Dr. Narayanaswamy Bharathan

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    EducationN. Bharathan

    BS - 1977 G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India, Major: Plant Protection

    MS - 1980 G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India, Major: Plant Pathology

    PhD - 1989 University of Maine, Orono, Maine, Major: Molecular Virology


    Plant-microbe interactions


    Research interests include basic and applied aspects of plant-microbe interactions, fungal genetics, and plant and fungal molecular virology. Long-term goals include isolation and characterization of virus genes; production of transgenic plants and identifying extra-chromosomal genetic elements from economically important plant viruses and plant pathogenic fungi and their role in conferring race specificity, pathogenicity, and/or hypovirulence; and potential use of specific cloned nucleic acid sequences from hypovirulent strains in the biological control of the fungus.

    Current Research Projects

    Characterization and molecular analysis of the genome of the Tomato Mosaic virus (ToMV) using reverse transcription PCR.

    Comparative analysis of DNA homology to establish taxonomic relationships of fungi. The specific genes, total nuclear DNS, and/or plasmids of various species or isolates could be compared by sequencing or nucleic acid hybridization.

    Past experience with Rhizoctonia solani system suggests that transposable elements (Ty) exist in plant pathogenic fungi, and they could be involved in the activation and inactivation of genes for pathogenicity, or race specificity. Filamentous fungi generally contain a small fraction of repetitive sequences, which are primarily composed of genes for rDNA, but which also include Ty elements. If the homology that exists between Ty elements in yeast and some higher eukaryotes is general, it will be possible to detect these elements in filamentous fungi by searching for homology between the non-ribosomal repetitive DNA and a cloned Ty element. Alternatively, since chromosomal location of at least some copies of Ty will differ among individuals, such elements could be detected by RFLPs.