Arijit Mukherjee - Assistant Professor, AR P3 Center Co-Campus Lead - University of Central Arkansas, Conway

Phone: 501-450-5472 (Office)
Address: University of Central Arkansas I Department of Biology I 122 Lewis Science Center I Conway, AR 72035


University of Central Arkansas I Department of Biology
Campus champion for the Plant Imaging Consortium


 Cluster Identification:
- Plant Productivity ‘Set-Points’ Cluster
- Plant Interactions with Other Organisms Cluster

Research Areas/Expertise:
- Abiotic Stress
- Biofuels & Biobased Products
- Gene Regulation & Signal Transduction
- Plant Genetics/ Breeding
- Plant-Microbe Interactions
- Plant Tissue Culture
- Transcriptomics 

Research Summary | Selected Publications | Lab Members | Key Collaborators | Research Projects | Links

Research Summary:

Availability of water and plant nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus is the major limitation for plant growth in most natural and agronomic ecosystems.  This has led to an increasing dependence on nitrogen and phosphate based fertilizers. Besides the high cost of such fertilizers, health and ecological hazards are also associated with fertilizer treatments.  Therefore, it is imperative to find alternatives to fertilizers for sustainable agriculture, for producing renewable biofuels and for minimizing health and ecological hazards. One option is to take advantage of existing beneficial plant-microbe interactions.

The most economically and ecologically relevant are interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, rhizobia. In both these interactions, the plant benefits with improved nutrition (nitrogen in legume nodulation and phosphorus in mycorrhizal symbiosis) in return for carbohydrates to the microbes. While legume nodulation is restricted to plants from the legume family, mycorrhizal symbiosis is prevalent among more than 85% of land plants including cereals (maize, rice etc.). My goal is to better understand the microbial signals and signaling pathways governing the development of beneficial plant-microbe interactions (arbuscular mycorrhization and root nodule symbiosis) using different model systems and determine how these symbioses are regulated by stresses.

Selected Publications:

Mitra, S., Mukherjee, A., James, E.K., Wiley-Kalil, A., Das, S., Owen, H., Reddy, P.M., Ané, J.M., Prasad, G. (2014), Rhizobium sp. IRBG74 requires rhamnose rich LPS for endophytic colonization of rice and for nodulation of Sesbania cannabina, under review, Journal of Experimental Botany

Palmer, A., Senechal, A., Mukherjee, A., Ané, J.M., Blackwell, H. (2014), Plant Responses to Bacterial N-Acyl L-Homoserine Lactones are Dependent on Enzymatic Degradation to L-Homoserine, ACS Chemical Biology, DOI: 10.1021/cb500191a

Schnabel, E., Karve, A., Kassaw, T., Mukherjee, A., Zhou, X., Hall, T., Frugoli, J. (2012), The M. truncatula SUNN gene is expressed in vascular tissue, similarly to RDN1, consistent with the role of these nodulation regulation genes in long distance signaling, Plant Signaling and Behavior 7 (1): 4-6.

Mukherjee, A. and Ané, J.M. (2011), Plant Hormones and Initiation of Legume Nodulation and Arbuscular Mycorrhization, in Ecological Aspects of Nitrogen Metabolism in Plants (eds J. C. Polacco and C. D. Todd), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. pp 354-396.

Mukherjee, A. and Ané, J.M. (2011), Germinating spore exudates from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: molecular and developmental responses in higher land plants and their regulation by ethylene, Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 24:260-270.  

Schnabel, E.,* Mukherjee, A.,* Smith, L., Kassaw, T., Long, S.R., Frugoli, J. (2010), The lss supernodulation mutant of Medicago truncatula reduces expression of the SUNN gene, Plant Physiology. 154:1390-1402. *co-first authors

Goodrich-Blair, H., Ané, J.M., Bever, J.D., Bordenstein, S., Bright, M., Chaston, J.M., Clay, K., Currie, C.R., Douglas, A.E., Gerardo, N., Harrison, M.J., Ley, R.E., McFall-Ngai, M., Mukherjee, A., Rader, B., Raffa, K.F., Ruby, E.G., Saffo, M.B., Selosse, M.A., Sonnenburg, J.L., Stock, S.P., Suen, G., Turnau, K., Udvardi, M., Visick, K.L., Weis, V (2010), Symbiosis research, technology, and education: Proceedings of the 6th International Symbiosis Society Congress held in Madison Wisconsin, USA, August 2009, Symbiosis. 51:1-12.

Mukherjee, A. and Frugoli, J (2007), Advances in Legume/Rhizobial Symbiosis Research, in Recent Developments in Medicinal Plant Research, Capasso, A., Ed, Research Signpost Press, pp 373-392.

Lab Members:

  • Graduate Student: Ryan Hiltenbrand (M.S. expected in 2015, Biology, UCA)
  • Undergraduate Students Hannah Posey, David Zimulinda, Jackie Thomas, Austin Rockenhaus, Ashley Spurr, Aakash Rana, Jonathan Pennington, Shane Radford, Kasi Weathers (University of Central Arkansas)

Key Collaborators

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Research Projects

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