Akhilesh K. Tyagi
Specialization: Plant Biology
Professor Akhilesh K. Tyagi, Professor and JC Bose National Fellow, University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi and President, National Academy of Sciences, India is among the few Indian plant scientists who have ventured to bring together knowledge of molecular physiology, genomics, and transgenics to study, analyze and improve crop growth and yield. Major research interests of his group relate to photosynthesis/phototransduction, stress/reproductive biology, genome analysis and genetic enhancement. He has been Coordinator/Team Leader of major research efforts India has undertaken in Plant Science, which include Centre for Plant Molecular Biology at Delhi University, Indian Initiative for Rice Genome Sequencing, Indian Initiative on Tomato Genome Sequencing, Network Project on Rice Functional Genomics, Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology, Next Generation Challenge Program in Chickpea Genomics and Analysis of Diversity in Yield Components. This has led to generation of genome-wide information from important crop plants like rice, tomato and chickpea, representing three major groups of plants responsible for our food and nutritional security i.e. cereals, vegetables and pulses. Precise molecular model/phylogeny based annotation/ expression profiling of highly significant gene families representing transcription factors, signal transduction components, protein processing components and RNA interference-associated proteins, controlling crucial plant processes, has been done. The genome-wide transcriptome profile during reproduction and stress is being associated with pathway analysis to unravel intricate net-works and with genetic mapping to understand molecular basis of heterosis/yield as well as protection from yield loss under drought. This work is highly relevant to understand dynamic aspects of the function of biological systems and also to generate appropriate options for genetic enhancement of crop plants. In fact, the knowledge about plant genomes is already being used to breed improved varieties of rice, tomato and chickpea in India and world-wide. He has 250 publications in journals/books of high repute/impact and supervised work of several Post-graduate, Ph.D. and Post-doctoral students. His dedication to higher education and to nurture leadership is well known. Prof Tyagi has delivered over 290 invited lectures and chaired over 50 sessions in national and international meetings. In addition, he is serving on Editorial Boards of internationally reputed journals, namely Transgenic Research, Molecular Genetics & Genomics, Rice, International Journal of Plant Genomics and Journal for Plant Biochemistry & Biotechnology.
At the University of Delhi, Professor Tyagi has served as Head, Department of Plant Molecular Biology, Chairman, Board of Interdisciplinary and Applied Sciences and Director, Interdisciplinary Centre for Plant Genomics. Besides serving on several Advisory Committees, he has been General Secretary, the National Academy of Sciences, India, Vice-President, Indian National Science Academy, Vice-President of the Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology as well as the Chairman of DBT-UGC Task Force on Human Resource Development and PAC Plant Sciences, DST. He has also served on Organizing Committees of several national and international symposia. As Chair of the International Symposium on Rice Functional Genomics, he was responsible to bring this highly prestigious scientific event to India in 2013. He has been given JC Bose National Fellowship Award, National Bioscience Award, NASI-Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Award in Biological Sciences, Bhasin Award for Science and Technology, BP Pal Memorial Lecture Award of NASI, Birbal Sahni Medal of IBS, Platinum Jubilee Lecture Award of ISCA, BN Chopra Lecture Award of INSA, BP Pal Memorial Award of ISCA and FC Steward Lecture Award of PTCA(I), among others. He is Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and The World Academy of Sciences. From 2009-2016, he served as Director, the National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, to give thrust to research on plant systems to help improve agricultural output. Within a short period, the Institute has seen a phenomenal growth in in-put and socially relevant research out-put.
Professor Tyagi has not only provided leadership to two national research institutions (National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi and National Agri-food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali) as Director/Executive Director-in-Charge and to the National Academy of Sciences, India as President, but also leads several internationally recognized national efforts in the area of agricultural biotechnology.
- Malik N, Dwivedi N, Singh AK, Parida SK, Agarwal P, Thakur JK & Tyagi AK. 2016. An integrated genomic strategy delineates candidate Mediator genes regulating grain size and weight in rice. Scientific Reports 6: 23253.
- Mukhopadhyay P & Tyagi AK. 2015. OsTCP19 influences developmental and abiotic stress signaling by modulating ABI4-mediated pathways. Scientific Reports 5: 9998.
- Jain M, Misra G, Patel R, Priya P, Jhanwar S, Khan A, Shah N, Singh V, Garg R, Jeena G, Yadav M, Kant C, Sharma P, Yadav G, Bhatia S, *Tyagi A & *Chattopadhyay D. 2013. A draft genome sequence of the pulse crop chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Plant Journal 74: 715-729. (*joint corresponding authors).
- The Tomato Genome Consortium (TGC*) 2012. The tomato genome sequence provides insights into fleshy fruit evolution. Nature 485: 635-641. (*Co-authored as Coordinator of the Indian Initiative on Tomato Genome Sequencing).
- Agarwal P, Kapoor S & Tyagi AK. 2011. Transcription factors regulating the progression of monocot and dicot seed development. BioEssays 33: 189-202.
- Mathur S, Vyas S, Kapoor S & Tyagi AK 2011. The mediator complex in plants: structure, phylogeny and expression profiling of representative genes in a dicot (Arabidopsis thaliana) and a monocot (Oryza sativa) during reproduction and stress. Plant Physiol 157: 1609-1627.
- Giri J, Vij S, Dansana PK & Tyagi AK 2011. Rice A20/AN1 zinc-finger containing stress associated proteins (SAP1/11) and a receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase (OsRLCK253) interact via A20 zinc-finger and confer abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. New Phytol 191: 721-732.
- Kathuria H, Giri J, Nataraja KN, Murata N, Udayakumar M & Tyagi AK. 2009. Glycinebetine-induced water-stress tolerance in codA-expressing transgenic indica rice is associated with up-regulation of several stress responsive genes. Plant Biotech Journal 7: 512-526.
- The International Rice Genome Sequencing Project* 2005. The map-based sequence of the rice genome. Nature 436: 793-800. (*Co-authored as Coordinator of the Indian Initiative for Rice Genome Sequencing).
- Mukhopadyay A, Vij S and Tyagi AK 2004. Over-expression of a zinc-finger protein gene from rice confers tolerance to cold, dehydration, and salt stress in transgenic tobacco. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 6309-6314.
- Chen C, Presting G, Barbazuk WB, Goicoehea JL, Blackmon B, Fang G, Kim H, Frisch D, Yu Y, Higingbottom S, Phimphilai J, Phimphilai D, Thurmond S, Gaudette B, Li P, Lin J, Hartfield J, Main D, Sun S, Farrar K, Henderson C, Barnett L, Costa R, Williams B, Walser S, Atkins M, Hall C, Bancroft I, Salse J, Regad F, Mohpatra T, Singh NK, Tyagi AK, Soderlund C, Dean RA & Wing RA. 2002. An integrated physical and genetic map of the rice genome. Plant Cell 14: 537-545.
- Mohanty A, Kathuria H, Ferjani A, Sakamoto A, Murata N, Mohanty P & Tyagi AK. 2002. Transgenics of an elite indica variety Pusa Basmati 1 harbouring codA gene are highly tolerant to salt stress. Theor Appl Genet 106: 51-57.