Dr. K. Ulaganathan

Osmania University
Centre for Plant Molecular Biology

Dr. K. Ulaganathan has 16 years of  teaching and research experience at Osmania University. His Research group  has been working on molecular basis of plant microbe interaction concentrating on diseases like grain mold of sorghum, leaf spot of groundnut and antagonistic microbes for important plant pathogenic fungi. Many antagonistic microbes and antifungal proteins showing toxicity to plant pathogenic fungi have been identified. Seven students have been awarded PhDs and 5 students are perusing PhD under the guidance of  Dr. Ulaganathan. Several students got trained in his lab in the area of genome analysis. Dr. Ulaganathan has been associated with 16 National and one International  training course conducted by the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology for training Scientists, Teachers and Technical Assistants in recombinant DNA technology.  Lately, the main focus of the group is on genome analysis for understanding and improvement of plants. Using information generated in heterologous systems, intensive genomewide analysis has been carried out on spliceosomal genes of rice, cell cycle genes of rice, photosynthetic genes of rice,  trichome development genes of rice, sorghum and maize, gametophyte development genes of rice, nucleoporin complex of rice, meat quality genes of chicken, muscle development genes in human and chicken,  root development genes in rice. The current work of the group is on utilization of genome information for understanding and resolving complex traits like hybrid sterility, root development, drought tolerance  in rice and cotton. Extensive analysis of root development QTLs of rice resulted in integration of more than 800 QTLs to rice genome and prediction of probable candidate genes. His group does functional validation of genes associated with complex traits like root development using molecular markers and RNA interference. Many online resources and tools  to facilitate genomic research in plants have been developed. ROOTBROWSE- the rice root development QTL analysis tool and TRANSLATEBASE, the plant translational signals database  are available online at www.ricebrowse.org.  Dr. Ulaganathan’s group collaborate with leading biotechnology industry in utilizing genome information for precise molecular breeding  to develop stress tolerant rice and cotton and to harness hybrid vigour. The work is supported by a strong interdisciplinary network with breeders, physiologists and molecular biologists from Academics and Industry.

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