Venkatesan Sundaresan

Venkatesan Sundaresan

Position Title

Department of Plant Biology
Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

2133 Life Sciences

Research Interests

For details please see the lab website at

Genetics and molecular biology of plant reproduction. Functional genomics in model plants- Arabidopsis and rice. Bioinformatics of small RNAs. Microbiomes and metagenomics.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Genetics
  • Environmental and Integrative Biology
  • Epigenomics
  • Integrated Genetics and Genomics


  • MCB 160L Principles of Genetics Laboratory, Fall
  • BIS 181 Comparative Genomics, Fall
  • PBI 200B Plant development, Winter


  • Life Sciences Addition 2137, 2141
    • See our website below:

Professional Societies

  • American Society of Plant Biology
  • Genetics Society of America
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society for Microbiology


  • B.Sc. - University of Poona
  • M.Sc. - Indian Institute of Technology
  • M.S. - Carnegie Mellon University
  • PhD. - Biophysics Harvard University


Edwards, J., Santos-Medellin, C., Liechty, Z., Nguyen, B., Lurie, E., Eason, S., Phillips, G., Sundaresan, V. 2018.  Compositional shifts in root-associated bacterial and archaeal microbiota track the plant life-cycle in field-grown rice. PLoS Biology 16(2): e2003862

Skinner, D., Sundaresan, V. 2018. Recent advances in understanding female gametophyte development. Faculty of 1000 Research 7: 804. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.14508.1

Johnson, C., Conrad, L., Patel, R., Anderson, S., Li, C., Pereira, A., Sundaresan, V. 2018. Reproductive lincRNAs in rice contain major overlapping expression classes exhibiting male gamete specificity and PRC2-mediated repression. Plant Physiology DOI:

Edwards, J., Santos-Medellin, C., Sundaresan, V. 2018. Extraction and 16SrRNA Sequence Analysis of Microbiomes Associated with Rice Roots. Bio-protocol 8:12 DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2884

Yuan, L., Liu, Z., Song, X., Jernstedt, J., Sundaresan, V. 2018.  The gymnosperm ortholog of the angiosperm central cell-specification gene CKI1 provides an essential clue to endosperm origin. New Phytologist 218: 1685-1696

Anderson, S., Johnson, C., Chesnut J., Jones, D., Khanday, I., Woodhouse, M., Li, C., Conrad, L., Russell, S., Sundaresan, V., 2017. The zygotic transition is initiated in unicellular plant zygotes with asymmetric activation of parental genomes. Developmental Cell 43: 349–358

Santos-Medellin, C., Edwards, J., Liechty, Z., Nguyen, B., Sundaresan, V., 2017. Drought stress results in a compartment-specific restructuring of the rice root-associated microbiomes. mBio (American Society for Microbiology) doi:10.1128/mBio.00764-17

Liu, Z., Yuan, L., Song, X., Yu, X., Sundaresan, V., 2017. AHP2, AHP3, and AHP5 act downstream of CKI1 in Arabidopsis female gametophyte development. Journal of Experimental Botany 68: 3365–3373.

Yuan, L., Liu, Z., Song, X., Johnson, C., Yu, X., Sundaresan, V., 2016.  The CKI1 histidine kinase specifies the female gametic precursor of the endosperm. Developmental Cell 37:34-46.

Panoli, A.,Martin, M.V., Alandete-Saez, M., Simon, M., Neff, C., Swarup, R., Bellido, A., Yuan, L., Pagnussat, G.C., Sundaresan, V., 2015. Auxin import and local auxin biosynthesis are required for mitotic divisions, cell expansion and cell specification during female gametophyte development in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0126164

Edwards, J., Johnson, C., Santos-Medellin, C., Lurie, E., Podishetty, N.K., Bhatnagar, S., Eisen, J.A., Sundaresan, V., 2015.  Structure, variation and assembly of the root-associated microbiomes of rice.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.1414592112

Yuan, L., Sundaresan, V., 2015.  Spore formation in plants: SPOROCYTELESS and more. Cell Research 25:7-8.

Song, X., Yuan, L., Sundaresan, V., 2014. Antipodal cells persist through fertilization in the female gametophyte of Arabidopsis. Plant Reproduction 27:197-203.

Conrad, L.J., Khanday, I., Johnson, C., Guiderdoni, E., An, G., Vijayraghavan, U., Sundaresan, V., 2014. The polycomb group gene EMF2B is essential for maintenance of floral meristem determinacy in rice.  The Plant Journal 80:883-94.

Ravi, M., Marimuthu, M.P., Tan, E.H., Maheshwari, S., Henry, I.M., Marin-Rodriguez, B., Urtecho, G., Tan, J., Thornhill, K., Zhu, F., Panoli, A., Sundaresan, V., Britt, A.B., Comai, L., Chan, S.W., 2014. A haploid genetics toolbox for Arabidopsis thaliana. Nature Commun. 5:5334.

Spence, C., Alff, E., Johnson, C., Ramos, C., Donofrio, N., Sundaresan,V., Bais, H., 2014. Natural rice rhizospheric microbes suppress rice blast infections.  BMC Plant Biology, 14:130.

Tsai H., Missirian V., Ngo K., Tran R.K., Chan S., Sundaresan V., Comai L., 2013. Production of a high efficiency TILLING population through polyploidization.  Plant Physiology 161: 1604-1614.

Martin, M., Fiol, D., Sundaresan, V., Zabaleta, Pagnussat, G., 2013. oiwa, a Female Gametophytic Mutant Impaired in a Mitochondrial Manganese-Superoxide Dismutase, Reveals Crucial Roles for Reactive Oxygen Species during Embryo Sac Development and Fertilization in Arabidopsis.  The Plant Cell, 25: 1573-1591.

Anderson, S., Johnson, C., Jones, D., Conrad, L., Gou, X., Russell, S., Sundaresan, V., 2013. Transcriptomes of isolated rice gametes characterized by deep sequencing:  Evidence for distinct sex-dependent chromatin and epigenetic states before fertilization.  The Plant Journal, 76: 729-741.

Yang S-Y, Gronlund M, Jakobsen I, Grotemeyer MS, Rentsch D, Miyao A, Hirochika H, Kumar CS, Sundaresan V, Salamin N, Catausan S, Mattes N, Heuer S, Paszkowski U., 2013. Nonredundant Regulation of Rice Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis by Two Members of the PHOSPHATE TRANSPORTER1 Gene Family.  The Plant Cell, 24: 4236-4251.

Leshem Y., Johnson C., Sundaresan V., 2013. Pollen tube entry into the synergid cell of Arabidopsis is observed at a site distinct from the filiform apparatus. Plant Reproduction, 26: 93-99.

Leshem Y., Johnson C.A., Wuest S.E., Song X., Ngo Q.A., Grossniklaus U., Sundaresan V. 2012. Molecular Characterization of the glauce Mutant: a Central Cell-Specific Function Is Required for Double Fertilization in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 24: 3264-3277.

Ngo QA, Baroux C, Guthörl D, Mozerov P, Collinge MA, Sundaresan V, Grossniklaus U. 2012. The Armadillo Repeat Gene ZAK IXIK Promotes Arabidopsis Early Embryo and Endosperm Development through a Distinctive Gametophytic Maternal Effect. The Plant Cell 24: 4026-4043.

Gutjahr C, Radovanovic D, Geoffroy J, Zhang Q, Siegler H, Chiapello M, Casieri L, An K, An G, Guiderdoni E, Kumar CS, Sundaresan V, Harrison MJ, Paszkowski U. 2011. The half-size ABC transporters STR1 and STR2 are indispensable for mycorrhizal arbuscule formation in rice. The Plant Journal 69: 906-920.

Sundaresan V., Alandete-Saez, M. 2010. Pattern formation in miniature: The female gametophyte of flowering plants. Development 137:179-189.

Pagnussat G., Alandete-Saez, M., Bowman, J., Sundaresan, V. 2009. Auxin dependent patterning and gamete specification in the Arabidopsis female gametophyte. Science 324: 1684-1689.

Johnson C., Kasprzewska A., Tennessen K., Fernandes J., Nan G., Walbot V., Sundaresan V.*, Vance V.*, Bowman L.* 2009. Clusters and Superclusters of Phased Small RNAs in the Developing Inflorescence of Rice. Genome Research 19:1429-1440.

Krishnan A, Guiderdoni E, An G, Hsing YI, Han CD, Lee MC, Yu SM, Upadhyaya N, Ramachandran S, Zhang Q, Sundaresan V, Hirochika H, Leung H, Pereira A. 2009. Mutant resources in rice for functional genomics of the grasses. Plant Physiol. 149:165-70.

Boavida LC, Shuai B, Yu HJ, Pagnussat GC, Sundaresan V, McCormick S. 2009. A Collection of Ds Insertional Mutants Associated With Defects in Male Gametophyte Development and Function in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetics 181:1369-85.

Capron, A., Gourgues, M., Neiva, L.S., Faure, J.E., Berger, F., Pagnussat, G., Krishnan, A., Alvarez-Meija, C., Vielle-Calzada, J.-P., Lee, Y.-R., Liu, B., Sundaresan, V. 2008. Maternal control of male-gamete delivery in Arabidopsis involves a putative GPI-anchored protein encoded by the LORELEI gene. The Plant Cell, 20: 3038–3049.

Meyers BC, Matzke M, Sundaresan V. 2008. The RNA world is alive and well. Trends in Plant Sciences, 13:311-3.

Chen, Z., Tan, J., Inguoff, M., Sundaresan, V. , Berger, F. 2008. The Chromatin Assembly Factor 1 regulates the cell cycle but not the cell fate during male gametogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Development, 135:65-73.

Qu, S., Desai, A., Wing, R.A., Sundaresan, V. 2008. A Versatile Transposon-Based Activation Tag Vector System for Functional Genomics in Cereals and Other Monocot Plants. Plant Physiology, 146:189-99.

Dewitte, W., Scofield, S., Alcasabas, A.A., Maughan, S.C., Menges, M., Braun, N., Collins, C., Nieuwland, J., Prinsen, E., Sundaresan, V., Murray, J.A.H. 2007. Arabidopsis CYCD3 D-type cyclins link cell proliferation and endocycles and are rate-limiting for cytokinin responses Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104:14537-14542.

Griffith, M.E., Mayer, U., Capron, A., Ngo, Q., Surendrarao A., McClinton, R., Jurgens, G., Sundaresan, V. 2007. The TORMOZ gene encodes a nucleolar protein required for regulated division planes and embryo development in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell 19: 2246-2263.

Johnson, C., Bowman, L., Adai, A., Vance, V., Sundaresan, V. 2006. CSRDB: a small RNA integrated database and browser resource for cereals. Nucleic Acids Res. 35: D829-D833.

Johnson, C., Sundaresan, V. 2007. Regulatory small RNAs in plants. In Plant Systems Biology Birkhauser, Springer-Verlag, Switzerland. pp. 99-113.

Ngo, Q.A., Moore, J.M., Baskar R., Grossniklaus, U., and Sundaresan, V. 2007. The Arabidopsis glauce mutant reveals a novel regulatory function of the female gametophyte in autonomous endosperm development and expression of paternal alleles during early embryogenesis. Development, 134: 4107-4117.

Pagnussat, G., Yu, H.-J., Sundaresan, V. 2007. Cell-fate switch of synergid to egg cell in Arabidopsis eostre mutant embryo sacs arises from mis-expression of the BEL1-Like Homeodomain gene BLH1. The Plant Cell, 19:3578-92.