Avanish Rai Postdoctoral researcher
  • rai@cpsbb.eu
  • 14 St. Knyaz Boris I – Pokrastitel Str., Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

My Phd work focused on transcriptome mining, coupled with the combinatorial expression of terpenoid pathway enzymes in medicinal plants or in heterologous hosts such as tobacco or in the hairy-roots system. I was also involved in deciphering the role of drought stress in exacerbating dry root rot (DRR) disease caused by Macrophomina phaseolina in chickpea. At CPSBB, I will be evaluating a wide range of phenotypic, and metabolic traits followed by transcriptomic profiling in two genome-wide association (GWAS) panels and two backcrossed inbred lines (BILs) populations for both tomato and pepper. The identified genes will be subsequently validated by CRISPR-Cas9 editing technologies and field trials.

Selected Publications:

  1. Vadivelmurugan Irulappan, Manu Kandpal, Kumud Saini, Avanish Rai, Aashish Ranjan, Senjuti Sinharoy, Muthappa Senthil-Kumar* (2022). Drought stress exacerbates fungal colonization and endodermal invasion and dampens defense responses to increase dry root rot in chickpea. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions https://doi.org/10.1094/MPMI-07-21-0195-FI.
  2. Avanish Rai, Vadivelmurugan Irulappan and Muthappa Senthil-Kumar (2022). Dry root rot of chickpea: A disease favored by drought. Plant disease https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-07-21-1410-FE. (Feature Article)
  3. Rai, A. and Nagegowda, D. (2021). Non-radioactive Assay to Determine Product Profile of Short- chain Isoprenyl Diphosphate Synthases. Bio-protocol 11(1): e3874.
  4. Kumar, S.R.*, Rai, A*., Bomzan, D.P*., Kumar, K., et al. (2020). A plastid‐localized bona fide geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase plays a necessary role in monoterpene indole alkaloid biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus. The Plant Journal, 103: 248-265. *Joint first author
  5. Kilambi, H.V., Manda, K.*, Rai, A*., Charakana, C., Bagri, J., Sharma, R., and Sreelakshmi, Y. (2017). Green-fruited Solanum habrochaites lacks fruit-specific carotenogenesis due to metabolic and structural blocks. Journal of Experimental Botany, 68(17), pp.4803-4819. *Equal contribution.
  6. Singh, A. K., Kumar, S. R., Dwivedi, V., Rai, A., Pal, S., Shasany, A. K., & Nagegowda, D. A. (2017). A WRKY transcription factor from Withania somnifera regulates triterpenoid withanolide accumulation and biotic stress tolerance through modulation of phytosterol and defense pathways. New Phytologist, 215, 1115-1131. .
  7. Singh, A. K., Dwivedi, V., Rai, A., Pal, S., Reddy, S. G. E., Rao, D. K. V., & Nagegowda, D. A. (2015). Virus‐induced gene silencing of Withania somnifera squalene synthase negatively regulates sterol and defence‐related genes resulting in reduced withanolides and biotic stress tolerance. Plant biotechnology journal, 13(9), 1287-1299.
  8. Rai, A., Smita, S. S., Singh, A. K., Shanker, K., & Nagegowda, D. A. (2013). Heteromeric and homomeric geranyl diphosphate synthases from Catharanthus roseus and their role in monoterpene indole alkaloid biosynthesis. Molecular plant, 6(5), 1531-1549.