Chakravarthy Rajan

Research Staff

Research Specialist



Research Interests

Chakravarthy Rajan's research focuses on genetic engineering of rice and pearl millet for crop improvement, which includes molecular cloning, tissue culture, and transformation studies.

Most of the commercially important chemicals made by plants are produced as part of their secondary metabolism. The majority of secondary metabolites are generally produced in low quantities in their host plants and their isolation suffers from low yield and high consumption of natural resources, which are driving some plants and forests to near extinction. Aromatic Mint plants of Mentha species are easy to cultivate and harvest and they are the source of the best known monoterpene chemical, Menthol, which is the principal component of peppermint essential oil. In his previous Lab at TTL, Rajan established a transformation system and hairy root culture in Mint and Sweet Basil. 

Selected Publications

  • Comparative transcriptome analysis of oil palm flowers reveals an EAR- motifcontaining R2R3-MYB that modulates phenylpropene biosynthesis, Li R, Jin J, Reddy V A, Rajan Chakravarthy, Wang Q, Yue G, Lim CH, Chua NH, Ye J, Sarojam R., BMC Plant Biology, 2017, 17: 219.
  • Spearmint R2R3-MYB transcription factor MsMYB negatively regulates monoterpene production and suppresses the expression of geranyl diphosphate synthase large subunit (MsGPPS.LSU), Reddy Vaishnavi ; Wang Qian; Dhar, Niha; Kumar Nadimuthu; Venkatesh Prasanna; Rajan Chakravarthy ; Panicker Deepa; Sridhar Vishweshwaran ; MAO HUIZHU; Sarojam Rajani, Plant Biotechnology Journal.
  • Metabolic engineering of terpene biosynthesis in plants using a trichome specific transcription factor MsYABBY5 from spearmint (Mentha spicata), Wang, Qian; Reddy, Vaishnavi; Panicker, Deepa; MAO, HUIZHU; Kumar, Nadimuthu; Rajan Chakravarthy ; Venkatesh, Prasanna; Chua, Nam-Hai; Sarojam, Rajani, Plant Biotechnology.
  • An efficient in vitro system for somatic embryogenesis and podophyllotoxin production in Podophyllum hexandrum Royle, Manoharan Rajesh & Ganeshan Sivanandhan & Murugaraj Jeyaraj & Rajan Chackravarthy & Markandan Manickavasagam & N. Selvaraj & Andy Ganapathi, Protoplasma.
  • Assessment of somatic embryogenesis potency in Indian soybean [Glycine max(L.) Merr.] cultivars, Thankaraj Salammal Mariashibu, Kondeti Subramanyam, Muthukrishnan Arun, Jeevaraj Theboral,Manoharan Rajesh, Sampath Kasthuri Rengan, Rajan Chakravarthy, Markandan Manickavasagam & Andy Ganapath, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 


  • MSc, Biotechnology (First Class with Distinction), Bharathidasan University, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, 2008
  • BSc, Biotechnology (First Class with Distinction), Bharathidasan University, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, 2006

Professional Profile

  • 2018-present: Research Specialist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2016-2018: Research Associate, Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), NTU, Singapore
  • 2010-2016: Assistant Research Officer, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, NUS, Singapore
  • 2008-2010: Research Assistant, BDU, Trichy, Tamilnadu, India

Research Interests Keywords

plant molecular biology plant secondary metabolites cell culture and tissue culture plant transformation studies