delhi.
Tyagi AK, Khuarana JP, Sharma AK, Mohanty A, Dhingra A, Raghuvanshi S, Mukhopadhyay A, Gupta V, Anand S, Kathuria H, Bhushan S, Thakur JK and Kumar D. Organ-specific gene expression and genetic transformation for improvement of rice. In: Khush, G.S., Brar, D.S. and Hardy, B. (eds), Advances in Rice Genetics, pp. 552-555, International Rice Research Institute, Manila.
Description: A database of Mediator proteins
Related paper: Bhardwaj R, Thakur JK* and Kumar S* (2021) MedProDB: A database of Mediator proteins. Comput Struct Biotechnol J: 19: 4165-4176 (* corresponding authors)

Description: A database of nucleotide sequences and SNP analyses from large set of rice accessions.
Related paper: Kumar A, Daware A, Kumar A, Kumar V, Krishnan S Gopala, Mondal S, Patra BC, Singh AK, Tyagi AK, Parida SK and Thakur JK (2020). Genome-wide analysis of polymorphisms identified domestication-associated low diversity region carrying important grain size QTL. The Plant Journal 103: 1525-1547.

Description: A comprehensive resource for KIX domain
Related paper: Yadav A, Thakur JK and Yadav G (2017) KIXBASE: A comprehensive resource for identification and exploration of KIX domain. Sci Rep 7(1): 14924
 Research in news media
Study paves the way for new approach to boost rice yield. The Hindu
Study paves the way for new approach to boost rice yield. Vigyan Prasar
Scientists identify key gene to boost rice yield. Nature India
Genetic code to increase the size of rice grain cracked. Deccan Herald
Brewery boon: gene to tweak yeast behavior. The Telegraph June 27, 2016.
Scientists engineer yeast to increase alcohol yield. Nature India June 17, 2016 doi:10.1038/nindia.2016.80
Discovery Shows How Fungi Pump Up Defense, Focus May 2, 2008
Study identifies mechanism underlying multidrug resistance in fungi, Bio-Medicine April 2, 2008
Discovery Of Mechanism Underlying Multidrug Resistance In Fungi Could Improve Treatment Of Dangerous Infections In Immune-Compromised Patients, Medicine News Today April 3, 2008