Dhaka 21 October 2012. Two senior scientists from the National Institute of Plant Genomic Research, New Delhi India visited the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dhaka University and each gave a seminar lecture there. They are Dr. Niranjan Chakraborty and his wife Dr. Subhra Chakraborty. While Dr. Niranjan spoke on, “Quest for stress-responsive proteins in the extracellular matrix: a
comparative proteomic approach,” the title of Dr. Subhra’s presentation was: Nutrient and disease responsive cellular networks in plants: A comparative Omics approach.” There was spontaneous from the listeners comprising mostly graduate students.
Their research focuses on elucidation of the molecular mechanism(s) underlying plant response to abiotic stress, using molecular tools such as combination of physiochemical, proteomics, and genomics approaches. In other words, their research areas are : Nutritional Genomes, Stress Genomes, and delayed fruit softening. In Nutritional Genomics, their objective aim is to improve the nutritional quality of important food crops. As part of protein quality improvement program, they have cloned a seed albumin gene AmA1 from Amaranthus hypochondriacus and developed protein-rich transgenic potato.
Currently, their laboratory is developing transgenic cereals using this novel gene for protein quality improvement. Another thrust of the research group is on the removal of antinutrient elements, such as on oxalate toxicity, the major dietary factor involved in kidney related diseases. In order to minimize the effect of toxicity they are currently using an oxalate degrading enzyme, oxalate decarboxylase in order to develop low-oxalate transgenic plants. Using oxalate decarboxylase they are also trying to transform oxalate-rich fruits and vegetables into innocuous varieties with tolerate level of this compound.