Biotechnology
Senior Scientist
Climate Change Biology, Ecophysiology, Genomics/Epigenomics, Plant Molecular Biology
+918894661057 ; Office Ext. 401
05-06-1983
PhD with Prof. IA Janssens & Prof. H Asard (UA Belgium); Postdoc with Prof. J-K Zhu ( PSC Shanghai)

Plants are rooted to a fixed spot; hence they cannot escape episodes of environmental stress. We are broadly interested in exploring the intricacies of plant-environment interactions at various scales spanning from genes-to-plants-to-ecosystems (PlantAdaptOme). Our specific research interests lie to advance the mechanistic understanding of plant responses to global climate change factors such as rising atmospheric CO2, temperature, drought, and nutrient stress. Arabidopsis is being used as a model system to investigate molecular mechanisms underpinning stress adaptation, however, research findings will be extrapolated to plants of the Himalayan region – and vice versa. The ultimate goal of our research is to develop climate-resilient and resource-efficient plants by utilizing ecological, chemical, genetic engineering, and/or genome editing technologies.

Fellowships/Awards: -

•  NSFC-International Young Scientists Fund from Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), (2020-2021).
•  ORISE-Postdoctoral Fellowship from USDA-ARS at Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA (2019-2021, not availed).
•  GRC & GRS Travel Fund to attend Gordon Research Conference (GRC) in Italy (2017, not availed).
•  Postdoctoral Fellowship from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China (2015-2020).
•  Young Scientist Award nomination at 3rd International Plant Physiology Conference (IPPC), India (2015).
•  Ph.D. Fellowship from Flanders Science Foundation (FWO), Belgium (2010-2014).
•  Senior Research Fellowship from Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India (2008-2010).
•  Certificate of Merit from H.P. Board of School Education Dharamshala, H.P., India (1999).

Key Training Courses: -

•  “EMBL Advanced Course on Whole Transcriptome Data Analysis” at EMBL, Germany, (23rd-25th June 2015).
•  “Statistical Analysis of Omics Data” at Wageningen University, Netherlands (13th-17th Dec. 2010).
•  “Analysis of Public Microarray Data using Genevestigator” at VIB Ghent, Belgium (6th-9th Nov. 2012).
•  “Basic Principles of Statistics” at University of Antwerp, Belgium, (June-July 2012).
 
Editorial Roles: -

•  Feature Editor, Molecular Plant (Cell Press).
•  Associate Editor, Plant-Environment Interactions (P-EI, Wiley).
•  Associate Editor, CABI Agriculture and Bioscience (CABI, UK and BMC-Springer Nature).
•  Review Editor, Frontiers in Plant Science for “Plant Physiology Section”.
•  Review Editor, Frontiers in Genetics for “Plant Genomics Section”.

Science Outreach: -

•  Plantae Fellow 2019 (American Society of Plant Biology)
•  eLife Ambassador 2019

Articles: -

1.  Vipasha Verma, Gaurav Zinta and Kamlesh Kanwar. Optimization of efficient direct organogenesis protocol for Punica granatum L. cv. Kandhari Kabuli from mature leaf explants. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, 2020 (IF 1.81).

2. Mahmoud M.Y. Madany, Gaurav Zinta, Walid Abuelsoud, Samy Selim, Han Asard, Hamada AbdElgawad. Hormonal seed-priming improves tomato resistance against broomrape infection. Journal of Plant Physiology, 2020 10.1016/j.jplph.2020.153184, (IF 2.8).

3.  Vijay Bhaskarla, Gaurav Zinta#, Rebecca Ford, Mukesh Jain, Rajeev Varshney and Nitin Mantri. Comparative root transcriptomics provide insights into drought adaptation strategies in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020, 21(5), 1781, (#co-first authors), (IF 4.2).

4.  Hamada AbdElgawad#, Gaurav Zinta#, Badreldin A. Hamed, Samy Selim, Gerrit Beemster, Wael N. Hozzein, Mohammed A.M. Wadaan, Han Asard, Walid Abuelsoud. Maize roots and shoots show distinct profiles of oxidative stress and antioxidant defense under heavy metal toxicity. Environmental Pollution, 2019, 12, 5; 258:113705 (#co-first authors), (IF 5.7).

5.  Gaurav Zinta*, Hamada AbdElgawad, Darin Peshev, James T. Weedon, Wim Van den Ende, Ivan Nijs, Ivan A. Janssens, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. Dynamics of metabolic responses to combined heat and drought spells in Arabidopsis thaliana under ambient and elevated CO2. Journal of Experimental Botany, 2018, 9; 69 (8): 2159-2170 (*corresponding author), (IF 5.4).

6.  Li He#, Wenwu Wu#, Gaurav Zinta, Lan Yang, Dong Wang, Renyi Liu, Huiming Zhang, Zhimin Zheng, Huan Huang, Qingzhu Zhang, Jian-Kang Zhu. A naturally occurring epiallele associates with leaf senescence and local climate adaptation in Arabidopsis. Nature Communications, 2018, 9, 460 (#co-first authors), (IF 11.9).

7.  Ashish Kumar Srivastava, Yuming Lu, Gaurav Zinta, Zhaobo Lang, Jian-Kang Zhu. UTR-dependent gene expression control in plants. Trends in Plant Science, 2018, 23, 248-259, (IF 14.4).

8.  Seham M. Hamed, Gaurav Zinta, Gerd Klöck, Han Asard, Hamada AbdElgawad. Zinc-induced differential oxidative stress and antioxidant responses in Chlorella sorokiniana and Scenedesmus acuminatus. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 2017, 140:256-263, (IF 4.5).

9.  Gaurav Zinta*, Asif Khan, Hamada AbdElgawad, Vipasha Verma, Ashish Srivastava. Unveiling the redox control of plant reproductive development during abiotic stress. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2016, 7, 700 (*corresponding author), (IF 4.1).

10.  Hamada AbdElgawad#, Gaurav Zinta#, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Ivan A. Janssens, Han Asard. Future climate CO2 levels mitigate stress impact on plants: increased defense or decreased challenge? Frontiers in Plant Science, 2016, 7, 556 (#co-first authors), (IF 4.1).

11.  Hamada AbdElgawad#, Gaurav Zinta#, Momtaz M Hegab, Renu Pandey, Han Asard, W Abuelsoud. High salinity induces different oxidative stress and antioxidant responses in maize seedlings organs. Frontiers in Plant Science, 2016, 7, 276 (#co-first authors), (IF 4.1).

12.  Amit Kumar Sinha#, Hamada AbdElgawad#, Gaurav Zinta, Antony Franklin Dasan, Rindra Rasoloniriana, Han Asard, Ronny Blust, Gudrun De Boeck. Nutritional status as the key modulator of antioxidant responses induced by high environmental ammonia and salinity stress in european sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). PLoS One, 2015, 10 (8): e0135091 (#co-first authors), (IF 2.8).

13.  Ismail Hamad# , Hamada AbdElgawad#, Soad Al Jaouni, Gaurav Zinta, Han Asard, Sherif Hassan, Momtaz Hegab, Nashwa Hagagy and Samy Selim. Metabolic analysis of various date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars from Saudi Arabia to assess their nutritional quality. Molecules, 2015, 20 (8), 13620-13641 (#co-first authors), (IF 3.1).

14.  Amit Kumar Sinha, Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Han Asard, Ronny Blust, Gudrun De Boeck. High environmental ammonia elicits differential oxidative stress and antioxidant responses in five different organs of a model estuarine teleost (Dicentrarchus labrax). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology-Part C, 2015, 174–175: 21–31, (IF 2.7).

15.  Hamada AbdElgawad#, Dirk De Vos#, Gaurav Zinta, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. Grassland species differentially regulate proline levels under future climate conditions: an integrated biochemical and modelling approach. New Phytologist, 2015, 208(2): 354–369 (#co-first authors), (IF 7.3).

16.  Renu Pandey, Gaurav Zinta, H. AbdElgawad, A. Ahmad, V. Jain, I.A. Janssens. Molecular and physiological alterations to elevated CO2 under phosphorus stress. Biotechnology Advances, 2015, 33: 303-316, (IF 12.8).

17.  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Lucia Vergauwen, Dries Knapen, Ivan Nijs, Ivan A. Janssens, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. Physiological, biochemical and genome-wide transcriptional analysis reveals that elevated CO2 mitigates the impact of combined heat wave and drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana at multiple organizational levels. Global Change Biology, 2014, 20 (12): 3670-85, (IF 8.9).

18.  Hamada AbdElgawad#, Darin Peshev#, Gaurav Zinta, Wim Van den Ende, Ivan A. Janssens, Han Asard. Climate extreme effects on the chemical composition of temperate grassland species under ambient and elevated CO2: A comparison of fructan and non-fructan accumulators. PLoS One, 2014, 9 (3): e92044 (#co-first authors), (IF 2.8).

19.  Amit Kumar Sinha#, Hamada AbdElgawad#, Terri Giblen, Gaurav Zinta, Michelle De Rop, Han Asard, Ronny Blust, Gudrun De Boeck. Anti-oxidative defenses are modulated differentially in three freshwater teleosts in response to ammonia-induced oxidative stress. PLoS One, 2014, 9 (4): e95319 (#co-first authors), (IF 2.8).

20.  Renu Pandey, K. K. Dubey, R. Nilofar, R. Verma, V. Jain, A. Ahmad, Gaurav Zinta, V. Kumar. Elevated CO2 improves growth and phosphorus utilization efficiency in cereal species under sub-optimal phosphorus supply. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 2014, 1196-1217, (IF 0.8).

21.  WA El-Soud, MM Hegab, H AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, H Asard. Ability of ellagic acid to alleviate osmotic stress on chickpea seedlings. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 2013, 71: 173-183, (IF 3.4).

22.  M. M. Hegab, H. AbdElgawad, M. S. Abdelhameda, O. H. Ibrahima, Renu Pandey, V. Kumar, Gaurav Zinta. Effects of tricin isolated from jungle rice (Echinochloa colona L.) on amylase activity and oxidative stress in wild oat (Avena fatua L.). Allelopathy Journal, 2013, 31 (2): 345-354, (IF 0.7).

23.  Sharma A, Gaurav Zinta, S. Rana and P. Shirkot. Molecular identification of sex in Hippophae rhamnoides L. using isozyme and RAPD markers. Forestry Studies in China, 2010, 12 (2): 62-66.

24.  S. Huddone, S.V. Bhardwaj, R.S. Rattan, K. Kanwar, Gaurav Zinta, A. Handa. Inference on coat protein evolution of lily symptomless carlavirus in India and abroad based on motifs study and phylogenetic analysis. Journal of Proteomics Bioinformatics, 2010, 3: 204-211.

25.  P. Shirkot, M. Bhuria, Gaurav Zinta. Identification of gender in dioecious Hippophae salicifolia using isozymes as sex markers. Indian Journal of Forestry, 2009, 32 (2): 231-237.

26.  H. Patial, P. Shirkot, R. Bhalla, Gaurav Zinta. Assessment of genetic variability in Carnation (Dianthus Caryophyllus L.) using isozymes as molecular markers. Journal of Ornamental Horticulture, 2007, 10 (2): 78-84.

Methods and Protocols: -

1)  Daisuke Miki#, Gaurav Zinta#, Fangnan Peng, Zhengyan Feng and Jian-Kang Zhu. CRISPR/Cas9 based genome editing toolbox for Arabidopsis thaliana; in the book entitled “Arabidopsis Protocols, Fourth Edition”, edited by Jose J. Sanchez-Serrano and Julio Salinas (accepted, to be online in August 2020), Publisher Springer-Nature. (#co-first authors).

Book Chapters: -

1)  Asif Khan# and Gaurav Zinta#. Drought stress and chromatin: an epigenetic perspective; in the book entitled “Drought Stress Tolerance in Plants, Vol 2 - Molecular and Genetic Perspectives”, edited by Mohammad Anwar Hossain, Shabir Hussain Wani, Soumen Bhattachajee, David J Burritt, and Lam-Son Phan Tran (2016), Publisher Springer-Nature. (#co-first authors).

Oral Presentations/Invited Speaker: -

1)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Ivan A. Janssens, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard “Physiological, metabolic, and transcriptional analysis of Arabidopsis to gain insight into plant responses to climate extremes“ talk delivered at 3rd International Plant Physiology Conference (IPPC), New Delhi (11th-14th Dec 2015).
2)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Ivan A. Janssens, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. “Repeated selection under heat stress improves stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana” talk delivered at 19th National Symposium on Applied Biological Sciences, Gembloux, Belgium (7th Feb 2014).
3)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Lucia Vergauwen, Ivan Nijs, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard, Ivan A. Janssens. “Biochemical and molecular responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to a combination of heat wave and drought under elevated CO2” talk delivered at 7th symposium of the Belgian Plant Biotech Association, Brussels, Belgium (29th Nov 2013).

Poster Presentations: -

1)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Marios N Markakis, Chris Volschenk, Katrien Sprangers, Ivan A Janssens, Han Asard, Gerrit TS Beemster “Transgenerational induction of heat tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the ‘International Conference for Arabidopsis Research’ at Turku, Finland  (25th-29th  June 2018).
2)  Amit Kumar Sinha, Marios N Nektaris, Gaurav Zinta, Ajay A Kumar, Gerrit TS Beemster, Ronny Blust, Gudrun De Boeck “Interactive effects of salinity and ammonia on marine fish: insights from genome-wide transcriptional analysis” in the “Society of Experimental Biology Conference” at Gothenburg, Sweden (3rd–6th  July 2017).
3)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, Marios Nektarios Markakis, Viktoriya Avramova, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard “Growth and genome-wide transcriptional analysis reveal that elevated CO2 mitigates the impact of drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the ‘12th International Conference on Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species in Plants: from model systems to field’ at Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona, Italy (24th-26th June 2015).
4)  Amit Kumar Sinha, Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, Han Asard, Ronny Blust, Gudrun De Boeck “Nutritional status as the key modulator of antioxidant responses induced by salinity stress and high ammonia in European sea bass” in the annual meeting of Society of Experimental Biology (SEB), Prague,  2015 (30th June-3rd July 2015).
5)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, Viktoriya Avramova, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han  Asard “Growth and genome-wide transcriptional analysis reveal that elevated CO2 mitigates the impact of drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the conference ‘Recent progress in drought tolerance: from genetics to modelling’ at Montpellier, France (8th-9th June 2015).
6)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, M. N. Markakis, V. Avramova, G.T.S. Beemster, H.  Asard. “Elevated CO2 mitigates drought and temperature-induced oxidative stress differently in grasses and legumes” in the conference ‘Agriculture and Climate Change: Adapting Crops to Increased Uncertainty’ at Amsterdam, Netherlands (15th-17th Feb 2015).
7)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Dirk De Vos, Gaurav Zinta, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. “Unraveling the effects of future climate conditions on proline metabolism in grassland species: An integrated biochemical and modeling approach” in the ‘19th National Symposium on Applied Biological Sciences’ at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (30th Jan 2015).
8)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Ivan A. Janssens, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. “Transgenerational effects of heat stress in Arabidopsis thaliana: A multilevel analysis” in the 211th meeting ‘Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology’ jointly organized by Belgian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) with Belgian Society of Cell and Developmental Biology at University of Antwerp, Belgium (6th-7th Nov 2014).
9)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Marios Nektarios Markakis, Ivan A. Janssens, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard.  “Multilevel analysis revealed that repeated selection under heat stress improves heat tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the ‘Plant Biology Europe FESPB/EPSO Congress’ at Dublin, Ireland (22nd-26th June 2014).
10)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, Marios N. Markakis, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard. “Elevated CO2 mitigates the impact of drought on Arabidopsis thaliana: Growth and genome-wide analyses” in the ‘Plant Biology Europe FESPB/EPSO Congress’ at Dublin, Ireland (22nd-26th June 2014).
11)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, Han Asard. “Elevated CO2 reduced the impact of drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the ‘19th National Symposium on Applied Biological Sciences’ at Gembloux, Belgium (7th Feb 2014).
12)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Lucia Vergauwen, Ivan Nijs, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard, Ivan A. Janssens. “Biochemical and molecular responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to a combination of heat wave and drought under elevated CO2” in the ‘7th symposium of the Belgian Plant Biotech Association’ at Brussels, Belgium (29th Nov 2013).
13)  Hamada AbdElgawad, Gaurav Zinta, Han Asard. “Elevated CO2 reduced the impact of drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the ‘7th symposium of the Belgian Plant Biotech Association’ at Brussels, Belgium (29th Nov 2013).
14)  Gaurav Zinta, Hamada AbdElgawad, Malgorzata A. Domagalska, Lucia Vergauwen, Ivan Nijs, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Han Asard, Ivan A. Janssens. “Elevated CO2 mitigates the impact of a combination of heat wave and drought in Arabidopsis thaliana” in the ‘11th International POG Conference Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species in Plants’ at Warsaw, Poland (17th-19th July 2013).
15)  Gaurav Zinta, S. K. Singh, Poonam Shirkot, S.V. Bhardwaj. "Genomic diversity of Asparagus adscendens Roxb. in western Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh” in the national symposium on ‘New Biology in Agriculture’ at Punjab University Chandigarh, India (7th-8th Nov 2008).

Looking forward to build a scientific team of highly motivated  and innovative researchers.

If you have your own independent PhD/PostDoc fellowship or want to explore such options — you are welcome to get in touch with me via email.

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