Anil Grover earned his BSc (Hons) in Botany and MSc (Botany) degrees from the University of Delhi and PhD in Plant Physiology from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. He worked as Research Associate at JNU, New Delhi, Tata Energy Research Institute, New Delhi, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada on CIDA-NSERC Fellowship and as Scientist at the University of Delhi. He joined the Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Delhi, as a Lecturer (1989) and became a Professor in the same Department. He has also worked as Rockefeller post-doctoral Fellow and Rockefeller Career Fellow at CSIRO, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, Australia and as post-doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis, USA.
Academic and Research Achievements: Global mean surface air temperature has increased by ~0.5°C in the 20th century and is projected to increase further by 1.5 to 4.5°C in the current century. Global warming would negatively affect crop yield. AG’s laboratory works on understanding how plants, more specifically Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants, respond to heat stress at the level of gene expression. One principal way heat affects living systems is through denaturing their proteins. ClpATPases act as molecular chaperones and help in preventing protein aggregations and disaggregating the toxic aggregates formed under stressful regimes. ClpB/Hsp100 proteins are in particular the active molecules in the context of disaggregating the toxic aggregates. This activity of ClpB/Hsp100 proteins is mediated with the help of other chaperones like Hsp70/Hsp40 and sHsps. ClpATPase gene family is constituted of 3 ClpB, 4 ClpC and 2 ClpD proteins in rice. Three ClpB of rice include a mitochondrial protein OsClpB-M, a chloroplastic protein OsClpB-C and a cytoplasmic protein OsClpB-Cyt. OsClpB-Cyt, OsClpB-C and OsClpB-M transcripts are strongly induced upon heat shock treatment. As in yeast, rice ClpB proteins lack the motif responsible for interaction with ClpP protein. OsClpB-Cyt and OsClpB-M are able to confer partial tolerance to yeast Δhsp104 mutant. OsClpB-Cyt promoter is heat-regulated. 5’UTR of ClpB-Cyt gene appears to have a role in translation process during heat stress. Rice has 23 sHsps genes which include 16 nucleo-cytoplasmic (C) sHsps (9 subfamilies), 3 mitochondrial (M) sHsps (2 subfamilies), 2 endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized sHsps, 1 plastidial (P) sHsp and 1 peroxisomal (Px) sHsp having 1 subfamily each. Most of these genes are heat-regulated. From the complete genome sequence (Rice Annotation release 5), indications are that at least 25 genes constitute OsHsf gene family. We have interest to dissect various components that together constitute response of rice to heat alone and to heat in conjunction with salt, cold, oxidative and flooding stresses. We take help from the extreme powers of the genetics of Arabidopsis plants in understanding the functionalities of plant Hsps He has guided eleven PhD, seven MPhil and twenty seven MSc students.
Other Contributions: Member, National Committee, INSA-IUBS (2016-2020); Member, Editorial Board, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (Elsevier; till date); Member, Editorial Board, Plant Science (Elsevier; till date); Guest Editor, Plant Reproduction journal (special issue on pollen development); Editor, Special issue of "Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants", 2008; Editor, Special issue of "Current Science" on Transgenic Crops, February 2003.
Awards and Honours: Member, Board of Directors, International Society of Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB) USA (since 2013); ; Sir J.C. Bose National Fellow, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (2011-2015; 2015-2020); Indo-Australia Visiting Fellowship award, Indian National Science Academy (2013); G.V. Joshi Memorial lecture award, Indian Society of Plant Physiology (2011); Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Fellow, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; Fellow, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi; Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad; National Bioscience award, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India; B.M. Birla Science Prize in Biology, B.M. Birla Science Centre, India; Prof. Hiralal Chakravarathy award from Indian Science Congress Association, Kolkata; Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Medal, New Delhi.