Dharmendra Singh

Position: Post-Doctoral
Place of Birth: Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India
Languages: English, Hindi

Dharmendra-Singh-224x224

Background

Wheat is the staple cereal crop providing food to almost two-thirds of the world’s population. However, under global climate change, wide pathogen attack, rapidly increasing population and depletion of resources, global wheat production must increase. Approximately 30% of global food production is lost to pests and diseases. Under Australian conditions, almost 20% of wheat and barley yield is lost to rust diseases alone. The most profitable and sustainable disease minimization strategy is to grow genetically resistant varieties. Most of these varieties confer race-specific resistance in a gene-for-gene manner where the resistance due to introgressed genes in wheat break down quickly through mutation in the pathogen under high selection pressure. Therefore, to achieve sustainable resistance a better understanding of durable disease resistance mechanisms in plants and novel slow rusting adult plant resistance genes are needed to empower breeders to assemble robust cereal varieties for the future.

My project aims to discover key signalling and recognition components involved in plant defence. Improved knowledge of the mechanisms involved will assist effective deployment in wheat breeding programs. This project uses the innovative technologies across the Hickey (Speed Breeding) and Mitter (RNAi platform) research groups at QAAFI to deliver future solutions for controlling rust diseases in wheat.

Research objectives

Study the phenotypic effects of novel resistance factors via development and analysis of near isogenic lines (NILs).
Conduct highly targeted analysis of signalling/recognition components of plant defence mechanisms with RNA-seq.
Perform small RNA sequencing and miRNA analysis in susceptible and resistant NILs during inoculated and mock conditions.
Validate genes for their active role in wheat-rust interaction through miRNA mediated silencing.

The variation in adult plant resistance (APR) has been identified in chara mutant (A, B) and chara (C, D) lines carrying functional Lr34 gene. The response was recorded on flag-leaf where A is chara mutant mock, B is chara mutant inoculated with leaf rust exhibiting high susceptibility, C is chara mock and D is chara inoculated with leaf rust showing APR response.
The variation in adult plant resistance (APR) has been identified in chara mutant (A, B) and chara (C, D) lines carrying functional Lr34 gene. The response was recorded on flag-leaf where A is chara mutant mock, B is chara mutant inoculated with leaf rust exhibiting high susceptibility, C is chara mock and D is chara inoculated with leaf rust showing APR response.

Research outlook

In this study, UQ’s “speed breeding” technology will facilitate rapid development of near-isogenic lines targeting novel resistance factors identified in wheat landraces. Application of NextGen sequencing will identify novel signalling and defence genes, which will be validated using miRNA-based gene silencing. The genes will be exploited in QAAFI’s wheat pre-breeding program and validated through the Mitter “RNAi platform”.

Invited Speaker

Rapid identification of novel candidate genes for resistance to stripe rust in wheat. National Conference on Biotechnology for Sustainable Development, Dec 17-19, 2015, Ranchi, India

Screening and identification of 5BS isochromosome containing wheat mono-5B lines for introgression of alien chromosomes facilitating biofortification. National Symposium on Biotechnology: Present Status & Future Prospects 15-16 March, 2013 Department of Biotechnology, DCRUST, Murthal, Sonipat, India

Publications

Journal Articles

Saket Chandra; Dharmendra Singh; Jyoti Pathak; Supriya Kumari; Manish Kumar; Raju Poddar; Harindra Singh Balyan; Kumble Vinod Prabhu; Puspendra Kumar Gupta; Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2016) "De novo assembled wheat transcriptomes delineate differentially expressed host genes in response to leaf rust infection". PLoS One, 11:e0148453, Impact factor 3.234

Adnan Riaz, Adrian Hathorn, Eric Dinglasan, Laura Ziems, Cecile Richard, Dharmendra Singh, Olga Mitrofanova, Olga Afanasenko, Elizabeth Aitken, Ian Godwin, Lee Hickey (2016) Into the vault of the Vavilov wheats: old diversity for new alleles. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, DOI: 10.1007/s10722-016-0380-5, Impact factor 1.461

Raman Dhariwal, Vijay Gahlaut, Bhaganagare Govindraj R, Dharmendra Singh, Saloni Mathur, Shailendra Vyas, Rajib Bandopadhyay, Jitendra Paul Khurana, Akhilesh Kumar Tyagi, Kumble Vinod Prabhu, Kunal Mukhopadhyay, Harindra Singh Balyan, Pushpendra Kumar Gupta (2015) Stage-specific reprogramming of gene expression characterizes Lr48-mediated adult plant leaf rust resistance in wheat. Functional and Integrative Genomics, 15: 1-13, Impact factor- 2.48

Imran Sheikh, Prachi Sharma, Shailender Kumar Verma, Satish Kumar, Sachin Malik, Priyanka Mathpal, Upendra Kumar, Dharmendra Singh, Sundip Kumar, Vishal Chugh, Harcharan Singh Dhaliwal (2015) Characterization of interspecific hybrids of Triticum aestivum x Aegilops sp. without 5B chromosome for induced homoeologous pairing. Journal of Plant Biotechnology and Biotechnology. DOI 10.1007/s13562-015-0307-9, Impact factor- 1.09

Priti Sharma, Imran, Prachi Sharma, Vishal Chugh, Harcharan Singh Dhaliwal, *Dharmendra Singh (2014) Morphological, cytological and biochemical characterization of wheat Aegilops longissima derivatives BC1F6 and BC2F4 with high grain micronutrient. International Journal of Agriculture, Environment & Biotechnology, 7: 191-204. National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India rating-4.1

Dhananjay Kumar, Dharmendra Singh, Pulkit Kanodia, Kumble Vinod Prabhu, Manish Kumar, Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2014) Discovery of Novel Leaf Rust Responsive microRNAs in Wheat and Prediction of Their Target Genes. Journal of Nucleic Acids, Article ID 570176 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/570176)

Lopamudra Satapathy, Dharmendra Singh, Prashant Ranjan, Dhananjay Kumar, Manish Kumar, Kumble Vinod Prabhu, Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2014) Transcriptome-wide analysis of WRKY transcription factors in wheat and their leaf rust responsive expression profiling. Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 289: 1289-1306, Impact factor- 2.73

Dhananjay Kumar, Anjali Kapoor, Dharmendra Singh, Lopamudra Satapathy, Ashwini Kumar Singh, Manish Kumar, Kumble Vinod Prabhu, Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2014) Functional characterisation of a WRKY transcription factor of wheat and its expression analysis during leaf rust pathogenesis. Functional Plant Biology, 41: 1295-1309, Impact factor- 3.15

Vishal Chugh, Kirandeep Kaur, Dharmendra Singh, Vinod Kumar, Harinderjit Kaur, Harcharan Singh Dhaliwal (2014) Molecular characterization of diverse wheat germplasm for puroindoline proteins and their antimicrobial activity. Turkish Journal of Biology, 39: 359-369, Impact factor- 1.34

Dharmendra Singh, Govind Bhagnagre, Rajib Bandopadhyay, Kumble Vinod Prabhu, Pushpendra Kumar Gupta and Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2012) Targeted spatio-temporal expression based characterization of state of infection and time-point of maximum defense in wheat NILs during leaf rust infection. Molecular Biology Reports 39(10):9373-9382; doi:10.1007/s11033-012-1801-y (Springer) Impact factor- 2.02

Conferences

Dharmendra Singh, Wei Ling Ng, Adnan Riaz, Hannah Robinson, Gregory Platz, Jerome Franckowicak, Emma Mace, Neena Mitter, Lee Hickey (2015) Rapid identification of novel candidate genes for resistance to stripe rust in wheat. BGRI 2015 Technical Workshop 17-20 September, Sydney, Australia

Prachi Sharma, Imran, Dharmendra Singh, Vishal Chugh, H S Dhaliwal (2014) Precise transfer of useful variability from related non-progenitor wild species into wheat cultivars through induced homoeologous chromosome pairing. 9th Canadian Plant Biotechnology Conference 12-15, May, McGill University, Canada

Lopamudra Satapathy, Dhananjay Kumar, Dharmendra Singh, Manish Kumar and Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2013) In silico identification, annotation and expression profiling of wheat WRKY transcription factors in response to leaf rust pathogenesis using Next Generation Sequencing data. BGRI 2013 Technical Workshop 19–22 August, New Delhi, India

Priti Sharma, Imran Sheikh, Prachi Sharma, Vishal Chugh, Harcharan Singh Dhaliwal and Dharmendra Singh* (2013) Screening and identification of 5BS isochromosome containing wheat mono-5B lines for introgression of alien chromosomes facilitating biofortification. National Symposium on Biotechnology: Present Status & Future Prospects 15-16 March, Department of Biotechnology, DCRUST, Murthal, Sonipat.

Sneha, Dharmendra Singh, Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2012) Analysis of promoter sequences from Next Generation transcriptome sequencing data of wheat Near Isogenic Lines challenged with leaf rust pathogen. World Congress on Biotechnology, 4-6 May, Leonia International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, India.

Dharmendra Singh, Govind Bhagnagre, Rajib Bandopadhyay, Kumble Vinod Prabhu, Pushpendra Kumar Gupta, Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2011) Dissection of wheat transcriptome using next-generation SOLiD sequencing technology during compatible and incompatible wheat-leaf rust interaction. 21st International Triticea Mapping Initiative (ITMI), 5-9 September, Mexico city, Mexico.

Dharmendra Singh, Rajib Bandopadhyay, Govindraj Bhaganagare, Kumble Vinod Prabhu and Kunal Mukhopadhyay (2011) Differential gene expression of some defense genes in susceptible and resistant wheat plants during leaf rust infection. 3rd International Group Meeting (IGM) on Wheat Productivity Enhancement under Changing Climate, Feb. 9-12, 2011, UAS, Dharwad, Karnataka, India.