Research Overview

A number of epigenetic regulatory layers are superimposed on the genome. In plants, small RNA regulators play a major role in the establishment and maintenance of epigenetic marks. We are interested in understanding the mechanism of small RNA biogenesis, their functions and their role in establishment of epigenetics using a number of model systems.

Link to our lab webpage

Dr  P V  Shivaprasad

Group Leader

National Centre for Biological Sciences

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), India

E-mail: shivaprasad at ncbs dot res dot in


Office: +91-80-2366-6511


M.Sc. Applied Botany, Mangalore University

PhD, Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University

Postdoctoral Research (EMBO and SNF), Viral suppressors of gene silencing, Prof. Thomas Hohn's lab, University of Basel

Postdoctoral Research (BBSRC grant), Gene silencing in tomato, Prof. Sir. David Baulcombe's lab, University of Cambridge

Expertise Summary

Molecular analysis of plants:- Next Gen Sequencing, forward and reverse genetics, transcriptomics, ChIP analysis, whole-genome methylation analysis, biotechnology, use of multiple model plants to study functions of small RNAs and epigenetics using molecular, genetic, bioinformatic and biochemical approaches.

Teaching Summary

Basic Biology-plants, RNA biology, Plant development, Disease biology and Genetics.

Recent Publications
Vinoth and Shiva have compiled various levels of tritrophic interactions at the molecular scale that come into picture when geminivirus invades a host plant using an insect host. This review is published in Proceedings of Royal Society B.
Ashwin's work on how a viral protein undergoes antagonistic SUMOylation and SIM interactions as a stability switch is now published in BMC Biology.
Have you ever wondered how the beautiful small RNA northern blots are made in our lab?? The video tutorial is available as a JOVE publication here. Great initiative by Varsha, Melvin and Shiva.
Ashwin's work elucidating how a viral pathogenecity determinant protein undergoes antagonistic SUMOylation and SIM interactions as a stability switch is available as a pre-print in bioRxiv. Comments are welcome!!
Loss of function of Oryza sativa Argonaute 18 induces male sterility and reduction in phased small RNAs Das, Soumita, Chenna Swetha, Kannan Pachamuthu, Ashwin Nair, and P. V. Shivaprasad. Plant Reproduction (2020): 1-15. 
A conserved sequence signature is essential for robust plant miRNA biogenesis, Anushree Narjala, Ashwin Nair, Varsha Tirumalai, G Vivek Hari Sundar, Padubidri V Shivaprasad - Nucleic Acids Research, February 2020. [Summary].
miR828 and miR858 regulate VvMYB114 to promote anthocyanin and flavonol accumulation in grapes. V Tirumalai, C Swetha, A Nair, A Pandit, PV Shivaprasad - Journal of Experimental Botany, May 2019. [Press Release]

Major domestication-related phenotypes in indica rice are due to loss of miRNA-mediated laccase silencing Chenna Swetha, Debjani Basu, Kannan Pachamuthu, Varsha Tirumalai, Ashwin Nair, Melvin Prasad, Padubidri V. Shivaprasad - The Plant Cell, 2018 (Breakthrough Report)  [Press Release]

Molecular characterization of a new begomovirus infecting Synedrella nodiflora in South India S Das, A Hegde, PV Shivaprasad - Archives of virology, 2018 

Methylglyoxal detoxification by a DJ-1 family protein provides dual abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in transgenic plants P Melvin, K Bankapalli, P D’Silva, PV Shivaprasad Plant Molecular Biology (2017)


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