Recognizing Plant Physiology author Debamalya Chatterjee

Debamalya Chatterjee first author of Maize unstable factor for orange1 is essential for endosperm development and carbohydrate accumulation

 Current Position: Ph.D. Candidate at the Dept of Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

Education:  MS in Plant Breeding & Genetics at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.

 Non-scientific interests: Nature, macro, and landscape photography, hiking, traveling and exploring unique landscapes, painting.


I started my scientific career during my Master’s research with senior scientist Dr. Shashi Banga and Prof. Surinder Singh Banga. My MS research was focused on re-synthesis of Brassica napus from non-progenitor species to create genetic diversity. In 2015, I successfully obtained a competitive international fellowship from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to join a Ph.D. program with Profs. Surinder Chopra and Yinong Yang at the Penn State University. My research is focused on understanding signal transduction mechanisms that regulate gene expression during the development of maize, rice, and sorghum reproductive tissues. During my Ph.D., I have been involved in the characterization of maize and rice genes involved in gametophyte and seed development. My current research explores the physiological role of the ufo1 gene in maize seed development. I have looked explicitly into sugar and hormone homeostasis and its influence on the development of cells with specialized functions. My broader aims are to understand molecular mechanisms that modulate the gene regulatory network hubs.

Apart from understanding fundamental plant biology, I am also interested in the applied research that benefits environmental and human health. I am involved in projects aiming to utilize maize and sorghum flavonoids in insect pest management for sustainable agriculture.