Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Ansul Lokdarshi

Ansul Lokdarshi, first author of Light activates the translational regulatory GCN2 kinase via reactive oxygen species emanating from the chloroplast

Current Position: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Education: Ph.D. Department of Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA); MSc and BSc in Biotechnology (Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Maharashtra, India)

Non-scientific interests: building electronic gadgets, indoor gardening, video games, cooking

Brief bio: As a plant molecular stress physiologist, I am fascinated with the different ways how plants sense, signal and respond to a variety of cues from the surrounding dynamic environment. In my current role as a Post-doctoral research associate (Albrecht von Arnim lab), I am working in two independent research areas that revolve around the common theme of mRNA translational control. My first project explores how the pan-eukaryotic protein kinase, GCN2, contributes to translational control in plants by environmental stress and nutritional cues. My second project is an ongoing international collaboration to investigate the balance between cell growth, proliferation and protein synthesis in the plant root meristem. For my work with the GCN2 kinase, we have identified chloroplastic-ROS as a common abiotic stress signal that activates the GCN2 kinase, resulting in the desired modulation of protein synthesis. I plan to advance these fundamental discoveries in crops and create translational opportunities for improved agricultural productivity and better resilience.