Debabrata Basu

Debabrata Basu

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Previous appointments:

Post-doctoral fellow 1991-1997 Bose Institute Research Scientist 1997-1999 IIT-BREF Biotek, IIT-Kharagpur Rockefeller Career Fellow 1997-1999 University of California, Berkeley Post-doctoral fellow 2000 University of Edinburgh, UK

Research interests:

·       Understanding of non-host resistance mechanism of plants against necrotrophic pathogens through functional genomics and proteomics.

·       Bioprospecting of plant defence related genes.

·       Understanding of hormonal crosstalk in oilseed mustard during an incompatible interaction with Alternaria brassicicola.


Address: Division of Plant Biology
Centenary Campus
Bose Institute
P-1/12 C.I.T. Scheme VII-M
Kolkata - 700054, India
E-Mail: debu[at]
Phone: +91-33-25693312


To understand the non-host resistant mechanism of Sinapis alba against the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola, we have used an NGS (Illumina HighSeq2000) based comparative transcriptomics analysis between the resistant Sinapis alba and susceptible Brassica juncea upon challenge with A. brassicicola. Through RNA-Seq, we have generated, assembled and analysed around 85 million sequence reads individually from B. juncea and S. alba inoculated and uninoculated samples. Comparative transcriptome profiling between S. alba and B. juncea using DEseq identified some important classes of genes. Among these, genes involved in biosynthesis, receptors, response and signalling of ABA along with the response to chitin and chlorophyll-binding emerged as the most upregulated classes in S. alba upon challenge with A. brassicicola. On the contrary, in B. juncea the most differentially expressed classes of genes were those associated with chlorophyll degradation, ROS mediated and cell death.

Through comparative transcriptome analysis and hormone quantification it has been established that A. brassicicola is steering the defense response towards a biotrophic mode by mounting an SA response in susceptible B. juncea, whereas the enhanced ABA response of S. alba not only counteracts the SA response but also restores the necrotrophic mode of resistance by enhancing JA biosynthesis.

Comparison of the expression pattern of deletion constructs the glucosyl hyrolase, family 3 promoter in susceptible B. juncea and its endogenous expression in resistant S. alba upon challenge with A. brassicicola indicate ABA and JA mediated response in resistant S. alba whereas SA response is dominated in susceptible B. juncea


 The role of Phosphatidic Acid (PA) as early signalling molecule as well as differential expression pattern of six different homologues of PLD, i.e., PLD α, β, γ, ε, δ and ζ, has been monitored during the interaction of the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Alternaria brassicicola with resistant Sinapis alba and susceptible Brassica juncea.  Furthermore, PA mediated signalling was correlated with the ABA response as a number of ABA biosynthetic and responsive genes were showed upregulation in S. alba.

ARF10 an auxin responsive transcription factor is capable of simultaneous modulation of ABA and auxin response and both these responses are known to be involved with resistance against A. brassicicola. Therefore, conditional expression of ARF10 on challenge with pathogen has been strategized by using a pathogen induced promoter like GH3.3. The GH3.3::ARF10 transgenics of B. juncea were found to be tolerant against A.brassicicola. Furthermore, conditional expression of ARF10 upon A.brassicicola infection has resulted in an increased ABA response. Through protein-DNA interaction studies it was found that, ARF10 binds to the upstream of many ABA responsive genes.


NAC domain transcription factors (NAC TFs) constitute one of the largest families of plant transcription factors and not only involve in plant developmental processes but also are involved in stress responses. Through NGS based comparative transcriptomics 37 NAC TFs were detected from S. alba and B. juncea on inoculation with A. brassicicola. Clustering of these NAC TFs showed that these genes could be grouped into five main clusters, among which one particular cluster is well represented in the NGS data. Overexpression of one of the differentially expressed NAC transcription factor in transgenic B. juncea lines showed altered phenotype at initial stages of development. Expression profiling of hormone biosynthetic and responsive genes in transgenic B. juncea lines indicate that NAC TF possibly has a role in ABA and JA response. This indicates that the NAC-TF may have a dual role in both necrotrophic and abiotic stress responses in oil seed mustard.


  1. S. Das, D. Basu, P. Mukherjee & S.K. Sen. (1991). Interaction of T-DNA border sequences and Ti-plasmid vir functions of Agrobacterium results in differential single stranded linear T-DNA molecule production and plant transformation Ind. J. Exptl. Biol. 29: 91-101.
  2. D. Basu, S. Das, D. Banerjee & S. K. Sen. (1991). Isolation and cloning of Bacillus thuringiensis var. Kurstaki HD-73 toxin gene and construction of a chimeric gene for expression in plants. Ind.J.Exptl.Biol.29: 1002-1009.
  3. D. Basu, S. Das, P. Nayak & S. K. Sen. (1995). Monitoring functional property of the transgene through rapid amplification of cDNA ends in indica rice transformants.  Current Science, Vol. 68. No. 11, 1140-1144.
  4. P. Nayak, D. Basu, S. Das, D. Ghosh, A. Nandi, A. Basu & S. K. Sen. (1996). Transfer of yellow stem borer resistance to indica rice cultivar. In Rice Genetics III (IRRI), 735-736.
  5. S. Kar, D. Basu, S. Das, Ramakrishnan N.A. P. Mukherjee, P. Nayak & S. K. Sen. (1997). Expression of crylA(c) gene of Bacillus thuringiensis in transgenic chickpea plants inhibits development of pod borer Heliothis armigera larvar. Transgenic Research 6, 177-185.
  6. P. Nayak, D. Basu, S. Das, A. Basu, D. Ghosh, Ramakrishnan, N.A. M. Ghosh & S.K. Sen. (1997). Transgenic elite indica rice plants expressing crylA(c) della endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis are resistant against yellow stem borer (Scripophaga incerfulas). Proc. Natl, Acad. Sci. 94: 2111-2116.
  7. Ashis Kumar nandi, D. Basu, Sampa Das and Soumitra K. Sen. (1999). High-level expression of soyabean trypsin inhibitor gene in transgenic tobacco plants fail to confer resistance against damage caused by Helicoverpa armigera. J. Biosci. 24, No. 445-452.
  8. Basu, D., Dehesh, K., Scheider-Poetsch, H. J., Harrington, S.E., McCouch, S. R and Quail, P.  H. (2000). Rice PHYC gene: structure, expression, map position and evolution. Plant Mol. Biol. 44(1): 27-42.
  9. John J. Grant, Andrea Chini, Debrabata Basu and Gary J. Loake (2003). Targeted Activation Tagging of the Arabidopsis NBS-LRR gene, ADR1, Conveys Resistance to Virulent Pathogens. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interaction.16 (8): 669-680.
  10. Tapas Kumar Chakraborty, Debabrata Basu, Nirmalendu Das, Subhabrata Sengupta and Mina Mukherjee.  (2004). The mannitol cycle in Pleurotus ostreatus (Florida) FEMS Microbiology Letters, Vol. 236: 307-311.
  11. S. Dey, K. Ghose, G. Gangopadhyay and D. Basu (2007). Assessment of genomic diversity of wild and cultivated tomato through Resistance Gene Analogue Polymorphism and I2 homologues. Euphytica, 154: 219-230 Online: DOI 10.1007/s10681-006-9290-5.
  12. Gaurab Gangopadhyay, Subhash K Roy, Kaushik Ghose, Ramit Poddar, Tanoy Bandyopadhyay, Debabrata Basu and Kalyan K. Mukherjee. (2007). Sex detection of Carica papaya and Cycas circinalis in pre flowering stage by ISSR and RAPD. Current Science, 92, 524-526.
  13. P.Saha, D.Chakraborti, A.Sarkar, I.Dutta , D.Basu and S.Das. Characterization of vascular-specific RSs1 and rolC promoters for their utilization  engineering plants to develop resistance against hemipteran insect pests Planta 226 (2007): 429-442.
  14. Siraj Datta, Debabrata Basu and Kalyan Kumar Mukherjee. PTC-1: A homologue of TFL1/CEN involved in the control of shoot architecture in Beta palonga. Current Science (2008) 94, no. 1: 89-96.
  15. Subhash Kanti Roy, Gaurab Gangopadhyay, Kaushik Ghose, Sanjukta Dey, Debabrata Basu and Kalyan Kumar Mukherjee. A cDNA-AFLP approach to look for differentially expressed gene fragments in dioecious pointed gourd (Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.) for understanding sex expression. Current Science (2008) 94, no. 3: 381-385.
  16. Ghose K, Dey S, Barton H, Loake GJ and Basu D (2008).Differential profiling of selected defence-related genes induced on challenge with Alternaria brassicicola in resistant white mustard and their comparative expression pattern in susceptible India mustard. Molecular Plant Pathology 9(6): 763 – 775.
  17. Srirupa Das, Supriya Sen, Anirban Chakraborty, Papia Chakraborti, Mrinal K Maiti, Asitava Basu1, Debabrata Basu, Soumitra K Sen (2010). An unedited 1.1 kb mitochondrial orfB gene transcript in the Wild Abortive Cytoplasmic Male Sterility (WA-CMS) system of mOryza sativa L. subsp. Indica. BMC Plant Biology 10:39.
  18. Sumanti Gupta, Dipankar Chakraborti, Rumdeep K. Rangi, Debabrata Basu, and Sampa Das (2009). A Molecular Insight into the Early Events of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri(Race 1) Interaction Through cDNA-AFLP Analysis. Phytopathology. 99:1245-1257.
  19. Sanjukta Dey & Kaushik Ghose & Debabrata Basu (2010). Fusarium elicitor-dependent calcium influx and associated ROS generation in tomato is independent of cell death. Eur. J. Plant Pathol. DOI 10.1007/s10658-009-9534-z.
  20. Sumanti Gupta, Dipankar Chakraborti, Anindita Sengupta, Debabrata Basu, Sampa Das (2010). Primary Metabolism of Chickpea Is the Initial Target of Wound Inducing Early Sensed Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri Race I. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9030. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009030.
  21. Sumanti Gupta, Dipankar Chakraborti, Debabrata Basu and Sampa Das (2010). In search of decoy/guardee to R genes: Deciphering the role of sugars in defense against Fusarium wilt in chickpea. Plant Signaling & Behavior 5:9, 1081-1087.
  22. Suranjana Sarkar (Roy), R. Poddar , D. Basu , T. Basu and P. K. Saha (2012). Optimization of RAPD method and its application for the analysis of genetic variability in cultivated and wild indian sesame. Indian J.Sci.Res.3(2) : 47-54.
  23. Madhuvanti Chatterjee, Mrinmoy Majunder and Debabrata Basu (2013); Functional analysis of the promoter of a Glycosyl Hydrolase gene induced in resistant Sinapis alba by Alternaria brassicicola. Phytopathology, August 2013, Volume 103, Number 8, Pages 841-850. One of the figures has been selected as cover page.
  24. Mrinmoy Mazumder, Srirupa Das, Upala Saha, Madhuvanti Chatterjee and Debabrata Basu (2013). SA-mediated establishment of the compatibility between Alternaria brassicicola and Brassica juncea is mitigated by ABA in Sinapis  alba. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 70 (2013) 43-51.
  25. Lekha Bandopadhyay, Debabrata Basu, Samir Ranjan Sikdar (2013) Identification of genes involved in wild crucifer Rorippa indica resistance response on mustard aphid Lipaphis  erysimi challenge. PLOS ONE., September 2013, Vol 8, Issue 9, e73632.
  26. Moniya Chatterjee, Sumanti Gupta, Anirban Bhar, Dipankar Chakraborti, Debabrata Basu and Sampa Das (2014) Analysis of root proteome unravels differential molecular responses during compatible and incompatible interaction between chickpea (Cicer arietinumL.) and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri Race1 (Foc1) BMC Genomics, 15:949 /15/949).
  27. Joydeep Chakraborty,  Senjuti Sen, Prithwi Ghosh,  Anindita Sengupta, Debabrata Basu, and Sampa Das (2016) Homologous promoter derived constitutive and chloroplast targeted expression of synthetic cry1Acin transgenic chickpea confers resistance against Helicoverpa armigera. Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, Vol 125, pp 521–535.
  28. Upala Saha, Mrinmoy Mazumder, Amrita Mukherjee, Sefa Parveen, Banani Mondal, Smriti Ranjan Maji and Debabrata Basu (2016); A critical analysis of phosphatidic acid mediated resistance response in Sinapis alba against Alternaria brassicicola. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology: 94 (2016) 90-99. 10.1016/j.pmpp.2016.05.003.
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    • Teaching students of Bose Institute Integrated M.Sc-Ph.D course
    • Teaching Bose Institute Ph. D course work
    • Teaching Calcutta University M. Sc (genetics) 


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