Surinder Chopra, Ph.D.
- Ph.D., Plant Molecular Genetics, Vrije Univ. of Brussels, Belgium, 1993. Thesis: Molecular Analysis of the Expression of Aldolase and Sucrose Synthase Genes of Arabidopsis.
- M.S. Molecular Biology. Vrije Univ. of Brussels, Belgium, 1989. Thesis: Cloning and Characterization of Aldolase Gene of Arabidopsis.
- M.S. Plant Breeding and Genetics. Punjab Agric. Univ., Ludhiana, India. Thesis: Early Generation Selection for high yield, protein and oil in Brassica.
- 7/12-current. Professor, maize molecular genetics, Department of Plant Science, The Pennsylvania State University.
- 7/06–6/12. Associate Professor, maize molecular genetics. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.
- 7/00–7/06. Assistant Professor, maize molecular genetics. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University.
- 7/96–7/00. Associate Scientist. Department of Zoology and Genetics and Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University. Ames, IA.
- 9/93–6/96. Post Doctoral Res. Associate. Lab. of Dr. Thomas Peterson, Department of Zoology and Genetics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.
- 3/93–8/93. Visiting Research Fellow. Department of Horticulture, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA.
- 10/87–2/93. Graduate Research Assistant. Belgian Development and Cooperation scholarship, Lab. of Prof. Michele Jacobs, Vrije Univ. of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.
- 9/82–9/87. Graduate Research Assistant. Belgian Development and Cooperation scholarship, Lab. of Prof. Michele Jacobs, Vrije Univ. of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.
- 8/78–6/81. Junior Research Fellow. Dept of Plant Breeding, Punjab Agricultural. Univ, Ludhiana, India.
Responsibilities and Interests:
The goal of our research is to develop a better understanding of metabolic coordination and role of secondary metabolites in plant developmental process as well as plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. We use a flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in maize and sorghum as our model system. Our research has lead to the identification of a genetic factor that is involved in the biosynthesis of a class of plant flavonoid compounds, which act as anti-fungal agents in sorghum. These antifungal metabolites are also known as phytoalexins and in sorghum these compounds belong to the 3-deoxyanthocyanidin category. We are now generating sorghum and maize mutants and introgression lines/over expression breeding lines to understand the regulation of defense compounds. In addition to the biotic stress, we are screening and developing new sorghum accessions that are tolerant to colder climatic regions.
- 70% Research
- 30% Teaching
- AGRO/BIOTC 460 (3 credits) - Advances and Applications of Plant Biotech
- PLBIO 516 (2 credits) - Modern Techniques in Plant Molecular Biology
- HORT 497B (3 credits) - Genetics of Plant Metabolites: Plant and Human Health
Current Members of the Lab:
Iffa Gaffoor, Postdoctoral Research Associate, interaction of sorghum Phytoalexins with Colletotrichum sublineola.
- Kameron Wittmeyer, Graduate Student, Epigenetic Gene Regulation in maize.
- Qixian Tan, Graduate Student. Graduated in Summer 2016.
- Bin Liu, Graduate Student. Graduated in Sping 2016
- Dinakaran Elango, Graduate Student, Sorghum Phytoalexins
- Jin Cui, Graduate Student, Epigenetic Gene Regulation in maize.
- Debamalya Chatterjee, Graduate Student, Genome editing in maize and rice
- Xiaoyu Wang, Visiting Graduate Student, JiLin University, Cold tolerance Genetics and molecular biology in maize and sorghum
- YenTing Wu, Undergraduate Student
- Laura Reese, Undergraduate Student
- Cullen Dixon, Undergraduate Student
Past Lab Members:
- Rajandeep Sekhon, Graduate Student, Postdoctoral fellow. Current: Assistant Professor, Clemson University
- Vineet Sangar, Graduate student. Current: Research Scientist, Inst. Systems Biology, Seattle.
- Michael Robbins, Graduate Student, Postdoctoral Fellow. Current: Assistant Professor, Lock Haven University
- Farag Ibraheem, Graduate Student. Current: Faculty, University of Monsoura, Egypt.
- Jay Boddu, Postdoctoral Fellow. Current: Scientist, Monsanto, St Louis
- Weiya Xue, Postdoctoral Research Associate. Current: Research Associate, Plant Pathology, Penn State Univ.
- Rashmi Thakare, Visiting Scholar
- Sanjeev Deshpande, Visiting Borlaug Fellow, Department Chair, University of Ag. Sciences, Dharward, India
- Roach, E., Duicker, S., and Chopra S. 2016. Soil Management Affects Expression of Genes Involved in Carbon and Nitrogen Metabolism in Zea mays. Crop Science. In press.
Ibraheem, F., Gaffoor, I., Qixian, T., Ch-Ren S., and Chopra, S. 2015. A sorghum MYB transcription factor induces 3-deoxyanthocyanidins and enhances resistance against leaf blights in maize. Molecules. 20, 2388-2404; doi:10.3390/molecules20022388.
- Xin, Z., Wang, M., Chopra, S., and Wang, P. 2013 Gene mutagenesis systems and resources for the Saccharinae. Plant Genetics and Genomics. Crops and Models vol 11, pp 169-285.
- Rao, P. S., Prakasham, R. S., Rao, P. P., Chopra, S., & Jose, S. 2015. Sorghum as a Sustainable Feedstock for Biofuels. In Biomass and Biofuels: Advanced Biorefineries for Sustainable Production and Distribution, p27.
- Chopra, S. 2014. Techniques and Tools of Modern Plant Breeding: Field Crops. In Plant Biotechnology (pp. 25-33). Springer International Publishing.
- Gaffoor, I., & Chopra, S. 2014. Role of Biotechnology to Produce Plants Resistant to Fungal Pathogens. In Plant Biotechnology (pp. 169-177). Springer International Publishing.
- Ricroch, A., Chopra, S., & Fleischer, S. (Eds.). 2014. Plant Biotechnology: Experience and Future Prospects. Springer.
- Robbins, M., Roy, A., Wang, P., Gaffoor, I., Sekhon, R., Buanafina, M., Rohila,J., and Chopra, S. 2013. Comparative proteomics analysis by DIGE and iTRAQ provides insight into the regulation of phenylpropanoids in maize. J of Proteomics. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2013.06.018
- Sekhon, R., Sidorenko, L., Chandler, V., and Chopra, S. 2012. Maize unstable factor for orange1 is required for maintaining silencing associated with paramutation at the pericarp color1 and booster1 loci. PLOS GENETICS, 8 (10):e1002980 http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1002980
- Sharma, M., Chai, C., Morohashi, K., Grotewold, G., Snook, M., and Chopra, S. 2012. Expression of flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase is controlled by P1 the regulator of 3-deoxyflavonoid biosynthesis in maize. BMC Plant Biology 12(1):196. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2229/12/196
Henry, A., Chopra, S., Clark, D. G., & Lynch, J. P. 2012. Responses to low phosphorus in high and low foliar anthocyanin coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) and maize (Zea mays). Functional Plant Biology, 39(3), 255-265.
- Rhee, Y., Sekhon, R., Chopra, S. and Kaeppler, S. Tissue Culture-induced Novel Epialleles of a Myb Transcription Factor Encoded by pericarp color1 in Maize. Genetics, Sep 2010; doi:10.1534/genetics.110.117929.
- Ibraheem, F., Gaffoor, I., and Chopra, S. 2010. Induction of 3-deoxyanthocyanidin phytoalexin dependent resistance to anthracnose leaf blight requires a functional yellow seed1 inSorghum bicolor. Genetics, 184 (4): 915-926. http://www.genetics.org/content/vol184/issue4/cover.dtl
- Robbins, M., Wang, P., Sekhon, R., and Chopra, S. 2009. Gene structure induced epigenetic modifications of pericarp color1 alleles of maize result in tissue-specific mosaicism. PLOS One 4 (12):e8231.
- Rajandeep S Sekhon, and Chopra, S. 2009. Progressive Loss of DNA Methylation Releases Epigenetic Gene Silencing from a Tandemly Repeated Maize Myb Gene. Genetics, 181:81-91.
- Robbins, M.L., Sekhon, R.S., Meeley, R., & Chopra, S. 2008. A mutator transposon insertion is associated with ectopic expression of a tandemly repeated multicopy myb gene pericarp color1 of maize. Genetics 178: 1859–1874.
- Sekhon, R., Peterson, T., and Chopra S. 2007. Epigenetic modifications of distinct sequences of the p1 regulatory gene specify tissue-specific expression patterns in maize. Genetics 175: 1059–1070.
- Sekhon, R., Kuldau, G., Mansfield, M., Jones, A.D., and Chopra, S. 2007. Fusarium induced expression of 3-deoxyanthocyanidins in silks and kernels of maize. Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology. 69: 109–117.
Valdivia, E., Sampedro, J., Lamb, J., Chopra, S., and Cosgrove, D. 2007. Recent Proliferation and Translocation of Pollen Group 1 Allergen Genes in the Maize Genome. Plant Physiol. 143: 1269-1281.
- Boddu, J., Jiang, C., Sangar, V., Olson, T., Peterson, T., and Chopra, S. 2006. Comparative structural and functional characterization of sorghum and maize duplications containing orthologous Myb transcription regulators of 3-deoxyflavonoid biosynthesis. Plant Mol. Biol. 60: 185–199.
- Chopra, S., Hoshino, A., Boddu, J., and Iida, S. 2005. Flavonoid pigments as tools in molecular genetics. In The Science of Flavonoids. Ed. Erich Grotewold, Springer, New York.
- Boddu, J., Svabek, C., Ibraheem, F., Jones, A. D., and Chopra, S. 2005. Characterization of a deletion allele of sorghum yellow seed1 showing loss of 3-deoxyflavonoids. Plant Sci. 169: 542–552.
- Chang, R., Chopra, S., Peterson, P. 2005. Differential excision patterns of the En-transposable element at the A2 locus in maize relate to the insertion site. Mol. Genet. Genomics. 274: 189–195.
- Carvalho, C., Boddu, J., Zehr, U., Axtell, J., Pedersen, J., & Chopra, S. 2005. Functional characterization of excision and insertion events of Candystripe1 transposon using Y1 regulated pigmentation as a marker in sorghum. Genetica 124: 211–212.
- Boddu, J., Svabek, C., Sekhon, R., Gevens, A., Nicholson, R., Jones, D., Pedersen J., Gustine, D., and Chopra, S. 2004. Expression of a putative flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase in sorghum mesocotyls synthesizing 3-deoxyanthocyanidin phytoalexins, Physiol. Mol. Plant Path. 65: 101–113.
- Jiang, C., Gu, J., Chopra, S., Gu, X., & Peterson T. 2004. Ordered Origin of the Typical Two- and Three-Repeat Myb GenesM. Gene 326: 13–22.
- Chopra, S., Cocciolone, S., Bushman, S., Sangar, V., McMullen, M., & Peterson, T. 2003. A maize Unstable Factor for Orange1 is a dominant epigenetic modifier of tissue specifically silent allele of pericarp color1. Genetics 163:1135-1146.
- Chopra, S., Gevens, A., Svabek, C., Peterson, T., & Nicholson, R. 2002. Excision of the Candystripe1 transposon from a hyper-mutable Y1-cs allele shows that the sorghum Y1 gene controls the biosynthesis of both 3-deoxyanthocyanidin phytoalexins and phlobaphene pigments. Physiol. Mol. Plant Path. 60: 321–330.
- Zhang, P., Chopra, S., and Peterson T. 2000. A segmental gene duplication generated differentially expressed myb-homologous genes in maize. Plant Cell 12: 2311–2322.
- Chopra, S., Brendel, V., Zhang, J., Axtell, J. D., & Peterson, T. 1999. Molecular characterization of a mutable pigmentation phenotype and isolation of the first active transposable element from Sorghum bicolor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 96: 15330–15335.