Avtar Handa

Avtar Handa Profile Picture

Professor of Molecular Genetics
Ph.D.,Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, 1977

Contact Info:


Training Group(s):
Plant Biology

PULSe Contributor - not currently hosting students for laboratory rotations or recruiting students in the laboratory

Current Research Interests:

Significant decrease in crop productivity results from high temperature stress and inability to control senescence processes during postharvest storage of fruit and vegetable crops. The Goal of research is to characterize the molecular mechanisms, including identifying genes, which regulate biological processes in crops that effect agronomical performance, postharvest quality and shelf life and yield of processed products made from fruit crops. Among the projects being perused include: 1) Signal transduction pathways by which polyamines regulates various plant growth and developmental processes including levels of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins in plant tissues; 2) Functions of protein chaperon in regulating stress responses, especially to heat stress, during plant growth and development effecting crop yield and biomass accumulation; and 3) Biochemical mechanisms that regulate fruit shelf-life, texture, ripening and processing quality.

Approach: Transgenic genetics, Biochemistry and physiology, Molecular biology, Cell biology

Selected Publications:

Selected Recent refereed publications Faltin Z, Holland D, Velcheva M, Tsapovetsky M, Roeckel-Drevet P, Handa AK, Abu-Abied M, Friedman-Einat M, Eshdat Y, Perl A. (2010) Glutathione peroxidase regulation of reactive oxygen species level is crucial for in vitro plant differentiation. Plant Cell Physiol.51(7):1151-62. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Nambeesan S, Datsenka T, Ferruzzi MG, Malladi A, Mattoo AK, Handa AK (2010). Overexpression of yeast spermidine synthase impacts ripening, senescence and decay symptoms in tomato. Plant J 63: 836–847: Online Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Srivastava A, Gupta AK, Datsenka T, Mattoo AK, Handa1 AK (2010) Maturity and ripening-stage specific modulation of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit transcriptome. GM Crops 1:4, 1-13.

Handa A.K. and Mattoo A.K (2010) Differential and functional interactions emphasize the multiple roles of polyamines in plants Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 48: 540-546

Mattoo A.K., Minocha S.C., Minocha R., Handa A.K. (2010) Polyamines and cellular metabolism in plants: Transgenic approaches reveal different responses to diamine putrescine versus higher polyamines spermidine and spermine Amino acids 38:405–413. Online DOI 10.1007/s00726-009-0399-4

Mattoo A.K., Handa AK (2008) Higher polyamines restore and enhance metabolic memory in ripening fruit. Plant Science 174 : 386-393.

Neelam, A., T. Cassol, R.A. Mehta, A.A. Abdul-Baki, A.P. Sobolev, R.K. Goyal, J. Abbott, A.L. Segre, A.K. Handa, A.K. Mattoo (2008) A field-grown transgenic tomato line expressing higher levels of polyamines reveals legume cover crop mulch-specific perturbations in fruit phenotype at the levels of metabolite profiles, gene expression and agronomic characteristics. Journal of Experimental Botany, 59: 2337-2346

Mattoo A.K., Handa AK (2008) Higher polyamines restore and enhance metabolic memory in ripening fruit. Plant Science 174 : 386-393.

Mattoo, A.K. Chung, S-H., Goyal, R.K., Fatima, T., Srivastava, A., Solomos, T., and Handa, A.K. (2007) Over-accuulation of higher polyamines in ripening transgenic tomato fruit revives metabolic memory, upregulates anabolism-related genes, and positively impacts nutritional quality. J. AOAC Intl. 30: 1456-1464.

Srivastava A, Chung SH, Fatima T, Datsenka T, Handa AK, Mattoo AK (2007) Polyamines as anabolic growth regulators revealed by transcriptome analysis and metabolite profiles of tomato fruits engineered to accumulate spermidine and spermine. Plant Biotechnology 24:57-70

Mattoo AK, Sobolev AP, Neelam A, Goyal RK, Handa AK, Segre AL (2006) NMR spectroscopy based metabolite profiling of transgenic tomato fruit engineered to accumulate spermidine and spermine reveals enhanced anabolic and nitrogen-carbon interactions. Plant Physiol. 142: 1759-1770

Mishra K. K. and Handa A.K. (2005) Meiotic reestablishment of post-transcriptional gene silencing is regulated by aberrant RNA formation in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Mill.). Journal Molecular breeding 16: 139-149

Srivastava A. and Handa A. K (2005) Hormonal regulation of fruit development: A Molecular perspective. Journal of Plant Growth Regulation 24:67-82

Tiznado-Hernández ME, Gaffe J and Handa AK (2004) Isolation and study of a ubiquitously expressed tomato pectin methylesterase regulatory region. Electronc J Biotech 7:9-29 http://www.ejbiotechnology.info/content/vol7/issue1/full/1/index.html

Ramakrishna W., Deng Z., Ding C.-K, Handa A. K., Ozminkowski Jr R. H. (2003) A novel small heat shock protein gene, vis1, contributes to pectin depolymerization and juice viscosity in tomato fruit. Plant Physiology 131:725-735

Mehta RA, Cassol T, Li N, Ali N, Handa AK, Mattoo AK. (2002) Engineered polyamine accumulation in tomato enhances phytonutrient content, juice quality and vine life. Nature Biotechnology 20: 613-618

Recent book chapters:

Negi P.S. and A.K. Handa (2008) Structural Deterioration of the produce- The breakdown of cell wall components In, Postharvest Biology and Technology of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers. Eds., G. Paliyath, D.P.Murr, A.K. Handa, S. Lurie, Blackwell Publishers pp 162-194

Nambeesan, S., A.K.Handa and A. K. Mattoo. (2008)Polyamines and Regulation of Ripening and Senescence. In, Postharvest Biology and Technology of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers. Eds., G. Paliyath, D.P.Murr, A.K. Handa, S. Lurie, Blackwell Publishers pp319-340

Fatima T., Rivera-Domínguez M, Troncoso-Rojas R, Tiznado-Hernández ME, Handa A. K. and Mattoo A. K. (2008) Tomato. In: in Kole, C. and Hall, T. C. (eds.), Compendium of Transgenic Crop Plants: Transgenic Vegetable Crops, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2008, pp 1-46

Handa, A.K., A. Srivastava and V. Perla (2007) Hormonal control of fruit ripening. In: Genetic Improvement of Solanaceous Crops. Razdan, M.K. and Mattoo, A.K (Eds) Science Publishers Inc, Enfield, New Hampshire, USA, pp 313-342

Mattoo AK and Handa AK (2003) Ethylene signaling in Plant cell death. In Plant Cell Death Processes (Ed., Nooden LD) Academic Press, San Diego and London. Pp 125-142

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