National Institute of Plant Genome Research
    Dr. Ananda K. Sarkar
    Staff Scientist III & Ramalingaswami Fellow (DBT)
    Phone: 91-11-26735220
    Fax: 91-11-26741658
 Academic Background
Ramalingaswami Fellow (2009): ICGEB (International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), New Delhi.
Post Doc. Fellow (2006-2009): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (USA).
Ph. D. (2001-2006): Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg (Germany).
Res. Associate (2001): NRCPB (National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology), IARI, New Delhi.
M. Tech. (1998-2000): Indian Institute of Technology - Kharagpur.
M. Sc. (1996-1998): Visva Bharati University (Shantiniketan).
 Research Interests
Major interest of my research group is to understand the regulation of stem cells and patterning of lateral organs. The adaptability of higher plants to the changing environmental conditions largely depends on their ability to continuously produce lateral organs throughout their postembryonic life. All aerial lateral organs such as leaves and branches are ultimately derived from a small population of "stem cells" in the shoot apical meristem. At the other end, the root and lateral roots are ultimately derived from few "root stem cells" residing in the root apical meristem. The formation of new organs requires specification of founder cells followed by cell division and differentiation. We are interested to understand the intricate molecular mechanism that regulates initiation, number and patterning of lateral organs. This knowledge should help to generate plants with better biomass and yields.
We are using root and lateral roots as model system for this study. The molecular mechanism that regulates the length of a root and the number and patterning of lateral roots is poorly understood. We are taking both forward (genomics) and reverse genetic approaches to address the above. A genetic screen is being undertaken to identify and characterize novel regulators of lateral root development. A growing body of evidences indicates potential role of small regulatory RNA in root development. A bioinformatic approach is being undertaken to identify root specific genes regulated by small RNAs. Using molecular genetic analysis we would try to place them in known regulatory pathway and develop a regulatory network. Both dicot (Arabidopsis) and monocot (such as rice or maize) model plants are being used for this study. Identification of important genes (regulators of root architecture) should be useful to generate plants, especially crops with better root architecture that can survive harsher environment as well as give better yields.
 Group Members
Mr. Sandeep YadavPh.D Student
Ms. Archita SinghPh.D Student
Ms. Sharmila Singh Ph.D Student
Mr. Vibhav Gautam Ph.D Student
Mr. Pramod Kumar Ph.D student
Dr. Alka Singh Research Associate
Mrs. Sukanya Samantha PA
 Scientific Publications
Gautam V, Sarkar AK (2014) Laser Assisted Microdissection, an Efficient Technique to Understand Tissue Specific Gene Expression Patterns and Functional Genomics in Plants. Mol Biotechnol.  [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s12033-014-9824-3.
Kaur C, Mustafiz A, Sarkar AK, Ariyadasa TU, Singla-Pareek SL, Sopory SK (2014) Expression of abiotic stress inducible ETHE1-like protein from rice is higher in roots and is regulated by calcium. Physiol Plant. DOI: 10.1111/ppl.12147.
Singh A, Singh A, Panigrahi KCS, Reski R and Sarkar AK (2014) Balanced activity of microRNA166/165 and its target transcripts from the class III homeodomain leucine-zipper family regulates root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell Rep. (Accepted).
Barik S, Sarkardas S, Singh A, Gautam V, Kumar P, Majee M, Sarkar AK (Epub 2013, Nov 22). Phylogenetic analysis reveals conservation and diversification of miR166 genes among diverse plant species. Genomics. DOI: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2013.11.004.
Singh S, Singh A, Roy S and Sarkar AK (2012) SWP1 negatively regulates lateral root initiation and elongation in ArabidopsisPlant Signal Behav. 7(12):  1522-1525. (2012 Dec.)
Douglas RD, Wiley D, Sarkar AK, Springer N, Timmermans MCP and Scanlon MJ (2010). ragged seedling2 Encodes an ARGONAUTE7-Like Protein Required for Mediolateral Expansion, but Not Dorsiventrality, of Maize Leaves. THE PLANT CELL: DOI: 10.1105/tpc.109.071613. 2010 May 7.
Brooks L, Strable J, Elshire R, Zhang X, Ohtsu K, Sarkar AK, Hargreaves S, Elshire RJ, Eudy D, Pawlowska T, Ware D, Janick-Buckner D, Buckner B, Timmermans MC, Schnable PS, Nettleton D, Timmermans MCP, Schnable PS, Scanlon MJ (2009) Microdissection of Shoot Meristem Functional Domains in Maize. PLoS Genetics 5(5): e1000476. Epub 2009 May 8.
Sarkar AK, Luijten M, Miyashima S, Lenhard M, Hashimoto T, Nakajima K, Scheres B, Heidstra R and Laux T (2007) Conserved factors regulate signalling in Arabidopsis thaliana shoot and root stem cell organizers. Nature 446(7137): 811-4.
Deyhle F, Sarkar AK, Tucker EJ and Laux T (2007) WUSCHEL regulates cell differentiation during anther development. Dev Biol. 302(1): 154-9.
Nogueira FT, Sarkar AK, Chitwood DH and Timmermans MC (2006) Organ Polarity in plants is specified through the opposing activity of two distinct small regulatory RNAs. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 71: 157-6.
Haecker A, Gross-Hardt R, Geiges B, Sarkar A, Breuninger H, Herrmann M and Laux T (2004) Expression dynamics of WOX genes mark cell fate decisions during early embryonic patterning in Arabidopsis thaliana. Development 131(3): 657-68.
Pathre UV, Sarkar AK and Nath P (2001) Modulation of Sucrose-Phosphate-Synthase Activity by Glucose-6-phosphate and Inorganic Phosphate during Post harvest Ripening in Banana. J. Plant Biol. 28(3): 301-305.
 Book Chapter
Sarkar AK, Karthikeyan M, Gautam V and Barik S (2014) Improving the Plant Root System Architecture to Combat Abiotic Stresses Incurred by Global Climate Changes. CLIMATE CHANGE AND ABIOTIC STRESS TOLERANCE. Wiley Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. Weinheim, Germany.