Faculty Profile

Dr. Pankaj Bhardwaj
Assistant Professor
Centre for Plant Sciences
School of Basic and Applied Sciences
Central University of Punjab
Bathinda- 151001
Email Id: pankajbhardwaj@cup.ac.in , pankajihbt@gmail.com 
Mobile: +919501686709

 
Education :
Degree University Subjects
Ph.D. CSIR-IHBT, Palampur Biotechnology (Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
M.Sc. Bangalore University, Bangalore and IAH& VB, Bangalore. Biotechnology
B.Sc. Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla Biotechnology
Experience :
Institute Position Period
Central University of Punjab Assistant Professor May 2011 - Till Date
Teaching Assignments :
  1. BSS 505. Genetics.
  2. BSS 508. Molecular Biology.
  3. BSS 526. Recombinant DNA Technology.
  4. MGE 501. Genetic Material.
  5. MGE 505. Principles of Genetics.
  6. MGE 507. Gene Expression and Regulation.
  7. BSS 605. Advanced Genetics.
  8. BSS 701. Advanced Genomics.
Research Projects :

Ongoing

  1. Analysis of genetic variations and population structure of Rhododendron, a Rare and endangered tree species in western Himalaya.
  2. Development and characterization of simple sequence repeat markers providing genome wide coverage and high resolution in Rhododendron arboreum.
  3. Differential gene expression in response to ultra-low temperature in Rhododendron arboreum by whole genome transcriptome.
Professional Recognition /Awards/Scholarship :
  1. DST Young Scientist award
  2.  CSIR-UGC NET
  3.  CSIR and DBT overseas travel award.
Peer Recognition :

Reviewer

  1. BMC Plant Biology
  2. Protoplasma
  3. Molecular Biology Reports
Area specializations/Research Interest :

Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Interested in finding out the various active gene networks in response to changing climatic conditions.

Plant tolerance to a particular heavy metal is governed by inter-related network of physiological and molecular mechanisms and understanding of these mechanisms is an important aspect for developing plants as agents of phytoremediation. Induction of metal chelating proteins related to phytochelatins (γ-glutamylcysteinyl isopeptides), and/or metallothioneins, which by modifying the cell metabolism increases the level of cell tolerance to excess metal ions. Phytochelatins (PC) are synthesized enzymatically from glutathione (GSH) in response to heavy metals. These proteins play an important role in detoxification by sequestering metals in plant cells. Further the induction of heat shock proteins by heavy metals protects membranes and proteins.
The main goal of my lab is to monitor the plant response to heavy metal accumulation in soil and to identify functional gene network linked to the heavy metal detoxification. In order to achieve this goal, we are studying the root and shoot transcriptome through expression profiling by NGS platform and subsequently differentially expressed peculiar genes in each species will be identified with real time PCR. Further expression pattern in the roots and shoots at gene levels will be quantified in response to heavy metal toxicity.

Physiological features of an organism when combined with its transcriptome sequence can deliver a thorough perception of the concerned molecular mechanisms, including novel gene products. The sequencing technologies, with more sensitive and dynamic approach for detecting even less abundant transcripts, have greatly enhanced our understanding about the underlying plant and metal related traits and their adaptation strategies to different environments by comparing differentially expressed genes in the hyper-accumulators.
Publications :

Research Papers 

  1. Development and characterization of genomic microsatellite markers in Rhododendron arboreum. Shruti Choudhary, Sapna Thakur, Ram Gopal Saini and Pankaj Bhardwaj*. Conservation Genetics Resources (2014), 6: 937-940
  2. Development and utilization of genomic and genic microsatellite markers in Assam tea (Camellia assamica spp. Assamica) and related Camellia species. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Rahul Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Rupinder Tewari, Paramvir Singh Ahuja and Ram Kumar Sharma. Plant Breeding (2013), 132: 748-763.
  3. SSR marker based DNA fingerprinting and diversity assessment in superior tea germplasm cultivated in western Himalaya. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Ram Kumar Sharma, Rahul Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Paramvir Singh Ahuja. Proceedings of Indian National Science Academy (2014), 80: 157-162.
  4. Identification, characterization and utilization of unigene derived microsatellite markers in tea (Camellia sinensis, L).Ram Kumar Sharma, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Renu Negi, Trilochan Mohapatra and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. BMC Plant Biology (2009), 9:53.
  5. Identification and cross-species amplification of EST derived SSR markers in different bamboo species. Vikas Sharma, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Rahul Kumar, Ram Kumar Sharma, Anil Sood, Paramvir Singh Ahuja. Conservation Genetics (2008), 10:721-724.
  6. AFLP based genetic diversity assessment of commercially important tea germplasm in India. Ram Kumar Sharma, Madan Singh Negi, Satish Sharma, Pankaj Bhardwaj and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. Biochemical Genetics (2009), 48:549–564. 
  7. Quantitative trait loci mapping for yield in tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze). Samson Kamunya, Ram Kumar Sharma, Richard Korir, Vikas Sharma, Rahul Kumar, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Richard Chalo, Parmvir Singh Ahuja. Tree Genetics and Genome (2010), 6: 915-929.
  8. Identification and cross species transferability of 112 novel unigene derived microsatellite markers in tea (Camellia sinensis L). Himanshu Sharma, Rahul Kumar, Vikas Sharma, Vishal Kumar, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Paramvir Singh Ahuja and Ram Kumar Sharma. American Journal of Botany (2011), 10.3732/ajb.1000525.
  9. India Hybrid Tea - an extraordinarily important event in the rapid origin and evolution, and widespread expansion of modern commercial tea - genetic structure and diversity among 1644 accessions and clones inferred by AFLP markers. Samoor Nath Raina, Paramvir Singh Ahuja, Ram Kumar Sharma, Pankaj Bhardwaj. Genetic Resource and Crop Evolution (2012), 59: 1527-1541.
  10. Identification and Characterization of 20 novel unigene derived microsatellite markers in Podophyllum hexandrum. Akshay Kumar, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Ram Kumar Sharma. Journal of Genetics (2012), 92:e2-e4.

Book Chapters

  1. Tea Applied Genomics: utilizing genetic variability and current genomic tools to enhance productivity. R. K. SharmaP. BhardwajR. KumarH. SharmaP. S. Ahuja Science of Tea Technology, Chapter: Tea Applied Genomics: utilizing genetic variability and current genomic tools to enhance productivity, Editors: P. S. Ahuja, pp.63- 88.
Workshop/Conferences :

Attended

  1. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Rahul Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Paramvir Singh Ahuja, Ram Kumar Sharma. Microsatellite Marker Development for efficient genotyping applications in tea. Plant and Animal Genome Conference XVIII 9th SanDiego, California, USA from Jan- 13th Jan 2010.

  2. Ram Kumar Sharma, Madan Singh Negi, Pankaj Bhardwaj and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. AFLP marker-assisted rationalization of Indian tea germplasm collections. Poster presented in Plant Biology & Botany-2007, Joint Congress, Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA between July 7 -11, 2007.
  3. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Ram Kumar Sharma, Renu Negi, Rupender Tewari and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. Chandigharh Science Congress held at Panjab University Chandigarh from March 14-25, 2008.
  4. Pankaj Bhardwaj, Rahul Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Vikas Sharma, Vishal Kumar, Rakesh Kumar Sud, Ram Kumar Sharma and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. SSR based genetic diversity assessment of tea collected from abandoned gardens of western Himalaya. Plant Propagation, Conservation, Modification and Characterization, National Symposium held at Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur from April 3-4, 2009.
  5. Vikas Sharma, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Rahul Kumar, Anil Chaudhary, Vishal Kumar, Anil Sood, Ram Kumar Sharma and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. Phylogenetic Analysis of bamboo species using EST-SSR Markers. Plant Propagation, Conservation, Modification and Characterization, National Symposium held at Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur from April 3-4, 2009.
  6. Ram Kumar Sharma, Vikas Sharma, Priyanka Gupta, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Vishal Kumar, Rahul Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Anil Sood and Paramvir Singh Ahuja. Molecular marker applications in bamboo-genetic diversity, phylogenetic and taxonomic inferences. Plant Propagation, Conservation, Modification and Characterization, National Symposium held at Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur from April 3-4, 2009.