Arun K. Sharma

Professor 

E-mail: arun@genomeindia.org
Specialization: Regulation of gene expression & Biotechnology
Research Interests: 

My group is interested in basic understanding of gene expression and application of this knowledge for improvement or quality addition, with special emphasis on tomato crop. Efforts have been made to understand the mechanism of gene silencing in plants. Our study has indicated that plants have the presence of genes, similar to mammalian genes coding for methylated DNA binding proteins. Role of these proteins in gene silencing is being studied. Attempts are being made to alter gene regulation to produce tomato plants for tolerance to cold stress. A family of stress associated protein has been characterized from tomato. To achieve better understanding of cold tolerance phenomenon, cold up-regulated and cold down-regulated genes were identified by analysis of cold up-regulated and cold down-regulated subtraction libraries. In order to understand and delay ripening of tomato fruits, around 80 genes related to fruit ripening have been cloned. These genes would be used for studying the mechanism of regulation of fruit ripening by ethylene. Role of LeMADS-RIN, a MADS box transcription factor has been studied by comparison of transcriptome of fruits of a mutant for this gene with transcriptome of fruits of wild type tomato by microarray analysis. Gene encoding this transcription factor has been down-regulated in tomato by RNAi approach to generate tomato fruits with improved shelf life. Tomato has also been used as a bio-factory to produce bacterial antigen which could vaccinate against cholera. Tomato plants were transformed with genes coding for various antigens of Vibrio cholerae with the aim of developing edible vaccine against cholera. Plant-expressing cholera antigen has been found to induce production of antibodies specific to this antigen. Along with other colleagues at the department, I was involved in effort for sequencing a part of chromosome 5 of tomato towards an international effort on sequencing of tomato genome.

Awards/distinction
  • Junior/Senior Research Fellowship of U.G.C. from 1981-1985
  • Senior Research Fellowship of C.S.I.R. from 1985-1986
  • Research Associateship of C.S.I.R. in 1987
  • National Institute of Health (NIH) fellowship for post-doctoral work from 1988-1991
Select Publications
  1. Solanke A.U., Sharma M.K., Tyagi A K. and Sharma A.K. (2009) Characterization  and phylogenetic analysis of environmental stress-responsive SAP gene family encoding A20/AN1 zinc finger proteins in tomato. Mol. Gen. Genet. 282:153-164.
  2. Sharma, M.K., Solanke A.U., Jani D., Singh Y. and Sharma A.K. (2009). A simple and efficient Agrobacterium-mediated procedure for transformation of tomato. J. Biosc. 34:423-433.
  3. Mueller, L.A., Lankhorst, R.K, Tanksley, S.D., Giovannoni, J.J., White, R, Vrebalov, J., Fei, Z., van Eck, J., Buels, R., Mills, A., Menda, N., Tecle, I., Bombarely, A., Stack, S., Royer, S.M., Chang, S-B., Shearer, L.A., Kim, B.D., Jo, S.-H., Hur, C.-G., Choi, D., Li, C.-B., Zhao, J., Jiang, H., Geng, Y., Dai, Y., Fan, H., Chen, J., Lu, F., Shi, J., Sun, S., Chen, J., Yang, X., Lu, C., Chen, M., Cheng, Z., Li, C., Ling, H., Xue, Y., Wang, Y., Seymour, G., Bishop, G.J., Bryan, G., Rogers, J., Sims, S., Butcher, S., Buchan, D., Abbott, J., Beasley, H., Nicholson, C., Riddle, C., Humphray, S., McLaren, K., Mathur, S. Vyas, S., Solanke, A.U., Kumar, R., Gupta, V., Sharma, A.K., Khurana, P., Khurana, J.P. Tyagi, A., Sarita, Chowdhury, P., Shridhar, S., Chattopadhyay, D., Pandit, A., Singh, P., Kumar, A., Dixit, R., Singh, A., Praveen, S., Dalal, V., Yadav, M., Ghazi, I.A., Gaikwad, K., Sharma, T.R., Mohapatra, T., Singh, N.K., Szinay, D., de Jong, H., Peters, S., van Staveren, M., Datema, E., Fiers, M.W.E.J., Roeland van Ham,C.H.J., Lindhout, P., Philippot, M., Frasse, P., Regad, F., Zouine, M., Bouzayen, M., Asamizu, E., Sato, S., Fukuoka, H., Tabata, S., Shibata, D., Botella, M.A., Perez-Alonso, M., Fernandez-Pedrosa, V., Osorio, S., Mico, A., Granell, A., Zhang, Z., He, J., Huang, S., Du, Y., Qu, D., Liu, L., Liu, D., Wang, J., Ye, Z., Yang, W., Wang, G., Vezzi, A., Todesco, S., Valle, G., Falcone, G., Pietrella, M., Giuliano, G., Grandillo, S., Traini, A., D'Agostino, N., Chiusano, M. L., Ercolano, M., Barone, A., Frusciante, L., Schoof, H., Jöcker, A., Bruggmann, R., Spannagl, M., Mayer, K.X.F., Guigó, R., Camara, F., Rombauts, S., Fawcett, J.A., van de Peer, Y., Knapp, S., Zamir, D. and Stiekema W. (2009). A snap shot of the emerging tomato genome sequence: The tomato genome sequencing consortium. The Plant Genome 2:78-92. Crop Science Society of America.
  4. Sharma, M.K., Jani, D., Thungapathra, M., Gautam, J.K., Meena, L.S., Singh, Y, Ghosh, A, Tyagi, A. K. and Sharma, A.K. (2008). Expression of accessory colonization factor subunit A (ACFA) of Vibrio cholerae and ACFA fused to cholera toxin B subunit in transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). J. Biotechnology 135:22-27. Elsevier B.V.
  5. Sharma, M.K., Singh, N.K., Jani, D., Sisodia, R., Thungapathra, M., Gautam, J.K., Meena, L.S., Singh, Y, Ghosh, A, Tyagi, A. K. and Sharma, A.K. (2008). Expression of toxin co-regulated pilus subunit A (TCPA) of Vibrio cholerae and its immunogenic epitopes fused to cholera toxin B subunit in transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Plant Cell Rep. 27:307-318. Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
  6. Jani, D., Singh, N.K., Bhattacharya, S., Meena, L.S., Singh, Y., Upadhyay, S.N., Sharma A.K. & Tyagi, A.K. (2004). Studies on Immunogenic potential of plant-expressed cholera toxin B subunit. Plant Cell Reports 22:471-477. Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg
  7. Jani, D., Meena, L.S., Haq, Q.M.R., Singh, Y., Sharma, A.K. and Tyagi, A.K. (2002). Expression of cholera toxin B subunit in transgenic tomato plants. Transgen. Res. 11:447-454. Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands
  8. Kumar G. and Sharma, A.K. (1993) Localization of adjacent binding domains of cellular proteins over the minute virus of mice P4 promoter by site-specific photoaffinity labelling. Gene 127: 237-242. Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers B. V.
  9. Kumar, G., Sharma A.K. and Jayaraman K. (1992). Incorporation of BrdU in DNA fragments may affect protein-DNA interactions in a site dependent manner. Oncogenes 7:1453-1455. Publisher: Nature Publishing Group, U.K.
  10. Sharma, A.K. and Kumar G. (1991) A 53 kDa protein binds to the negative regulatory region of JC virus early promoter. FEBS Letters 281:272-274. Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers B. V.