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Home Institution: Indian Institute of Science

Field of Specialization: Plant developmental biology

Research: Biological surfaces like plant leaves or insect wings are flat. But the molecular mechanisms that govern flatness during organogenesis, remain largely elusive. In a forward genetic approach we isolated few novel Arabidopsis mutants involved in leaf flatness. Among them, the tarani (tni) mutant has large, rounder cup shaped leaves unlike the flat wt leaves. TNI was identified using map based cloning method and found to be a deubiquitnase. The tni locus had a G to A transition at 3rd intron-exon junction that causes expression of a novel tni transcript with an unspliced out 3rd intron. TNI identity was confirmed with complementation and allelic tests. While the other known alleles of TNI are completely embryonic lethal, tni has partial lethality along with several phenotypes in other parts of plant like roots, stem, trichomes, flowers, embryos etc. The tni allele gives an opportunity to study its function in various parts of plant, which was done extensively.

Boston Faculty Mentor: Prof Elena Kramer, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

What are you most excited about for your year at Boston?

It’s a pioneer lab that studies Aquilegia, an upcoming model organism for evolutionary and developmental biology studies. So excited to learn, discuss, define novel research questions and answer them.