Priyanka Paul: Plant Physiology First Author

Priyanka Paul, first author of “The MADS-domain factor AGAMOUS-Like18 promotes somatic embryogenesis”

Current Position: Postdoctoral scholar in Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Centre at the University of Kentucky, USA.

Education: PhD in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Kentucky, USA.

MSc in Botany, University of Calcutta, India.

Non-scientific Interests: Spending time with my family and friends, playing with my six-year- old daughter, painting, and reading books.

Brief bio: For the past several years, I have been working on multiple research projects related to gene regulation in plants. I joined Dr. Ling Yuan’s group at the University of Kentucky for my Ph.D. During my doctoral studies, I investigated the molecular mechanism of gene regulation of the biosynthesis of a group of anti-cancer compounds in the medicinal plant, Catharanthus roseus. The major objective of my research project was to identify novel genes and engineer the plant to boost the production of the valuable compounds. After finishing my Ph.D., I joined Dr. Sharyn Perry’s lab at the University of Kentucky as a postdoctoral scholar. My Postdoctoral work involved understanding a MADS-domain transcription factor’s (AGAMOUS-Like 18) role in embryogenesis. Somatic embryogenesis is a more accessible tool for seed development and important for any transgenic approaches for basic or applied research. Understanding seed development is important because most of our diet is directly derived from seeds.
Somatic embryogenesis is one means of regeneration of modified plants but is poorly understood. Currently I am working as a postdoctoral scholar with Dr. Ruth McNees in the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center at the University of Kentucky, and studying the microbial communities, chemical constituents, and their roles in both certified reference and commercially available combustible and/or non-combustible tobacco products.