D. (Dharani) Kamalachandran MSc

PhD Candidate
Plant-Microbe Interactions

I am a interdisciplinary researcher specializing in plant-microbe interactions and their role in enhancing plant resilience. With a background in plant biotechnology and genetics, I bring a strong academic foundation and a passion for understanding the intricate mechanisms that govern these interactions.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's in Plant Biotechnology from the University of Madras.
  • Master's in Botany with a specialization in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of Pune, where I conducted my master's dissertation on the phylogenetic relationships of the cryptic plant genus Costus sps.
  • I have gained valuable experience working in diverse fields, ranging from ecology to developmental genetics, within renowned research institutions in India.
  • My research journey led me to NIPGR, New Delhi, where I focused on studying the response of tomato plants to combined biotic and abiotic stress.

Current Focus:

Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in the Plant-Microbe Interactions group at Utrecht University, under the guidance of esteemed professors Prof. dr. Corne Pieterse and Prof. Saskia van Wees. In my doctoral research, I aim to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying beneficial microbe-induced resistance against herbivorous insects and pathogenic microbes. This work has significant implications for developing sustainable strategies to enhance plant health and protect agricultural crops.

Professional Affiliations:

I am proud to be a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in MiRA-ITN, a prestigious European research network that focuses on Microbe Induced Resistance against agricultural pests. This opportunity allows me to collaborate with experts from various academic and industrial institutions, further enriching my research experience.

Passion and Commitment:

I am deeply passionate about contributing to the field of plant-microbe interactions and advancing our understanding of how beneficial microbes can enhance plant defenses. My goal is to utilize my expertise to develop innovative solutions that promote sustainable agriculture and improve global food security.

I am excited to be a part of PMI and look forward to collaborating with colleagues who share a similar enthusiasm for cutting-edge research and its practical applications.