Texas Tech University

Janga joins Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance

Norman Martin

August 29, 2023

Madhusudhana Janga, an international expert in cell biology specializing in plant tissue culture and transformation, has been named an assistant professor within Texas Tech University's Department of Plant & Soil Science, according to officials within the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. He officially steps into his new research post on Sept. 1.

Janga will be working within the Davis College's leading scientific team - the Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance. Janga is expected to lead projects involving development of gene transfer and gene-editing technologies, combining fundamental research and education with applications to improvement of environmental stress tolerance of crops, especially but not limited to, cotton, sorghum, and other crops relevant to West Texas agriculture.

One of Janga's primary goals at Texas Tech is to improve cotton, sorghum and other crops through genetic transformation and genome editing technologies.

“My long-term objectives are to train the next generation of scientists, provide collaborative service for researchers through plant genetic transformation and develop new methodologies to advance the phase of plant transformation and genetic engineering to improve the crop plants,” Janga said. “I aim to study the function of new genes to uncover underlying mechanisms, and subsequently apply this knowledge to enhance crop plants, making them more resilient to abiotic and biotic stressors, while also increasing their yield and nutritional value.”

Prior to joining Texas Tech as an IGCAST researcher, Janga served as an assistant director with the Plant Transformation Core Facility at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also served as a staff scientist with Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M University-College Station; and a research associate with E. I. DuPont India in Hyderabad, India.

Janga received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Sri Krishnadevaraya University in Anantapur, India, and his master's degree in biotechnology from Barkatullah University in Bhopal, India. His doctorate in genetics is from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India

Led by Luis Rafael Herrera-Estrella, the high-profile IGCAST research group examines how plants adapt to thrive in the presence of environmental stresses such as extreme heat and cold, drought and in the presence of brackish water sources. Herrera-Estrella's arrival at Texas Tech was made possible by a $5 million grant from the State of Texas Governor's University Research Initiative and matched by the university to bring the best and brightest researchers to Texas.

IGCAST was established in 2020 with a mission of conducting top-ranked research and graduate education on the use of functional and population genomics to understand the molecular mechanisms that determine resilience of crops and related wild species to adverse environmental stresses in the era of climate change.

The research group aims at integrating an interdisciplinary team of scientists to conduct internationally competitive, multidisciplinary research to study physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms and plant architecture underlying resistance to environmental stresses, contributing to the development of sustainable agriculture.


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.