Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Mukesh Kumar Meena

Mukesh Kumar Meena, first author of The Ca2+ Channel CNGC19 Regulates Arabidopsis defense against Spodoptera Herbivory

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle, Germany

Education: PhD, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), New Delhi, India

Non-scientific Interests: badminton, travel, music and social communication with people

Brief bio: My interest in science began at a very young age, during school days, as I was fascinated by scientific inventions and findings. During PhD with Dr. Debasis Chattopadhyay, I studied the role of a calcium regulated protein kinase (CIPK25) in root development. After PhD, I joined Dr. Jyothilakshmi Vadassery’s lab at NIPGR as the first member of her lab and shifted focus to herbivory and calcium signaling. I characterized CNGC19 as a novel player in plant defense response against insect herbivory. CNGC19 is a calcium permeable channel required for optimal vasculature based spread of Ca2+ fluxes and plant defense. CNGC19 regulates plant defense via its action on jasmonate and aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis. It has been an exciting journey uncovering the role of this fascinating ion channel in plant-insect interactions. Currently, I am working as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Gasperini’s lab at Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry on how cell wall alteration leads to jasmonate biosynthesis.