Kirtikumar R. Kondhare, co-first author of “Development of aerial and belowground tubers in potato is governed by photoperiod and epigenetic mechanism”
Asst. Prof. (AcSIR) and DST – Inspire Faculty, Biochemical Sciences Division, CSIR – National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Ph.D. in Plant Physiology & Biochemistry from Harper Adams University, United Kingdom (2013)
M.Sc. in Biotechnology from University of East Anglia, United Kingdom (2009)
B.Sc. Biotechnology from Savitribai Phule Pune University, India (2008)
Playing and watching cricket, listening to music, dancing etc.
As a Ph.D. student at Harper Adams University (UK), I got an opportunity to work on plants, wherein I studied the role of abscisic acid and gibberellins during cold-shock induced pre-maturity α-amylase formation in wheat grains. To further my interest in the plant sciences, I joined Prof. Anjan K. Banerjee’s group as a Post doctoral research fellow in 2013 at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune (India). At IISER, my work focused towards understanding the role of key transcription factors, proteins and mobile RNAs in potato tuber development. While investigating the role of small RNAs and three polycomb group proteins in regulation of potato tuber development, we observed an interesting phenotype of ‘aerial tuber formation’ in transgenic potato lines under short-day photoperiod. These observations paved way to study the molecular factors contributing to the novel phenotype, which ultimately gave the genesis for this review. We believe that this review would stimulate further research on the phenotypic plasticity of axillary-nodes in potato. Since May 2019, I have been working as a DST (Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India) – Inspire Faculty at Biochemical Sciences Division, CSIR – National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune (India). My current research interests are to decipher the molecular mechanisms governing storage root development in sweet potato and cassava, and devise strategies for yield enhancement in commercially important storage root crops.