Prof. Paramjit KHURANA
Professor Paramjit Khurana has contributed extensively in the area of cell and tissue culture of legumes, trees and cereals. In wheat, a systems biology approach has been used to investigate the molecular mechanisms regulating auxin-induced somatic embryogenesis and heat stress tolerance using functional genomics approaches. She has done pioneering work on genetic transformation of wheat and mulberry. The development of wheat transgenics over-expressing potato proteinase inhibitor gene conferred tolerance against the Cereal Cyst Nematode in T. durum, and that of HVA1 over-expression imparted tolerance towards salinity and drought in T. aestivum. Doubled haploid technology to produce transgenics to avoid segregation of introduced traits in wheat has been successfully demonstrated by her group. Transgenics in mulberry have been raised for drought, salinity and biotic stress with HVA1 and osmotin genes, respectively, and some of them transferred to the Central Sericulture Research & Training Institute at Mysore, for evaluation in the field. In addition, she has also done excellent work on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated cellular recognition during legume-Rhizobium symbiosis and cell-to-cell communication by use of impermeant macromolecules in living cells. She sequenced the complete chloroplast genome of mulberry, and was actively associated with sequencing of rice, tomato and wheat genomes as part of the International Genome Sequencing Consortia. Presently, her lab is focusing on understanding the molecular basis of heat tolerance in wheat using comparative genomic approaches.