Curriculum Vitae

Nationality: Indian

Languages Known: English, Hindi and Telugu

Address For Communication

Dr. Adrienne Roeder, Weill Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology
Section of Plant Biology, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
E-mail: vijayaramjan@gmail.com, vb336@cornell.edu

Academic Qualifications

2018 – Current: Postdoctoral associate in the Laboratory of Adrienne H. K. Roeder, Section of Plant Biology, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA                                                                                                 

2016 – 2018: Research associate in laboratory of Utpal Nath, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology and in Dr. Annapoorni Rangarajan (August 2017-February 2018), Dept. of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

2011 – 2016: Ph.D in the laboratory Utpal Nath, Dept. of Microbiology and Cell Biology. Thesis title “Molecular Genetic Analysis of Trichome  Development in Arabidopsis thaliana Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India                                     

2009 – 2011: M.Sc. (Molecular Microbiology), 9.15CGPA (Gold medalist), University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India 

2006 – 2009: B.Sc. (Biotechnology), marks 89%, Shri Gnanambica Degree College, Madanapalle, India        

2004 – 2006: Intermediate Public Examination; marks 96.4%, Royal Victory Jr.college, Tirupathi, India                    

2003 – 2004: Secondary School Examination; marks 86%, NLFEM High School, Madanapalle, India                          

TECHNIQUES LEARNT

Plant Genetic Techniques: Plant genotyping, generation, establishment and characterization of transgenic lines and T-DNA insertion lines, Reverse genetic screen, genetic crossing and interaction studies, forward genetic and suppressor screening.

DNA Techniques: Isolation of genomic/ plasmid DNA; Gene cloning; Radioactive DNA labeling; PCR; Primer and molecular marker designing; Eco-TILLING, EMSA, FAIRE (formaldehyde assisted isolation of regulatory elements), ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) and ploidy measurement by FACS.

RNA Techniques: RNA isolation and blotting; RT-PCR and Real-Time PCR; design and expression of artificial miRNA in transgenic Arabidopsis.

Protein Techniques: Protein purification and estimation; pull-down assay; SDS-PAGE; native-PAGE; Yeast two-hybrid assay; Western blotting.

Antibody generation: Hands-on experience in generating antibody against the plant proteins and synthetic peptides in rabbit/rat.

Microscopy: Scanning electron microscopy: differential interference contrast (DIC/ light/ fluorescence microscopy); laser confocal microscopy, live imaging.

Reporter gene expression: GUS/GFP reporter assay; DAPI/ PI nuclear staining; transient luciferase expression analysis using Arabidopsis protoplast; BiFC (Bimolecular Fluorescence complementation).

Image analysis: Cell segmentation and fluorescence signal quantification using MorphoGraphX, image analysis by ImageJ and Adobe photoshop.

Bioinformatics skills: Microarray data analysis using Genevestigator tool; Arabidopsis eFP Browser; ATTEDII; designing amiRNA (artificial micro RNA) using WMD3 software; BLAST and Multiple sequence alignment (CLASTAL W).

PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN

  • Ph.D Thesis: “Molecular Genetic analysis of Trichome Development in Arabidopsis thaliana” under the supervision of Dr. Utpal Nath, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

The objective of my thesis is to study how cells acquire a specific shape and I chose the specialized epidermal cell, trichome, to address this question in Arabidopsis thaliana. By analyzing the leaf/stem trichomes in a series of loss and gain-of-function lines of class II TCP genes, I have shown that these transcription factors inhibit both the density as well as branching of Arabidopsis trichomes. By a series of biochemical and transgenic experiments, I have found that TCP4 reduces trichome branching by directly activating GLABROUS INFLORESCENCE STEMS and inhibits trichome initiation by directly promoting TRICHOMELESS1 and 2. Thus, these results demonstrate that the class II TCP genes not only suppress the proliferation of the leaf pavement cells in early leaf development, they also regulate the differentiation of the specialized epidermal cells such as trichomes later in leaf development.

I also studied the role of the deubiquitinase named AtUBP14/TARANI, which was earlier studied in our lab (Karidas et al., 2015). In a tarani loss of function mutant, the trichomes are hyper-branched. By performing genetic interaction studies with other trichome mutants, I have shown that TARANI suppresses trichome branching independent of the other identified molecules such as KAKTUS, and dependent of the BRANCHLESS TRICHOMES (BLT) protein, which is necessary for the trichome branching. TNI does not alter the level of BLT transcript, and possibly regulates its protein product. By over-expressing and down-regulating TNI (through RNA interference) specifically in the trichome cells, I have demonstrated that a balanced amount of TNI is required for normal trichome development; both increase and decrease of TNI protein leads to hyper-branched trichomes.

  • M.Sc. Dissertation: “Biochemical and Phenotypic Characterization of Natural Accessions in Tomato” under the supervision of Prof. R. P. Sharma, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Hyderabad, India.

My M.Sc. dissertation focused on the characterization of morphological traits (plant height, leaf architecture, inflorescence, flower and fruit morphology) and biochemical parameters (carotenoid estimation, pH etc) in a collection of natural accessions of tomato. I also performed SNP analysis of the PhyB1 gene in the natural accessions by Eco-TILLING process.

PUBLICATIONS (Google scholar link-bit.ly/2WYpmC0)         

  • Batthula Vijaya Lakshmi Vadde, Adrienne H. K. Roeder (2020). Can the French flag and reaction–diffusion models explain flower patterning? Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the French flag model. Journal of Experimental Botany 71 (10), 2886-2897. https://bit.ly/33iANrd
  • Batthula Vijaya Lakshmi Vadde, Krishna Reddy Challa, Sunkara Preethi, Anjana S Hegde and Utpal Nath (2019). The TCP4 transcription factor directly activates TRICHOMELESS1 and 2 and suppresses trichome initiation. Plant Physiology 181: 1587-1599. https://bit.ly/3k7wbes
  • Batthula Vijaya Lakshmi Vadde, Krishna Reddy Challa, and Utpal Nath (2018). The TCP4 transcription factor regulates trichome cell differentiation by directly activating GLABROUS INFLORESCENCE STEMS in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Journal 93: 259-269. https://bit.ly/3ieu1sR
  • Batthula Vijaya Lakshmi Vadde, and Utpal Nath. The TARANI/UBP14 protein of Arabidopsis thaliana controls trichome branching by degrading the BRANCHLESS TRICHOME protein. (Manuscript under preparation).

ACHIEVEMENTS/AWARDS       

  • Awarded Fleming Postdoctoral fellowship (2019-2022) to support my three years postdoctoral research at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
  • Awarded travel grant to attend “Plant Cell Atlas” workshop scheduled May 2020 at Stanford University, USA (eventually this workshop was held virtual due to COVID-19).
  • First author profile highlight for “The TCP4 transcription factor directly activates TRICHOMELESS1 and 2 and suppresses trichome initiation”.
  • Awarded travel grant from Department of Biotechnology (DBT) for delivering a talk at conference ICAR-2016 in Gyeong Ju, Korea.
  • Awarded Gold medal for securing 1st position in M.Sc. Molecular Microbiology (2009-2011).
  • Qualified for lecturer-ship in the examination conducted by joint CSIR-UGC-NET (a national level eligibility test for PhD in India) during June-2010 and December-2010.
  • Qualified in GATE examination (a national level eligibility test for PhD in India) December-2010.
  • Prof. P. Maheswari awardee for securing first rank in M.Sc. during the academic year 2009.
  • Secured all India rank 98 in IIT-JAM (a national level eligibility test for Master’s degree).
  • Secured all India rank 484 in CEEB conducted by JNU (a national level eligibility test for Master’s degree in India).
  • Cleared entrance examination for integrated Ph.D. (2009) and Ph.D. (2011) to IISc, Bengaluru, India.

LEADERSHIP ACTIVITIES

  • Co-Chair of School of Integrative Plant Science-Postdoctoral Association (SIPS-PA) for the year of 2019-2020 and organized monthly meetings with postdocs discussing topics relevant for preparing postdocs for next step in their career at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. 
  • Postdoc representative for plant biology faculty meetings, representing the postdoc voice at the monthly meetings for the year of 2019-2020, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.
  • Co-leader of Plantae bookshelf network and did a survey on the books that every plant biologist should read and facilitated discussion on Plantae bookshelf platform, bit.ly/32hOJ5n.
  • Volunteered in demonstrating science experiments to school and college students at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India as a part of IISc open day from 2011 to 2012.
  • Actively participated as a member of organizing committee for BIO QUEST-2010, at University of Hyderabad.
  • Having an innate inclination towards cultural activities and actively participated in organizing many events at university level and hosted many cultural events at University of Hyderabad.

Professional services

  • Assistant Feature editor (AFE) at The Plant Cell.
  • Actively contributed to the Plant Science Research Weekly (PSRW) as an active member of Plantae and made 29 entries as of November 2020 which helped me in honing my writing skills https://plantae.org/author/vbatthula/.
  • Served as a reviewer for Schmittau-Novak Small (SNIPS) grant program at Cornell University (March 2020) which provides funds to student-led projects.

MENTORING

  • Mentored graduate, undergraduate and high school students in plant developmental biology during my postdoctoral studies at Cornell University
  • Mentored six undergrads and one master’s student in plant developmental biology during my Ph.D.

CONFERENCES ATTENDED/PARTICIPATED

  • Attended “Plant Biology 2020 Worldwide Summit” ASPB’s first ever virtual conference.
  • Presented a poster at “The Mechanisms in Plant Development Conference” FASEB Science Research Conference 2019, (July 28-August 2) Olean, NY, USA.
  • Presented a poster in Coordination of development conference 2018 organized by Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  • Participated in Polyploidy in Organ Development, Repair, and Disease 2018 at MDI Biological Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.
  • Presented a poster and delivered a talk in the 27th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR-2016) in Gyeong Ju, Korea.
  • Participated in MCB75 Molecules to Organisms held at Tata auditorium, Bangalore, India (Dec 11-14, 2015).
  • Presented a poster and delivered an oral presentation in Arabidopsis 2016 meeting held at IISER Mohali, India.
  • Participated in XXXIII All India Cell Biology conference 2009 & International workshop on Cell Cycle Regulation conducted in University of Hyderabad (Dec 10-13, 2009).
  • Participated in Bio-Quest (March 20, 2010) organized by School of life Sciences, University of Hyderabad.

WORKSHOPS ATTENDED

  • Attended 2ndPlant Cell Atlas single cell sequencing” workshop organized virtually on February 23rd, 2021
  • Attended all three sessions of 1st “Plant Cell Atlas (PCA)” workshop virtually (due to COVID-19) originally scheduled to be organized at Stanford university (May-2020), USA,
  • RNA-Seq data analysis workshop at Cornell University (October 14-30, 2019).
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