Prakash KUMAR


Contact Information:

Department of Biological Science
National University of Singapore
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543

Curriculum Vitae

Plant Morphogenesis Lab

6516 2859
6779 2486

Research Interests

Our main research focus areas come under physiological and molecular aspects of the regulation of shoot development. We use rice and Arabidopsis as experimental systems.

We have a major collaborative research project aimed at improving the rice crop (funded by the National Research Foundation, Singapore). Our recent findings on plant hormone signaling (with special focus on cytokinins and gibberellins) and shoot development led to the discovery of a cytokinin binding protein, whose level of expression significantly affects plant biomass and seed yield. We are currently studying cytokinin signal transduction intermediates and the structural basis of signal transduction from the AHPs to ARRs. Molecular characterization of selected new mutants of rice that show changes in agronomic traits is in progress. The traits of interest include tiller number, salt tolerance and seed yield.

Another major research interest in our lab is to understand the salt secretion mechanism in the mangrove tree Avicennia officinalis. This work is funded by the EWI-PUB initiative.

Besides helping to gain a better understanding of shoot development, we hope that our work can contribute towards crop improvement in the long-term.

Current Projects

Our current research projects come under the following themes:
  1. Cloning genes that regulate shoot development.
  2. Phytohormone (cytokinin & gibberellin) signaling intermediates and shoot development.
  3. Transgenic plants for functional analysis of selected cDNA.
  4. Mechanism of salt secretion in the mangrove Avicennia officinalis.

Research Accomplishments

Full List of Publications

Membership on Editorial Boards

  1. Editor, BMC Plant Biology, (from Jan 2015)
  2. Editor, Plant Cell Reports (Springer, from Jan 1999)
  3. Associate Editor, Plant Biotechnology Reports (Springer, from Nov 2009)
  4. Editor, Plant Biotechnology Reports (Springer, April 2007-Nov 2009)
  5. Reviews Editor, Plant Cell Reports (Springer, from April 2002 - Nov 2008)
  6. Editor, Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture - (Jan 1999 - Jan 2006)
  7. Review Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science (Oct 2014 - Oct 2016)

Selected Publications

  1. Ravindran P, Verma V, Stamm P, Kumar PP. A novel RGL2-DOF6 complex contributes to primary seed dormancy in Arabidopsis thaliana by regulating a GATA transcription factor. Molecular Plant (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2017.09.004.

  2. Verma V, Sivaraman J, Srivastava AK, Sadanandom A, Kumar PP. Destabilization of interaction between cytokinin signaling intermediates AHP1 and ARR4 modulates Arabidopsis development. New Phytologist (2015) 206: 726–737 doi: 10.1111/nph.13297

  3. Krishnamurthy P, Jyothi-Prakash PA, Lin Qin, He J, Lin Q, Loh CS, Kumar PP. Role of root hydrophobic barriers in salt exclusion of a mangrove plant Avicennia officinalis. Plant, Cell & Environment (2014) 37:1656–1671.

  4. Kohli A, Sreenivasulu N, Lakshmanan P, Kumar PP. The phytohormone crosstalk paradigm takes center stage in understanding how plants respond to abiotic stresses. Plant Cell Reports (2013) 32:945-957 DOI: 10.1007/s00299-013-1461-y

  5. Tan W-K, Lin Q, Lim TM, Kumar PP, Loh CS. Dynamic secretion changes in the salt glands of the mangrove tree species Avicennia officinalis in response to a changing saline environment. Plant, Cell & Environment (2013) 36:1410-1422. DOI: 10.1111/pce.12068

  6. Stamm P, Ravindran P, Mohanty B, Tan EL, Yu H, Kumar PP. Insights into the molecular mechanism of RGL2-mediated inhibition of seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC Plant Biology (2012) 12:179 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-179 (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2229/12/179).

  7. Stamm P, Kumar PP. The phytohormone signal network regulating elongation growth during shade avoidance. Journal of Experimental Botany (2010) 61: 2889-2903.

  8. Xu Y, Teo LL, Zhou J, Kumar PP, Yu H. Floral organ identity genes in the orchid Dendrobium crumenatum. Plant Journal (2006) 46: 54-68.

  9. Yu H, Ito T, Zhao Y, Peng J, Kumar PP, Meyerowitz EM. Floral homeotic genes are targets of gibberellin signaling in flower development. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA (2004) 101:7827-7832.

  10. Zhang P, Pwee KH, Tan HT, Kumar PP. Conservation of class C function of floral organ development during 300 million years of evolution from gymnosperms to angiosperms. Plant Journal (2004) 37: 566-577.

  11. Yu H, Xu Y, Tan EL, Kumar PP. 2002. AGAMOUS-LIKE 24, a dosage-dependent mediator of the flowering signals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., USA. 99:16336-16341.

  12. Prakash AP, Kumar PP. 2002. PkMADS1 is a novel MADS-box gene regulating adventitious shoot induction and vegetative shoot development in Paulownia kawakamii. Plant Journal 29:141-151.