National Institute of Plant Genome Research
Digital India   Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav     
    Dr. Mukesh Kumar Meena
    Staff Scientist II,
    National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi
    Tel:  91-11-26735220
    Fax:  91-11-26741658
 Professional & Academic Background:
Staff Scientist II (2022-present) : National Institute for Plant Genome Research (NIPGR)
Post Doctoral Fellow (2018-2022) : Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle, Germany
Post Doctoral Fellow (2015-2018) : National Institute for Plant Genome Research (NIPGR)
Ph. D. (2008-2015) : National Institute for Plant Genome Research (NIPGR)
M. Sc. (2006-2008) : Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India
B. Sc. (2003-2006) : Maharaja’s college, Jaipur, India
 Awards and Fellowships:
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019), European Commission
Best paper of the year award (2019), NIPGR, India
NIPGR Short-Term Postdoctoral Fellowship
Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India
Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India
Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) in Life Sciences, India.
 Research Interests

Plants have the unique property to fix carbon dioxide into sugars and the entire human population is directly dependent on them as vital sources of oxygen, food, and other economically important products. Abiotic and biotic challenges pose serious risks to plant growth and crop production worldwide. Therefore, understanding how plants activate defense responses against environmental stresses represents a tremendous opportunity to improve plant yield and meet the agricultural output goals to feed the predicted ~10 billion (1010) human population by 2050. Insect pests in particular pose a significant threat to plant yield, crop production and food supply. Recent reports estimate that one-third of all crop losses are due to insect herbivory on major grain crops such as wheat, rice and maize (Deutsch et al 2018; Science). Harmful effects of insecticides on human health, environment and increasing insecticide resistance are further areas of concern for farmers and policymakers around the world. Our research focus is to study early signaling events during plant-insect interaction in model system Arabidopsis and crop plants. We will employ genetics, biochemistry and cell biology approaches to study defense signaling pathways. Fundamental understanding of plant defense responses against insect pathogens will enable us to generate sustainable strategies to tackle global challenges such as food security and environmental protection.

 Group Members
Dr. Axel Mithöfer (Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany)
Dr. Bettina Hause (Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Germany)
Dr. Edgar Pieter (University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)
Dr. Jyothilakshmi Vadassery (NIPGR, New Delhi)
Dr. Debasis Chattopadhyay (NIPGR, New Delhi)
Dr. Rakesh Kumar Shukla (CIMAP, Lucknow)
Dr. Vineeta Tripathi (CDRI, Lucknow)


Mielke S, Zimmer M, Meena MK, Dreos R, Stellmach H, Hause B, Voiniciuc C, Gasperini D (2021) Jasmonate biosynthesis arising from altered cell walls is prompted by turgor-driven mechanical compression. Science Advances 7(7):eabf0356
Menna A, Dora S, Sancho-Andrés G, Kashyap A, Meena MK, Sklodowski K, Gasperini D, Coll NS, Sánchez-Rodríguez C (2021) A primary cell wall cellulose-dependent defense mechanism against vascular pathogens revealed by time-resolved dual transcriptomics. BMC biology 19 (1):1-20
Jogawat A, Meena MK, Kundu A, Varma M, Vadassery J (2020) Calcium channel CNGC19 mediates basal defense signaling to regulate colonization by Piriformospora indica in Arabidopsis roots. Journal of Experimental Botany 71(9):2752-2768
Prajapati R, Mittal D, Meena MK, Vadassery J (2020) Jasmonic acid (JA) induced-calcium elevation in Arabidopsis is highly variable due to time of day and conversion to JA-Ile. Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 29 (4):816-823
Meena MK, Prajapati R, Krishna D, Divakaran K, Pandey Y, Reichelt M, Mathew MK, Boland W, Mithöfer A, Vadassery J (2019) The Ca2+ Channel CNGC19 Regulates Arabidopsis defense against Spodoptera Herbivory. Plant Cell 31(7):1539-1562
Meena MK, Vishwakarma NK, Tripathi V, Chattopadhyay D (2019) CBL-interacting protein kinase 25 contributes to root meristem development. Journal of Experimental Botany 70(1):133-147
Khandal H, Parween S, Roy R, Meena MK, Chattopadhyay D (2017) MicroRNA profiling provides insights into post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in chickpea root apex under salinity and water deficiency. Scientific Reports 7(1):4632
Meena MK, Ghawana S, Diwedi V, Roy A, Chattopadhyay D (2015) Expression of chickpea CIPK25 enhanced root growth and abiotic stress tolerance. Frontiers in plant science 6:683
Meena MK, Ghawana S, Sardar A, Dwivedi V, Khandal H, Roy R, Chattopadhyay D (2015) Investigation of genes encoding Calcineurin B-like protein family in legumes and their expression analyses in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Plos one 10(4):e0123640
Meena MK, Sardar A, Chattopadhyay D (2019) Decoding and relay of calcium signals by CBL-CIPK module in plants. Proc Indian Natn Sci Acad 85(1): 143-156
Meena MK, Vadassery J (2015) Channels hold the key: cyclic nucleotide gated channels (CNGC) in plant biotic stress signaling. Endocytobiosis & Cell Research vol.26