Future line of work
Fine-mapping of late leaf spot (LLS) and rust resistance to identify the candidate regions/gene
Efforts will be made to fine-map the genomic regions/genes governing LLS and rust resistance by developing appropriate mapping populations and other genetic resources. This will be helpful in efficient marker-assisted selection and marker-assisted backcross breeding for improving the resistance to LLS and rust.
Molecular breeding for improving resistance to late leaf spot (LLS) and rust in groundnut
A large number of crosses will be made using appropriate parents. Both backcross breeding and pedigree method will be tried to develop foliar disease resistant and productive lines.
Epigenetic analysis of LLS and rust resistance in groundnut
Genetic control of LLS and rust resistance is being discovered, and the genomic regions and the gene(s) are being revealed. However, the nature and extent of epigenetic control of the LLS and rust resistance is yet to be identified, which is very important to devise the breeding methods. Therefore, an effort will be made to identify the DNA methylation and its influence on the expression of genes governing foliar disease resistance.
Epigenetic analysis of mutants in groundnut
Mutation is known to bring about the modifications in DNA methylation leading to alterations in the gene expression. Analysis of a large number of mutants would help in identifying the DNA methylation and its influence on gene expression. This information will be useful for groundnut improvement programmes.
Developing liposome and chitosan-based pesticides for better pest management
Synthesis, characterization and bio-efficacy of nanoliposome/chitosan-encapsulated pesticides against sucking and lepidopteron pests. These encapsulated pesticides will ensure the loss of active ingredients, reduce the frequency of application, and there by the decreases the chances of resistance against specific insecticides.
Altered gravity for crop improvement
Plant seeds and seedlings exposed to evolutionarily novel environment such as hypergravity and simulated microgravity environment will induce changes at transcirptome and proteome level. We will exploit some of the beneficial changes that induced by altered gravity environment for improving crop traits and also for effective pest management.
Spurthi N. Nayak
Study of abiotic stress (heat & drought) tolerance in groundnut using different omics approaches
The changing climate scenario raises the need to use the climate resilient crops for cultivation. Hence there is need to identify the mechanisms involved in heat and drought tolerance to strictly reciprocate the need of groundnut crop improvement. There have been several attempts to screen germplasm collection of groundnut to identify cultivars that are resistant to heat and drought stress that can be further used for molecular breeding. The aim of my study is not only to identify the cultivars that can tolerate heat and drought, but also understand the molecular mechanisms incurred with tolerance by using different omics approaches like genomics, proteomics and metabolomics along with bioinformatics. Major focus is to identify candidate genes or QTLs that infer resistance these abiotic stresses.
Strengthening the bioinformatics and computational capacity at the department
Bioinformatics is an emerging field of computation that needs attention. Most of the molecular mechanisms are interpreted by the use of appropriate bioinformatics tools. The Bioinformatics facility present at the Department of Biotechnology need upgradation of capacity with new hardware and software. As Bioinformatics is dynamic field, we need to be trained in present know-hows of the different programming languages like perl, python and also Linux command lines. Hence strengthening and maintenance of the computational facility is very essential.
Comparative genomics studies across related crop species to study the evolution
The comparative studies of crops that have been sequenced so far will be used to identify ortholog sequences especially for genes like resistance gene analogs, transcription factors related to drought and heat stresses, etc.
Developing diagnostic kits against viral coat protein and CRY2B endotoxin
The laboratory is concentrating on developing the monoclonal antibody kits against Banana bunchy top virus and CRY2B protein to diagnose the disease at early stage of infection and cry gene carrying transgenic plants respectively.
Exploiting marine putative bioactive compounds/novel genes for crop improvement
Focus on crop improvement program against biotic and abiotic stress factors. The secondary metabolites were isolated from various marine microbes that are shown to potentially inhibit the phytopathogens Sclerotium rolfsii, Ralstonia solani, and Colletotrichum. To manage the abiotic stress, the ectoine genes (ectA, ectB and ectC) are being cloned from the Halomonas species and expressed in tomato.
Naghabushana K. Nayidu
Screening and selecting available Sunflower inbred lines for drought tolerance by physiological, transcriptomics and proteomics approach
To collect and phenotype all the available drought tolerant genotypes under water stress conditions at critical stages of growth for agronomic performance and physiological traits to identify and confirm their drought tolerance. Further to screen the selected drought tolerant genotypes for root and other physiological traits in comparison to susceptible genotypes and identify the component drought tolerant traits in those selected genotypes. Finally, by using transcriptome and proteomic approach to understand and utilize the differentially expressed genes information for selection of potential drought tolerant inbred lines/OPvs for further improving the cultivated sunflower genotype.
Evaluation of nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in selected sunflower population by physiological, molecular and proteomic approach
Characterize the lines based on phenotypic observation which are having high nitrogen use efficiency and select the best lines with better NUE combined with better yield and link these selected better NUE ability lines with SSR markers which can be further characterized by linking with specific biochemical pathway for NUE. Further genetic dissection of the best selected lines based on phenotype, yield, biochemical pathway and molecular marker observation will be studied and best identified line will be breed with the locally preferred line.
Understanding and enhancing terminal moisture stress tolerance in rabi sorghum
Moisture stress is one of the main abiotic factors limiting the sorghum productivity in the dryland agriculture. Particularly in Karnataka sorghum growing areas experience terminal moisture stress. Here at Department of Biotechnology, UAS Dharwad, identification and introgression of QTLs for various traits viz., root volume (source: Basavanapada), root length (SPV 570), stray green nature (E 36-1) and water use efficiency have been carried out using molecular assisted breeding and currently, advanced introgression lines are being evaluated in field to determine trait stability and grain yield potential.
Understanding and application of CRISPR-Cas9 for controlling Chilli leaf curl virus associated with murda complex disease
There are no commercially available pesticides to control plant diseases caused by viruses and they are indirectly controlled by managing vectors. Genetic resistance provides a broad range and durable resistance against viral diseases. But the identification and deployment of host resistance gene(s) takes a very long time and resources. Here we are working on to utilize genome editing based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology to edit Chilli leaf curl virus genome associated with chilli murda complex disease to control the disease.