National Institute of Plant Genome Research
Digital India   Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav     
    Dr. Praveen Verma
    Staff Scientist VI
    M.Sc., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
    Ph. D., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
    Tel : 91-11-26741612,14,17 Ext - 114
    Direct - 91-11-26735114
    Fax: 91-11-26741658
Staff Scientist VI, National Institute for Plant Genome Research (2016 onwards);
Staff Scientist V, National Institute for Plant Genome Research (2012-2016);
Staff Scientist IV, National Institute for Plant Genome Research (2008-2012);
Staff Scientist III, National Institute for Plant Genome Research (2003-2008);
Staff Scientist II, National Institute for Plant Genome Research (1998-2003).
 Research Interests
Plant Immunity Laboratory

Our group is working on biology of Plant-Fungus Interactions.  Recent studies on genomics of plants and fungus are beginning to unravel new portrait of the plant-fungus interactions with respect to the survival of both organisms. One of our current research interests is on pathogen secreted effector proteins which involved in the suppression of host generated immune responses. The fungal effector proteins and their targets in host plants are currently our major focus. The endocytosis and actin dynamics during the early phases of pathogenesis are also our current interest. Overall, our laboratory is working to address two interrelated biological questions:

  1. How fungal pathogens manipulate themselves as well as plant cells to proliferate in a hostile environment? In this aspect, we are working on novel fungal effectors (Effectoromics) and the genes that counteract host-generated oxidative stress during hypersensitive response.
  1. How plants induce their immune system against fungal invasion?  In this aspect, we are interested in characterization of the genes involved in resistance/or susceptibility, downstream signalling and targets of fungal effectors and their mechanism.
We adopted some important plant pathogens viz. Ascochyta rabiei (causal agent of Ascochyta Blight of chickpea), Botrytis cinerea (causal agent of BGM disease of chickpea), Bipolaris sorokiniana (causal agent of spot blotch of wheat) and Exobasidium vexens (causal agent of blister blight disease of tea). We study different aspects of genomics and functional genomics which include genome and transcriptome sequencing, bioinformatics, interactome, Genetics of resistance/suceptibility, QTLs and SNPs analysis, candidate gene isolation, gene knock-outs in fungi, functional characterization and genetic manipulations in phytopathogenic fungi as well as host plant.
My lab is also interested to study the induced immune responses during Plant-Herbivore Interactions. Plant respond to both pathogen and herbivore attack by constitutive and induced defense mechanisms. One of the major threats of chickpea is the generalist herbivore, Helicoverpa armigera, which damages the aerial parts of the plant, including leaves and pods. We have isolated several genes and trying to elucidate the complex signalling pathways, microRNAs involved which leads to immunity using next generation sequencing approach.
 Group Members
Current Lab Members
Dr. Kamal KumarResearch Associate
Dr. Ravi Ranjan SaxesenaResearch Associate
Dr. Nandita PasariWomen Scientist
Mr. Shreenivas K. SinghPh.D student
Mr. Yeshveer Singh Ph.D student
Mr. Jawahar Singh Ph.D student
Ms. Ritu Singh Ph.D student
Ms. Ankita Shree Ph.D student
Ms Athira M. Nair Ph.D student
Mr. Govind SinghLaboratory Assistant
Past Ph. D. Students
  • Dr. Purnima Jaiswal
  • Dr. Archana
  • Dr. Kamal Kumar
  • Dr. Eeshan Kalita
  • Dr. Saurabh Yadav
  • Dr. Kunal Singh
  • Dr. Shadab Nizam
  • Dr. Nivedita Lal
  • Dr. Sandhya Verma
  • Dr. Manisha
  • Dr. Savithri Purayannur
 Selected Publications
Research Articles:
Singh J, Verma PK (2021) NSP1 allies with GSK3 to inhibit nodule symbiosis, Trends Plant Sci.
Sinha M, Shree A, Singh K, Kumar K, Singh SK, Kumar V, Verma PK (2021), Modulation of fungal virulence through CRZ1 regulated F-BAR-dependent actin remodeling and endocytosis in chickpea infecting phytopathogen Ascochyta rabiei. PLOS Genetics 17(5): e1009137.
Chaliha C, Kaladhar VC, Doley R, Verma PK, Kumar A, Kalita E. (2021) Bipartite molecular approach for species delimitation and resolving cryptic speciation of Exobasidium vexans within the Exobasidium genus. Comp. Biol. and Chem. 92, 107496.
Magotra S, Bhagat N, Ambardar S, Ali T, Hurek BR, Hurek T, Verma PK and Vakhlu J (2021) Field evaluation of PGP Bacillus sp. strain D5 native to Crocus sativus, in traditional and non traditional areas, and mining of PGP genes from its genome. Scientific Reports 11: 5454.
Singh Y, Nair AM, Verma PK (2021) Surviving the odds: from perception to survival of fungal phytopathogens under host-generated oxidative burst, Plant Communications,
Randhawa A,  Pasari N, Sinha T, Gupta M, Nair AM, Ogunyewo OA, Verma S, Verma PK, Yazdani  SS (2021) Blocking drug efflux mechanisms facilitate genome engineering process in hypercellulolytic fungus, Penicillium funiculosum NCIM1228 Biotechnology for Biofuels 14, 31
Sharma S, Singh Y, Verma PK, Vakhlu J (2021) Establishment of Agrobacterium rhizogenes‑mediated hairy root transformation of Crocus sativus L. 3 Biotech 11:82
Ogunyewo OA, Randhawa A, Gupta M, Kaladhar VC, Verma PK, Yazdani SS. (2020). Synergistic action of a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase and a cellobiohydrolase from Penicillium funiculosum in cellulose saccharification under high-level substrate loading. Appl Environ Microbiol 86:e01769-20.
Maurya R*, Singh Y*, Sinha M, Singh K, Mishra P, Singh SK, Verma S, Prabha K, Kumar K, Verma PK (2020).Transcript profiling reveals potential regulators for oxidative stress response of a necrotrophic chickpea pathogen Ascochyta rabiei. 3Biotech (*equal contribution) (In Press)
Chaliha C, Kalita  E, Verma PK (2019) Optimizing in vitro culture conditions for the biotrophic fungi Exobasidium vexans through response surface methodology, Indian Journal of Microbiology, DOI 10.1007/s12088-019-00846-6.
Kumar M, Verma S, Gazara RK, Kumar M,  Pandey A and Verma PK*, Thakur IS* (2018) Genomic and proteomic analysis of lignin degrading and polyhydroxyalkanoate accumulating β-proteobacterium Pandoraea sp. ISTKB. Biotechnology for Biofuels 11:154,
Kumar K, Purayannur S, Kaladhar VC, Parida SK and Verma PK (2018) mQTL-seq and classical mapping implicates the role of an AT-HOOK MOTIF CONTAINING NUCLEAR LOCALIZED (AHL) family gene in ascochyta blight resistance of chickpea. Plant, Cell & Environment 41:2128-2140.
Verma S, Gazara RK, Verma PK (2017) Transcription Factor Repertoire of Necrotrophic Fungal Phytopathogen Ascochyta rabiei: Predominance of MYB Transcription Factors as Potential Regulators of Secretome,Frontiers in Plant Sciences 8:1037.
Srivastava V, Verma PK (2017). The plant LIM proteins: Unlocking the hidden attractions. Planta 246(3):365-375.
Purayannur  S, Kumar K, Kaladhar VC, Verma PK (2017) Phylogenomic analysis of MKKs and MAPKs from 16 legumes and detection of interacting pairs in chickpea divulge MAPK signalling modules. Scientific Reports  7:5026.
Mallik B, Dwivedi MK,  Mushtaq Z,  Kumari M, Verma PK, and Kumar V (2017) Regulation of Neuromuscular Junction Organization by Rab2 and Its Effector ICA69 in Drosophila. Development  144:2032-2044.
Kumar M, Singhal A, Verma PK and Thakur IS (2017) Production and characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoate from lignin derivatives by Pandoraea sp. ISTKB. ACS Omega 2: 9156-9163.
Verma, S, Gazara, RK, Nizam, S, Parween, S, Chattopadhyay, D, Verma PK (2016) Draft genome sequencing and secretome analysis of fungal phytopathogen Ascochyta rabiei provides insight into the necrotrophic effector repertoire. Scientific Reports, 6:24638.
Kumar K, Srivastava V, Purayannur S, Kaladhar VC, Cheruvu PJ and Verma PK (2016) WRKY domain-encoding genes of a crop legume chickpea (Cicer arietinum): comparative analysis with Medicago truncatula WRKY family and characterization of group-III gene(s). DNA Res.  23(3):225-239.
Kumar M, Gazara RK, Verma S, Kumar M, Verma PK*, Thakur IS* (2016) Genome Sequence of Pandoraea sp. ISTKB, a lignin degrading β-proteobacterium, isolated from the rhizospheric soil. Genome Announcements DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.01240-16. (*Corresponding authors)
Kumar M, Gazara RK, Verma S, Kumar M, Verma PK*, Thakur IS* (2016) Genome sequence of carbon dioxide sequestering Serratia sp. ISTD04 isolated from marble mining rocks. GenomeAnnouncements DOI: 10.1128/genomeA.01141-16. (*Corresponding authors)
Jaijyan, DK, Verma PK, Singh AP (2016) A novel FIKK kinase regulates the development of mosquito and liver stages of the malaria Scientific Reports 6:39285, DOI: 10.1038/srep39285.
Srivastava V and Verma PK (2015) Genome wide identification of LIM genes in Cicer arietinum and response of Ca-2LIMs in development, hormone and pathogenic stress. PLoS One 10.1371/journal.pone.0138719
Trivedi DK, Srivastava A, Verma PK, Tuteja N and Gill SS (2016) Piriformospora indica: a friend in need is a friend in deed. J. Bot. Sci. 5: 16-19
Chandra A, Verma PK, Islam MN, Grisham MP, Jain R, Sharma A, Roopendra K, Singh K, Singh P, Verma I and Solomon S (2015) Expression analysis of genes associated with sucrose accumulation in sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) varieties differing in content and time of peak sucrose storage. Plant Biol. 17: 608-617.
Srivastava S, Bharti RK, Verma PK and Thakur IS (2015) Cloning and expression of gamma carbonic anhydrase from Serratia sp. ISTD04 for sequestration of carbon dioxide and formation of calcite. Bioresource Technol 188:209-13.
Nizam S, Gazara RK, Verma S, Singh K and Verma PK (2014) Comparative structural modeling of six old yellow enzymes (OYEs) from the necrotrophic fungus Ascochyta rabiei: Insight into novel OYE classes with differences in cofactor binding, organization of active site residues and stereopreferences. PLoS One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095989.
Hasan S, Singh K, Danisuddin M, Verma PK, Khan AU (2014) Inhibition of major virulence pathways of Streptococcus mutans by Quercitrin and Deoxynojirimycin: a synergistic approach of infection control. PLoS One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091736.
Nizam S, Verma S, Borah NN, Gazara RK, Verma PK (2014) Comprehensive genome-wide analysis reveals different classes of enigmatic old yellow enzyme in fungi. Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/srep04013.
Kumar K, Yadav S, Purayannur S, Verma PK (2013) An alternative approach in Gateway cloning when the bacterial antibiotic selection cassettes of the entry clone and destination vector are the same. Mol. Biotechnol. 54(2):133-40.
Purwar S, Sundaram S, Verma P, Srivastava S and Kumar A (2012) A physiologically regulated multidomain cystatin of wheat shows stage-dependent immunity against karnal bunt (Tilletia indica). Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol 168(8):2344-57.
Hasan S, Danishuddin M, Adil M, Singh K, Verma PK, Khan AU (2012) Efficacy of E. officinalis on the cariogenic properties of Streptococcus mutans: a novel and alternative approach to suppress quorum sensing mechanism. PloS One 7(7):e40319.
Yadav S, Kushwaha HR, Kumar K, Verma PK (2012) Comparative structural modelling of a Monothiol GRX from chickpea: Insight in Iron-Sulfur Cluster assembly. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 51 (2012) 266–273.
Khan R, Adil, M, Danishuddin, Verma PK, Khan AU (2012) In vitro and in vivo inhibition of Streptococcus mutans by Trachyspermum ammi seeds: An approach of alternative medicine. Phytomedicine 19(8-9):747-55.
Singh K, Nizam S, Sinha M and Verma PK (2012) Comparative transcriptome analysis of the necrotrophic fungus Ascochyta rabiei during oxidative stress: insight for fungal survival in the host plant. PLoS One. 7(3): e33128.
Nizam S, Verma S, Singh K, Aggarwal R, Srivastava KD and Verma PK (2012) High reliability transformation of the wheat pathogen Bipolaris sorokiniana using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. J. Microbiol. Methods 88(3): 386-392.
Jaiswal P, Cheruku JR, Kumar K, Yadav S, Singh A, Kumari P, Dube SC, Upadhyaya KC and Verma PK (2012) Differential transcript accumulation in chickpea during early phases of compatible interaction with a necrotrophic fungus Ascochyta rabiei. Mol. Biol. Rep. 39: 4635-4646.
Islam MN, Nizam S and Verma PK (2012) A highly efficient Agrobacterium mediated transformation system of chickpea wilt pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri using DsRed-Express to follow root colonization. Microbiol. Res. 167(6): 332-338.
Kushwaha HR, Kumar G, Verma PK, Singla-Pareek SL and Pareek A (2011) Analysis of a salinity induced BjSOS3 protein from Brassica indicate it to be structurally and functionally related to its ortholog from Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 49: 996-1004.
Nizam S, Singh, K and Verma PK (2010) Expression of the fluorescent proteins DsRed and EGFP to visualize early events of colonization of the chickpea blight fungus Ascochyta rabiei Current Genetics 56 (4): 391-399.
Singh A, Singh IK and Verma PK (2008) Differential Transcript Accumulation in Cicer arietinum L. in Response to a Chewing Insect Helicoverpa armigera and Defense Regulators Correlate with Reduced Insect Performance J. Exp. Bot. 59(9): 2379-2392.
Anjanasree KN, Verma PK and Bansal KC (2005) Differential expression of tomato ACC oxidase gene family in relation to fruit ripening. Current Science 89(8): 1394-1399.
Boominathan P, Shukla R, Kumar A, Manna D, Negi D, Verma PK and Chattopadhyay D (2004) Long term transcript accumulation during the development of dehydration adaptation in Cicer arietinum L. Plant Physiology. 135(3): 1608-1620.
Thakur IS, Verma PK and Upadhyaya KC (2002) Molecular cloning and characterization of pentachlorophenol-degrading monooxygenase genes of Pseudomonas sp. from the chemostat. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 290: 770-774.
Thakur IS, Verma PK and Upadhyaya KC (2001) Involvement of plasmid in degradation of pentachlorophenol by Pseudomonas sp. From a chemostat. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 286: 109-113.
Verma PK and Upadhyaya KC (1998) A multiplex RT-PCR assay for analysis of relative transcript levels of different members of multigene families: Application to Arabidopsis calmodulin gene family. IUBMB Life 46(4): 699-706.
 Book Chapter
Dwivedi A, Kumar K, Verma PK (2020) Constructing Synthetic Pathways in Plants: Strategies and Tools. In: Singh SP, Pandey A, Du G, Kumar S. (eds.), Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering: Synthetic Biology, Cell Engineering and Bioprocessing Technologies. Elsevier B.V., pp. 77-113.
Singh J, Kumar K, and Verma PK (2020) Functional Characterization of Genes Involved in Legume Nodulation Using Hairy Root Cultures In: Srivastava V, Mehrotra S, Mishra S (eds.) Hairy Root Cultures based Application. Springer Nature Singapore Pvt Ltd. Pp.217-228.
Purayannur S, Kumar K, Verma PK (2017). Genetic engineering to improve biotic stress tolerance in plants, In: Plant Biotechnology: Principles and applications. Editors: MZ Abdin, U Khantwal, M Kamaluddin, and Athar Ali. Publisher- Springer science + Business Media Singapore Pvt Ltd. ISBN 978-981-10-2959-2.
Singh SK, Verma S, Verma PK (2016) Genetically engineered crops against bacterial and fungal diseases: a war of attrition. In: Dubey S. K, Pandey A, Sangwan R. S (eds.), Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering: Crop Modification, Nutrition and Food Production. Elsevier pp. Vol. VI 125-147.
Srivastava V, Mehrotra  S, Verma PK (2016) Biotechnological interventions for production of therapeutic secondary metabolites using hairy root cultures of medicinal plants. In: Dubey SK, Pandey A, Sangwan RS (eds.), Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering: Crop Modification, Nutrition and Food Production. Elsevier, Vol. VI pp. 259-282.
Verma S, Nizam Shadab, Verma PK (2013) Biotic and abiotic stress signalling in plants. In Sarwat M, Ahmad A and Abdin MZ (eds.) Stress Signaling in Plants: Genomics and Proteomics Perspective, Springer, Vol. 1. pp. 25-49.
Kumar K and Verma PK (2012) Plant pathogen interactions: crop improvement under adverse conditions. In: Tuteja N, Gill SS (eds.), Plant Acclimation to Environmental Stress. Springer, New York, USA, pp 433-459 ).
Kumar K and Verma PK (2012) Genomics of filamentous phytopathogens: new insight in pathogenesis and virulence. In: Chowdappa, P (eds.), Molecular Approaches for Plant Fungal Disease Management. Westville Pub., New Delhi, India, pp 133-151.
Verma PK and Nizam S (2011) Genome sequencing and its reference to plant pathogens. In: Thind TS, Jain RK, Sharma P, Khurana SMP, Aggarwal R, Sharma RK, Singh D, Dubey SC, Kumar A (compiled by), Plant Pathology in India: Vision 2030. Indian Phytopathological Society, New Delhi, India, pp 186-190.
Mishra SK and Verma PK (2000) Application of radionuclides in biomedical research. In Pant GS (ed.) Radiation Safety for Unsealed Sources. Himalaya Publishing House, pp 112-118.