Scientist Profile

Dr T. R. Sharma

Dr T. R. Sharma

Executive Director

Date of Joining: 09 Jan 2017

+91 172 522 1106

Genomics, Plant Biotechnology and Plant Disease Resistance

Obtained Post Doctorate training on Genome analysis and bioinformatics at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY, USA.

Dr. T. R. Sharma, is working as the Executive Director, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali (An autonomous Institute of Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India) w.e.f. January 2017 till date and Chief Executive Officer (additional charge), Centre of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (A National Institute of Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India), Mohali, Punjab w.e.f. Aug, 2017 till date.  Before joining NABI, Dr. Sharma was Project Director at the ICAR- National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa Campus, New Delhi (April 2014- January 7, 2017), OSD of the ICAR- Indian Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Ranchi (June 2015 –January 7, 2017) and Coordinator of ICAR- Network Project on Transgenic Crops (a multi institutional project) w.e.f. June, 2015 to January 2017. He also worked as Senior Scientist and Principal Scientist (Biotechnology) at the ICAR National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa Campus, New Delhi from 1999 to 2014.

Dr. T. R. Sharma has contributed extensively to the improvement of rice for over 28 years. His most significant contributions include,   mapping, cloning & functional validation of a new Rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae) resistance gene Pi-kh (Pi54) from a unique source,   which activates complex defense mechanism in the host.  He has also mined two new alleles Pi54rh and Pi54of   from wild rice, which are highly resistant to rice blast. He has also successfully mapped a novel QTL qSBR11-1, which has been transferred to Basmati type rice varieties for imparting resistance to sheath blight. Besides, he has contributed to the sequencing, genome assembly and annotation of   6.7 Mb of rice genome, half arm of chromosome 5 of tomato, and Pigeonpea & Mango genomes. He decoded the genomes of   25 races of wheat rust fungus Puccinia triticina, P. graminis tritici and P. striiformis, and rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Dr. Sharma has also developed robust DNA makers tightly linked to blast resistance gene Pi54 which are being used extensively in India and in different countries to improve rice varieties for blast resistance.  The resistance lines of mega rice varieties, Pusa Basmati -1, Swarna and BPT5204 and more than 20 regional varieties containing Pi54 gene are at various stages of testing and commercial release across India. He was   associated in the development of two new rice varieties, Pusa 1637 (containing blast resistance gene Pi9 and released for cultivation in Punjab, Haryana and western Utter Pradesh in 2016) and HPR2880 (containing blast resistance gene Pi54 and Pita and released for cultivation in Himachal Pradesh in 2016). Rice blast results in loss of US$ 40.9 million annually in South-East Asia which will be minimized through these resistant varieties.

Dr. Sharma has filed 8 Indian patents out of those, one patent (no. 308533) has already been granted by the Indian Patent-office. He has published more than 140 research papers in the journal of national and international repute. Dr. Sharma is actively involved in teaching and has already guided 21 Ph.D students from P.G. School, IARI, New Delhi and other Universities. He is also the Chief Editor of the journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology since 2009. He has visited USA, Canada, UK, Japan, The Philippines, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Austria in connection with post-doctoral trainings and various official assignments.

Understanding molecular basis of plant immunity, decoding genomes of various species and comparative genome analysis among different crops.

  1. Gupta SK, Rai AK, Kanwar SS, Chand D, Singh NK, Sharma TR (2012) The single blast resistance gene Pi54 activates complex defense mechanism in rice. J Exp Bot 63:757-772

  2. Kiran, K., Rawal, H. C., Dubey, H., Jaswal, R., Devanna, B. N……..Sharma, T. R (2016) Draft genome of the wheat rust pathogen (Puccinia triticina) unravels genome-wide structural variations during evolution Genome Biol Evol(2016) doi: 10.1093/gbe/evw197.

  3. International Rice Genome Sequencing Consortium (Matsumoto..A.K. Tyagi...N. K. Singh,.. T R Sharma et al.)(2005) The map-based sequence of the rice genome. Nature 436: 793-800

  4. Sharma TR, Madhav MS, Singh BK, Shanker P, Jana TK, Dalal V, Pandit A, Singh A, Gaikwad K, Upreti HC, Singh NK (2005) High-resolution mapping, cloning and molecular characterization of the Pi-k(h) gene of rice, which confers resistance to Magnaporthe grisea. Mol Genet Genomics 274: 569-578.

  5. The Tomato Genome Consortium (Sato S, Tabata, .... ..A.K. Tyagi... J.P. Khurana.....T.R. Sharma.. ..N.K. Singh...R. Wing.) (2012) The tomato genome sequence provides insights into fleshy fruit evolution. Nature 485: 635-641

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A) Elected fellow of the national Academies

  • Fellow, Indian Nation Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi : 2012
  • Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (NASI)  Allahabad : 2007
  • Fellow, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) : 2007
  • Associate, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences(NAAS) : 2005

 B) National and International Awards

  • Recipient of University Gold Medal for Ph.D -1990
  • Young Scientist Award (Plant Protection Sciences) NAAS -1998
  • ICAR Young Scientist Award (Crop Sciences) -1999
  • Prof. Umakant Sinha Memorial Award in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Indian Science Congress Association- 2001   
  • International Technology Award, World Technology Network(As a member of rice genome sequencing team) -2003
  • DBT National Bioscience Award -2007
  • NAAS Recognition Award -2008
  • Most Admired Researcher Award (Human Genome Meeting at Bangalore  organized by a professional society - 2008
  • VASVIK Award in Agricultural Science and Technology -2011
  • ICAR- Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award  for Outstanding contributions in Crop and Horticultural Sciences 2011
  • Mundkur Memorial Lecture Award of  Indian Phytopathological Society- 2012
  • NASI – Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Awards for APPLICATION ORIENTED INNOVATIONS for the year 2013 in Biological Sciences (2013)
  • JC Bose National Fellow, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India (2013)
  • Prof MGK Menon Lecture Award (NASI) 2016.
  • Prof. Bishan Singh Samundari Memorial lecture award (Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar) -2017-18
  • Prof. K.S. Bilgrami Memorial  Medal (INSA)-2018

 C) Fellowships/Scholarship

  • Recipient of  Post-Doctoral- Fellowship of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada 1995-96.
  • Awarded Biotechnology Overseas Associateship of Govt. of India (1993 - 94)
  • Recipient of Dr. K.S. Krishnan Research Fellowship (BARC) from April,1988 to April,1991
  • Holder of University Merit Scholarship during  Ph.D.(January to March,1988)
  • ICAR Junior Fellowship during M.Sc. (1985-87)
  • Recipient of National Merit Scholarship during B.Sc. (1980-85)