Prof. C. Jayabaskaran



Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. 1981

Postdoctoral Research

University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.A. 1982-83
Biomedical Research Institute, U.S.A. 1983-84

Tel: +91-80-22932482, +91-80-23600118


  • Secondary metabolites of plant and microbial origin (Taxol, terpenoid indole alkaloids, tropane alkaloids and thrombin inhibitors)
  • Endophytic fungal (Plant and marine algae associated) signal-transduction pathway components: Protein kinases and transcription factors

Research in my laboratory is being carried out on two key areas of applied biosciences namely pharmaceutical molecules from plant/cell-culture/microbial systems and signaling components of secondary metabolite synthesis.

Numerous pharmaceuticals currently on the market are based on plant-derived compounds. Almost all of these molecules have a very high degree of complexity in their structures which renders their chemical synthesis commercially infeasible. As a result, many of these compounds are still isolated from whole plants or parts thereof, this being the only production method feasible at desired scales. The exploitation of cell-culture systems and biotechnological production of these complex molecules has been limited thus far owing largely to the lack of knowledge on their biosynthesis. The major focus of my research group is to increase the contents of Taxol (one of the most celebrated anticancer drugs), tropane alkaloids (mainly scopolamine and hyoscyamine, highly effective anticholinergic drugs) terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs; mainly vincristine and vinblastine, antineoplastic drugs at par with taxol in efficacy) and anti-thrombotic drugs in endophytic fungi. So far, research in this area in my laboratory has been carried out using some of the frontline biotechnologically important organisms like a taxol-producing endophytic fungus Fusarium solani, terpenoid indole alkaloid producing plant Catharanthus roseus and tropane alkaloid producing plant Datura metel. In principle, these studies are centered on four major research themes viz. (i) Studying the genes involved in the biosynthesis of these compounds; (ii) Investigating the effects of elicitors for yield enhancement in cell culture systems, etc.; (iii) Analyzing the biochemical characterizations of their recombinant biosynthetic enzymes and (iv) Development of transgenic organisms and/or cell culture systems for improving their production by genetic and metabolic engineering approaches.

The second area involves cloning, identification, characterization and overexpression of genes of signal transduction involved in secondary metabolite and plant stress-signaling pathways such as protein kinases and transcription factors. Our research on an economically important crop chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) has shown the differential expression of CaCPK1 and CaCPK2 genes in its various organs and in response to various phytohormones as well as biotic and abiotic stresses, thus implicating these two genes in the stress physiology of this important crop. Isolation of transcription factor genes from Datura metel has also been achieved. Research work is underway to overexpress these genes in their respective systems to improve production of secondary metabolites as well as to develop transgenic chickpea for enhanced tolerance/resistance to abiotic/biotic stresses

 Lab Members

 Key Publications

  • Gini C Kuriakose, Satpal Singh, Pradumn K. Rajvanshi, William R. Surin and C Jayabhaskaran. (2014) In vitro cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction in human cancer cells by culture extract of an endophytic Fusarium solani strain isolated from Datura metel L. Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta (In Press).
  • Kusari, S., Singh, S., and Jayabaskaran, C. (2014) Rethinking production of Taxol® (paclitaxel)using endophyte biotechnology. Trends in Biotechnology (In Press).
  • Kusari, S., Singh, S., and Jayabaskaran, C. (2014) Biotechnological potential of plant-associated endophytic fungi: Hope versus Hype. Trends in Biotechnology DOI:
  • Chakravarthi, B.V.S.K, Sujay, R., Kuriakose, G.C., Karande, A.A., and Jayabaskaran, C. (2013) Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis-inducing activity of fungal taxol and its precursor baccatin III purified from endophytic Fusarium solani. BMC Cancer Cell International. 13:105 (doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-13-105).
  • Kuriakose, G.C., Krishna, T.H.A., Gudde, R.S., Jayabaskaran, C., and Surin, W.R., (2013) Thrombin-Inhibitory activity of aqueous leaf and flower extract of Catharanthus roseus. International Journal of General Medicine and Pharmacy. 2:11-18.
  • Anbu, S., Kamalraj, S., Jayabaskaran, C., and Mukherjee P. S., (2013) Naphthalene Carbohydrazone Based Dizinc(II) Chemosensor for a Pyrophosphate Ion and Its DNA Assessment Application in Polymerase Chain Reaction Products. Inorganic Chemistry. 52: 8294-8296
  • Soama, P.S., Singha, T., Vijayvergiaa, R., and Jayabaskaran, C. (2013) Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry based profile of bioactive compounds of Cucumis callosus, Euro J Exp Bio 3(1):316-326
  • Dixit A.K. and Jayabaskaran C. (2012) Phospholipid mediated activation of calcium dependent kinase 1(CaCDPK1) from Chickpea: a new paradigm of regulation. PLoS ONE 7(12) e51591.
  • Dixit A.K. and Jayabaskaran C. (2012) Molecular cloning, soluble expression and characterization of autophosphorylation in recombinant Calcium Dependent Protein Kinase 1(CaCDPK1) from Cicer arietinum. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 97:3429-3439.
  • Srideshikan S. M., Vanishree V L, Jayabaskaran C (2012) Biochemical characterization of a recombinant Swainsona canescens calcium-dependent protein kinase (ScCPK1); Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 54: 27-33
  • Soama, P.S., Singha, T., Vijayvergiaa, R., and Jayabaskaran, C. (2012) Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Aided Metabolite Profiling of Citrullus colocynthis a Medicinal Plant of Desert. Journal of Pharmacy Research 5(8), 4541-4547
  • Roy M, Chakravarthi, B.V.S.K., Jayabaskaran C., Karande AA and Chakravarty AR (2011) Impact of metal binding on the antitumor activity and cellular imaging of a metal chelator cationic imidazopyridine derivative; Dalton Trans 40: 4855-4864