National Institute of Plant Genome Research
Digital India     
    Dr. Senthil-Kumar Muthappa
    Staff Scientist-III & Ramalingaswami Fellow
    PhD, University of Agricultural Sciences GKVK Bangalore
    Tel: 91-11-26741612,14,17 Ext. - 229
    Direct - 26735229, Fax: 91-11-26741658
Staff scientist: NIPGR, New Delhi (June 2013 onwards)
Post-Doctoral Fellow: Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA (Jan 2007 to June 2013)
Research Associate: University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore (June 2006 to Jan 2007)
 Fellowships and Awards
National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Associateship
DBT Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award – 2015
Ramalingaswami Re-entry Fellowship, Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi.
Ramanujan Fellowship, Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi [fellowship not availed].
Senior Research Fellowship, Council of scientific and industrial research, New Delhi.
Junior Research Fellowship, Indian council of agricultural research, New Delhi.
 Research Interests
Concurrent biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in plants

Due to changing climatic factors, plants are expected to combat unique combination of stresses. Plants simultaneously exposed to combination of stresses (for example, drought and pathogens) are expected to employ altogether a different & tailored response for combating them compared to those independently exposed to individual stresses. Such unique adaptive strategy used by plants can be exploited for crop improvement. In order to achieve this, understanding the molecular mechanisms of concurrent stress tolerance is essential.

Our lab uses Arabidopsis thaliana as model plant and attempts to capture the unique genes involved in disease resistance of these plants against Pseudomonas syringae pathovars (host & nonhost pathogens) under drought stress. We employ virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS)-based forward genetic screen to initially identify the candidate genes. Later, these genes are individually characterized by analyzing specific A. thaliana mutant and gene-overexpression plant.

Findings from this project will enable understanding not only overall concurrent stress tolerance mechanisms, but also the specific defense responses of combined stressed plants against pathogens.
Nonhost resistance of plants against pathogens

Plants are constantly exposed to wide variety of disease causing pathogens in their environment. To combat pathogen attack, plants have evolved various defense mechanisms, both active and passive. R-gene mediated defense generally limits the host range of a pathogen to the member of a single species and is often overcome by pathogen. In contrast, nonhost resistance is a response to all races of a particular pathogen, and occurs in all cultivars of a nonhost plant species. Understanding the mechanism of nonhost resistance will facilitate engineering plants for durable disease resistance against wide range of pathogens. 

We are particularly interested in understanding nonhost resistance of model plants against few pathogens that cause disease in crop plants (for example, tomato). The knowledge gained by these studies will aid developing durable disease resistant crop plants in future.
Interested in joining the lab?

Highly motivated researchers who would like to join the lab through DBT-BIOCARE or INSPIRE or CSIR senior RA or DST women scientist or DBT-RA are welcome to contact the PI. Incumbent member is expected to work on 'drought-pathogen stress interaction' project and will employ simulation and crop modelling related tools to predict the occurrence and impact of stress combinations. Researchers with strong statistical and bioinformatics skills are encouraged to contact the PI.
  Group Members
 Selected Publications
Senthil-Kumar M and Mysore KS (2014) Tobacco rattle virus–based virus-induced gene silencing in Nicotiana benthamianaNature Protocols 9, 1549–1562
Senthil-Kumar M and Mysore KS (2013) Nonhost resistance against bacterial pathogens - retrospects and prospects. Annual Review of Phytopathology 51: 19.1-19.21.
Rojas CM, Senthil-Kumar M, Wang K, Ryu CM, Kaundal A and Mysore KS (2012) Glycolate oxidase plays a major role during nonhost resistance responses by modulating reactive oxygen species mediated signal transduction pathways. The Plant Cell 24(1): 336-52.
Keri Wang#, Senthil-Kumar M#, Choong-Min Ryu, Li Kang and Mysore KS (2012) Phytosterols play a key role in plant innate immunity against bacterial pathogens by regulating nutrient efflux into the apoplast. Plant Physiology 158(4): 1789-802. #equal contribution.
Senthil-Kumar M and Mysore KS (2012) d-ornithine aminotransferase and proline dehydrogenase genes play a role in nonhost disease resistance by regulating pyrroline-5-carboxylate metabolism-induced hypersensitive response. Plant Cell and Environment 35(7): 1329-43.
Senthil-Kumar M and Mysore KS (2011) New dimensions of using VIGS for plant functional genomics. Trends in Plant Science 16(12): 656-665.
For more publications click here