Venkatesan Sundaresan


Position Title
Distinguished Professor

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

2133 Life Sciences

Research Interests

A. Plant reproduction: Genetics and genomics of plant reproduction using Arabidopsis and rice as models.  Genome editing to enable asexual reproduction in crop plants.  

B. Root Microbiomes:  Assembly, structure and function. Host-microbiome interactions in rice roots 

For details please see the lab website at

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Plant Biology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Genetics
  • Microbiomes
  • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Genomics
  • Epigenomics
  • Model Plants


  • MCB 160L Principles of Genetics Laboratory, Spring
  • 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


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


Khanday, I., and Sundaresan, V. Plant zygote development: recent insights and applications to clonal seeds. 2021. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 59 Available at

Murphy, K. M., Edwards, J., Louie, K. B., Bowen, B. P., Sundaresan, V., Northen, T. R., and Zerbe, P. Bioactive diterpenoids impact the composition of the root-associated microbiome in maize (Zea mays). 2021. Scientific Reports 11

Brumm, S., Singh, M.K., Eggert, M., Richter, S., Beckmann, H., Stierhof, Y.-D., Fischer, A.-M., Kumaran, M., Sundaresan, V., Juergens, G. 2020. Coordinated activation of ARF1 GTPases by ARF-GEF GNOM dimers is essential for vesicle trafficking in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell 32: 2491-2507 DOI:

Liechty, Z., Santos-Medellin, C., Edwards, J., Nguyen, B., Mikhail, D., Eason, S., Phillips, G., Sundaresan, V. 2020. Comparative analysis of root microbiomes of rice cultivars with high and low methane emissions reveals differences in abundance of methanogenic archaea and putative upstream fermenters. mSystems 5:e00897-19 DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00897-19

Li, C., Xu, H., Fu, F., *Russell, S., *Sundaresan, V., *Gent, J. 2020. Genome-wide redistribution of 24-nt siRNAs in rice gametes. Genome Research 30:173-184. doi: 10.1101/gr.253674.119  *Joint corresponding author.

Edwards, J., Santos-Medellin, C., Nguyen, B., Kilmer, J., Liechty, Z., Veliz, E., Ni, J., Phillips, G., Sundaresan, V. 2019. Soil domestication by rice cultivation results in plant-soil feedback through shifts in soil microbiota. Genome Biology 20: 221 DOI:  (see commentary in PNAS at )

Li, C., Xu, H., Russell, S., Sundaresan, V. 2019. Step-by-step protocols for rice gamete isolation. Plant Reproduction. DOI:

Khanday, I., Skinner, D., Yang, B., Mercier, R., Sundaresan, V. 2018. A male-expressed rice embryogenic trigger redirected for asexual propagation through seeds. Nature 565: 91–95 (commentaries in Nature Biotechnology  CRISPR journal  Science News

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

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:

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

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

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

Liu, Z., Miao, L., Huo, R., Song, X., Johnson, C., Kong, L., Sundaresan, V., Yu, X. 2018. ARF2-4 and ARF5 are essential for female and male gametophyte development in Arabidopsis. Plant and Cell Physiology 59: 179–189.

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 (commentary in PNAS )

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.