National Institute of Plant Genome Research
Digital India     
    Dr. Manoj Majee
    Staff Scientist IV
    PhD: Bose Institute/Jadavpur University, INDIA
    Postdoctoral Fellow: University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA
    Telephone: 91-11-26735193, Fax: 91-11-26741658
 Honors/Awards :
Medal for Young Scientist  (2011) from the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award (2011) from the National Academy of Sciences (NASI), India.
Visiting Scientist - bilateral exchange program (INSA) at Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics of Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, Germany (2014)
 Research Area:
Plant Stress and Seed Biology/ Plant Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.
 Group Members:
 Research Programs:

To decipher the molecular and biochemical basis of seed vigor, longevity and seedling establishment

We aim to understand how orthodox seeds maintain vigor and viability for a prolonged period of time (longevity) in quiescent stage and how quiescent seeds restart their metabolism to prepare seedling establishment. Using this knowledge,   how seed vigor, seed storage life and seedling performance can be improved in crop plants is our ultimate goal.
The following specific topics represent some of the current interests of our laboratory.
Inositol and Raffinose Family Oligosaccharide (RFO) Metabolism in chickpea: In perspective of seed vigor, longevity and stress tolerance

Inositol has been shown to be an essential component for plant growth and development; therefore plants maintain inositol pool at basal level throughout their life cycle. However, not all but few stress tolerant plants like ice plant, chickpea were shown to elevate their inositol level in response to environmental stresses, possibly to meet additional demand of inositol which might be required for their adaptation to stresses.

This inositol is produced through the conversion of glucose 6- phosphate to myo inositol 1- phosphate by the enzyme L- myo inositol 1- phosphate synthase (MIPS) and subsequently myo inositol 1 - phosphatase (IMP) produces free inositol.  Free inositol then can be channelized in several pathways including RFO biosynthesis and is implicated in various physiological processes.

Our interest is to study the role and regulation of inositol and RFO metabolism in chickpea particularly in seed and stress biology through molecular genetics and biochemical approach.
Understanding the role and regulation Ubiquitin /26S Proteasome Pathway in seed germination

Plant growth, development and environmental adaptations are mostly controlled by the selective removal of short lived regulatory proteins. One major proteolytic pathway to remove these regulatory proteins   in eukaryotes is the ubiquitin (Ub)/ 26S proteasome pathway. In plants, this pathway plays a crucial role in the control of many different cellular processes like embryogenesis, hormonal regulations, flowering, senescence, photo morphogenesis, circadian rhythm, pathogen resistance and environmental adaptation. The genome of Arabidopsis encodes more than 1400 (>5% of the proteome) pathway components which is more than twice that of yeast, Drosophila, mice and human. Why plants have placed a particular emphasis on this proteolytic system is poorly understood. How E3s are regulated and what are the substrates of the Ub/26S proteasome pathway in plants are big queries for the   plant biology research.

Our laboratory is attempting to elucidate the role of this proteolytic pathway in seed biology. What specific function does this pathway play in seed biology and seedling establishment and how this pathway be constructively manipulated?
Uncovering the role of regulation of PROTEIN L- ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT) in seed and stress biology.

Proteins and peptides are the most significant macromolecules which carry out the essential functions of the cell. They are susceptible to a variety of spontaneous modifications as they age and also in stressful conditions. Among such protein modifications, conversion of L-aspartyl or asparaginyl residues to abnormal isoaspartyl (isoAsp) residues in proteins is quite prevalent among organisms. However, this damage could be repaired by the protein repairing enzyme PROTEIN L-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE (PIMT). PIMT is a widely distributed protein repairing enzyme which catalyzes the conversion of abnormal L-isoaspartyl residues in spontaneously damaged proteins to normal aspartyl residues. This enzyme is encoded by two divergent genes (PIMT1 & PIMT2) in plants in contrast to most of the bacterial or animal systems, where this enzyme is encoded by a single gene. The role of PIMT is not well elucidated in higher plants. Based on the occurrence of high PIMT activity in quiescent and germinating seeds, the role of PIMT in seed vigor and longevity has been suggested.

Our interest is to uncover the role and regulation of PIMT isoforms in plant system and is also directed towards the identification of PIMT substrates/age damaged proteins particularly in seed.
 Complete list of Publications & Patents
Publications & Patents  from NIPGR
As a corresponding Author & PI
Salvi P, Saxena SC, Petla BP, Kamble NU, Kaur H, Verma P, Rao V, Ghosh S and Majee M (2016) Differentially expressed galactinol synthase(s) in chickpea are implicated in seed vigor and longevity by limiting the age induced ROS accumulation. Scientific Reports 6:35088
Petla BP, Kamble NU, Kumar M, Verma P,  Ghosh S, Singh A, Rao V, Salvi P, Kaur H, Saxena SC and Majee M (2016) Rice PROTEIN L-ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE isoforms differentially accumulate during seed maturation to restrict deleterious isoAsp and ROS accumulation and are implicated in seed vigor and longevity. New Phytologist 211: 627-645.
Kaur H, Petla BP, Kamble NU,Singh A, Rao V, Salvi P, Ghosh S and Majee M (2015) Differentially   expressed seed aging responsive heat shock protein OsHSP18.2 implicates in seed vigor,  longevity and improves germination and seedling establishment under abiotic stress. Frontiers in Plant Science. 6:713.
Saxena SC, Salvi P, Kaur H, Verma P, Petla BP, Rao V, Kamble N  and Majee M (2013) Differentially expressed myo-inositol monophosphatase gene (CaIMP) in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) encodes a lithium sensitive phosphatase enzyme with broad substrate specificity and improves seed germination and seedling growth under abiotic stresses Journal of Experimental  Botany 64: 5623-5639.
Verma P, Kaur H,  Petla BP, Rao V, Saxena SC and Majee M (2013) PROTEIN L- ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE2 gene is differentially expressed in chickpea and enhances seed vigor and longevity by reducing abnormal isoaspartyl accumulation predominantly in seed nuclear proteins. Plant Physiology 161:1141-1157.
Kaur H, Verma P,  Petla BP, Rao V, Saxena SC and Majee M (2013) Ectopic expression of the ABA inducible dehydration responsive chickpea L-myo-inositol 1 -phosphate synthase 2 (CaMIPS2) in Arabidopsis enhances tolerance to salinity and dehydration stress. Planta 237: 321-335.
Verma P and Majee M (2013) Seed Germination and Viability Test in Tetrazolium (TZ) Assay. bio-protocol .org (invited)
Verma P, Singh A, Kaur H and Majee M (2010) PROTEIN L- ISOASPARTYL METHYLTRANSFERASE1 (CaPIMT1) from chickpea mitigates oxidative stress induced growth inhibition of Escherichia coli. Planta 231: 329-336.
Kaur H, Shukla RK, Yadav G, Chattopadhyay D. and Majee M ( 2008) Two divergent genes encoding L-myo-inositol 1 -phosphate synthase1 (CaMIPS1)   and 2 (CaMIPS2) are differentially expressed in chickpea. Plant, Cell and Environment 31:1701-1716.
Patent filed
Patent filed # 23/DEL/2012 (January 4th 2012) “SEED VIGOR ASSOCIATED POLYNUCLEOTIDE SEQUENCES   FROM CHICKPEA AND USES THEREOF” (Inventor: Manoj Majee & Pooja Verma, NIPGR, New Delhi, India).
Book Chapters
Kaur H, Petla BP and Majee  M  (2016) Small Heat Shock Proteins: Roles in Development, Desiccation Tolerance and Seed Longevity. In Heat Shock Proteins, Alexzander A. A. Asea et al. (Eds): Heat Shock Proteins and Plants, 978-3-319-46339-1, 429871_1_En,
Saxena S C, Kaur H, Verma P, Petla B P, Rao V,  Majee M (2012) Osmoprotectants: Potential for Crop Improvement under Adverse Conditions. In Plant Acclimation to Environmental Stress, ed by Tuteja & Gill. Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013, USA.
Majee M and Kaur H (2011) L- myo-inositol 1-phosphate synthase (MIPS) in chickpea: gene duplication and functional divergence. In Gene Duplication ed. by Felix Fredburg: Intech (ISBN 978-953-307-387-3).
As a CoPI /Collaborator at NIPGR
Meenu, Augustine R, Majee M, Pradhan AK and Bisht NC (2015) Genomic origin, expression differentiation and regulation of multiple genes encoding CYP83A1, a key enzyme for core glucosinolate biosynthesis, from the allotetraploid Brassica junceaPlanta 241(3):651-65.
Barik S, Das SS, Singh A, Gautam V, Kumar P, Majee M and Sarkar AK (2014) Phylogenetic analysis reveals conservation and diversification of miR166 genes among diverse plant species. Genomics 103:114-21
Garg R, Verma M, Agrawal S, Shankar R, Majee M and Jain M (2013) Deep transcriptome sequencing of wild halophyte rice, Porteresia coarctata, provides novel insights into the salinity and submergence tolerance Factors. DNA Research (in press).
Augustine R, Majee  M,   Gershenzon J and     Bisht  N (2013)  Four genes encoding MYB28, a major transcriptional regulator of aliphatic glucosinolate pathway, are differentially expressed in allopolyploid Brassica juncea. Journal of Experimental  Botany (in press).
Bhatt D, Saxena SC, Jain S, Dobriyal A K, Majee M  and Arora S (2013) Cloning, expression and functional validation of drought inducible ascorbate peroxidase (Ec-apx1) from Eleusine coracana. Molecular Biology Reports 40:1155-1165.
Lata C, Bhutty S, Bahadur RP, Majee M and Manoj Prasad (2011) Association of SNP in a novel DREB2-like gene SiDREB2 with stress tolerance in foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.). Journal of Experimental Botany 62: 4731-4748.
Previous Publications & Patents
Shen H, Zhu L, Castillon L, Majee M, Downie B and Huq E. (2008) Light-induced phosphorylation and degradation of the negative regulator PIF1 depends upon its direct physical interactions with photoactivated phytochromes. The Plant Cell: 20:1586-1602.
Salatia L, Kar RK, Majee M and Downie B. (2005) Identification and       characterization of mutants capable of rapid seed germination at 10ºC from activation tagged lines of Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany 56:  2059-2069.
Majee M, Patra B , Mundree S and Majumder AL. (2005) Molecular cloning, bacterial expression and characterization of L myo inositol 1 phosphate synthase from a monocotyledonous resurrection plant   Xerophyta Viscosa Baker. Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 14: 95-99.
Majee M, Maitra S, Dastidar KG, Pattanaik S, Chatterjee A, Hait N, Das KP and       Majumder AL. (2004) A  novel salt-tolerant L-myo-inositol 1- phosphate synthase from  Porteresia coarctata Tateoka , a halophytic wild rice: Molecular cloning, bacterial overexpression, characterization  and functional introgression  into tobacco conferring salt-tolerance  phenotype. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279: 28539-28552.
Chatterjee A, Majee M, Ghosh S and Majumder AL.(2004)  sll1722, an unassigned ORF  of Synechocystis PCC 6803, codes for L-myo-Inositol 1-phosphate synthase.  Planta 218: 989-998.
Bhattacharya J, Dastidar KG, Chatterjee A, Majee M, Majumder AL. (2004) Synechocystis Fe superoxide dismutase gene confers oxidative stress tolerance to Escherichia coli. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication 316:540-544.
Majumder AL, Chatterjee A, Dastidar KG and Majee M. (2003) Diversification and evolution of L -myo inositol 1- phosphate synthase. FEBS Letters 553: 3-10.
 Book Chapter:
Majumder AL, Hait NC, Deb I, Majee M, Chatterjee A, Dastidar KG, Bhattacharyya S, Ghosh S, Chatterjee A, Maitra S and Pattanaik S (2003) L-myo Inositol 1-Phosphate Synthase: an ancient protein with diverse function. In Molecular Insight in Plant Biology. P. Nath, A.K. Mattoo, S.A. Ranade and J.H. Weil (Editors), Publishers: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co.Pvt. Ltd; New Delhi, India. Chapter 5, pp67- 76.
Patent application # PAT/4.1.4/02019/2003 dated March 17th, 2003. United States Patent 20060148059 Kind Code: A1 "A salt Tolerant L-myo-Inositol 1 Phosphate Synthase and a process of obtaining the same". (Inventors: A. Lahiri Majumder and M. Majee, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India