Texas Tech University

Venugopal Mendu Lab Page

2014Bales of CottonCASNR_researchChancellor_Awardnew_faculty_2017


Dr. Venugopal Mendu
Associate Professor
Department of Plant & Soil Science
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas, USA

Research Focus

Our lab focuses on basic and applied research on plant cell walls using model (Arabidopsis) and crop (cotton) plants. Arabidopsis offers an excellent model system for functional studies due to the availability of completely sequenced genome, genetic material and other resources. We use Arabidopsis as a model plant to study the cell wall biosynthetic process and apply this knowledge for cotton fiber quality improvement. We isolate and characterize cell wall biosynthetic genes using Arabidopsis and use them to enhance cotton fiber quality/yield. Apart from cell wall biosynthesis, we are also interested in identifying the genes involved in cotton fiber initiation and development using Arabidopsis trichome as a model system. Plant cell walls are the main source for biomass-based biofuels/bioproducts. We are focusing on engineering the plant cell walls to produce bioethanol/high value compounds. Our lab focusing on identification of cell wall degrading enzymes from plant parasitic nematodes. Plant parasitic nematodes secrete cell wall degrading enzymes for successful infection and survival. These enzymes play an important role in plant-nematode interactions. We are interested in studying the cell wall alterations during the plant-nematode interactions. We employ genetic, genomic, bioinformatics, biochemical and molecular biology techniques for our research.