Dr Charu Lata

Designation: Senior Scientist


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Plant Molecular Biology, ICAR-Outstanding Thesis Award, National  Institute  of Plant Genome Research, India and Jawaharlal Nehru University, India (2011)
  • Masters of Science (Agri.) Molecular Biology & Biotechnology, 1st class (Distinction), G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, India (2007)
  • Bachelor of Science (Agri.) 1st class (Distinction & Univ. Gold Medal), Assam Agricultural University, India (2005)

Area of Interest:

Traditional Knowledge, Science Communication, Agriculture, Abiotic Stress, Plant-Microbe Interaction, Plant Molecular Biology & Genetic Engineering

Phone Number: +919958424684

Email: charulata@niscpr.res.in

Editorial Responsibilities

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Indian Science Abstracts

Indian Journal of Geo Marine Sciences (September 2019 – August 2020)

Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy (Guest Editor, INYAS 3rd Special Issue)


Research Project Undertaken

1. SERB Core Research Grant

     [Co-PI; Ongoing; 16.03.2021 to 15.03.2024]

      Research Grant amount: Approx. 56.94 Lakhs for a period of 3 years

     Title: Profiling of beneficial rhizobacteria-induced epigenetic response and genome stability in plants

2. SERB Early Career Research Award

    [PI; Ongoing; 19.12.2018 to 18.12.2021]

    Research Grant amount: Approx. 39.33 Lakhs for a period of 3 years

    Title: Elucidating the role of GRAM-domain containing gene(s) in Bacillus amyloliquifaciens-mediated abiotic stress responses in plants

3. INSA Young Scientist Project

    [PI; Completed; 22.12.2017 to 30.06.2021]

   Research Grant amount: 15.00 Lakhs for a period of 3 years

   Title: Unraveling the role of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria-responsive microRNA(s) in Arabidopsis

4. CSIR Niche Creating High Science Project

     [Co-PI; Completed; 16.11.2018 to 31.03.2020]

     Research Grant amount: 700 Lakhs for a period of 2 years

      Title: Genome-wide editing for enhanced yield and quality traits

5. DBT Twining R & D Project

    [PI; Completed; 12.09.2018 to 11.09.2021; handed over to the Co-PI]

    Research Grant amount: Approx. 15.63 Lakhs for a period of 3 years   

    Title: Understanding the molecular mechanism of defense in pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) due to infestation by Helicoverpa armigera

6. DBT NER-BPMC Network Project

   [Co-PI; Completed; 26.03.2018 to 25.03.2021]

   Research Grant amount: 22.00 Lakhs for a period of 3 years

   Title: Combating bunchy top disease of banana (cultivar Malbhog) through Host-Delivered RNA Interference (HD-RNAi) approach

7. INSPIRE Faculty Award [IFA-11LSPA-01]

    [PI; Completed; 01.03.2012 to 28.02.2018]

    Research Grant amount: 35.0 Lakhs for a period of 6 years

    Title: Transcript profiling of major millet crops under drought stress and cloning-characterization of stress-inducible transcription factors

8. SERB Women Excellence Award [SERB/F/634/2014-15]

    [PI; Completed; 03.07.2014 to 02.07.2017]                         

    Research Grant amount: 18.00 Lakhs for a period of 3 years

     Title: A study on the role of miRNA(s) in plant growth promoting rhizobacteria mediated drought stress alleviation in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.)

9. CSIR Network Project [BSC117]

    [Team Member; Completed; Total no. of scientists: 06; 01.04.2012 to 31.03.2017]

     Research Grant amount: 629.35 Lakhs for a period of 5 years

     Title: Plant-Microbe Soil Interactions

10. CSIR OLP Project [OLP 0091]

      [Team Member; Completed; 01.04.2014 to 31.03.2017; In-house funding]

      Title: Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria mediated stress  management for increasing crop productivity

11.  CSIR OLP Project [OLP 0105]

       [Team Member; Completed; 01.04.2017 to 01.05.2019; In-house funding]

      Title: Microbial intervention for amelioration of abiotic and biotic stresses in plants


Publications (2019 onwards)

Research papers

  1. Singh A, Tiwari S, Pandey J, Lata C* and Singh I* (2021) Role of nanoparticles in crop improvement and abiotic stress management. Journal of Biotechnology, 337: 57-70.
  2. Lata C* and Shivhare R (2021) Engineering cereal crops for enhanced abiotic stress tolerance. Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, 87:63-83.  
  3. Yadav A, Sanyal I, Rai S P and Lata C* (2021) An overview on miRNA-encoded peptides in plant biology research. Genomics 113:2385-2391.
  4. Soni P, Shivhare R, Kaur A, Bansal S, Sonah H, Deshmukh R, Giri J, Lata C* and Ram H* (2021) Reference gene identification for gene expression analysis in rice under different metal stress. Journal of Biotechnology 332:83-93. *Corresponding author
  5. Tiwari S, Muthamilarasan M and Lata C* (2021) Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of Arabidopsis GRAM-domain containing gene family in response to abiotic stresses and PGPR treatment. Journal of Biotechnology 325:7-14.
  6. Lata C, Mehrian-Shai R, Cao B, Kothapalli N R, Singh G, Friedman D A, Cheung F M-H, Richter W E, Kirshner S M, Beardsley F and Wu X-Y (2020) Funding fix: Spend time. Science 370 (6512), 30-31.
  7. Tiwari S, Gupta SC, Chauhan PS and Lata C* (2020) An OsNAM gene confers salt stress tolerance and phytohormone modulation in transgenic Arabidopsis and plays an important role in root-rhizobacteria interaction. Plant Cell Reports 40:143-155.
  8. Jatan R, Chauhan PS, and Lata C* (2020) High-throughput sequencing and expression analysis demonstrate the involvement of Pseudomonas putida RA-responsive microRNAs in growth and development of Arabidopsis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, 5468; doi:10.3390/ijms21155468
  9. Shivahre R, Lakhwani D, Asif MH, Chauhan PS, and Lata C* (2020) De novo assembly and comparative transcriptome analysis of contrasting pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) genotypes under terminal drought stress using illumina sequencing. The Nucleus  DOI: 10.1007/s13237-020-00324-1
  10. Shivahre R, Asif MH, and Lata C* (2020) Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals the genes and pathways involved in terminal drought tolerance in pearl millet. Plant Molecular Biology 103:639–652 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11103-020-01015-w
  11. Tiwari S, Shweta S, Prasad M, Lata C* (2020) Genome-wide investigation of GRAM-domain containing genes in rice reveals their role in plant-rhizobacteria interactions and abiotic stress responses. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 156:1243-1257 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.11.162
  12. Chauhan PS*, Lata C*, Tiwari S, Chauhan AS, Mishra SK, Agrawal L, Chakrabarty D, Nautiyal C (2019) Transcriptional alterations reveal Bacillus amyloliquefaciens-rice cooperation under salt stress. Scientific Reports 9(1):11912.
  13. Jatan R and Lata C* (2019) Role of microRNAs in abiotic and biotic stress resistance in plants. Proceedings   of the Indian   National   Science   Academy 85: 553-567.
  14. Shivhare R and Lata C* (2019) Assessment of pearl millet genotypes for drought stress tolerance at early and late seedling stages. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 41:39.
  15. Jatan R, Tiwari S, Asif MH and Lata C* (2019) Genome-wide profiling of miRNAs involved in Pseudomonas putida-mediated drought stress response in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Environmental and Experimental Botany 157: 217-227.

Books/Book chapters

  1. Jatan R and Lata C* (2021) Tripartite interactions: Plant-Pseudomonas putida –microRNAs in agricultural productivity. In: Microbes in Land Use Change Management; Singh JS, Tiwari S, Singh C & Singh AK  (Eds.), Elsevier, Netherlands p. 509-540. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-824448-7.00025-5
  2. Tiwari S, Lata C* and Prasad V (2021) Application of nanotechnology in overcoming salinity stress. In: Nanobiotechnology; Al-Khayri JM, Ansari MI & Singh AK (Eds.), Springer Nature, Switzerland, doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-73606-4
  3. Sen P, Lata C, Kiran K and Mondal TK (2021) RNA interference (RNAi) in functional genomics of wheat. In: Genome Engineering for Crop Improvement; Sarmah BK and Borah BK (Eds.) Springer Nature Switzerland AG p.239-264, ISBN 978-3-030-63372-1
  4. Tiwari S and Lata C (2020) Recent advancements in long noncoding RNA-mediated stress responses in rice. In: Long Noncoding RNAs in Plants: Roles in development and stress; Upadhyay SK (Ed) Elsevier, UK, p. 63.74.
  5. Tiwari S, and Lata C* (2019) Genome Engineering in Rice: Applications, Advancements and Future Perspectives. In: Molecular Approaches in Plant Biology and Environmental Challenges; Singh S, Upadhyaya SK (Eds.) Springer Nature pp Springer, Singapore pp 323-337 ISBN: 978-981-15-0689-5 .
  6. Tiwari S, Prasad V and Lata C* (2019) Bacillus: Plant growth promoting bacteria for sustainable agriculture and environment. In: New and Future Developments in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioengineering; Singh J S and Singh DP (Eds.), Elsevier pp 43-55 ISBN: 9780444641915.

*Corresponding author

Reports/Conference proceedings –

Lata C and Barman P (2021) Release of thematic luni-solar calendar “Food as Medicine”, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge 20(3) p. 875-876.


Conferences/Seminars/Workshops (2019 onwards)

  1. Invited Speaker in an Interdisciplinary Refresher Course in "Information Communication Technology" organized D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur on 5th October 2021.
  2. Invited Speaker at Faculty Lecture Series on “Plant Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge for Food Security” organized by CSIR-NIScPR, New Delhi on 21.09.2021.
  3. Invited Resource person/Speaker at a two-weeks workshop on “Plant Genetic Resources Management and Utilization” organized by ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi during 19th July to 1st August 2021.
  4. Invited Resource person/Speaker in a Seven day workshop on Research Methodology & Innovations in Life Sciences” organized D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur during 25th to 1st July 2021.
  5. Organized a webinar on International Day of Biological Diversity 2021 on 27th May 2021 as the Coordinator.
  6. Organized a Special session on Release of Thematic Luni-Solar Calendar “Food as Medicine” on 13th April, 2021 as the Coordinator.
  7. Invited Speaker at International symposium on “Advances in Plant Biotechnology and Genome Editing” & 42nd Meeting of Plant Tissue Culture Association during 8th-10th April 2021.
  8. Coordinated Sustainable Development Vertical and Biodiversity Conclave at India International Science Festival 2020 organized by Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences & Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India in collaboration with Vijanana Bharati by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research during 22nd to 25th December, 2020.
  9. Attended the We-VIDYA Workshop on Introductory R for Data Science, organised by University of Cambridge in collaboration with NIPGR, DST-KIRAN and the Indian National Young Academy of Science (INYAS) with full scholarship from 14th-17th December, 2020.
  10. Invited Speaker at a webinar on “Pandemics and hunger: Mainstreaming millets for addressing food and nutritional security” organized by University of Hyderabad, Telangana on 08th June, 2020.
  11. Invited Speaker at Young Science Leader Programme organized by Department of Botany, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda on 19th July, 2020. The YouTube video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLHqgFtI-jw&t=5s
  12. Invited Speaker in the Refresher Course in Botany (Batch XIII) at CAS in Botany, University of Madras, Chennai on 09th October, 2020.
  13. Invited Speaker at Faculty Development Programme on "Innovation in Scientific Research Methods" organized by Kirori Mal College, New Delhi on 15th October, 2020.
  14. Invited Speaker at the International Conference on Genetics and Breeding at Ch. Charan Sigh University, Meerut during 4th - 6th December, 2019.
  15. Invited Speaker at The Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru Annual General Meeting at the University of Hyderabad from 8th - 10th November, 2019.
  16. Coordinator of a session and invited speaker at The National Frontiers of Science Meeting 2019 at Samod Bagh, Jaipur from November 6-8, 2019.
  17. Coordinated programme on National Technology Day at CSIR-NISCAIR on 13th May 2019 as Team member.
  18. Coordinated programme on World Environment Day at CSIR-NISCAIR on 4th June 2019 as Team member.
  19. Coordinated programme on International Day of Yoga Celebrations at CSIR-NISCAIR on 21st June 2019 as Coordinator. 
  20. Coordinated ICSTI-DST-NISCAIR Conference (19-20 September 2019) as a Team Member.
  21. Hosted a Book reading session on National Science Day at CSIR-NISCAIR on 28th February, 2020.


International participation & collaborations

  1. Worked as a Visiting Fellow (Indo-Australia Early & Mid-Career Researchers Fellowship 2016-17) during 21 June to 20 September 2017 at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
  2. Worked as Guest Research Fellow sponsored by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), GoI at Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany during 22 November – 11 December 2009.
  3. Attended 40th Keystone Symposia on Abiotic Stress Tolerance Mechanisms, Water and Global Agriculture at Keystone, Colorado, USA during 17 - 22 January, 2011.


  1. Organized a joint CSIR-NISCAIR and CSIR-AMPRI National Science Communication Orientation Training Program as Coordinator at Bhopal during 22-23 August, 2019.
  2. Attended one week training programme on Science Communication organized by CSIR-NISCAIR during 08-12 July 2019.
  3. Attended training programme on “Work-life balance for women scientists and officers” at HRDC, Ghaziabad from December 21-23, 2016.
  4. Attended training programme on “Emerging trends in science, technology and governance” at Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi from February 13-17, 2017.
  5. Attended the “Induction Training Programme for Scientists” organized by CSIR-HRDC, Ghaziabad from February 01-10, 2016


  • Guest Editor of the 3rd Special Issue of Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy (PINSA) by the Indian National Young Academy of Science (INYAS).
  • Interview covered as Face of the Month in BioStandups http://www.biostandups.com/face-of-the-month/.
  • Associate (2019-2022) of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, India
  • SERB Early Career Research Award 2018 by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Government of India.
  • Indo-Australia Early & Mid-Career Researchers Fellowship 2016-17 supported jointly by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi, India and Department of Science & Technology (DST), GoI.
  • Founding member (2015-2020) of the INYAS, New Delhi, India.
  • Grant of Special Honorarium with effect from January 01, 2015 till 2026 by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) as performance linked incentive.
  • INSA Medal for Young Scientists 2014 by INSA, New Delhi, India.
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI), Allahabad, India.
  • Member of the International Society of Environmental Botanists, Lucknow, India
  • SERB Women Excellence Award 2014 by SERB, GoI.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Agricultural and Allied Sciences-2012 conferred by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, India.
  • NASI Young Scientist Platinum Jubilee Award (2012) the NASI, Allahabad, India.
  • INSPIRE Faculty Award (2011) by DST, GoI.
  • Dr D S Kothari Postdoctoral Fellowship 2012 by UGC, GoI (not availed).
  • DBT Research Associateship (2011) by DBT, GoI (not availed).
  • Member of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), India.
  • International Travel Grant (2010) from DST, GoI.
  • CSIR Foreign Travel Grant 2010 from CSIR, GoI (not availed).
  • Joint CSIR-UGC Junior Research Fellowship 2007 (Net + JRF) in Life Sciences.
  • CEEB-JNU Fellowship from DBT, GoI for Post-Graduation in Agricultural Biotechnology (2005 - 2007).
  • Summer Research Fellowship for Life Sciences (May to July 2006) from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru.
  • University Gold Medal, Merit Scholarship & two Memorial Cash Awards (2001-2005) by the Assam Agricultural University, India for standing first in order of merit in BSc (Agri.).

Designation Hierarchy: Senior Scientist & Head Traditional Knowledge Studies