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Dr. Bala Rathinasabapathi

Undergraduate Advisor and Professor

Mailing Address:
Fifield Hall
2550 Hull Road
PO Box 110690
Gainesville, Florida 32611

Office: 2247 Fifield Hall
Phone: (352) 273-4847

  • Areas of Research
    • Capsicum breeding, genetics & genomics
    • High-temperature stress tolerance in crops
    • Biofuel algae
    • Arsenic hyperaccumulation in ferns
  • Teaching Responsibilities
    • VEC 2100 – World Herbs and Vegetables
    • VEC 3221C – Commercial Vegetable Production
    • VEC 4905 – Independent Study
    • HOS 1014 – Vegetable Gardening
    • HOS 5242 and HOS 4932 -  Genetics and Breeding of Vegetables
    • HOS 5711 – Phytochemicals in Food and Health (alternate years) 
    • BOT 6935 – Plant Biochemistry (team taught)
  • Educational Background
    • Ph.D. - (1990) in Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
    • M.Sc. - (1985) in Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
    • B.Sc. - (1983) in Agriculture, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Work Experience
    • Post-doctoral research at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Lab, Michigan State University, East Lansing and IRBV,  University of Montreal,  Montreal.  
    • As one of the two advisors for Gator Citrus Club, travelled to study horticultural industries in Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Spain and Puerto Rico. 
  • Honors and Awards
    • Elected to Gamma Sigma Delta, University of Florida (2002)
    • Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Environ. Horticulture Club, Univ. of Florida (1997-98)
    • Associate editor, BMC Microbiology and the Journal of Botany 
    • Member, American Society of Horticultural Science
    • Member, American Society of Plant Biology
  • Program Personnel
    • Aparna Krishnamurthy, Ph.D. (Graduated in Aug 2014)
    • Elton Goncalves, Ph.D. (Graduated in Aug 2015)
    • Newton Kilasi, Ph.D. (Graduated in  Dec 2016) 
    • Saul Sotomayor, M.S.  (Graduated Aug 2015)
    • Qingyuan Xiang, Ph.D. student 
    • David Friedman, Ph.D. student 
    • Jingwei Fu, Ph.D. student
    • Adeel  Shahid (Visiting graduate student, Spring 2018)
    • Shazia Arif (Visiting graduate student, Spring 2014) 
    • Sana Tesheen (Visiting graduate student, Summer 2014)  
    • Manal El-Zohri Ph.D. (Visiting scholar, Spring-Summer 2014)
    • Francisco De Carvalho Ph.D. (Visiting professor, Amazonia, Brazil, 2018)  
    • Maria Luiza Grigio (Visiting graduate student, 2015-16) 
    • Building Better Peppers Program (current or recent undergraduates):
      • Yang Yue (2017-2018)
      • Yanlin Wang (2017-2018)
      • Nidhi Patel (Summer, 2018)
      • Thomas J. Roth (Summer, 2018)
      • Isabel Branstrom (Fall 2013)
      • Mackenzie DeNew (2015-18)
      • Dylan Kovach (2016-17)
      • Christopher Imler (2017)
      • Jessica Webster (2017)
      • Christine Barnes (2017)
      • Nicholas Eagel, Mitchell Clifton, Sasha Camenkar and  Briana Aguila (Summer 2013)
      • Katrina Benzrihem and Denee Salazar (Spring 2013)

Selected Publications

AuthorsYearTitle / DescriptionPublication
Goncalves E.C., Koh, J., Zhu N, Yoo M.J., Chen S, Matsuo T, Johnson J.V., Rathinasabapathi B 2016 Nitrogen starvation-induced accumulation of triacylglycerol in the green algae:  Evidence for a role for ROC40, a transcription factor involved in circadian rhythm. Plant Journal 85: 743-757.
Goncalves E.C., Wilkie A.C., Kirst M., Rathinasabapathi B  2016  Metabolic regulation of triacylglycerol accumulation in the green algae:  identification of potential targets for engineering to improve oil yield. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14: 1649-1660.
Lessl, J.T., Ma, L.Q., Rathinasabapathi, B, Guy C  2013  A novel phytase from Pteris vittata resistant to arsenate, high temperature, and soil inactivation. Environ Sci and Technol 47: 2204-2211.
Goncalves, E.C., Johnson, J.V., Rathinasabapathi B  2013  Conversion of membrane lipid acyl groups to triacylglycerol and formation of lipid bodies upon nitrogen starvation in biofuel green algae Chlorella UTEX29. Planta 238: 895-906.
Wang, X., Rathinasabapathi, B., De Oliveira, L.M., Guilherme, L.R., Ma, LQ  2012  Bacteria-mediated arsenic oxidation and reduction in the growth media of arsenic hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46: 11259-11266.
Rathinasabapathi, B  2012  Functional genomics of drought tolerance in crops:  Engineering transcriptional regulators and pathways. In:  ‘Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress” Edited by N. Tuteja, A.F. Tiburcio, S. S. Gill and R. Tuteja, Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley-VCH Verlag, pp. 243-253.
Wang, X., Ma, L.Q., Rathinasabapathi, B., Cai Y., Liu, Y.G., Zeng, G.M  2011  Mechanisms of efficient arsenite uptake by arsenic-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata. Environmental Science and Technology 45:9719-9725.
Ghosh, P., Rathinasabapathi, B., and Ma, L.Q  2011  Arsenic-resistant bacteria enhanced arsenic solubilization and promoted the growth of arsenic hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata. Bioresource Technology 102:8756-8761.
Sundaram, S., Rathinasabapathi B  2010  Transgenic expression of fern Pteris vittata glutaredoxin PvGrx5 in Arabidopsis thaliana increases plant tolerance to high temperature stress and reduces oxidative damage to proteins. Planta 231: 361-369.