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Akila, Chandra Sekhar

Visiting Fellows in Technologies

Research field

My research work is in the fields of Molecular Genetics and Functional Genomics of drought tolerance mechanism in cereals, particularly in rice


I received my Masters degree in Plant Sciences from the University of Hyderabad and received extensive theoretical and practical training in classical and modern aspects of Plant Molecular Genetics and Genomics.  I have also undergone practical training at ICRISAT, studying physiological and molecular aspects of heat stress tolerance in groundnut during my M.Sc.  I joined Prof. Arjula R. Reddy's group for my Ph.D thesis"Molecular mapping using SSRs and EST-PCR based markers, and identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for drought tolerance in a Doubled Haploid Line population of rice (Oryza sativa L.)" .  Our group’s focus is on  molecular genetics and functional genomics of drought tolerance in rice. In brief, my work during graduation involved mapping and genetic linkage map integration of a DHL mapping population of rice with SSRs and EST-PCR markers. This DHL population was for identification of drought tolerance associated genes in rice. I have targetted  a number of putative candidate genes developed from drought stressed rice seedlings, converted them into PCR based markers and used for map integration as well as diversity analysis in rice.  This updated map was used to identify QTLs for morphological, phenological and yield related traits under field drought stress conditions.  In summary,  I have added 54 SSRs and 3 candidate EST-PCR markers to genetic linkage map and identified 98 QTLs for drought tolerance( secondary) traits under field drought stress condition in rice.  During my graduation, I am also actively involved in large scale generation of ESTs from drought stressed indica rice seedlings.

Presently, I am working as a Research Associate in a collaborative project with ICRISAT with  Prof. Arjula R. Reddy on generation of large scale ESTs and genomic resources from terminal drought stressed pearl millet.  I am mainly involved in total RNA isolation from terminal drought stressed pearl millet plants (two varieties), construction of subtraction cDNA libraries, ESTs generation and identification of differentially expressed genes in pearl millet exposed to terminal drought stress. Reciprocal substraction libraries has been made in order to isolate varietal specific genes that expressed during drought stress.  I have succeeded in isolation of many differentially expressed genes (ESTs) in pearl millet, exposed to drought stress.

From: Jun 21, 2006 To: Nov 21, 2006

Structure Department of Plant Sciences - School of Life Sciences (Research Associate)

University of Hyderabad

Hyderabad,  India

Unibo reference

Prof. Roberto Tuberosa

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari