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Ajay Kohli
Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory
Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology
International Rice Research Institute
DAPO 7777, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: +632 580 5600 Xtn. 2764
a.kohli@cgiar.org
, ajakoy@gmail.com
EDUCATION
Ph.D. Biology July 1998 John Innes Centre, UEA, Norwich, UK
M.Tech. Appl. Biol. Feb. 1989 Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India
M.Sc. Botany July 1987 Lucknow University, Lucknow, India
B.Sc. Biology Aug. 1985 Lucknow University, Lucknow, India
APPOINTMENTS
Present
09/08 - Senior Scientist International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Molecular Biology) Los Banos, Philippines
05/09 - Adjunct Professor University of Philippines
Dept. of Mol. Biol. & Biochem. UPLB, Philippines
09/09 - Visiting Fellow Newcastle University
(Honorary) School of Biology, Newcastle, UK
08/08 - Visiting Fellow University of Western Australia
(Honorary) School of Agriculture, Perth, Australia
Past
09/04 – 08/08 University Research Fellow Newcastle University
School of biology, Newcastle, UK
08/03 – 08/04 Faculty Scientist University of Washington
Medical School, Seattle, USA
05/02 – 05/03 Research Scientist Regulome Corporation
Seattle, USA
02/02 – 05/02 Consultant Fraunhofer Inst. for Molecular Biotechnology
Schmallenberg, Germany
02/98 – 02/02 Project Leader John Innes Centre
Molecular Biotechnology Unit, Norwich, UK
01/93 – 07/95 Research Assistant International Rice Research Institute
Plant Molecular Biology Lab., Los Banos,
Philippines
04/91 – 12/92 Research Technician Intnl. Centre for Genetic Engg. Biotech.
(ICGEB) New Delhi, India
07/89 – 03/91 Senior Research Fellow Jawaharlal Nehru University
Genetic Engineering Unit, New Delhi, India
04/88 – 12/88 Project Trainee Indian Institute of Science
Molecular Biophysics unit, Bangalore, India
RESEARCH AND TEACHING
My research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms of tolerance to abiotic stresses; with particular focus
on genes/QTLs governing drought tolerance and identify candidate genes for use in marker assisted selection to
enhance drought tolerance. Another area of interest gaining grounds is the developmental role of germin-like
proteins (GLPs), one of which we have characterized as essential for rice endosperm development and which
affects early vigor. I work very closely with rice breeders and use elite germplasm identified or generated by them.
Earlier, I have successfully participated in and led large international teams. We use interdisciplinary approach
including molecular biology, biochemistry, -omics technologies and bioinformatics. I regularly train graduate and
postgraduate students. Till date I have supervised 20 pre-PhD and 6 PhD projects. I have 4 years experience
teaching 7 modules to Master’s degree students at the Newcastle University, UK.
RECOGNITION AND AWARDS


Academic Leadership



Group
Leader
Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory, International Rice Research
Institute, Manila, Philippines

Oct. 2008 - present
Group
Leader
Molecular Agriculture, School of Biology, Newcastle University,
Newcastle, UK

Sep. 2004-Sep. 2008
Leader For a 9-lab, 6-country consortium on Jatropha Biodiesel.

Jul. 2005-Jul. 2008
Theme
Leader
Genes and Environment, Institute for Research on Environment
and Sustainability, Newcastle

Jul. 2005-Sep. 2008
Section
Leader
Energy Biosciences – Joseph Swan Energy Research Institute,
Newcastle, UK

Sep. 2007-Sep. 2008
Project
Leader
For the UK lab on a 6-nation EU consortium project on transposon
insertion-mediated saturation mutagenesis of rice

Jan. 1998-Mar. 2002
Reviewer



Articles
for 26
journals

Nature Biotechnology, PNAS–USA, Heredity, Plant Journal, Plant
Physiology, Plant Biotechnology Journal, Transgenic Research,
Biotechniques, Molecular Breeding, Planta, Plant Molecular
Biology, Molecular Genetics and Genomics, Theoretical and
Applied Genetics, Plant Cell Reports, Plant Science, Journal of
Biotechnology, Plant Methods, Food and Agricultural Chemistry,
Rice, Field Crops Research, Canadian Journal of Microbiology,
Diversity, Current Science, Revista Cientifica UDO Agricola-
Venezuela; Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science, Plant
Breeding.

Since 1998
Grants

Proposals to the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences
Research Council (BBSRC), UK-India Education and Research
Initiative (UKIERI) and French National Research Agency
“Biotechnology and Bioresource Engineering (ANR-BBE)

Since 2005
Thesis External examiner for a Ph.D. thesis submitted to the department of
Plant Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia

Committees and Board Memberships


April, 2011
Member

Member
Institute Biosafety Committee, IRRI

Executive Council, Asia Oceania Human Proteome Organization
representing the Philippines

Apr. 2011 -

Jan. 2010–Dec. 2012
Chairman IRRI Seminar Committee

Jan. 2009-Dec. 2010
Convener Molecular Biology – International Rice Genetics Conference,
Manila, Philippines
Nov. 16-19. 2009

Member

Scientific Committee - IRC 2010, Hanoi, Vietnam


Jan. 2010-May 2010
Co-Chair Molecular Biology & -Omics Technologies, International Rice
Conference 2010, Hanoi, Vietnam


Nov. 8–12, 2010

Organizer Symposium - Future of Multigene & Targeted Gene Delivery in
Crop Plants. IRRI, Philippines

May 11–13, 2009
Member IRRI Expedition to Colombia and Brazil - status of rice revolution in
Latin America

Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2010
Member Expert Committee, Jatropha - European Commission Research
Directorate - E (Food Agriculture and Biotechnology). EC Offices,
Brussels

Dec. 7 – 8, 2007

Member Strategic Research Committee – School of Biology, Newcastle
University, Newcastle , UK

May 2005-Sep. 2008
Member Scientific Advisory Panel Nandan Biomatrix, Pvt. Ltd. Hyderabad

Sep. 2005-Sep. 2008
Member Scientific Advisory Panel ‘Scientity Ltd.” Newcastle, UK

Sep. 2006-Sep. 2008
Member Scientific Advisory Panel, Helix Genomics, Hyderabad, India

Jan. 2006–Dec. 2008
Member Advisory Committee, International Symposium “Light and Life”
University Hyderabad, India

Aug. 20-31, 2007
Member Northern Food Industry Innovation Network, Newcastle, UK

Jan. 2006-Sep. 2008
Member Editorial Board- Transgenic Research

Jan. 1999–Dec. 2003

Invited Talks



Plenary



Keynote
Synergies between molecular and cellular biology. 6
th
Asia-Pacific
Organization for Cell Biology International Congress (6APCOB),
Manila, Philippines.

The 9
th
MICROSPHIL Scientific Conference and General
Assembly, IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines.

Feb. 25–28, 2011



May 27-28, 2010
Invited Cold Spring Harbor Banbury Conference - Large scale planting of
transgenic crops in Asia: policy, scientific advances, regulatory
considerations and economic benefits. Suzhou, China

Nov. 1-4, 2009
Invited Jatropha International Congress, Grand Copthorne, Singapore

Dec. 17-18, 2008
Invited Research methods in Jatropha improvement. Barwale Research
Foundation, Jalna, India.

Jan. 12–25, 2008
Invited British Council Brazil sponsored Café Sceintifique Discussion on
Biofuels.

Nov. 28, 2007
Invited

Rice – Future Research Strategies. University of Delhi, India

Jul. 16-17, 2007
Invited

BioAsia 2007, Scientific & Commercial conf., Hyderabad, India.

Feb. 17, 2007
Invited

Parco Technologico Padano, Lodi, Italy.

Nov. 2, 2006
Invited Department of Biotechnology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
India.

May. 15, 2006
Invited

School of Biology, SK University, Anantpur, India. June 6, 2005




Awards


Awarded




Awarded




Awarded




Semi-
finalist

Best Paper – “A Developmentally Upregulated Rice Germin-Like
Protein: A Bifunctional Essential Gene”, during the 21
st
conference
of the Federation of Crop Science Societies of Philippines (FCSSP)
May 9-12, La Piazza Convention Center, Legazpi, Philippines.

As supervisor of the Best M.Sc. Thesis award to NCQ Binh by
UPLB chapter of ΓΣΔ Agriculture Honor Society-USA, for
‘Molecular and biochemical characterization of germin-like protein
in rice’

As supervisor of the Best M.Sc. Thesis award to Rowena Oane by
the Philippines Department of Science and Technology, for
‘Transcription factor NAM: A major candidate gene in the large
effect QTL for rice yield under reproductive drought stress’

The Research Councils UK Business Plan Competition

May, 2011




Feb., 2011




Nov., 2010




June, 2006
Awarded The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
(BBSRC) Exceptional Performance Award (EPA) for 2 consecutive
years

Feb., 1998-1999
Feb., 1999-2000
Awarded Department for International Development (DFID) UK, graduate
studentship for Ph.D.

Jul. 1995-Dec. 1997
Awarded Department of Biotechnology, Government. of India, Senior
Research Fellowship

Jul. 1989-Mar. 1991
Awarded Department of Science and Technology, Government. of India,
Junior Research Fellowship - M.Tech.

Jul. 1987-Feb.1989
Development Courses

(Two days to two weeks intensive, executive crash courses)


Attended Training for Quality Assurance Managers and Trial Personnel for
Confined Field Trials and Field Testing

June 22-25, 2010

Introducing Management, Effective scientific writing, Effective time-
management, Facing the media-training. Line managers training,
Training course on automated DNA sequencing on MegaBase
1500, Training course on SELDI-TOF proteomics suite, Training
course on Progenesis – 2D gel analysis software, Training Course
for Affymetrix microarray, Radioactive material safety and Fire
safety training

1998-2008





PUBLICATIONS

*Corresponding author


Year

No

Authors

Title

Journal

1996 1 Kohli A, Ghareyazie B, Kim HS,
Khush GS, Bennett J
Cytosine methylation implicated in silencing of
b-glucuronidase gene in transgenic rice.
Rice Genetics III 825-
828

2 Oard JH, Linscombe SD,
Braverman MP, Jodari F, Blouin
Leech M, Kohli A, Vain P, Cooley
JC, Christou P

Development, field evaluation, and agronomic
performance of transgenic herbicide resistant
rice
Molecular Breeding
2: 359-368.
1998 3 Vain, P., Worland, B., Kohli A,
Snape, J., Christou, P.
The green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a vital
screenable marker in rice transformation.

Theoretical Applied
Genetics 96: 164-169.

4 Vain, P., Worland, B., Clarke,
M.C., Richard, G., Beavis, M.,
Kohli A, Leech, M., Snape, J.,
Christou, P. and Atkinson, H.

Expression of an engineered cysteine
proteinase inhibitor (Oryzacystatin-I D86) for
nematode resistance in transgenic rice plants.
Theoretical Applied
Genetics 96: 266-271.
5 Arencibia A, Gentinetta E, Cuzzoni
E, Castiglione S, Kohli A, Vain P,
Leech M, Christou P Sala F

Molecular analysis of the genome of
transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants
produced via particle bombardment or intact
cell electroporation

Molecular Breeding
4: 99-109.
6 Kohli A*, Leech M, Vain P, Laurie
D, Christou P
Transgene organization in rice engineered
through direct DNA transfer supports a two-
phase integration mechanism mediated by the
establishment of integration hot spots.

Proc. National Acad. of
Sciences -USA.
95: 7203-7208.

1999 7 Kohli A*, Griffiths S, Palacios N,
Twyman RM, Vain P, Christou P
Molecular characterization of transforming
plasmid rearrangements in transgenic rice
reveals a recombination hotspot in the CaMV
35S promoter and confirms the predominance
of microhomology-mediated recombination.

Plant Journal
17: 591-601.
8 Kohli A*, Gahakwa D, Vain P,
Laurie DA, Christou P
Transgene expression in rice engineered
through particle bombardment: molecular
factors controlling stable expression and
transgene silencing

Planta
208: 88-97.
9 Vain P, Worland B, Kohli A,
Snape JW, Christou P, Allen JC
Thompson WF
Matrix attachment regions increase transgene
expression levels and stability in transgenic
rice plants and their progeny.

Plant Journal
18: 233-242.
10 Tang K, Tinjuangjun P, Xu Y, Sun
X,Gatehouse JA, Ronald PC, Qi
H, Lu X, Christou P, Kohli A*
Particle bombardment-mediated co-
transformation of elite Chinese rice cultivars
with genes conferring resistance to bacterial
blight and sap sucking insect pests.

Planta
208: 552-563.
2000 11 Gahakwa D, Maqbool SB, Fu X,
Sudhakar D, Christou P, Kohli A*
Transgenic rice as a system to study the
stability of transgene expression: Multiple
heterologous transgenes show similar
behaviour in diverse genetic backgrounds.

Theoretical Applied
Genetics 101: 388-399.
12 Fu X, Duc LT, Fontana S, Bong B,
Sudhakar D, Tinjuangjun P,
Christou P, Kohli A*
Particle bombardment-mediated delivery of
minimal transgene cassette leads to
generation of transgenic rice with simple
integration patterns.

Transgenic Research
9: 11-19.

13 Fu X, Kohli A, Twyman RM,
Christou P
Multiple silencing mechanisms affect three
gene single-copy locus in rice and involve
distinct non-spreading cytosine methylation.

Molecular Genetics
Genomics 263: 106 118.










2001 14
Kohli A, Xiong J, Greco R,
Christou P, Pereira A
Tagged Transcriptome Display (TTD) in indica
rice using Ac transposition.

Molecular Genetics
Genomics 266: 1-11.
15 Greco R, Ouwerkerk PBF, Sallaud
C, Kohli A, Colombo L,
Puigdomenech P, Guiderdoni E,
Christou P, Pereira A

Transposon insertional mutagenesis in rice.
Plant Physiology
125: 1175-1177.
2002 16 Twyman RM, Stoger E, Kohli A,
Christou P
Foreign DNA: integration and expression in
transgenic plants

Genetic Engineering
Principles and Practice
24, Plenum Press NY,
pp107-136.

17 Twyman RM, Stoger E, Kohli A,
Capell T, Christou P
Selectable and screenable markers for rice
transformation.

Molecular Methods of
Plant Analysis II
Springer NY. 1-18

18 P. Christou et al. No credible scientific evidence is presented to
support claims that transgenic DNA was
introgressed into traditional maize landraces in
Oaxaca Mexico.

Transgenic Research
11: iii-v.
2003 19 Twyman RM, Kohli A* Crop improvement and biotechnology:
Insertional and transposon mutagenesis

Encyclopedia of Appl
Plant Sciences
Elsevier. pp122-130.

20 Kohli A*, Twyman RM, Abranches
A, Wegel E, Christou P, Stoger E
Transgene integration, organization and
interaction in plants.
Plant Mol. Biology
52: 247-258.

2004 21 Kohli A, Prynne MQ, Berta M,
Pereira A, Teresa Cappell,
Twyman RM, Christou (2004)
Dedifferentiation-mediated changes in
transposition behavior make the Activator
transposon an ideal tool for functional
genomics in rice.

Molecular Breeding
13: 177-191.

22 Opsahl-Sorteberg H-G, Nielsen
PS, Divon HH, Kalla R,
Hammond-Kosack M,Shimamoto
K, Kohli A

Identification of a 49 bp fragment of the
HvLTP2 promoter directing aleurone cell
specific expression.

Gene 341: 49-58.
23 Dorschner MO, Hawrylycz M,
Humbert R, Wallace JC, Shafer A,
Kawamoto J, Mack J, Hall R,
Goldy J, Sabo PJ, Li Q, Kohli A,
McArthur M, Stamatoyanopoulos
JA

High-throughput localization of functional
elements by quantitative chromatin profiling
Nature Methods
1: 219–225.
2005 24 Agrawal PK, Kohli A, Twyman
RM, Christou P,
Multiple gene transfer with minimal expression
cassettes promote independent cointegration
and stable coexpression in transgenic rice.

Molecular Breeding
16: 247- 260.
25 Altpeter F, Baisakh N, Beachy R,
Bock R, Capell T, Christou P,
Daniell H, Datta K, Datta S, Dix
PJ, Fauquat C, Huang N, Kohli A,
Mooibroek H, Nicholson L,
Nguyen TT, Nugent G,
Raemakers K, Romano A, Somers
D, Stoger E, Taylor N, Visser R.

Particle bombardment and the genetic
enhancement of crops: myths and realities.
Molecular Breeding
15: 305-327.

2006 26 Christou P, Capell T, Kohli A,
Gatehouse JA, Gatehouse AMR.

Recent developments and future prospects in
insect pest control in transgenic crops.
Trends in Plant
Sciences
11: 302-30

27
Kohli A, Capell T, Stoger E,
Abranches R, Melendi-Gonsalez
P, Christou P.

Variability and unpredictability of transgene
expression in plants.


Plant Signaling and
Behavior 1:185-195.

2008 28
Kohli A, Christou P
Stable Transgene bear fruit

Nature Biotech.
26: 5-6

29 Emani C, Jiang Y, Miro B, Hall TC,
Kohli A*
Rice
Compendium of
Transgenic Plants:
Transgenic Cereals and
Forage Grasses
Eds. Kole C and Hall TC.
pp: 1-47. Wiley-Blackwell.

30 Kohli A*, Popluechai S, Raorane
M, Syers KJ, O’Donnell AG.

Research needs to make Jatropha a viable
alternate oilseed crop.
Proc. Intl. Workshop on
Feasibility of Non-Edible
Oil Seed Crops for
Biofuel 25-27 May 2007,
MaeFah Luang Univ.,
ChiangRai, Thailand. Eds.
Syers & Wood MFLU
Publs. p 56-60.

2009 31 Kohli A*, Raorane M, Popluechai
S, Kannan U, Syers JK, O’Donnell
AG
Biofules: Jatropha curcas as a novel, non-
edible oilseed plant for biodiesel

Environmental Impact of
Genetically Modified
Novel Crops. Eds. Ferry
N and Gatehouse AMR.
pp. 294-322. CABI
Publishers.

32 Popluechai S, Breviario D, Mulpuri
S, Makkar HPS, Raorane ML,
Reddy AR, Palchetti E, Gatehouse
AMR, O’Donnell AG, Kohli A*

Narrow genetic and apparent phenetic
diversity in Jatropha curcas: initial success
with generating low phorbol ester interspecific
hybrids.
Nature Precedings
http://precedings.nature.c
om/documents/2782/versi
on/1

33 Kohli A*, Miro B, Twyman RM

Transgene integration, expression and stability
in Plants: strategies for improvements

Transgenic Crop Plants:
Principles and
Development. Kole,
Michler, Abbott & Hall.
Springer verlag. Pp 201-
238

2010 34 Narciso J, Oane RH, Popluechai
S, Gowda VRP, Enriquez B,
Hamida EO, Kumar A, Kohli A*
Cellulose synthase as a major candidate gene
in the large effect QTL for rice yield under
drought stress

The Philippine Journal
of Crop Science. 35: S1-
7
2011 35 Serraj

R, McNally K, Slamet-
Loedin I, Haefele S, Kohli A, Atlin
G, Kumar A

Drought Resistance Improvement in Rice: An
Integrated Genetic and Resource
Management Strategy

Plant Production
Science.
14: 1-14
36 Popluechai S; Froissard M; Jolivet
P; Breviario D; Gatehuse AMR;
O'Donnell A; Chardot T; Kohli A*
Jatropha curcas oil body proteome and
oleosins: L-form JcOle3 as a potential
phylogenetic marker

Plant Physiology and
Biochemistry
49: 352-356

37 Jagadish SVK, Kohli A,
Septiningsih E, Thompson M, Ye
G, Redoña E, Kumar A,
Wassmann R, Ismail A, Singh RK


Advances in adapting rice to a rapidly
changing climate

Journal of Agronomy
and Crop Science
Accepted
38 Raorane M., J.O. Narciso and A.
Kohli.
Total soluble protein extraction for improved
proteomic analysis of transgenic plants.
Methods in Molecular
Biology: Multigene
engineering in plants.
Eds. Twyman & Christou.
Springer Verlag.
Accepted.

39 Trijatmiko K.M., N. Oliva, M.
Raorane, I. Slamet-Loedin, and A.
Kohli.
Molecular Analysis of transgenic plants. Methods in Molecular
Biology: Multigene
engineering in plants.
Eds. Twyman & Christou.
Springer Verlag.
Accepted.

40 Raorane M., S. Popluechai,
A.M.R. Gatehouse and A. Kohli.
A proteomics perspective on understanding
and improving Jatropha curcas.
Compendium of
Bioenergy plants:
Jatropha.
Eds. Bahadur, B. & S.
Mulpuri. Science
Publishers, New
Hampshire USA. pp 101-
108.

41 Tsakirpaloglou

N, Raorane M,
Trijatmiko KR, Binh NCQ, Azanes
MD, Biswal AK, Enriquez B,
Narciso JO, Oane R, Treumann A,
Edwards M, Conrad L, Gatehouse
AMR, Sundaresan V, Slamet-
Loedin I, Kohli A.


A developmentally upregulated rice germin-like
protein: a bifunctional essential gene

The Philippine Journal
of Crop Science. 36: S1-
17